Thursday, December 29, 2016

Our President's Narcissism, and Our Part in Feeding It

For anyone so interested, it may be useful to be reminded periodically, that America was not always as it is, and that Americans, too were much different once upon a time.  Kevin Williamson, over at National Review has a piece on Obama's Last Days that bemoans not only the apparent narcissism of the President himself, but our attitude toward this cult of personality. We citizens could nip this sort of thing in the bud by not paying it the attention that the President so craves. But we don't. It wasn't always so.
To be a republican in the 18th century was to be a radical. The American founders were deeply suspicious of pomp and circumstance: It is not mere coincidence that the ban on an official national church (that, and not having a manger scene at city hall, is what “establishment of religion” means) came in the first item on the Bill of Rights. Many republicans of the founding era were so suspicious of religious bureaucracies that it was not a foregone conclusion that the Catholic Church would be tolerated throughout the colonies. (Indeed, for a time it wasn’t.) And they were even more suspicious of the claims of royalty. In the person of the English king, they found a compound of those sources of suspicion: a hereditary monarch who was head of state and church both.
The idea that a large, complex society enjoying English liberty could long endure without the guiding hand of a priest-king was, in 1776, radical. A few decades later, it became ordinary — Americans could not imagine living any other way. The republican manner of American presidents was pronounced: There is a famous story about President Lincoln’s supposedly receiving a European ambassador who was shocked to see him shining his own shoes. The diplomat said that in Europe, a man of Lincoln’s stature would never shine his own shoes. “Whose shoes would he shine?” Lincoln asked.
As I have noted in the past, the idea of nobility was like putting lipstick on the pig. So called "noble families" started out as the most ruthless, most murderous thugs in the region, who bullied murdered, and forced their way until they were given control. Usually, they had to continue to be more ruthless and murderous than everyone else because any sign of weakness they showed would have been the end of them as another nearly as ruthless and murderous creature would take their place.  These people then took the wealth of the people as taxes, in return for guaranteeing the peoples safety.  Of course, they never kept their promise, but the peoples wealth was taken nonetheless.  Funny how that works.

No one who demands respect by virtue of noble birth, should receive any more respect than that given to any man or woman by virtue of their humanity.  Nor should one who is wealthy by reason of noble birth be allowed to keep it.  It was stolen, truly.

American Presidents, Senators, Congressmen, indeed any official should be shown the same respect due to anyone else, and no more. These people are a self selected bunch, who have by hook or crook, convinced enough people to vote for them.  As a result they have been given great responsibility, and temporarily the perks that go with that job.  The perks that go with the job are not personal attributes but rather taxpayer concessions to facilitate performing their job.   For example, former Presidents receive lifetime Secret Service protection at taxpayer expense.  We do this to ensure that Presidents actually leave office, knowing they will be protected from those they may have hurt with their decisions during their time in office.

 The constant obsession with the Presidents comings and goings, what he ate for breakfast, and when he last farted should be of no more concern to us than that of anybody else.  The President should shine his own shoes, for crying out loud.  In a health republican polity, the President would be like the School Principal.  Yes, you know who he is, and have a vague idea what he does, but
in your day to day activities as a students, your teachers and your work are more important.  Nobody idolizes the Principal.  

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Raising a Middle Finger to Gun Control Libtards

Here's a good one from Kurt Schlichter that I missed a year ago.  But Bearing Arms pointed to the article, and it is a doozy.   The article entitled Gun Rights Advocates Have a Devastating New Argument Against Gun Control. Here It Is. published by the Independent Journal Review. You would expect, of course, that if it is so devastating, it must also be quite sophisticated and subtle. But Schlichter doesn't do subtle.
American gun owners are beginning to respond with a fresh, powerful argument when facing anti-gun liberals. Here it is, in its entirety. Ready?
“Screw you." That’s it. Except the first word isn’t “Screw.”
That's it? We just raise a middle finger and go about our business? As it turns out, yes, and the reason why is the rest of the story, so to speak.
It’s not exactly a traditional argument, but it’s certainly appropriate here. The fact is that there is no point in arguing with liberal gun-control advocates because their argument is never in good faith. They slander gun owners as murderers. They lie about their ultimate aim, which is to ban and confiscate all privately owned weapons. And they adopt a pose of reasonability, yet their position is not susceptible to change because of evidence, facts or law. None of those matter – they already have their conclusion. This has to do with power – their power.
You can’t argue with someone who is lying about his position or whose position is not based upon reason. You can talk all day about how crime has diminished where concealed carry is allowed, while it flourishes in Democrat blue cities where gun control is tightest. You can point to statistics showing that law-abiding citizens who carry legally are exponentially less likely to commit gun crimes than other people. You can cite examples of armed citizens protecting themselves and their communities with guns. You can offer government statistics showing how the typical American is at many times greater risk of death from an automobile crash, a fall, or poisoning than from murder by gun.
But none of that matters, because this debate is not about facts. It’s about power. The liberal anti-gun narrative is not aimed at creating the best public policy but at disarming citizens the liberal elite looks down upon – and for whom weapons represent their last-ditch ability to respond to liberal overreach.
I certainly hope that one of the first bills to come before the Congress is the National Reciprocity bill currently circulating in Congress. Regularizing the carrying of firearms across State lines is fits the true meaning of Constitution as regards regulation of interstate commerce. Just as a driver's license issued by one State is recognized in the other 49, so a permit to carry should be recognized. The only problem I see with this is that it will make permanent the regime of concealed carry permits, which were always intended as a step back to Constitutional carry that obtain before.

The original reason for concealed carry permits was a public attitude that honest people carried their weapons openly.  Only criminals carried concealed.  In those days, the early 19th century, it was perfectly acceptable for people to go about publicly armed.  Today, the public does not want to see weapons, and open carry is discouraged.  While it is perfectly legal, you will make a spectacle of yourself if you open carry, and anything that might conceal even a portion of a weapon such as a coat will earn you a visit from the police. Most concealed carriers I know appreciate the laws allowing open carry as a way to avoid a visit from the police because their the wind accidentally blew their cover garment and momentarily revealed their concealed gun.

In any case, you now have permission to raise a giant middle finger to those who want to control your use of a gun.  Kurt Schlichter and I authorized you to do it.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

The Left Suddenly Discovers the Value of Having Guns

David Codrea has an interesting article on liberals who are suddenly buying guns over at Oath Keepers entitled Rush by 'Liberals' to Buy Guns Refutes Progressive Narrative and Raises Hypocrisy Quetions. The gun grabbers, who are mostly Leftists, have been telling us for years that we need only rely on the police-never mind that hiring someone to defend you does not absolve you of the responsibility to defend yourself. Now, suddenly, here they are buying guns for self defense? Does anyone else smell a rat? Are Leftists now preparing to demonstrate Mao's axiom that power grows out of the barrel of a gun? As I have always suspected, the Left hoped to get the rest of us to give up our guns, but they never intended to give up theirs. That was just a convenient ruse.

