Thursday, December 31, 2015

Cruz is the best of the lot, which isn't saying much

The best article I have read about Ted Cruz so far is one written in today's American Thinker by Fritz Pettyjohn entitled Rebel and Designated Driver Ted Cruz and A Time for Truth. The one thing he gets wrong in his article is that he says Cruz isn't likable. I personally find him very likable. You may not always like the message, but the man himself is likable. Pettyjohn writes:
He knows he's got a problem. In one of the early debates he said he might not be the guy you have a beer with, but he'd be the one to drive everybody home. All true enough. But good enough?

In a rational world it should be. The tales he tells of his battles in the Senate are self-serving, but ring true. Like virtually everyone in Congress with any experience, the Republican Senate leadership values their power and incumbency above all. Anything that threatens the political culture in which they have prospered will be vilified. The foundation of that culture is money -- campaign cash in the millions from various special interests which are government dependent. They have a nice little racket going, and despise anyone who rocks the boat.

To his credit, from the day he was sworn in Cruz has consistently fought the Republican Congressional leadership. He had no interest in joining their club. They've done all they can to punish him, to no effect. As it turns out, Cruz was right not only on the merits but on the politics...
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As I said above, this is perhaps the best piece on Cruz I have read,  But I have heard several very good interviews with him, and he comes across as personable enough.  More importantly, when hiring a man to serve as President, what you want is a man with integrity.  Cruz won't stand for is the lawlessness, and shredding of the Constitution that is, and has been happening.  Ted Cruz seems to be the kind of person who will begin the process of turning our ship of state around.  There will be lots of opposition to this not only from the Democrats, but many in his own party.  If Cruz secures the nomination, the long knives will be out for him.  But if he can survive, I predict that many will find a man who, though they might not have many beers with him, will none the less respect him.

Ted Cruz did not grow up rich, and I suspect he is not wealthy even now.  Despite his intelligence, he has struggled, and I believe his has found and been  humbled by faith, which is very important in a man who has his finger on the button, to use an old cliche.  Trump, for what it is worth, grew up well off, and has only gotten more wealthy.  I have no beef with Trump's wealth, indeed I say good job well done.  But for those who care about such things, a Cruz better understands the struggles of the average American than a Trump does.  Frankly, I don't trust Trump to do what he says.  I believe he says what he needs to say at the moment, and changes with the next, having not thought out his positions thoroughly.  I believe Ted Cruz has thought out his positions, has principle reasons for holding them, and they are based in reality.

I have never written anything close to an endorsement of a candidate, and while I intend to vote for Cruz, this should not be considered an endorsement either.  I have not sent money to Cruz's campaign, or any other candidate for that matter.  Frankly, I have not voted enthusiastically for any candidate in years, and each year I threaten to sit out this election.  But if I get the chance to vote for Cruz, I will, for he is the best of the lot, which isn't saying much.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Throwing Stones and Living in Glass Houses

According to the One who should know, no man is "good;" only God is good.  According to St. Paul, all have fallen short.  So, it is a little surprising to hear that students, who should be learning the lessons of history, seem to have a burning desire to tear down the statues and plaques acknowledging the men who built our Western civilization, and who laid the groundwork that allows these students to now demand their removal.  Apparently, students want to hear only about the good stuff, the things these men did right, but don't want to hear about the...well...not so good stuff.  But history is replete with men who were both noble and upright, and at the same time depraved and sinful.  Men who were brave, and at the same time fearful.  Men who were bold, and at the same time risk averse.  It is well to know both the good and the bad, in hopes that the knowing will somehow make us, if not immune, at least a little more wary of doing the same things over and over expecting different results.  But first we need to be honest with ourselves, and with others.  Our motives are no more pure than the men of the past.

I believe Woodrow Wilson was such a man.  I despise many of his actions, and he was a true racists and a progressive (read socialist).  He was also erudite, ambitious, and determined to make his mark on the world..  It is appalling that students at Princeton University, where Wilson was the president, want to remove all trace of him.  He was just as much a man of his time as are we.  How will history judge us?  After all, taking pot shots at a dead man is not exactly brave.

Then there are the men who were ruthless and brutal, but felt the need to offer up some their fortunes in hopes that history would smile favorably on them.  According to the American Thinker today, such was the case of Cecil Rhodes in Michael Curtis' article "No one wants to be called a racist."  Rhodes was the philanthropist who funded the eponymous scholarship at Oxford University, Oriel College, and also founded the state of Rhodesia.  Curtis writes:
Rhodes was a man of enormous achievement, the founder of Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe and Zambia), but a highly controversial figure.

Rhodes, a man of his times, was a believer in the Anglo-Saxon race as the master race, and a colonialist who wanted a united South Africa and a Cape to Cairo railroad running through British territory. He was also a confirmed racist. He began the policy of enforced racial segregation, an early form of apartheid, in South Africa. His private army, the British South Africa Company’s Police (BSACP) murdered thousands, perhaps as many as 60,000 Africans. He acquired land through armed force. He prevented Africans from voting for the House of Assembly in the new political system.
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It has been said that those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it.  It has also been pointed out that history doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme.  But if we destroy history in the mistaken idea that sweeping it under the rug is the same thing as getting rid of it altogether, future generations are bound to repeat it in ever rhyming stanzas.  We should acknowledge the noble things these men did, but also the craven and crass things they did, because in looking at their stories, we may see some hope for redemption in our own.

McAwful to be Stripped of his Protective Detail over Concealed Carry

 I have noted on more than one occasion the hypocrisy of government officials who have armed body guards provided at taxpayer expense, but are determined to take guns away from you and me.  Bob Owens has a piece over at Bearing Arms entitled VA GOP may strip McAuliffe of his protective detail over concealed carry. I like the idea. While I don't like the idea of a government executive being gunned down over some policy or law, the fact is that too many government officials have gotten it into their heads that they have been elected to rule rather than to govern. They have come to believe that what applies to us does not apply to them. They have come to believe their own press; that they are "special" and a breed apart. Perhaps they had these delusions all along, but now they think they have the power to actualize them. Its about time someone decided disabuse these petty tyrants of their narcissistic notions.

Bob Owens writes, quoting the Bristol Herald Courier:

Carrico said he’ll address the issue come January.

“A lot of the governor’s power is deferred to the General Assembly at that point and I’ll be getting with my collegues to circumvent everything this governor has done on this point,” he said. “I have a budget amendment that I’m looking at to take away his executive protection unit. If he’s so afraid of guns, then I’m not going to surround him with armed state policemen.”
We have treated these people as though they are some sort of super star, as though instead of being the servants of the people, they are our rulers, and we are their subjects. We need to rediscover that it is "we the people" who elect these wastes of a good suit, and we deserve our dignity and respect. Of course, it is also true, as David Codrea has pointed out here, we have allowed ourselves to be cowed because of fear into accepting the permit system in the first place. If someone can grant a permit, or withhold it, that permit is not a right, it is a privilege. If we truly want to claim our rights, we would all burn our permits quite publicly. In our zeal to be cooperative, we have accepted a permit system that has no been turned against us.  And the anti-gun side has not been acknowledged our cooperation, nor has it offered up anythin in return,  This has not been compromise, it has been capitulation.  Instead, we just hear that the last gun restriction was a good first step.  So if the gun grabbers want to play that game, perhaps it would behoove us to take a step or two back.  Tell the state that "we don't need no stinkin' permits."  The Second Amendment IS our permit.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

I normally say this to one and all this time of year.  Christmas is, of course, the Holiday (Holy Day) when we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  He is, as the cliche goes, the reason for the season.  I say it to those who don't believe, as well as believers.  I don't say it to be provocative, but because I believe He came to save the whole world.  Your acceptance of this Gift of Grace is up to you, and only you.  I also believe that I am responsible only for my actions and reactions.  How you take it is on you.  You can choose to be offended, or you can take it in the spirit of love in which it is uttered, but it is all on you.

Our Constitution, which was written by men, many of whom were Christians themselves, others were profoundly influenced by Christiantiy, does protects your right to religious expression, as it protects mine.  It does not protect you, or me, from religion.  You may hear religious teaching and preaching, and you can agree with it or not, but you have no right to have it shut down because you are "offended."  Your sense of being offended is entirely on you.  Own your emotions, grow up, and become of functioning member of society.

Interestingly, as I was contemplating writing this post today, I checked into the always thought provoking American Thinker, and found there a piece by Peter Heck entitled Atheist, Just Calm Down. Heck writes:
I have to confess to being somewhat amused by all the anti-Christian evangelical atheists at this time of year. Now admittedly, I’m not one who worries much at all about any supposed “War on Christmas” in our culture. I find people who say “Happy Holidays” to be polite, and the most offensive thing to me about the cups at Starbucks is the fact that they are so tiny in proportion to the bank loan you have to take out to pay for them.