The 9mm vs. .45 debate continues

I occasionally check into various forums dealing with 1911 style handguns, if for no other reason than to keep up with the latest poop being jawed about.  One of the classics debates that people (especially those new to these forums) is oil versus grease for maintaining your pistol.  There are partisans for each, with a known set of reasons for each choice, and then there is the great majority who use whichever product is most effective in their particular environment.  Similarly, the other classic debate is the fabled 9 mm versus .45 ACP.  This debate can be extended to include .38 Spl, .357 Magnum, and .40 S&W or 10 mm. Bearing Arms has the usual debate ender when these arguments get started at 9mm vs. .40 vs. .45 which is better for self defense?

I get asked every now and then by people who are new to shooting: "What gun should I get?" often followed by "Which bullet is best for self defense?"  I tell them the same things.  If you are new to guns, take a basic course to learn how to shoot safely.  Rent some guns you are thinking about and try them with a box of ammunition.  See which ones you shoot the best.  It is better to carry a .32 ACP that you can shoot well, than a .45 ACP that you can not.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

On the Political Meaning of saying Merry Christmas

I say Merry Christmas to everyone I meet, and if they seem not to appreciate my "Merry Christmas," I tell them I hope they will take it in the spirit in which it is given.  But, truth be told, I do not feel very merry this year.  The birth of the Christ child as always is an exciting time for me, but I feel the weight of our failure as Christians to proselytize our neighbors, and the Muslims in our midst.

This singular duty was brought home to me in an article in today's American Thinker entitled Christmas in a Time of Religious War.
Now, to the rub. This is not the time for lighting candles in town squares, hashtags of peace, vigils and prayers for understanding. It is time to spiritually prepare ourselves for battle. We need to spiritually go to war with the ideology of Islam as it is being practiced and believed by millions, not just a few million, but it seems hundreds of millions, so yes, we are going to war with Islam.
I have tried to wake up members of my own congregation, but it seems many are still lost in the dream of political correctness and peace through ecumenical dialog. I have even had people try to convince me that all religions teach essentially the same thing. My answer is no, they do not. Only one religion teaches that the only way to the Father is through the Son. For only one is its central character not just King, but Prophet and Priest. Man no longer needs a mediator, because Jesus is our mediator, our Lord, and our Savior. Furthermore, the God of Creation, who knew us before the world was created, and carefully planned and timed his salvation of His Creation, has seemingly delivered an unlikely President to us.
There is hope. Reports say that the Christians of Egypt, living under the most horrible dhimmi conditions, are heartened by the election and words of Donald Trump. As the Soviet prisoners languishing in the Gulag were heartened by the words of Ronald Reagan, so now are the hearts warmed by the members of the persecuted church by the words on Donald Trump. Think about that for a moment.
.This most unlikely of leaders, this most unlikely of Christian leaders, has spoken in defense of the persecuted unlike any President in memory. The man who so many mocked has shocked the world. What lies in Donald Trump’s heart, I don’t know, and certainly those who speak so derisively of him don’t know either. Nor do we know how God has chosen him and how He will use him. But I do feel that Providence is at work here. Who among us will mock that?
I pray each day for our new President, that he will be the kind of leader we need at this time. The Bible is full of unlikely leaders who turned out to be the ideal man for their time. I pray that Trump will be such a leader.

Meanwhile we Christians are fighting a Spiritual battle with not only Islam, but also with the Left. Why, does the Left seem drawn to Islam, one wonders? Islam seeks to kill homosexuals, subjugate women, and demands that atheist and agnostic or irreligious submit to their god. Yet the Left seemingly prefers Islam to the simple persuasion that Christianity offers.  What can explain the apparent suicidal attraction these people have with a program that surely wants to kill them all.  Fay Voshell answers that question in another article at American Thinker entitled Preferring Herod to Jesus.

Voshell notes that the Left has always had a soft spot in its heart for tyrants and dictators. Their gushing descriptions of Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Pol Pot, and more recently Castro are sickening to anyone who has looked at the history of these dictators with anything like clear objectivity. It is this same yearning for a dictator that drives the Left like lemmings jumping off the cliff, toward the object of their obsession, only to realize to late that their obsession is a rendezvous with a horrendous death.

I hope you will read both articles 000today, and after the Christmas gifts have been passed out, the dinner has been eaten, and the game watched, ponder these thoughts as you say another "Merry Christmas!"

Thursday, December 22, 2016

The Idea of America: Immigration

From the beginning, the United States has attracted immigrants to its shores.  People came, and brought their various cultures and skills with them for freedom and liberty.  Freedom means to be free from something or someone, whereas liberty means free to do or be what one wants.  Within the law, both are to be had here in the United States.  I have lived overseas, and I have visited other countries. I enjoyed both, but I am an American, and I strained at my leashes when overseas.

I mentioned in my first post on the idea of America that I was speaking with a Russian immigrant.  I well remember meeting this woman at the airport, and I remember being at her wedding, and helping her get her papers in order.  I have no problem with immigrants-who come in legally, obey our laws, and who want to acquire the "idea of America."  She now is married to a friend of ours, has a son, a job, and she enjoys her freedoms and liberties here in the United States.  Sure, she goes back to Russia on occasion, but just like me, she always returns.

Acquiring the "idea of America" means first of all, understanding that we are a nation of laws, and that no one (including Hillary Clinton) is above the law.  It requires that each potential immigrant learn English, to the best of his or her ability.  Having lived overseas myself, I understand that everyone has different abilities when it comes to languages, and even though a person might have no trouble learning one language does not mean that he will be able to learn another with equal facility.

Acquiring the "idea of America" means learning the history leading up to the Declaration of Independence, and understanding that seminal document.  It also means learning the history of the Revolution, and the Constitution. One can not hide out in an immigrant community and allow criminals to continue to rule the lives of people in those communities.  One does not have to give up his or her culture to come to America, but one does have to give up his old way of life. And why wouldn't you?  You have come here to be free, so be free!

Acquiring the "idea of America" means using ones skills to add to America, make a living for oneself and ones family, and be able to contribute to bettering the lives of those around you.  If you have come to suck off the welfare teat, then you are not a true American.  Go home, we don't want you.  If you have come to change America, its Christian heritage, its laws, then leave.  We don't need you either. America is unique in the world, there is no other. There are enough places to go where they already practice what you preach.  Go there and be happy.  If you want to come to America because you think we are easy pickin's, again you have picked the wrong target.   While some have tried to show a softer side of America, we are still the land with a rifle behind every blade of grass.  Don't awaken the sleeping giant.  We are still the country that managed to send fresh homemade fruitcakes to our boys serving in WWII,  Imagine what message that sent to German generals?

So, welcome to America, but be prepared to do the hard work necessary to become an American, or go home.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

The Idea of America, Then and Now

Yesterday, I wrote about the "Idea of America" and what that (used) to mean.  One thing it used to mean was that somewhere, at least one courageous editor would publish a piece on the recent Senate report on Planned Parenthood.  Some editorial might just propose that Planned Parenthood should not be funded with taxpayer dollars. But here is a story about what it means today.  Phelim McAleer has a piece today at entitled The Senate Report on Planned Parenthood that No One is Talking About. You may recall that the Center for Medical Progress made a very devastating investigative film showing Planned Parenthood people talking about selling baby parts quite matter of factly, as if they were talking about some chicken for dinner. While Planned Parenthood claimed selective editing and taking these words out of context, the Senate did its own independent report.  McAleer:
Matching up documents and invoices the Committee found just how one $15 an hour “technician” spent an hour of his time in early summer 2014.
“For Example on one day in June 2014, the ABR technician obtained a 20 week old fetes at a [Planned Parenthood] clinic. From that one fetus, ABR sold its brain to one customer for $325; both of its eyes for $325 each ($650 total) to a second customer, a portion of its liver for $325 to a third customer; its thymus and for $325 and another portion of liver to a fourth customer; and its lung for $325 to a fifth customer. These fees are merely the service fees for the specimens themselves; ABR separately charged each customer for shipping, disease, screening, cleaning and freezing, as applicable. So from that single fetus for which ABR paid a mere $60, ABR charged its customers a total of $2,275 for tissue specimens, plus additional charges for shipping and disease screening.”
In the recent kerfuffle of so called "fake news," one point is often lost. We have always had "fake news" to one degree or another. People, being people, will always slant the news one way or another. But to out an out not report on something that is so disgusting, so inhumane, frankly so evil goes beyond the faking of news. This is willingly giving cover to the selling of baby parts, thus becoming an accessory after the fact.  Now, no, one can be charged for failing to report this, but that does not mean that they are therefore off the hook.  If the press wants to regain the trust of the American people, reporting on things like this instead of doing pieces on the need to "manage fake news" would be a good start.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

The Idea of America

Years ago, we had a visit from a woman who had immigrated from Russia, and married a friend of ours.  She was seeking citizenship, and I was attempting to explain why so many people flew the Flag of the United States of America from their homes.  I told her that the United States is not a place so much as it is an idea.  The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution defined what America was intended to be.  Rather than being patriotic about a King, with whom you probably disagree, or the old blood and soil sort of patriotism, people who showed their patriotism by flying the flag were expressing an idea.  I don't think she understood.  But saying it out loud cemented the thought firmly in my mind.  The idea of what America is, is contained in the words of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.  i don't apologize for either.

Today, Frank Minter had a piece at the National Review entitled The Myth of Flyover Country's "Real America", which expresses the thing I tried to convey all those years ago. For no matter where I go, I carry with me the "idea" of "real America." Indeed, I suspect this is what truly irritates people when they encounter Americans in a foreign land. You can take the person out of America, but you can't take America out of the person.
Trump is a New Yorker. He built his real-estate empire from Manhattan. He raised his children on New York’s swanky Fifth Avenue. He then became a reality-TV star, and emerged as the hero of the forgotten working class across Middle America. He is preparing to be president of the United States. This presents an opportunity to crush the oft-repeated conservative claim that the only “real America” is out there, somewhere, away from Washington, D.C., and the coasts.
This “real America” myth is a nostalgic throwback to a time that seems simpler by comparison, more polite and value-based. This Mayberry idealism may seem harmless, just a romantic look back to the old values expressed in Norman Rockwell paintings. But it’s not harmless. Saying this “real America” is lost or nearly lost is destructive to the Republican party and to real equality.
.First of all, American was never as simple as a Robert Frost poem. Second, this “real America” view implicitly excludes all the good, hard-working Americans who just happen to live in towns and cities that don’t resemble Mayberry. Does the “real America” view mean that small-business owners who are struggling, working almost every waking hour as they raise children in Los Angeles, New York City, or Miami, somehow aren’t real Americans? We shouldn’t be surprised that many read that message into it.
I suppose as an "official old fart" and a "curmudgeon emeritus," that I read what the conservatives are saying and I know what they mean.  I too have a certain nostalgia for what we had, and I feel the loss of some aspects, while being grateful that others are long gone.  But I also know, and have always known, that participation in America does not depend on ones race, or national origin. That to participate in America requires first an acceptance of the principles expressed in the Declaration of Independence; that all men are created equal under the law; that all me possess certain unalienable rights. Second, that those rights are not yours until you take them, defend them, and make them yours.  Finally, unlike some of my impatient neighbors ( and most Democrats) I look at our republican form of government as a feature, not a bug.

Republicans have never played the identity politics game.  That we leave to the Democrats and the Left.  We even have a "gay" wing of the party called the Log Cabin Republicans.  But you don't know that because they wish to live their lives, and be left alone.  Indeed, that is what all real /Americans want.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Housecleaning at the Voice of America

Tom Tradup over at has an article of particular interest to me entitled Housecleaning at the Voice of America.

I have been interested in radio since I was a kid, and our Boy Scout troop visited a neighbor who was a Ham. A "Ham," as you may know, is the affectionate name for an Amateur Radio operator. I remember looking at all the QSL (conversation acknowledgement) cards on his wall commemorating various QSOs (two way conversations over radio) he had had, and the wonderful equipment and gadgets surrounded the operating position in his "radio shack." In time, I became an Amateur Radio operator, and I have visited the VOA transmitter site in Washington, NC. So, it disappoints me to discover that one of the iconic institutions from my youth has been brought to such a sad state as this:
The present day VOA—once the bastion of America’s Cold War efforts to battle Communism through broadcast arms Radio Free Europe and, more recently, Radio Marti—bears little resemblance to the pro-USA agency taxpayers came to expect. For example, few taxpayers I know would approve of articles VOA distributed this Fall in Russian, Urkranian and other languages calling Donald J. Trump “a dog,” “a pig,” and other derogatory terms. And lavish waste and mismanagement continues to be of concern by those charged with Congressional oversight.
I can only hope that VOA again becomes the strong Voice of America, and not the Voice of American Losers.