That being said, I can’t help wanting to point and laugh at the overenthusiastic swarm of “nones” (the hip new term for God-deniers) that consider it their solemn duty to sniff out any public acknowledgement of Jesus this time of year and sue its pants off. They aren’t content just not believing. They need to make sure no one else does either. That’s why they should properly be classified as evangelical atheists because proselytizing their dogmatic unbelief is apparently how they find self-worth.
Yet there are the American Atheists, Freedom From Religion Foundation and all their subsidiaries, be-clowning themselves in front of God and country as they proudly bask in their role as holiday Grinches. Seizing on a pathetic victimhood culture run amuck in this country, they find some like-minded goof to claim they feel coerced into Christianity by being publicly exposed to the singing of “Away in a Manger.” And despite the idiotic premise of their argument (one wonders how many radio stations have been successfully sued by those who felt coerced into the belief in a magical dragon named Puff who lives by the sea), it’s game over in our common sense-deprived courts.
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If you are one who says Happy Holidays, who looks on Christmas as merely a welcome day off in the bleak midwinter, I pray for you to discover the Truth,  I was like you, wandering in the wilderness for literally 40 years, but have come to believe in my heart.  I have been saved, not in the next life, but in this life.  Indeed, Jesus' teachings, rightly understood, deal with how to live in this life.  Merry Christmas, and may the Peace of God, which passes all understanding, be with you this season.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Dems Looking to Deny Your Rights Any Way They Can

Katie Pavlich has a 'tipsheet" over at to tell us that Virginia to drop long held concealed carry reciprocity agreements with other States. Among the States that are being dropped is North Carolina. Pavlich quotes the WaPo:
Herring said severing the out-of-state agreements can prevent people who may be dangerous or irresponsible from carrying a concealed weapon.

“To me, this is a commonsense step that can help make Virginians and our law enforcement officers safer by ensuring that Virginia’s laws on who can and cannot carry a concealed handgun are applied evenly, consistently, and fairly,” he said in a statement provided to The Washington Post.

The State Police superintendent accepted Herring’s recommendation to sever agreements with those states, effective Feb. 1, according to Herring’s office. The states are: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

Agreements will remain with West Virginia, Michigan, Oklahoma, Texas and Utah.
We have been having this debate back and forth for nigh on 60 years, but despite facts about human nature, studies, and the experience of Virginia and other States, the Left still continues to fight on making carrying a weapon as difficult and inconvenient as possible.  As David Codrea has noted, every day with these people is opposite day, so the facts obviously do not matter.  Instead, what matters is their ideology.Virginia has long had agreements with these States, and I suspect that a reasonable interpretation of the law supports these agreements.  The AG's new interpretation, then, represents a novel interpretation that most reasonable people would reject.

Meanwhile, over at Ammoland, David Codrea has in interesting piece on the current debate raging about denying citizens on the terror watch list the right to buy a gun (legally.)  Of course, if these people really do intend to commit an act of terrorism, they will get whatever they need illegally.  Codrea's article can be found here. The problem, as has been explained ad nauseum, is that there is no due process. Due process involves charging an individual with a crime, holding a trial in which the accused can confront his accusers, and have a jury of his peers weigh the facts and decide his guilt.  Anything less is does not constitute due process to deny a person his natural rights acknowledged by the Constitution.

Of course, everyone knows that.  The Leftist know it, the Republicans know it.  Therefore, there must be another reason they are proposing this idea.  Indeed, a little thought suggests that they are hoping we will buy off on it, after which a Democrat administration can deny any one's rights at will.  Clearly the desire to compromise on the watch list shows us that the Republicans want essentially the same thing, they just don't want to be as obvious about it.  The proper response of anyone wanting to protect your rights should be "Not no, but Hell no!"

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

The Dems Aim for Totalitarianism

Kevin Williamson always seems to deliver a thoughtful article, and this one is no exception. Writing at National Review, Mr. Williams writes convincingly that the Democrats' Theme for 2016 is Totalitarianism. If you have been following the news, even just a bit, you will be hard pressed to say he is wrong. Democrats have sought to suppress speech they don't like by law, have sought to make people who argue against man made global warming the subjects of RICO laws, and have so far imported thousands of new Democrat voters to try to overwhelm the traditional voters of this nation. Williamson writes:
At the beginning of December, Rolling Stone writer Jeff Goodell asked Secretary of State John Kerry whether Charles and David Koch, two libertarian political activists, should be considered — his remarkable words — “an enemy of the state.” He posed the same question about Exxon, and John Kerry, who could have been president of these United States, said that he looked forward to the seizure of Exxon’s assets for the crime of “proselytizing” impermissibly about the question of global warming.

An enemy of the state? That’s the Democrats’ theme for the New Year: totalitarianism.

Donald Trump may talk like a brownshirt, but the Democrats mean business. For those of you keeping track, the Democrats and their allies on the left have now: voted in the Senate to repeal the First Amendment, proposed imprisoning people for holding the wrong views on global warming, sought to prohibit the showing of a film critical of Hillary Rodham Clinton, proposed banning politically unpopular academic research, demanded that funding politically unpopular organizations and causes be made a crime and that the RICO organized-crime statute be used as a weapon against targeted political groups. They have filed felony charges against a Republican governor for vetoing a piece of legislation, engaged in naked political persecutions of members of Congress, and used the IRS and the ATF as weapons against political critics.
Read more at:

If it wasn't obvious before, those words should make everyone sit up and take notice.  Democrats mean business, and there is nothing they will not say or do to get and keep power.  Indeed, in Democrats minds, power and money are what it is all about, and any means justify that end.

To add to the bad news, the recent budget deal seals the suspicion that the Republican establishment is throwing in with the Democrats, as seen here. What you do about it is up to you, but we probably won't be voting our way out of this.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Of Course Muslims and Christians Don't Worship the Same God

Michael Brown today has an excellent article over at that states the obvious, for those how open their eyes, but seems to baffle the confused. He writes that Of Course Muslims and Christians Don't Worship the Same God. it has been long obvious to me, and I have confirmed that some others think so too, but I always seem to run into people who want to believe that, because Muslims worship a single god, that it must be the same God. It never seems to occur to them that the Sikhs are also monotheistic, but are not Christian, though their religion teaches them many of the same things as Christ teaches. Christians and Sikhs can live together in harmony, but Christians and Muslims can not.

I suspect the push to convince Christians that we are all talking about the same thing is a bit of taqqiya by Muslims, hoping to get an advantage over their enemies.  Or, maybe it is a bit of projection, Muslims fearing that Christians are just like themselves.  In any case, it pains me when I hear Christians saying that all religions teach the same thing.  If you believe that, you may as well become a Sikh, for that is a central tenet of their faith.  For Christians, it is the saving Grace of Jesus Christ, and our struggle to live lives in service to Him.

Thanks to Michael Brown, the truth may reach a wider audience.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

You can call them anything, but don't call them spree killers

Alan Korwin has the best analysis I have read on jihadi violence in quite a while.  Korwin has an article up over at today entitled Watch Your Language! Jihad isn't spree murder. What was San Berardino? Korwin's point is that jihad is military action by people who are completely sane, if misguided. We may not be at war with Islam, but Islam is surely at war with us. Of course, the type of warfare they are conducting is asymmetrical warfare in which soldiers are acting on their own initiative. We might relate it to either resistance fighters during WWII, or to harassment of the enemy. Either way, these are soldiers, and they should be treated as such.

That these jihadi soldiers are being treated in the media as if they are mentally unstable does a disservice to us, the viewers, and insults and demeans them.  Korwin writes:

Calling these independently staged military attacks “terrorism,” even though they are terrible and terrorizing, is part of a self-destructive national effort to deny and disguise the truth about the jihad. It also falsely adds to the assault on the American right to arms, at the worst possible time.

The deception is being waged primarily by democrats, aided and abetted by the “news” media’s artful use of language and the person in the White House, whose middle name we’re not supposed to use, due to political correctness:

“It wasn’t clear at press time if Ms. Rodham-Clinton thinks hyphenating Hussein-Obama supports those who see suspiciously exaggerated tolerance for Muslim interests coming from the White House. Other hyphenated forms, such as African-American, seem to pose no political-correctness problems. (Ben Carson, who is black, said political correctness should be abandoned, during a recent presidential debate.)”

People who don’t follow the news are uninformed. People who follow the news are misinformed. When you stop to think about any of this the veil pierces easily
If, as Korwin notes, these are military actions then the proper way to handle it is with the militia. The military can not operate on American soil except in certain limited ways. These are not properly the focus of police action. In fact, the militia, acting under the authority of the States, properly trained and drilled, is the only way we will be able to quickly respond to these attacks which can take place seemingly everywhere. But the government would rather obfuscate, misdirect, and misrepresent, again with the willful help of the media, because protecting citizens does not fit their agenda. What does fit their agenda endangers us all.