It's That Time Again. The War on Christmas

Peter Heck has an article today at the American Thinker entitled It's Not a War on Christmas;It's a War on the Constitution Heck starts out with this:
One of the most bizarre traditions of the holiday season for me is to watch those who assail the purpose and meaning of Christmas become apoplectic when someone weary of their politically correct antics refers to the behavior as a “war on Christmas.”
It seems to me that if you don’t want to be accused of warring against Christmas, you should stop attacking people’s public celebration of it. Stop attempting to deprive the community you live in of its collective expression of the significance of the holiday just because you don’t share their convictions. When you do that kind of thing, don’t be surprised when people point out your petulant childishness.
While the Constitution clearly sets aside certain rights that we all have by virtue of our Creator and our humanity, and takes these out of the realm of democratic decision, thus protecting minority rights, nowhere does the Constitution dictate a right not to be offended.

Indeed, the Founders knew, if we have forgotten, that being offended is a choice.  One can choose to be offended, taking another's words and actions in the worst possible light, or one can choose to take them in the best, and not be offended.  And even when one can not find any way to take something other than as a provocation, one can always choose to pray for that person.  Oh, that's right, you don't believe in a higher power, so all you can do is be perpetually offended.  Well, I am sorry for you.

Heck writes again:
You can be an outsider. You can be different. And in America your rights are protected from majority coercion to violate your unique conscience. But only in the mind of a narcissistic lunatic would those rights include some bizarre ability to deprive the majority of their public expressions just because you take offense.
Governments can and should reflect the values of their people. If you don’t share those values, there is absolutely nothing in the Constitution that allows you to harness the power of government to silence them.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Another Reciprocity Claim Conservatives Should Make

Rafael A.  Mangual, writing in National Review today, notes that there is an Other Reciprocity Argument that Conservatives Should Make. That other argument is that...well, I'll let Mangual tell it:
It seems likely that Trump’s victory, coupled with the Republican majority in Congress, may soon bear fruit for many gun owners. Though the president-elect is more than a month away from taking office, reports are already circulating about legislation drafted by Representative Richard Hudson (R., N.C.) to require national reciprocity for concealed-carry permit holders — an idea Trump endorsed on the campaign trail. The bill would pave the way for concealed carriers licensed in one state to have their licenses recognized by other states that allow concealed carry. However, the Constitution may actually already require national reciprocity for the more basic right to keep a gun in the home — not because of the Second Amendment, but because of the constitutional right to travel.
The emphasis was not in the original, but was added by me.

Its a good point, and one I would like to see formally recognized.  Mangual claims to have had to give up his right to a gun in the home when he became a resident of New York. He formerly lived in Illinois, where he legally bought a gun for home defense.  But when he took the job in New York, New York law apparently prevented him from keeping his gun in his home.  

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Celebrating Bill of Rights Day

Today, 15 December 2016, marks the 225th Anniversary of the passing of the Bill of Rights, December 15, 1791.  To commemorate that event, the American Thinker has an article, by Craig Seibert entitled Reclaiming the Bill of Rights.. The Bill of Rights were thought not to be needed, that the Constitutions enumeration of powers clearly prevented the Federal Government from exercising any power that was not enumerated. But some States insisted, and would not ratify without a Bill of Rights. So Madison's first task in the new Congress was to compose such a bill. Seibert writes:
The states submitted 189 ideas. James Madison took those ideas and distilled them into 17. Congress reviewed these 17 and approved 12 of them to be sent to the States for ratification. Ultimately, the States ratified 10 of them. These became the first 10 amendments to the Constitution and you will find them in any copy of the Constitution you download or find in print.
Over time, just as Congress and the President have managed to turn the General Welfare clause into, as one Congressman called it the "good and plenty clause" to be able to do whatever they wanted, so the Bill of Rights has been so twisted it is no longer recognizable.
We can see these huge restrictions on power expressed in both the 1st Amendment and the 10th Amendment.
The 1st Amendment states –

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”
This first five words of this amendment, “Congress shall make no law”, basically removes everything that follows from the field of federal jurisdiction. If Congress can make “no law” then there is “no law” for the president to enforce and there is “no law” for the Supreme Court or federal courts to rule upon.
As originally designed, freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly, and petition were completely left to the realm of the states and could not be prevented, molested, or controlled by the federal government in anyway. Talk about freedom!
If you are sick and tired of opening up your paper and finding that some federal judge or federal court is bullying some school or community about a prayer at a football game, a scripture verse in a graduation speech, a Christmas play’s spiritual reference, or a display of the Ten Commandments in a public venue, you would be highly aligned with the founding fathers and their fear of what the federal government would become -- a national bully to the people’s freedom of self-government.
In the same way, the Second Amendment has been attacked, and the courts have generally upheld that attack. The Second Amendment states-
"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."
Congress has a little more freedom with this amendment, as they can regulate the guns we may possess, as long as those guns have military utility. The States of course, may enact laws infringing on weapons, but not Congress. Thus, New York's Sullivan Act, despicable as it was, was perfectly legal. But, if you are now going to interpret the Due Process clause of the 14th Amendment as applying to States in the case of other rights, then you must for Second Amendment rights as well.

Under a properly operating Second Amendment, each State would enroll every able bodied male between the ages of 18 and 45 into the State militia, and each member of such militia would be required to train with his current version of the Army's infantry rifle.  He would be required to maintain that rifle and whatever ammunition in good shape, and be ready at a moments notice to activate in defense of his State.

While I welcome the sanity that the McDonald decision represents, under a proper interpretation of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, it should not have been needed.  Seibert again:

They (the courts-ed) have achieved this huge usurpation of power beginning in the 1920s with an expansive interpretation of the 14th Amendment which they insist gives them the right to dictate to the States and to the people what their 1st Amendment rights are. Rather than being inalienable and protected, they are dictated by our federal overlords.
So on this Anniversary Day, “what are we to do?” Well, to begin with, get and read a full copy of the Bill of Rights. Read and understand its original intent. Share these ideas with others. Suggest that the federal courts and federal government are out of control and have usurped power that is not theirs to take. And when the fight comes to your door in your local school or local community, get together with others and take the shield of the Bill of Rights and take a stand.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Bob Dylan, Nobel Laureate?

I find I must agree with George Will on this:  While Bob Dylan surely is a fine song writer, a good performer, and a so-so singer, he does not deserve the Nobel Prize for Literature.  George Will's article is at the National Review, entitled Nobel Laureate for 2015 Revisited.

 As I have noted on several occasions, the arts in particular, have taken a stunning beating by the Left, to the point that like so much about society, what remains of the formerly great art of Literature is species of unseriousness that boggles the mind.  What is great art?  Is Piss Christ really art, or just rude self expression? Shouldn't anything we call "art" be more?

I have to confess that I am a Bob Dylan fan.  I am also a Stevie Nicks fan.  But while I like Stevie Nicks' music, I would not consider her for a Nobel Prize.  The choice of Bob Dylan for a (formerly prestigious) Nobel Prize says more about the prize itself, than it does about Bob Dylan.  Go read George Will's article and see if you don't agree.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

National Concealed Carry Reciprocity

A tip from Matt Vespa over at indicates that a National Concealed Carry Reciprocity Bill is in the Pipeline for Next Congress. The bill will surely pass in the House, and Trump would surely sign it if it came to his desk. The problem will likely be in the Senate, where Democrats will filibuster the bill, and it will be hard to find 60 votes for cloture.

I am of two minds on the topic.  On the one hand, there is no reason that concealed carry permits should be treated any differently than driver's licenses.  While each State has its own driver's license requirements, all States have to accept the driver's license of every other State.  As a matter of public safety, I can not see why we could not come to some agreement.  Indeed, passage of such a bill would tend over time to make the States more uniform in their requirements.  In any case, one would still have to abide by the laws of the State in which one might be traveling.

Years ago, when I was living in Northern Virginia, I attended a Gun Rights Policy Conference in Louisville, KY.  At the time, Virginia had reciprocity agreements with both Kentucky and Ohio, but not Pennsylvania or Maryland.  Virginia did not allow me to carry into restaurants that served alcohol, even though I couldn't drink because I would still be carrying after I went back to my vehicle.  Kentucky had no such restriction, but Ohio's laws were even stricter than Virginia.  Back in those days, a concealed carrier had to arm and disarm himself several times a day to stay within the law.  Indeed, there are still places where one is obliged to disarm if one wants to go into those places, but they are fewer now.  On my way home, I disarmed before going into Pennsylvania, and remained so for the rest of the trip home.  Such is the life of a Concealed Carry holder.

On the other hand, the idea of permits for carrying concealed was always a temporary solution on the way back to Constitutional Carry. Constitutional Carry is the actual law of the land.  The Second Amendment acknowledges the right of every law abiding United States citizen (and those residing legally in this country) to bear arms.  One reason given is for defense, but it seems obvious that it is for any legal reason. Those reasons do not have to be spelled out to anyone, and no one may be compelled to justify himself before exercising the right.  I am always a little surprised by the demands of anti-gunners that those of us who choose to carry a weapon explain ourselves.  Perhaps more enlightening would be why they choose not to.

Constitutional Carry ultimately makes sense because of two facts: 1) The criminals will be carrying whether the law allows them to or not.  They are immune from having to fill out a 4473 form, or registering their weapons.  They will carry because a gun is a tool of their trade.  Since they can not go to the police for protection, they must be able to defend themselves and their illicit inventory.  2) Law abiding citizens occasionally find themselves in encounters with criminals and are forced to defend themselves or their families.  The National Rifle Association routinely publish a column in their monthly magazine The Rifleman entitled The Armed Citizen.  The stories in The Armed Citizen are news stories from around the country of people who have successfully fended off home invaders, convenience store robbers, gas station robbers and so on. The Armed Citizen has little trouble filling up a column every month.  Indeed, you can read such stories ever day at   Keep and Bear Arms.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

A Good Man

The National Review had an article by David French today entitled Anti-Gun Hysteria is Hazardous to your Health, in which he makes the point that:
Simply put, if you’re standing at a bus stop, and you know the person to your left is an armed concealed-carry permit holder, and the person to your right does not have a carry permit, the person to your right is statistically a far, far greater threat to your life than the permit holder. That’s just a fact. Indeed, that person’s hands and feet are more dangerous to you than the permit holder’s gun. Applying the New York Times’s own preferred data set, more people were murdered by fists and kicks in 2015 alone than were murdered by firearm-wielding concealed-carry permit holders in the last ten years.
Those are the statistics, and I urge readers to click on the link and read David French's article. French has written a post that presents his beliefs more personally at the Corner, National Reviews combination blog and meeting room where writers share their thoughts on varous topics related to their areas of specialty. In the Corner, French writes:
Unless my reading comprehension is failing, she’s either implying I’m “evil” or implying its rather hard to discern my goodness simply because I’m trying to defend my family against threats. This is truly absurd. I live in rural Tennessee. If I call my friends at the sheriff’s office, they’ll come as fast as they can, but the laws of physics dictate that they won’t reach my house for several minutes. What am I supposed to do while I wait? Should we just go ahead and die so that people like Ms. Crampton will still think I’m one of the good guys? ”How sad,” she’d say, “that thugs murdered such a good family.” Does she have any idea how unbelievably callous this statement sounds to a person under actual threat?
Caroline Crampton can’t un-invent the firearm, take firearms out of the hands of criminals, or alter human nature — including the reality that evil men seek to harm the innocent. I have a natural right of self-defense. Government can choose to recognize and protect that right — or it can choose the path of tyranny — but don’t for one minute pretend that tyranny is virtue or that involuntary vulnerability is in any way “good.” A good man protects his family if he can. A good man will shoot an intruder to save his wife and children. A good man gives his family the tools and teaching they need to protect themselves. I aspire to be a good man. Crampton’s politics have blinded her to reality. That doesn’t make her evil, but it does make her wrong.
The emphasis is mine.

And there it is, for most of us.  All of the evil motives for having and carrying a gun that are projected on us by the Left are hogwash.  We just want to be able to protect our selves and our families in a dangerous world, or at least have a fighting chance to do so.  That I will probably never need to use my gun is something I thank God for daily, but "probably" does not mean I absolutely will never need it.  I also aspire to be a "good" man.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Remembering a Gun Control Failure

.Don Chicchetti, writing at the American Thinker on November 18, 2016, has an excellent article entitled Arm the Innocent. Chicchetti uses the attack on the Bataclan theater in Paris on November 13, 2015 as the example for failed gun control policies in the West. Chicchetti asks:
Let me ask you a question: would you prefer, or not prefer, for that brave soul to have been armed? Would you prefer, or not prefer, that 20-30 of the concertgoers had been armed? If you cannot easily say that yes, you wish they had been armed, then you are either allowing your ideology to hold sway over your morals, or you are simply not morally serious. What does it mean not to be morally serious? It means to value your view of yourself as peaceful/pacifist, or simply morally superior, more than you value other people’s lives.
T.S. Eliot said:
"Half the harm that is done in this world is due to people who want to feel important. They don't mean to do harm -- but the harm does not interest them. Or they do not see it, or they justify it because they are absorbed in the endless struggle to think well of themselves."
In the end, other peoples lives, and even our own should weigh more heavily than hanging onto a notion of pacifism that, frankly, is Unbiblical. Jesus was not a pacifist. Neither should we be.  I don't carry a gun because it makes me feel anything.  Indeed, what I feel is a terrible burden of which I would as soon be rid.  But that in not the world in which we live.
The Eagles of Death Metal singer and guitarist Jesse Hughes was front and center at Bataclan when the massacre started. He escaped without injury but the experience changed him, and for a brief moment, the truth shot right through the media wall of leftist thinking when he said:
“I’ll ask you: Did your French gun control stop a single [expletive] person from dying at the Bataclan? And if anyone can answer yes, I’d like to hear it, because I don’t think so.” As he continued: “It just seems like God made men and women, and, that night, guns made them equal. Maybe until nobody has guns, everybody has to have them.”