Right after commenting on the article by Alan Korwin, I saw another article bearing on the same theme by Stewart Rhodes of Oathkeepers here. Go read the whole thing. See if your blood doesn't begin boiling as you read it. I know mine did, for I am descended from Viking stock, and it pains me to see my fellows brought so low. Along the lines I mentioned about using the militia, Rhodes says this:
We need to get away from the flawed concept of a few “sheepdogs” who unsuccessfully attempt to guard a nation of sheep. Frankly, we need to take the “sheepdog” meme out back and put a bullet in its head and bury it, because this was not meant to be a nation of sheep, guarded by a few “sheepdogs.” Instead, we need to revitalize the spirit the Founding Generation, the spirit of the Minutemen, where it was recognized that in a free Republic, it the people themselves, as the militia, who are the only true “first responders,” and each man lived by the creed that every citizen was also a soldier, and each has a duty to answer the hue and the cry, with rifle in hand, and go toward the sound of the guns. A nation of riflemen. A nation of warriors. that is what we were meant to be.
Til Valhalla!

RIP Republican Party

Brian Joondeph published a piece at the American Thinker that takes Republicans to task for passing a budget that advances the Democrat agenda, while doing nothing for the conservative agenda they were elected to advance.  The article can be found at RIP Republican Party. The level of Joondeph's despair and disgust can be gauged by this:
If there was any question about the relevance of the Republican Party, this week’s budget deal removes all doubt. The Republican Party might as well close up shop and merge with the Democrats. Not as a merger of equals, but more of a capitulation, a surrender, a sellout. There is no need for two parties in Washington DC as only one party is relevant in terms of advancing an agenda. The irony is that the agenda driving party is in the minority and despite losing badly in two midterm elections, the Democrats are still running Congress.
Or this:
What has this latest budget deal done to thwart the Obama agenda? Very little. The omnibus bill fully funds Obama’s executive amnesty program. Sanctuary cities are funded -- so much for Kate Steinle’s tragic death bringing attention to sanctuary cities like San Francisco. Refugee resettlement programs are funded, allowing thousands of “refugees” into the country. With access to federal benefits. Ask Europe how that’s working out.

Worried about refugees from countries sympathetic to Islamic jihad? No problem. The student and fiancée visa programs are funded, along with green card and other refugee programs. Did the San Bernardino shootings not happen? Any lessons learned?

Illegal aliens coming across the southern border? Ryan’s bill funds their resettlement. Must be comforting to families terrorized by illegals. There is even funding for the release of criminal aliens. Let’s not leave out the bill quadrupling H-2B visas for unskilled guest workers. Unemployed Americans must be thrilled about more competition for entry level jobs. Illegals even have their tax credits funded by Ryan’s bill.
So, what did voters get for sending people with 'R' after their names to Congress, giving them majorities in both the House and Senate? Looks like we didn't get anything. The Democrat project to transform this country from a prosperous constitutional republic to a lawless communist hell hole goes unabated.  By now, Obama(doesn't)Care was supposed to be repealed. Illegal aliens should be self deporting, not finding any work, and being shut out of generous benefits. Oh, and while I feel for the children as much as the next guy, the truth is that children suffer for their parent's poor decisions all the time.  Why are THESE children to be treated any differently?  While, yes, Muslims who are American citizens should receive all the protections of the Constitution that other citizens enjoy, we should suspend immigration, and even short term visas to so called "refugees" from Islamic regions until we have a way to vet these people and ensure they are coming for the right reasons, and fully intend to integrate into OUR society, not transform ours into yet another Islamic hell-on-earth.

It is getting to where the Administration lies every time they open their mouths. Even "a," "an." and "the" are lies. There is no point in watching the news, because everything you hear will be a lie.  No one calls them on it, it seems.  Hillary lies to Congress, and there are no consequences.  The IRS lies, and no one is brought to task.  Lois Lerner is allowed to retire on full pension, despite lies and misrepresentations.  The level of mendacity exhibited in the Fast and Furious scandal would have brought down a Republican Administration, but this one seems immune.  Our former Attorney General so shredded the Constitution, that he deserves a special place in prison where he can get the full attention of those he may have put there.

Meanwhile the Republican Party is effectively dead. Conservatives should bolt the party and seek to build a new party that responds to our wishes. The cry has always been, "where else are you going to go?" But I know one place I need not go, because they are not going to even give me a seat at the table, and that's the Republican Party. Oh, by the way, you heard it here first: Paul Ryan needs to go. The next time conservatives stage a palace coup, they need have someone poised to step in. This business of ousting the party leader, then standing around with their thumbs up their butts looks like amateur hour.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Democrats Pump Up Base by Introducing an Assault Weapon Ban

Hunter Elliot on Range Hot posted news of new bill in the House of Representatives calling for a renewed "Assault Weapon Ban." The bill can be found at House Democrats Introduce Assault Weapon Ban.

As I read this, I was thinking that the Democraps...oops...Democrats didn't really expect anything to come of this, for all the reasons we have droned on about since the last one expired, namely that the Second Amendment is not about hunting, but in any case, these rifles are used for a number of sporting purposes. It is also a proven fact that the crime rate would be reduced by a de minimus amount in any case because these weapons are not used in crime. Interestingly, for the breathless comments made by various Dems introducing the bills, one has to wonder who are the paranoid ones? The accuse us of being paranoid about the ever tightening of the jack boot, but then they talk constantly about how these are weapons of war. Are they worried about civil war? Now, why would that be?

Hunter specifically mentions a poison pill included in the bill that I found interesting.  Right now, the way the National Instant Background Check System (NICS) works is that if it doesn't come back with an approval within three days, the purchase is approved anyway and the dealer can sell you the gun.  Under this bill, if approval doesn't come back within three days, it becomes an automatic disapproval.  Thus, if the government wanted to shut down gun purchases in the U.S., all they would need to do is shut down the NICS.  wouldn't that be great?

Look, I know this bill is designed to pump up the base ahead of the primaries in February.  But what does that say about their base?  What does it say about these politicians?

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Burglars for Gun Control

Over at Bizpacreview they have a humorous video called Burglars for Gun Control.of course, its a hoot. with the burglar and the narrator pretending that being a burglar is a job like any other, and they should face the possibility of an armed citizen perhaps not liking the idea of having his stuff taken, or worse.

Here's the thing: if someone is invading your home, he probably isn't there to spread good will. At the very least, he means to take from you something that you spent part of your life earning. At worst, he means to do you harm. Yes, your life is always worth more than your stuff, but that doesn't mean your stuff is nothing. "Give him what he wants" only works if what he wants is your stuff. But what if what he wants is to kill you?

Be prepared.  Be armed.

Next up is something we should all be aware of, and taking action stop, and/or be prepared to defend against when confronted.  The Red-Green Axis spells out the danger inherent in the Lefts attempt to bring thousands of unassimilable third world aliens into the country.  James Simpson explains.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

We are not free for our own purposes, but to do God's work!

My hope is that Trevor Thomas' piece over at the American Thinker today entitled To really fix things, we must pray will inspire you to do just that. If you don't know how to pray, frankly it is just having a conversation with God. But a good start would be the one Jesus taught, called the Our Father by Catholics, or the Lord's Prayer by Protestants. The Lord's Prayer may be found here. Another prayer is the one ascribed to St. Francis of Assisi:

Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace!
That where there is hatred, I may bring love.
That where there is wrong, I may bring the spirit of forgiveness.
That where there is discord, I may bring harmony.
That where there is error, I may bring truth.
That where there is doubt, I may bring faith.
That where there is despair, I may bring hope.
That where there are shadows, I may bring light.
That where there is sadness, I may bring joy.
Lord, grant that I may seek rather to comfort, than to be comforted.
To understand, than to be understood.
To love, than to be loved.
For it is by self-forgetting that one finds.
It is by forgiving that one is forgiven.
It is by dying that one awakens to Eternal Life.

 —Saint Francis of Assisi—

We must come finally to understand our powerlessness, and instead rely on His power.  The current Leftist project to destroy the United States will ultimately fail, but it will fail sooner if we pray more, and humble ourselves, so that we can more clearly see what God wants us to do.  We are not free for our own purposes, but to do God's work.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

A True Solution to so called Gun Violence

This is painful. White House spokeshole Josh Earnest can not name one shooting that would have been foiled by proposed gun laws. So why propose them? Meanwhile, as I pointed out in "Rights and Wrongs on Guns" the answer to gun violence is in curbing violent people, not the tools they choose to use. In an article over at the American Thinker, Jeffrey T. Brown makes this point very solidly in an article today entitled Stop gun violence? Stop liberalism first. The Left wants to pretend that its just too much trouble to ask people to govern themselves, and that anyway, they have legitimate grievances that make acting out somehow "understandable." Of course, the idea that people can not control themselves in spite of grievances, both real and imagined, mostly the latter, is hogwash. Unless you have a mental defect, everyone has the ability to govern and control themselves, though that ability may have attrafied from disuse.

When malicious people do harm and then clamor for solutions to their own misdeeds, they will seek someone or something else to blame, lest their own actions and motives be accurately fixed as the cause. For the followers of a destructive ideology, it is never the defects within the ideology, or their irrational theories, or their utter failure to understand cause and effect which bring failure and violence. The fault must always lie with people or things which have absolutely nothing at all to do with the ideological and moral defects of the movement.

The left, as mostly consisting in this country of the politically liberal, vocalizes its hatred for the concept of private gun ownership in direct proportion to its increasing seizure of power. As they have enhanced their control of culture, politics, and discourse, they have similarly increased their open rejection of the right of private gun ownership. It is by no means the only right they have devalued. Speech and religion are significantly curtailed by the left, so that only approved speech, and the government-approved religion of Islam, can be openly encouraged. But gun ownership is the right they hate the most. It is the one which totalitarians always hate the most, since it is the only one that can successfully stop dictatorship. They will limit our speech, and insult our faith, and spy on us, and treat us like cattle. But private gun ownership exists to prevent total victory for tyranny.
The Left wants to confiscate the guns of the average gun owner because he, and she, represent the true threat to them taking absolute control, and absolute control is what they most desire. They don't care about the criminal and the terrorist. First of all, criminals are always a small part of the population, and in any case, they are untrustworthy so unlikely to coordinate an attack on the tyrant or his minions. As acknowledged by the gun owning community, the few guns they need can be smuggled in with whatever shipment of contraband they are also smuggling, and in any case there numbers will be too paltry to challenge the tyrant. So, if the Left succeeds in finally getting people to give up their guns, because they can not safely take them, they will have achieved the very thing they have been trying to do for a century. We can not let them.

 But, Brown also offers a solution, and it lies in a non-religious spirituality that requires each person to honestly examine himself for his part in every grievance he may have, and in every resentment he nurses along. It requires him to acknowledge that he is not in control, but that there exist a higher power that is. As a Christian, I call that power Father, for I am a child of God, but there is no requirement that you do so.  It works independent of what you choose to believe in.  But it does require  that he lets go of these grievances and resentment to that higher power, and if he has committed wrongs himself, that he attempts to make amends. A man, thus freed of his grievances and resentments can walk among the society of free men unencumbered, and make the best decisions for himself and his children. He is able to govern himself, so needs no government from another.  If one follows this spirituality in all matters, and at all times, he will find that his happiness does not depend on others, or on things, but he is content in his own skin.  That is what scares the Left, and causes them the most worry: that we will not need them. Brown again:
Physical violence is ultimately the fruit of psychological disturbance. Those who are rational, thoughtful, self-analytical, and objective rarely commit crimes of any kind, let alone those of violence. They do not hate, they do not feel entitled, they are not bitter, and they respect the lives and property of others. They recognize the necessity of laws based on wisdom and experience. They understand the need to live cooperatively in a social construct that benefits all when practiced in good faith by all. Such people, a subset of Americans identified as “conservatives”, know and appreciate the genius of our Constitution, both in what it says and in its implicit purpose to squelch the ever-present vice of those who are not content to live peacefully and on their own merit.

Liberals, however, are different. For generations now, and in growing degrees of overtness and effort, they have worked diligently to destabilize not only our society, but the people who comprise it. Theirs is an ideology of division, of anger, and ultimately of hatred. When manufactured division, unrequited bitterness and smoldering resentments have been nurtured and fed long enough, they will eventually bring violence. This pattern has repeated itself throughout history. This fruit of liberals’ labors has become increasingly clear over the last seven years, during which the gun violence about which liberals are so upset has blossomed, they assure us, into a crisis. It seems lost on them that as their views and their prescriptions for society have become increasingly prevalent, the gun violence they find so upsetting has risen proportionately to their control of the cultural narrative.
The very foundation of natural rights on which the Constitution is based is that we must be the source of our own happiness, our own liberty, and our own lives and property. The Left constantly extermalizes these concepts and, in true Opposite Day (a hat tip to David Codrea) fashion, points to people, places, and things as the source of a man's happiness. But if you are depending on others, you are building your house on quick sand, for others will always disappoint.  
For this reason, among many others, the gun is not the problem. At present, those crying the loudest for a solution have, by their complicity in an ideology, created and grown the psychosis that increasingly results in gun violence, accepting their own statistics for argument sake. If liberals want less gun violence, they should stop encouraging hatred, division and resentment. If liberals want less gun violence, they should stop banning God from a society in which gun violence was nearly nonexistent when morality counted. If liberals want less gun violence, they should admit their part in fabricating hatred on the basis of lies. However, liberals will do none of these. After generations of dishonesty, they can hardly admit that they, and not guns, are the real cause of any rise in gun violence about which they complain. It is impossible to deny that this is the society they purposefully designed. The rest of us are merely trying to survive in it. I will keep my gun, thank you.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Rights and Wrongs on Guns

Laura Hollis has a piece over at Townhall today entitled Rights versus Wrongs that is must read if you are interested at all in the current debate about guns. Hollis:
In a recent Facebook discussion following the terrorist attack in San Bernardino, California, a friend whom I respect greatly posed a challenge to those of us defending Second Amendment rights. “You always say what isn't the answer,” he complained, “but you never say what the answer is.”
Interestingly, the "answer" is fairly obvious, and equally unpalatable to the great majority of people, and can be summed up in the word "humble." If one is humble, and not so full of himself, he will better be able to see others and their problems, and take them less personally. He will be more tolerant of his fellows, and not be quick to take offense or harbor resentments. But Hollis takes a different tack, precisely I think, because the answer is so unappetizing to most:
It was refreshing to have a legitimate debate that didn’t descend into name-calling and hyperbolic accusations. But implicit in my friend’s observation is a question: do those of us who object to the infringement of our rights have a prior obligation to offer a better solution than that which is being proposed?

I say no. And here’s why.

To accept that premise is to start with the false conclusion that our constitutional rights are conditional: either we come up with some Solution Y for Problem X, or else the powers that be are justified in taking our constitutional rights away as part of Solution Z.
We must remember that these rights are ours by virtue of our humanity, and exist in nature prior to any government of constitution. Governments exist to help us, and when the cease to do so, they have necessarily broken the covenant we have made with each other.  Examples of the failure of government to do the right thing abound, and always end up with a dictator, king, tyrant, or emperor or whatever title the wish to give themselves, disarming the population and then doing whatever it is they want to do to them.  Our so called elites are no different, and they have the same resentments, prejudices, and crank ideas as the rest of the population.  Hollis goes on:
Threats from those who would flout gun prohibitions are just as real, and even more immediate. Sandy Hook Elementary School was a “gun-free zone.” As was the theatre in Aurora, Colorado, Umpqua Community College in Oregon, and the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino. California already has strict gun control laws, not to mention laws against murder. That did not stop Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik from assembling an arsenal and slaughtering 14 people. The same dynamic is on display elsewhere. The city of Chicago has some of the strictest gun control laws in the country – and an alarmingly high handgun murder rates.

“Oh, but the problem is that people can get guns from neighboring states,” the argument goes. “We need a uniform, federal law.”

We’ve seen this argument before, and it failed then, too. When Prohibition (described by President Herbert Hoover as a “noble experiment”) went into effect with the passage of the 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, we had a uniform, federal law that forbade the importation, manufacture, and sale of alcohol. It was a disaster that criminalized the conduct of previously law-abiding citizens, and cost billions in lost revenues, lost jobs, and misplaced law enforcement resources. Not to mention innumerable people killed by the massive criminal infrastructure that Prohibition fostered and encouraged.
Hollis here is recognizing that if there is a demand for guns, for whatever reason, and those guns can not be obtained legally, they will be obtained illegally. During prohibition, criminals made vast fortunes smuggling booze into the United States. The small body of water separating Windsor, Ontario and Detroit Michigan was a favored spot for smuggling Canadian whiskey, and as the drug cartels do today, ships loaded with whiskey would sit outside the 12 mile limit, while fast boats pulled up and filled their holds with booze.  in other words, it will be impossible to kep guns out of the country, no matter how much the government and the Left want to.

The reason this is so important is that criminals and terrorists will always be able to get guns, bombs, IEDs, or anything else that may be illegal if it provides an advantage in carrying out their goals.  We need to be able to defend ourselves, and we have the right to do so.  Period.  

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Citizens and Subjects

If you go back in the archives of this blog, which I hope that someday my grandchildren will do, you will find posts in which I equate being disarmed as being made a subject, not a citizen.  A subject is not quite a slave, but his rights and privileges are defined by his government, and can be restricted at any time.  For most of history, and indeed, for much of the world, this has been the condition in which most people existed.  A citizen, by contrast, is one who understands his rights come from God, and precede any Constitution which his fellow citizens may draw up to govern themselves.  It is one of the great beauties of the Constitution of the United States that it does, in fact, acknowledge our rights rather than grant them.

Jeremy Egerer is getting at this same point in a article at American Thinker yesterday entitled Why We Love our Guns. Egerer writes:
It's only fair to have a certain kind of sympathy for black Americans in the Democratic Party. They've rarely tasted the best benefits of liberty, while suffering many of the indignities of tyranny – the indignities known as a lack of hope and an experience of violence. White Americans, on the other hand, have no excuse for disarming themselves. White Americans are some of the safest people in the entire world – and they would be safer if it wasn't for the weakest of white Americans. They fight to give their guns away without ever having experienced any reason to give away their guns.