Thursday, November 17, 2016

It appears Democrats found some new voters

An old joke goes along the lines of:  if the voters don't want to vote for you, you need to find some new voters.

I thought in a year that Republicans seemed to be taking every seat, my adopted home State, North Carolina, seemed to be bucking the trend.  While we delivered the Presidency and the Senate to Republicans, for some odd reason, these same people voted against a Republican Governor that has done a fantastic job.  Whereas near disasters and potential disasters on Democrat Bev Perdue's watch were turned into disasters, Governor McCrory handled Hurricane Matthew as well as can be expected.  But McCrory has done most things right.  So why did NC voters turn against him?

As it turns out, they may not have turned against the Governor.  Instead, it appears there may have been some vote fraud going on.  Matt Vespa at reports that North Carolina Gubinatorial Recoun: Protest Filed in 11 More Counties Over Fraudulent Absentee Ballots
In addition to funneling money to the Bladen County Improvement Association PAC, the North Carolina Democratic Party simultaneously transferred money to political action committees in these 11 counties. Similar absentee voting and handwriting patterns as in Bladen County have been discovered in at least one of these counties, suggesting these PACs may have been harvesting and witnessing multiple absentee ballots as well.
Whenever I have brought up the notion of vote fraud, I usually get the moral equivalence arguement-both sides do it. I also acknowledge that that may be so, for Heaven knows there are no saints on the Republican side either. But, from the Nixon-Kennedy election on down, I never hear or read about a Republican win because of voter fraud. when I hear or read about it, it is always Democrats. This leads me to believe that voter fraud is a distinctly Democrat form of corruption.  And the first clue that it is a uniquely Democrat form of corruption is that the Democrats are always the first, and the loudest, to yell that there is no voter fraud.

As David Codrea is fond of saying, every day is opposite day with these people.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Leftist acting as if the election was rigged or something3

I was over at National Review this morning, and saw an intriguing article by Kevin D. Williamson, a writer whose style I greatly admire, so I clicked on it.  The article, entitled I Won quotes President Obama in noting that elections have consequences. The subtext was, of course, that Republicans should sit down and shut up. With the shoe on the other foot, how does it feel? Not so good, huh?

Williamson's point is that Democrats are going to rediscover a lot of their old talking points, because, heaven knows, they won't sit down and shut up.  Last night, I went to sleep with some leftist stabbing her fingers at the conservative as she explained in a loud voice why Donald Trump is more evil that Hitler himself.  But, the real point Williamson is making is that Leftist, by and large, are a totally unaware lot.  The protesters and rioters seem to be poster children for the unexamined life. Williamson:
Ten minutes ago, Democrats were fretting that Donald Trump and his partisans would refuse to concede defeat, and insisting that Trump must make a dramatic public commitment to personally working toward a peaceful transfer of power. (Well, he did.) There were whispers of political violence, of riots in the streets, arson, smashed windows, violent assaults. Five minutes later, all of that came to pass — perpetrated by progressives in reaction to Trump’s winning the election fair and square.
Ten minutes ago, Democrats were complaining that Trump’s talk of “rigged” elections undermined faith in democracy and in the legitimacy of the United States government. Five minutes later, Democrats were complaining that the elections were rigged against them by an electoral system that treats the states as states — entities with political interests of their own — rather than as administrative subdivisions of the federal government. With their candidate set to lose the presidency in spite of her being projected to win the most individual votes, Democrats once again turned their rage upon the American constitutional order itself, and out came the signs: “America Was Never Great!”
If it is any consolation to them, I doubt Trump will treat these people the way conservatives have been treated for the last eight years.  It is hard not to throw it all back in their faces, but it also doesn't advance what we need to do.  It is even harder to pray for these people, though I know I must, and so should you, dear reader.

Meanwhile, go to the National Review and read Kevin Williamson's article.  Then start figuring out what you can do to help make our lives livable again.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Assassination Threats? Isn't that Unpossible?

So, Trump has won.  Yes, I voted for him.  I now pray daily that he will surprise us all by being a good President, and begin the long slog back to Constitutional governance.  In the meantime, it is interesting to note that the New York Post reports that assassination threats flood twitter. Aren't these the people who wanted to take away guns? Aren't these the same people who are so peaceful, so tolerant, so brilliant, get the idea. What gives?  Apparently the only people who should have guns are Hillary supporters.

Moreover, the people plotting to take Trump out have misplaced their anger. They should be angry at me, at you, at all the Trump voters, and if you look at a map of all the counties that voted Trump, there are a lot of us. We voted for him for a variety of reasons, most of which can be summed up as weariness with the arrogant Left. In putting up a literal criminal as a candidate, and supporting that criminal, you, who voted for her, took that criminality on as well. Perhaps it would be wise for you to, as you said to us, "sit down and shut up." But I don't say that to try to actually shut you up. Rather, maybe before you go out an riot and shoot your mouths off about assassinating people, you should listen and learn first.

If you have been following this blog, you know that there is no love for Trump here.  I will be the first to call him out for any betrayal or misstep.  But I do think you should give him the same chance we gave Mr. Obama.

As for those who vowed to leave if Trump was elected, maybe that would be a good idea.  I have also noted many times that there are plenty of liberal utopias around the world.  Pick one.  Canada speaks English and isn't that far.  But Sweden is also a good choice.  Bernie seems to think Sweden is a good model for the masses, though I understand it he has just bought himself a $575,000 house, his third, so he won't be moving any time soon.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

The Myth of Not Voting for Evil

We learn today that in 2005 Trump made some lewd remarks about women,for which he has apologized. Not that one should forget the long train of abuses, malfeasance, lying, and outright felonies for all of which Hillary has never seeming payed the price.  Hillary also has a terrible temper, and is mean to subordinates, treating them with utter disdain and gross disrespect.  Trump, as I understand it from people who know him, is generally kind to subordinates, and is not at all the bombastic, angry individual one sees on the stump.  All of which brings up the people who won't vote for either one.  These people believe that voting for either would be voting for the lesser of two evils. Since they do not want to vote for evil, they then decide to vote for neither.