White men claim it's about suicide but keep their tailpipes and garden hoses. They claim it's about accidents but then let us all ride cars. They claim it's about mass shootings, but never rally against the overwhelming masses of shooters (because the overwhelming masses of shooters aren't currently white). A Black Lives Matter activist is almost respectable in comparison, because he's at least got enough balls to go to war for his cause. The reason white men want to give up their guns is because they're convinced nobody has to go to war. They're almost convinced that nobody ever has to die in order for others to live. They believe that our guns will bring us death. Their weakness will be responsible for bringing death to us – and sooner, and in a much more degrading way, than they imagine.

Whites have traded the feelings of free men for the sentiments of slaves. I say this because liberty isn't a feeling, but it always has to begin with one. It begins with the conviction that you're responsible for yourself and the safety of your family. It originates in the idea that the only men we ought to fear should be our best men. A manly spirit of danger, ignoring all the statistics and overriding every media endeavor to tell us otherwise, accepts the fact that violence is either our threat or our future. A man who refuses danger is refusing not danger, actually, but liberty. A man who refuses liberty isn't actually refusing liberty, but courting slavery. A man who refuses adequate weaponry isn't refusing a fight. He is only refusing his ability to fight adequately.
If it isn't clear in this passage, Egerer is talking about what he terms the "weakest white Americans," a term under which heading I would include most of the gun grabbers in both political parties.

Mrs. Polykahr and I had a brief discussion yesterday on the nature of our rights while driving to work yesterday. I called our rights "God given," but when she objected, I pointed out that these same rights could be claimed as natural rights. She pointed out that we only have what rights we can defend, which is true as well.

The Constitution acknowledges the right to free speech, as an example. Yes, the government could censure me, could actually lock me up, but right up to the moment of my execution, I could be yelling at the top of my lungs to any who could hear me. Jesus spoke the Truth, and was eventually crucified by the Romans, but the Truth got out, and in a few centuries changed the world.  Recognizing these things, the framers of the Constitution wisely put in free speech as right.  In a similar manner, the state can attempt to force me into its brand of religion, but they can not get into my thoughts unless I allow them to. So the framers again wisely recognized freedom of religion as a right.

 The framers recognized that a man, as well as a nation of men, has a right to defend himself. He is always the first responder to aggression, and like it or not, there will always be men (and women) who wish to prey on the weaker, who wish to take what they have not earned, and are unconstrained by God's law.  This applies to both individual men and to sovereigns to bring nations to war..So, the framers included a right to keep and bear arms.  Both the Islamic Terrorist attack in Paris, and the Islamic Terrorist attack in San Berardino show that those who want to make war on the innocent will acquire whatever weapons they need to carry out those attacks, regardless of laws against such things.  Men, citizens, not subjects, have the right to defend against these attacks, and to keep and bear arms necessary for their defense.

But the fact that criminals can always get weapons is a utilitarian argument.  More importantly, the right to keep and bear arms is an important principle that has deterred tyranny for the last 200 years, and frankly, it may be so again.  Like yelling fire in a crowded theater, men can own, in the sense of posses firearms no matter their legal status.  Banning guns will not put the genie back in the bottle.  In countries such as China, where firearms are heavily banned from all but government forces, people cobble together working firearms to fulfill their needs.  In the United States, any competent machine shop could produce fairly sophisticated copies of a number of designs of weapons.  The AK 47 was designed and produced in Russia precisely because it has few moving parts, those parts do not need such close tolerances, and you do not need a lot of precision equipment to produce one.  Oh, and it is effective.

So, as the Left makes its major push to finally put into effect laws that will bring about the confiscation of your firearms, it may be time to figure out if you are going to resist, and how you plan to do it.  For the left, we, the law abiding gun owners have become the enemy.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Do Progressives Want Us All Killed?

I have been wondering who opened the floodgates of anti gun hysteria.  It seems that every leftist from the New York Times to VPC, to twitter ninnies seem all be saying the same thing.  The NYT article seems to be one of the worst, because it states right in the article the futility of any of the current crop of proposals:

Opponents of gun control are saying, as they do after every killing, that no law can unfailingly forestall a specific criminal. That is true. They are talking, many with sincerity, about the constitutional challenges to effective gun regulation. Those challenges exist. They point out that determined killers obtained weapons illegally in places like France, England and Norway that have strict gun laws. Yes, they did.

  But at least those countries are trying.
Really? "At least those countries are trying?"  So to "try" is a sufficient excuse to infringe a God given right that every human being has to defend himself and his loved ones? Because we know that the police will not, in the gravest extreme, be there. And this is not to knock the police. It is simply a recognition that the police are not going to be there when someone decides to kill or threaten people.  Oh, and the editors of the NY Times will not guarantee your safety either.  Bloomberg is willing to spend millions to take away your guns, but not one dime to guarantee your safety.  And to those who say, "Well, it won't happen here," those people in San Bernadino didn't think it would happen there either. Indeed. restaurants and businesses that post "no gun" signs will not guarantee your safety, but they sure are willing to strip you of your rights.

Normally, I do not post something that simply reflects what I am feeling, but I read Derek Hunter's piece over at today entitled The Democratice Party is a Death Cult  I had to post a few thoughts on it.

(Now, I do not entirely agree with the notion that a McCain would have been substantially better that Obama, though at least we wouldn't be having thousands of Syrian refugees coming into the country.  And to be sure, I am not convinced that Trump will indeed be better than Hillary, but any of the other Republican candidates would be infinitely better.)

What I want to make clear though is that none, not one, of the "sensible" gun restrictions currently making the rounds would do anything to stem gun violence.  Not one.  Looking at the larger picture, did you ever notice that they talk endlessly about a very narrow subset of violence called "gun violence?"  What about knife violence, or screw driver violence, or hammer violence, or fist violence?  I could go on.  These kill just as dead.  Do victims of violence from these other weapons somehow not count.  Are their deaths somehow more acceptable, and if so, why?  Are they, perhaps, sainted automatically when arriving at the Pearly Gates, while the victims of gun violence are immediately sent the other way?

What about the police?  Is asking them to risk their lives to defend yours somehow more moral than you defending yourself?  If so, why?

Before guns were invented, people used edged weapons, that required great strength and extensive training to use effectively.  Old people and the infirm need not bother.  Why, when we now have guns that can be used with less training and in spite of infirmity, do the lives of the old or infirm not matter?

Of course, none of these questions will be considered, nor will the fact that criminals will still be able to get guns, we are only talking about banning them for the innocent victims, who, one supposes must suffer in silence the indignity of being butchered like so much meat.  And note that the other forms of violence and death are far more numerous that "gun violence," but nobody is talking about cuffing everyone's hands lest they use them to kill another.

I have an idea, radical as it is, why don't we do something about those that murder people, no matter how they accomplish it:  Put them in prison for a very long time?  We used to do that, and it worked.  Instead, what we do now is to set the criminal free to murder more people, while trying to ban guns from everyone who isn't murdering people.  I don't know about you, but if I didn't know better, I would think the "progressives" were trying to get us all killed.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

They don't trust us, why should we trust them?

Michael Bargo, Jr. has an interesting piece at the American Thinker today entitled Democrats Empower Citizens to Restrict Constitutional Rights. Mr. Bargo makes some good points, and I should have made them myself if not for the Stockholm Syndrome under which I live, where restaurants, employers, hospitals, banks, you name it, restrict my right to carry every day. Bargo:
Just imagine if a storeowner in Illinois used crime statistics to argue that he should be allowed to ban blacks from his store. Look at the facts; he/she may argue: blacks are 13% of the population yet commit 56% of the robberies, 28 % of the property crime, and 41% of the weapons arrests. The fact is, the black crime rate is higher than that of whites’. Yet no one, especially a Democrat who fights concealed carry permit laws, would dare suggest that this is a reasonable justification for a storeowner to ban blacks from entering their stores.

But storeowners fearing guns are allowed to discriminate against concealed carry permit carriers. However, there is not one iota of evidence that concealed weapon carriers commit crimes at a rate higher than non-carriers. The FBI doesn’t categorize murder or other crimes as to whether or not the perpetrator had a concealed carry permit. The crime rate for concealed carry weapons permit holders is, if you study FBI records, zero. While some murderers use legal guns, they do not have concealed carry permits, according to FBI data.
Yet, the truth is, I have allowed myself to be cowed through fear of the consequences, to be disarmed when I don't want to be. The fact is that crimes, and now terrorist acts, can happen at any time, anywhere. They are most likely to happen in places where the establishment of venue has advertised a "no gun" zone, which is the same thing as advertising to those who desire to kill as a "target rich environment.

Bargo is writing here about conditions in the State of Illinois and the Chicago area, but the fact is that the the Second Amendment is severely infringed pretty much everywhere in the United States.  The first violation of citizens' civil rights is the prior restraint on the person who wishes to exercise his right to keep and bear arms.  Now, I don't have to have this blog approved by a government bureaucrat before I hit the "Publish" button.  Why?  Because there is no prior restraint on the First Amendment.  I can, in fact, scream "Fire!" in a crowded theater.  There will be consequences for doing so, but there is no prior restraint.  However, to buy a gun, I have to first prove to a government agency a negative-that I have no felonies or, increasingly, misdemeanors that may disqualify me from owning a gun.  Then there is this:

It’s also an issue of equal protection of the law. It is difficult for Democrats to explain how Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have secret service protection whose members carry loaded handguns but civilians in Illinois are banned from carrying legal handguns to most public places. Equal protection also means equal protection under the Second Amendment.
Actually, it isn't difficult, because no one ever asks. That people in the public eye need protection is hardly stretch. There are nuts and whackos (technical terms) out there, who solve the "problem" of free speech by assassinating people whose speech they don't like. Even movie stars, musicians, and people who are famous for being famous may need extra protection, and they should have it, even Bloomberg. I don't want these people to be killed, or to allow their speech to be censured because of fear of reprisals.  But it might be a good idea the next time the President starts up on "sensible gun restrictions" or whatever the focus group term is is using today for gun grabbing why he hates the American People? Why don't state governments trust their own citizens? And if they don't trust us, should we trust them? Trust, after all, like respect, is something that must be earned.

I can not tell you, gentle readers, what to do, but more and more people are resisting, applying some civil disobedience, and daring the government to "come and take them."  We all think about how we can resist-throw a monkey wrench in the works.  John Galt was an inventor and industrialist.  But you don't need to be a major industrialist to "go Galt."  Socialist systems eventually crumble under the accumulated weight of the fantasies necessary to sustain them.  We can help by resisting, opting out, and not playing along.

The fact is that nobody cares about you but you and your family, your friends, and those whose lives you have touched.  To politicians, of both parties, you are a faceless member of the masses.  Only God new you, personally, before creation, so it is only He whom you must obey.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Anti-Christans Telling Christians What Their Scripture Means

Michael Brown has a piece over at today about the moral equivalence being created in social media between Islamic terrorism and so called Christian Terrorism. The article entitled Planned Parenthood Shooting and Anti-Christian Hysteria illustrates once again (sigh) there is no lie these people will not tell with apparently straight faces in order to support their agenda.

To the best of their abilities, the police have determined shooter was not associated either with a Christian group or denomination, or with a pro-life group.  The shooter in fact appears to be a nut job who once again slipped through the cracks of our mental health system.  Like others, as a Christian, I pray for the families of those killed, as well as for the shooter (who I will not name here) and his family.

Brown, though, asks his social media tormentors to read the Bible in context and show him where the Bible supports this kind of behavior.  After all, you can find all sorts of texts in the Koran supporting Islamic terrorism.  These texts are in turn modeled in the life of the Prophet and throughout Muslim history.  Brown:

So, I have a challenge for everyone who wants to brand the tragic Planned Parenthood shooting an act of Christian terrorism: Find one verse in the New Testament, in context, or one example from the early Church, or one statement from a recognized pro-life organization that supports these murderous acts.
Before somebody comes out with supposed "quotes' which allegedly "prove" something, I would remind them of the fact that the Bible must be read as it was intended to be read by those who wrote it. The way in which it tells the story of Jesus is often allegorical, and would have been instantly understood by ancient readers. It is not a newspaper, and one has to dig into it to get the message. Jesus said, for example, to pluck out your eyes if they offend you, but he didn't mean to literally pluck out your eyes. If he did, we would have a lot of blind Christians running around.  He also didn't literally mean we could handle snakes without getting bitten.  Such ostentatious shows of "faith" come under the heading of "thou shall not tempt the Lord..."  Rather, he was referring in the case of plucking eyes to thoughts which come between you and God, and prevent one from having a perfect relationship with Him. Reading the Bible in this manner, one will not find even in the Old Testament, anything that supports the notion of Christian terrorism.

Frankly, the hairs on the back of my neck stand up when I hear that an anti-Christian is trying to tell us what our own scripture and experience says.  I have to remember that Jesus asked for forgiveness for the very people who crucified him while on the cross!  With that as an example, I can surely find it in my heart to forgive these people, and hope they eventually do not suffer the consequences of their present ways.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Ironies Abound

Jazz Shaw posted this ironic bit:

People Who Publish Lists of Gun Owners Cry Foul over List of Muslims.

If you understand that every Muslim is potentially dangerous, but that only a small percentage actually commit jihad, while registered legal gun owners are even more law abiding than the average citizen, the hypocrisy of the Leftists' position becomes perfectly clear.

The Fascist States of America

Perhaps as a result of the passage of time, the isms of the 20th Century have lost some of the power to scare people, and in any case, seem no longer to be taught. The Soviet Union officially disolved itself in December 1991. Before that, then existing fascist governments were defeated in World War II at great cost in treasure and lives. But just because the governments which embodied these ideas collapsed or were defeated doesn't mean that the ideas on which they were originally formed died with them.

Communism, Socialism, and Fascism lie as a continuum from absolute totalitarianism to slightly less totalitarianism, to more hidden totalitarianism. They are all products of the Left, which seeks everywhere and always to unify what they term as the "masses" behind an idea, and seek to place in power a leader who embodies and represents the ideal. Any dissent from the ideal is suppressed by prohibition, prison, torture, and death.  In all such systems of government, the individual is treated more or less as an interchangeable cog in a machine.  An individual has worth so long as he can perform some task that state finds of value, and is discarded once he no longer can or will perform. The isms of the 20th Century can be summed up as collectivism

In collective systems, the state attempts to take over the role of God, and is, of course, a jealous god, brooking no opposition.  Christians and Jews who raise objections to any policy the state imposes, especially on Biblical grounds, are seen as enemies of the collective, to be dealt with as they always deal with enemies of the collective, by prohibition, prison, or death.  So, for example, when Hobby Lobby objects to Obamacare requirements to provide abortion in its offerings, and cites their Christian beliefs, they are sued.  Must not have any dissent.

The plight of the Little Sisters of the Poor in their fight against the government is illustrative. The Little Sisters rightly claim that life is a gift from God, and that no one has the right to take that life, except for God himself, who granted it in the first place. Even worse, we are especially enjoined not to kill our own children. But agents of the state, ignoring our founding documents, refuse to recognize a power greater than themselves. They insist that the Little Sisters will follow their imperious decree, or will be punished. Over the years since the progressive era began, roughly 120 years, we have seen our government at all levels impose more and more collectivists laws, rules, and rulings. The individual is being squeezed out of the public square, along with any religion that does not recognize the state as the all powerful. Rulings like Roe v. Wade and the more recent Obergefell the Supreme Court has steadily taken decsions out of the hands of the States, and made a collective decision for all. In doing so, they have minted new rights as though they were demigods capable of such. The jailing of Kim Davis for refusal to follow the ruling is, of course, a typical collectivist reaction. The individual must bend to their rules, no matter that God himself is against it, and no matter that thousands of years of human history argue the other way.

Eileen Toplansky has an excellent article that makes our current situation explicit at the American Thinker entitled Is America on its Way to Fascism? toplansky writes:
As personal liberty is eroded in this country and Americans are uninformed about the "violence and terror of totalitarian communism and fascism," a reflection of Ebenstein's ideas is very much warranted.

When countering whether fascism is a threat to democratic nations, Ebenstein maintains that "the danger in a democracy like the United States is not outright fascism ... but the insidious and unnoticed corroding of democratic habits[.]" Consider the burgeoning growth of intolerance against dissenting ideas that permeates so many American universities.

Ebenstein maintains that "the danger of not recognizing this pre-fascist attitude is that, should it become full fledged fascism (as it well might in an economic depression or in some other disaster of the sort that periodically shakes men's faith in democracy) recognition of it as a threat may come too late for those whose earlier judgment was too lenient." That so many people cannot see the inherent danger of a Bernie Sanders is disturbing...
Note, though, that Eberstein was writing in 1954. In the years since, the collectivists have taken over the media, academia, the foundations, many mainline Churches, and have made headway in the halls of government. Under succeeding administrations, the Constitution has been shredded one piece at a time, until Nixon could utter that if the President did it, it wasn't illegal, and Obama simply ignores it. But why shouldn't he when even the Supreme Court ignores it. When reading George Orwell's classic take 1984 in the 60s, most of us viewed it as a cautionary tale, little realizing that some of us read it as a handbook. The joke is on us.

 Toplansky closes with this:
Americans need to tremble at the stealth totalitarian forces that are encircling the nation – and be reminded that "[t]hose willing to repress individual liberty for the sake of a strong state" create a citizenry of "docile instruments."
If anything, I suspect Toplansky is understating her case.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Being Thankful for the Left?

Sultan Knish says that in fact we should Be Thankful for the Left, and after you read his post, you will see why. The Sultan, the alter ego of Daniel Greenfield writes:
There is no light without darkness and without evil, the good often fails to find their own voice. It is in the presence of slavery that we remember the worth of freedom. Men and nations are forged in war; not only the war of shell and shot, but the war of ideas. War teaches us to fight for what we have. Wars of ideas teach us to stand up for what we believe.