Here is the problem with this analysis.  There may be some better choices out there, but in a fallen world, there are no good choices, and there never have been.  We romanticize the Founding Fathers because their work was, I believe, Divinely Inspired.  But we make a mistake when we attribute to these men angelic motives, or when we attribute less than awe and respect for their work because we discover that they had feet of clay.  That Jefferson's work on the Declaration of Independence was Divinely Inspired Genius is without doubt.  The Jefferson himself was a flawed human being is also without doubt.

Today, we face an election in which one of the candidates will take the nation further from its Constitutional roots, and one where one of the candidates is an unknown, but there is a chance to begin returning to our Constitutional roots.  One candidate is a disciple of Saul Alinskey, who dedicated his book to Lucifer, the other is a successful businessman.  Both are flawed candidates.

As a Christian, and after prayer and careful analysis, I think I will vote for the flawed businessman.  

Why Environmentalism is both a Religion and a Con Game

Chet Richards over at the American Thinker answers the question: Why Emvironism becaame both a religion and a con game First, Mr. Richards explains the difference between a Conservationist and an Environmentalist:
I am a Conservationist. I am not an Environmentalist. What? Aren’t the two the same thing? No, they are not. In fact the two movements are diametrically opposed.
John Muir was a Conservationist, not an Environmentalist. He saw the wilderness as a “primary source for understanding God: The Book of Nature.” Muir did not worship Nature, as modern environmentalists do. Muir worshiped God, the Judeo-Christian God. So, here is the difference: Conservation derives from the Hebrew Bible. Mankind is to be Stewards of the Land. We are charged to husband God’s creation.
Environmentalists, for the most part, believe that the Earth’s biosphere is God. And, that human beings are destructive parasites, eating away at the life of their deity. In effect, most environmentalists are atheists searching for something larger than themselves to worship. But environmentalists see themselves as not being the riff-raff parasites that the rest of mankind are. Environmentalists believe they are the elect, the knowing, the superior beings, the priests, the Gnostics.
Because I worked in the Navy Environmental Program, some people think I too am an environmentalist. But I, like Chet Richards, I am a conservationist, a steward of God's creation. I worship the Creator, not the Creation. I recognize my place in creation as a fellow creature, who none the less has been given responsibility for the creation.  Environmentalists like to say that we conservationists want dirty air and polluted water.  That was never true, of course.  After all, we live here too, as well as our children and grand children.

 After discussing Rachel Carson and Paul Ehrilich, two unfortunate examples who gained fame and a modicum of fortune by scaring the public with unscientific theories, he then gets into the heart of the problem with James Lovelock and his theory of "gaia."
And then came James Lovelock with his “Gaia Hypothesis.” This is the notion that the biosphere is an environment-regulating ensemble of living organisms. In the large, the biosphere, together with its non-organic matrix, could be considered an organism, itself.  The idea is interesting. Indeed, it has proven to be scientifically fruitful.
But other people latched onto the biosphere and made Gaia a god. And, with it, made environmentalism a religion. A religion, which Lovelock himself rejects as misinformed – if not dangerous. Lovelock went through his hysteric period in the early years of the ecology mania, but he has since moderated his outlook now that his predictions of imminent environmental doom have proved unfounded.
In answer to the question "Why do people do it," Richards writes that it is a combination of ignorance, insecurity, and hubris. I think though, that the reason people put on these cons, and others follow them, is that people don't want to face up to the fact that the correct answer is the ancient one: living a spirit filled life following the Creator of everything that is, and that is not.  But man and his ego always get in the way of the message unless people proceed carefully and prayerfully.

Muhammad's ego got in the way 1400 years ago, and we are still facing jihad today.  The Gnostics thought they had discovered "secret knowledge," but there was no secret knowledge.  God had put it out there already.  Today, man thinks he is "evolving" and doesn't need to follow the old laws.  But as they will sooner of later discover to their own horror, the God of creation did not set these rules to punish, but rather, so we could live long and happily in His Creation.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

This Will Not End Well

I have referred from time to time to Rudyard Kipling's poem The Gods of the Copybook Headings. Copybook headings were moral sayings designed to both uplift the reader and provide a sentence or two for the young and budding penman to copy in an effort to improve his penmanship. Nothing like copybooks exist today, but they really should. In any case, the point of the poem is that mankind can, and has violated the morality of the copybook headings to its own catastrophic peril. Whether violating these moral precepts offends God such that he sends disasters down upon us, or, as I look at it, violating these natural laws brings about the natural consequences, the effect on mankind is the same.

This will not end well.

Today, Kurt Schlichter over at has a piece that is must read.  The article, entitled Liberal Attempts to Silent (sic) Dissenters Will Not End Well. It seems the headline writer for Townhall may not be a native speaker. However, the rest of the article is a graphic warning. Schlichter does not mince words, or use euphemism to try to bury the effect.
And maybe our guy will sit down and hold his tongue. And then maybe he’ll remember how he went to a Tea Party to politely register his dissent and how he was dumped on for daring to try and be heard. Then maybe he’ll vote for Donald Trump because maybe if he’s a little louder and a little ruder then perhaps someone will listen to him about not turning his little girl’s bathroom into a social experiment, about the illegal aliens like the one who ran into his truck and didn’t have insurance, and about the rumor going around that his job down at the plant may be moving to Juarez next year.
But then, those concerns apparently aren’t worthy of attention. The news covers, day in and day out, some overeating foreigner and drug lord baby mama who Donald Trump was mean to a couple decades ago, but no reporter ever asks our guy about his problems. And they don’t merely ignore him. They come after him, jamming things down his throat like gender neutral bathrooms and murderous Muslim refugees and Wall Street scams that mean he gets about .001% interest on that money he saved just like the experts told him to. And he’s expected to just take it.
This will not end well.
I have been warning people as well, for the last eight, almost nine years as well. I am an old man, and my time here is passing. If it weren't for those I leave behind, I would not care. But I do care because they are being led to violate the laws of nature set down by the God who created everything that is. They are being led there by a corrupted process that makes everyone, even those who don't vote, responsible for outcome.

This will not end well.

PS:  Hello to readers in France and Germany

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Massive voter fraud taking place. Democrats avert their eyes.

I rejoiced when North Carolina finally elected a Republican House and Senate in 2010. Not that I believe Republicans are immune to the Democrat disease of corruption, but because the Democrats had controlled the Legislature of North Carolina since 1898. using a by "any means necessary" approach,   The Dems had variously employed violence, poll taxes, intimidation and when necessary, murder to secure their hold on the State.  And once achieved, they weren't giving power up without a fight.  The Easley administration became known as the "Sleasly" administration for playing fast and loose, and Bev Purdue continued in Easley's footsteps.