It is because conservatives are basically hopeful and confident that we are also prone to extremes of despair. Too many us were shocked at the decline of our society because of our great confidence in it. The faith that conservatives have in America makes them vulnerable to being crushed by the latest victory of the left.
I have experienced the despair of which he speaks, personally. The Left is on the march in American society seemingly everywhere. Campuses are on fire again, as they were in the sixties, but now it is over perceived minor slights and insults. The ferociousness of such protests belie the reasons given, so that it is obvious something else is going on. The "Affordable" Care Act is proving to be anything but affordable for many families, and oh by the way, doesn't provide actual care. Global warming climate change has been so thoroughly debunked and shown to be massive hoax, that it is quite literally unbelievable that it sill on the political agenda of the Left. No matter how compassionate one may be, it has become obvious that the open border policy has not worked, and that we must change our immigration policy and begin to actively enforce existing laws. Meanwhile, to anyone who thinks even superficially about it, even leftists must believe that the very people who are the problem with guns in their hands are the same ones who will not be stopped by another law on the books. Even some very liberal friends now carry a firearm, or are asking how to go about obtaining a permit, or what things to look for in a defensive handgun. Despite all this, I encounter conservative thought in the general public only occasionally. Glenn Beck used to say we surround them, but that has not been my experience.

Leftists seem to be impervious to actual facts on the ground, or what they believe are facts are not.  As Reagan so colorfully put it, the problem isn't what Leftists don't know, it is what they know that isn't so.  In the Leftist mind, using the government to steal the results of your work and distributing it to individuals and companies they like is a form of Christian charity, and if you object you just are not as compassionate as the Leftists.  In their twisted thought process, the Bible is a myth, so the ancient Jewish homeland actually belongs to the Israelis' ancient enemy, and David's ancient capitol of Jerusalem should be in Palestinian hands,  This kind of thinking would also make a person believe that ancient aliens built the Pyramids, and not the Egyptians.

To counter the despair that conservatives have felt, particularly over the last seven years, Greenfield gives us a little perspective:
Eight years of Obama is bad, but try sixty-nine years of Communism on for size. That's what generations of Russians had to live through. Ask some of the conservative activists in Europe who have never had any of the freedoms that we still take for granted whether they've given up hope. Ask people from countries where criticism of Islam can mean death, whether they've given up hope.

There are countless tales of courage over the last century of men and women who did not stop fighting, who did not stop teaching their children so that they would not stop resisting. And those stories have not ended. They continue today in Europe, Asia and South America. And those people would envy the conditions under which we fight, where we can protest without being shot or sent to prison, where we can have a shot at winning elections if we try hard enough.

Where we are, compared to 100 percent of the rest of the world, still free.
Whenever faced with history, and I have a chance to think, I am always humbled. It is all true, and I have little to complain about. Then there is this:
Besides these prosaic challenges, the daily routines and the occasional tragedies, there are uncommon challenges that we face when the foe comes to our gate and demands that we bow and become slaves. This is the challenge that we face as a society, a nation and a people. It demands more of us and it ennobles us. It makes us a great people and a great nation, rather than only another people who seek to live in comfort with no thought for anything else.
May I remain faithful, Father, that all is going according to your plan, and may I do my part as a good and faithful servant. Amen.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Politics and Organized Crime

Dinesh D'Souza has an article today at Fox News that askes the question What Does Politics Have in Common with Organized Crime?. It turns out, quite a bit. D'Souza was the man who violated campaign finance laws (which frankly are Unconstitutional) and the administration decided to make an example of him and teach him a lesson. D'Souza
In 2012 I exceeded the campaign finance limit by giving $20,000 more than allowed to the Senate campaign of a college friend of mine, Wendy Long. Relentlessly prosecuted by the Obama administration for this comparatively minor infraction, I was sentenced to eight months of overnight incarceration in a confinement center. The Obama administration clearly wanted to reach me a lesson—and I learned one, although not the one they intended.
My theory of government is that small tribes characterized man's organization until these small tribes joined with others to become larger, seeking to better defend themselves from other marauding tribes. At some point, the most ruthless thugs began to acquire status, and eventually came to lead these larger collection of tribes. Naturally, being thugs, they made war on other thugs, causing more tribes to come together seeking protection. Eventually, the thugs began to take on titles, called themselves "noble" passed these titles and privileges to their heirs. Eventually, to bring order out of chaos of the various warring thugs, the most ruthless thug made a claim to rule over the rest, and if they could make these claims stick, called themselves "kings." The first real change to this feudal system came when a rag-tag army managed against all odds to defeat their king, and established a constitution for themselves that limited government to certain specific tasks deemed necessary to a national defense and the regulation of commerce between the sovereign states that made up the new nation.

Unfortunately, we have allowed what is, frankly, a criminal organization to take over our country that once had a limited government.  Despite powers invested in the Congress to do something about this intolerable situation, the members of Congress seem not to be inclined to take the necessary steps.  What does this say about us that our Congresscritters don't seem to feel compelled to do what we ask?

In any case, read D'Souza's article.  Consider, if you have forgotten, Fast and Furious, Obamacare, the IRS scandal, the Bengazhi scandal, the current attempt to bring ISIS terrorists in through the front door, and the ever present attempt to disarm us.  Then you decide.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

A Closer Look at real Thanksgiving Day

When I was in school, the Indians, later to become Native Americans, later still to become outraged and offended Original Americans, all of which is wordier and even less descriptive, were being rehabilitated along the lines of "the noble savage."  Formerly the Indians were thought of as savage, godless barbarians who deserved whatever horrors we dished out to them, which was not true.  But neither was the newer version.  In any case, in this morality play, the hapless Pilgrims arrived on the shores of Plymouth unable to fend for themselves, but were met and guided by friendly Indians of the noble savage variety, who showed them how to plant corn and hunt turkey.  The colonists learned so well that they held a great feast and invited the Indians to the ho-down and all lived happily ever after.  The end.

This was intended to instill in our callow minds the virtue of sharing.

Now, sharing is a Christian virtue, under certain circumstances.   This is important, you must be sharing your own stuff.  Let's say you have some used clothing that you can no longer wear because you your girth, but it is still like new.  Taking it down to the Salvation Army store is both good stewardship and a form of sharing with someone who is not as far along that expanding waistline thingy. If, on the other hand, someone comes along and asks you if he can use that Toyota truck over there, and you say "yes," even though the truck actually belongs to your neighbor, that is not sharing. It also is not sharing unless it is done voluntarily.  If I come up to you, point a gun and say something like "please donate to the PolyKahr fund," even though I say "please" and use the word "donate," it is still stealing.  And that is why liberals get no "virtue" credit for sharing funds collected through taxation with others.  They also can not claim compassion or any other virtue.  Instead, what they have done would be classified as stealing, and they would be put in prison for it if it were done by you or me.

This brings up an interesting point.  Many times liberals will argue that the fund of taxes collected is like a community fund, similar to a church or the NRA, and since they pay taxes too, they should have an equal share in saying where those taxes should be spent.  First, as I pointed out above, taxes are compelled by force of arms.  Just ask anyone in jail for not paying his taxes.  The government can maintain the fiction of "voluntary" payment, but that only lasts so long as the average persons tax burden is a nuisance.  At some point, people begin to seek out ways to avoid paying taxes.  A church or the NRA are completely different, because they can not force anyone to pay.  Instead, they must offer something that people want to pay for.  If the NRA, for example, does not meet my needs, I will not join.  Indeed, for many years I did not join because the NRA talked about the Second Amendment as if its main focus was hunting.  If liberals, using their own money, want to start a fund to give welfare checks to needy families, they are welcome to do so, and would find many conservatives who would contribute as well.  But liberals instead want to use other peoples money and then pat themselves on the back for being compassionate.  Sorry, it doesn't work that way.

The story of the Puritan pilgrims is in fact available to us today in the form of the detailed journals kept by the Governor of the colony, William Bradford.  Bradford's journals reveal not the rosy picture of corrupt and vile Europeans meeting uncorrupted noble savages who save them from destruction.  Instead, Bradford's reveal something about the nature of men, everywhere and at all times.  But for that story I'll take you to the Heritage Foundation where Michael Franc writes that the Pilgrims Beat Communism with Free Market.

 In the purest sense, of course, that isn't entirely true. The original Christians living in Jerusalem in the immediate aftermath of the events of Easter, did in fact have a communal existence, though it wasn't "communism" as expounded by Karl Marx.  You can read about it as described in the Acts of the Apostles. Everyone brought their goods together and the needy were fed and their other basic needs were met. And it worked for a time. Indeed, such communal living has been practiced by small groups of tight knit people since man first stood upright. The Puritans wanted to return to that pure form of Christianity before it became corrupted by the church hierarchy, thus the name "Puritans." Communal living can be sustained right up to the point when people begin to go hungry, or begin to freeze at night. In other words, when competition for limited resources sets in. As Franc writes:
The most able and fit young men in Plymouth thought it an "injustice" that they were paid the same as those "not able to do a quarter the other could." Women, meanwhile, viewed the communal chores they were required to perform for others as a form of "slavery."
There it is, the corruption at the heart of man's every evil act. The cure of course, was the parceling out of the land to each family. Each family could then grow their own food, with the implicit threat that if you don't work, you don't eat. So it has ever been. Franc again:
On the brink of extermination, the Colony's leaders changed course and allotted a parcel of land to each settler, hoping the private ownership of farmland would encourage self-sufficiency and lead to the cultivation of more corn and other foodstuffs.

As Adam Smith would have predicted, this new system worked famously. "This had very good success," Bradford reported, "for it made all hands very industrious." In fact, "much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been" and productivity increased. "Women," for example, "went willingly into the field, and took their little ones with them to set corn."
We celebrate this week our own thanksgivings, remembering to be grateful for the many blessings we have, and continue to receive. In that sense, perhaps the morality play version of the original Thanksgiving day may be more appropriate. But we shouldn't erase history, because those who do are indeed doomed to repeat it. Karl Marx's version of communism shares in the basic error that communal systems always do.  When resources are limited, one must distribute those resources by rationing, and the imposition of force (that means guns for the more obtuse.)

On the other hand, and as so many on the left have noted, capitalism, as now practiced is better by only a thin margin. Without Christian charity, capitalism devolves to dog eat dog, and must ultimately be controlled by excess regulation and enforcement by (yes) government force. Both systems, with out a Christian basis, lead to rule by a strong man and a further crippling of God's plan. It is only be following Christ, that man can be truly free.  Christianity can not be legislated, but must be freely chosen be each person.

Grace and peace to you, gentle readers, from our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ

Monday, November 23, 2015

Our "Elites" No Longer Believe in our Values

I don't have a lot of time today, so I am forcing readers who wish to delve into this topic to go and read Rotten elites give a bad name to elites by Kevin Williamson over at National Review. It is a rather longish article, but the writing is worth savoring in any case. The point, for others who don't have time, though, is:
The problem isn’t elitism per se. The problem is that at Princeton and Yale and in Washington and New York, our elites are rotten — the rotten fruit of dying institutions and an unmoored culture whose commanding heights are populated by people who no longer believe in the values at their foundation. That is how we have come to conflate quality and celebrity and to spurn the life of the mind for the life of the hive. Order ultimately will reassert itself, and it will be uncomfortable.
The old saying that if we can not control ourselves, we must be controlled by someone who will and can is not out of line here. The conservative movement has been making this point in one way or another for decades now, but it seems some people will not listen. Of course, they will cite a host of reasons for their misbehavior, but in the end, these "reasons" have nothing to do with it. Rather, the misbehavior stems from an excess of self will and self centeredness: the "I know better than you" syndrome. And when it becomes "I know better than you how to arrange your life" what was mere busybody nattering becomes fascism. Like celebreties who are famous for being famous, our elites have become similarly elite for who they are rather than what they do. It is a sad commentary on our popular culture today.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Rendering unto Caesar

I am often tempted, as I am sure many Christians are, to chuck it when it comes to politics. After all, if you follow the MSM, and how can you not, we are losing on all fronts, be it gay marriage, abortion, the silly 2 years old attending our universities, or recently the issue of Syrian refugees. Many Christians, in fact, have given up on politics for exactly the reasons stated, and to avoid sullying their otherwise spotless reputations by getting down in the dirt. The old saying is that you never argue with a pig because doing so just gets you dirty and the pig loves it. But John Nantz, over at has a different take in his piece entitled Giving Caesar his Due. Nantz notes that when the pharisees attempted to trap Jesus by forcing him to declare that paying taxes to the Romans was a sin:
The Lord asked the Pharisees to produce a denarius, the principal Roman silver coin, and said, “Whose image and superscription hath it?” The priests responded, “Caesar’s.” Then Christ said, “Render therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar’s, and unto God the things which be God’s.” At this, the Pharisees were dumbstruck. The Bible says, “they could not take hold of his words…marveled at his answer, and held their peace.” With this Christ delineated two duties that are complimentary, codependent, not mutually exclusive.
This points to one issue many people have with reading the Bible in general, and that is that many times a simple statement contains within it multiple and layered meanings, which can only be ascertained by carefully thinking about them.  It is not enough that you do not murder, but you mustn't even think of murdering in you mind.  Christianity, correctly practiced, is hard. The ten commandments, correctly understood, are radical.  Jesus was speaking here of taxes, but it pertains to the entirety of our civic duties, including the duty to speak out, loudly and often, when corruption and anti-religious bigotry shows up in the public square.
Neither Christ nor Thomas Jefferson approve of the notion of “separation of church and state.” Liberals have been very successful in creating the false dichotomy of faith and politics. The separation notion is a thinly veiled fiction derived from an innocuous sentence in a letter drafted by Jefferson. One would think that the separation notion was engrossed in elegant cursive and set in the grandeur of The Bill of Rights. But, in fact, it is based on a throw away line, seized on by desperate minds, and swelled into morbid obesity by the hostile anti-Christian...
We have an obligation as Christians, to know and understand both the Bible AND the Constitution, and we must be willing to stand up for both. Remember that if you are doing the Lord's will, you have prayed and listened, and know what you are doing is right, then you can not sully your reputation in the eyes of the Only one that counts.

Friday, November 20, 2015

The Religion of War

Daniel Greenfield, over at Sultan Knish has a thought provoking article on Why Islam is a Religion of War. Greenfield notes that:
Islam is not only a tribal and materialistic religion, but it is closely linked to the honor-shame code of its Arab originators. Islam is not primarily an inward spiritual experience, but an outward expression of tribal honor. Its religious expression is the upholding of the honor of Islam and its expansion in the same exact ways as the honor and expansion of the tribe are upheld.
Whereas most religions can accept being in the inferior position because their fundamental faith in spiritual, rather than material-- Islam has little to it but the material. Even its paradise exists in the form of the sort of physical pleasures that its followers crave, fancy robes, exquisite banquets, golden couches, and of course that famed appeal to the dedicated Jihadist, "curvaceous virgins... and an overflowing cup" (Koran 78:33-34). Islamic Heaven is a grossly exaggerated version of the kind of loot that Mohammed's followers expected to find by following him in the first place, gold, jewels, silk, spices and young girls.
Out of such such petty greed and lust did Islam initially expand. Its code was that of the tribesman, to lose face or engage in vendetta. Except Islam's face and vendetta did not involve a single man or a clan, it came to involve over a billion people, who found meaning in working toward the final conquest of Islam. The global triumph of a desert raider's clumsily hammered together mass of Jewish and Christian beliefs and tribal customs and legends, and his own biography, used as a tool of conquest, forging temporary unities out of quarreling tribes and clans.
You really should read the whole thing, but the point I keep trying to make, that Islam is not a consistent, logical, religion from which one can make reasonable determinations of right and wrong. Instead, one must determine what is "permitted" by reading the Hadiths, the sayings of Mohammad.  And anything seems to be permitted if you can get an Imam to say so.  They don't have prostitution in Islamic societies, for example.  Instead, a man who wants to have sex goes into a house of unmarried women, marries the one he wants, and after he has had his way with her, divorces her.  As long as the letter of the law is obeyed, as they say, it is permitted.  It is why the religion demands submission. It is why there seem to be so many Imams, Ayatollahs, Sheikhs, and whatever other titles they give to their "holy men." It is also why Islam permits its adherents to do things that Christians believe are evil.

Islam is also not concerned with what is in a man's heart. It does not care that a man hates his neighbor, or schemes to have his wife, as long as he observes the pieties. That may indeed be the reason Muslim women may not be allowed out unescorted, because more men would try to take them by killing the men to whom they are currently married.  As in the above example, in God's version of marriage, a man is supposed to love, honor, and respect his wife, as she is supposed to love, honor and obey him.  The idea of "marrying" a woman in order to have sex with her, then divorcing her is unheard of.

By contrast, Christianity is very concerned with what is in your heart. Jesus tells us the greatest commandment is that you should love God with all your heart, and all your mind, and the second is to love your neighbor as yourself.  If you love your neighbor, you will not try to break up his family.  You will come to his aid in times of trouble.  Christianity demands that one constantly examine his motives, and only act when his conscience is clear.

Islam is fundamentally insecure, which is why the Muslim street is so volatile, so quick to become outraged, at the first hint of a slight or insult.  Their god Allah demands revenge, because...well he just does.  Muslims, in turn, must carry out this revenge because they are afraid if left unchecked, the rest of us will find out just how weak Allah really is.  Muslims know in their hearts that Islam is materialistic and avaricious.  They sense that the real God does not want these things for man.  The so called radical Islamist take great delight in its evil, but I suspect even pious Muslims must know deep in their hearts that what they call a religion is a shabby shadow of true Christianity, and they must know that God has chosen Israel to be the repository of His reconciliation with man by taking on the sins of man on Himself.  It is a shame that more people are not true disciples of the living God, but one needs only read the Gospels to find Truth there.

Greenfield also writes about the culture war we are in, and it explains why the Left seems to make common cause with Islam.  His essay is entitled This Culture War We're In In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul tells us to put on the full armor of God, that what we fight is not flesh and blood, but the devil himself.  Read both of these articles and see if you don't find a great many similarities.  It may explain why the Left seems to have made common cause with Islam, although the Left would be among the first to be slaughtered.