The Republicans, while far from perfect, have brought a great deal of common sense back to government. One common sense idea brought back to government is the idea that voters should have to prove who they are. Under NC law, you could prove your identity in several ways. Of course, a State driver's license is one way. Most people have a State driver's license. Indeed, it is not easy to get around in North Carolina otherwise. But some people don't have State driver's license. Not to worry, if you can get to a Division of Motor Vehicles Driver's License Bureau Identification Card. If you really can not get to a DMV office, how are you going to get to the polls?  The requirements for obtaining an ID card are:
No-Fee Voter ID Cards
Voter ID cards are special identification cards that are free of charge for any North Carolina voter who is not able to show proof of identity with a photo. For this reason and to enable him or her to vote in NC, the state will issue a No-Fee Voter ID card under certain conditions. Voters who do have a photo ID cannot receive this card. To apply for a No-Fee Voter ID card, you will need:
One document proving U.S. citizenship (or legal status for non-US citizens).
One document proving residency.
Two documents proving your identity.
One document showing your Social Security Number: 
One signed declaration to state that you do not already have a photo ID.
Note: You must be a registered voter in order to obtain this card. If you are not, your local DMV office can help you fill out a voter application with which you qualify for the Voter ID card.
It may seem as though the State is asking a lot, but in reality, most people have these documents already. The hardest one to obtain if you don't have it is a birth certificate if you don't already have it. But if you have a passport, that is enough to prove your citizenship. Or your naturalization papers. So, I was, to say the least, disappointed when North Carolina Voter ID law was struck down. I suspected at the time that the reason was because the Democrats wanted to perpetuate voter fraud. How widespread voter fraud is, however, is hinted at in an article at today entitled Will Illegal Foreign Voters Steal the Election by Michelle Malkin.
Former Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler identified nearly 5,000 noncitizens in Colorado who voted in the 2010 general election. Gessler's office uncovered upwards of 12,000 noncitizens registered to vote. Liberal groups who oppose stronger election system protections attacked him for trying to verify citizenship status -- because God forbid public officials sworn to uphold the rule of law actually do anything to enhance the integrity of our election system!
Another rare defender of American sovereignty, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, fought in court for his state's right to require citizenship documents from people who register to vote at motor vehicle offices. Last month, a federal appeals court struck down the Kansas law despite the U.S. Constitution's conferral of responsibility for determining who may vote to states.
In a scene straight out of "Alice in Wonderland," Kobach faced a contempt hearing for battling against those who hold contempt for truly free and fair elections. He was forced to sign an agreement with the ACLU allowing more than 18,000 motor-voter registrants to cast ballots this November while litigation continues.
These numbers are not insignificant.  People have won elections as a result of far fewer votes.  Al Franken won with only a 312 vote margin, yet delivered ObamaCare victory in the Senate.  Now, let's face facts:  a person needs to show a photo ID to cash a check, whether he has a bank account or not.  If he has to get medical services, and who doesn't now and then need emergency medical care, he must show a photo ID.  To get into the Democrat National Convention, one needed photo ID.  So, what is so wrong, and discriminatory about requiring photo ID to exercise a civil right?  Frankly, I think we should discriminate between people eligible to vote and those not eligible by virtue if not being citizens (yet.)

Update:  I just noticed that this week I have had more visitors from Poland than the United States.  Welcome to my new friends from Poland.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Glenn Beck on Gun Control.

Glenn Beck had a good 4 part Serial on the history of Gun Control.  Part 1 is here. Part 2 is here. Part 3 can be found here. Part 4 is here.  There is certainly more that could be said, but the essentials are included in these 4 parts of the serial.  Good listen.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Free Trade versus Balanced Trade

Raymond Richman, Howard Richman, and Jesse Richman have put together a short piece explaining the difference between free trade and balanced trade entitled, of course, Free Trade vs. Balanced Trade over at the American Thinker. Free trade and balanced trade are often, though not always, the same thing. When countries are not deliberately putting their thumb on the scales, a practice known as mercantilism, free trade works to both parties advantage. But, when one party manipulates its currency to put the other country at a disadvantage, free trade no longer works as balanced trade. Indeed, one can look upon such manipulations as a form of warfare.  In the period from 1960 to 1990, the Japanese were practicing mercantilism against the United States.  Now, it is China.

You can read for yourself the effects that having an chronic trade deficit has had upon our economy, and as a result, on our standard of living. Hardest hit have been blue collar workers. Technology alone has hit the blue collar trades hard, but then to add the insults of an unfavorable trade balance has sucker punched them.  While costs have increased at an alarming rate, the actual income for thse people has been going backward.  And this effect is slowly creeping up into the white collar jobs as well.  Is it any wonder that Trump supporters boiling mad and that that anger is ready to boil over.  And Hillary calling them a "basket of deplorables" seems more like a badge of honor.  Well, here is the cause:
The Problem of Mercantilism
Most of the problems of international trade are related to the fact that a number of countries have been running chronic trade surpluses which cause chronic trade deficits among their trading partners. They are following the mercantilist prescription of running trade surpluses in order to grow their economies more rapidly.
Almost all economists have decried mercantilism. For example, Adam Smith, the founder of modern economics called it a policy of “beggaring all their neighbors,” because mercantilists intend to grow at their trading partners’ expense.
The problem is that mercantilism works if trading partners tolerate it, as John Maynard Keynes, the founder of modern macro-economics pointed out in the chapter about mercantilism in his 1936 magnum opus The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money:
[A] favorable [trade] balance, provided it is not too large, will prove extremely stimulating; whilst an unfavorable balance may soon produce a state of persistent depression. (p. 338)
China and several other Asian countries have successfully grown their economies at U.S. expense by following the classic recipe for mercantilism as laid out by University of Chicago economist Jacob Viner in 1948 and Chinese economist Heng-fu Zou in 1997.
Mercantilism gives faster economic growth and increased political power to the trade surplus countries, but gives trade deficits, slower economic growth, and reduced political power to their trade-deficit victims. The correlation between trade balances and changes in political power are striking, as we demonstrated statistically in a recent conference paper.
Unfortunately, the majority of the American economic profession has completely ignored the growing research about the destructive nature of chronic trade deficits and about ways to combat them. For example, in their popular international economics textbooks, now in their tenth and eleventh editions, Paul Krugman (with his co-authors) and Dominick Salvatore never consider the causes of chronic trade deficits, and never offer remedies to those trade deficits.
What Trump has been laying out as his economic policy is a series of steps that allow the Federal Government to balance trade by imposing tariffs when a country manipulates its currency, as China is doing, to re-balance the trade deficit.
Another is Prof. Peter Morici at the Robert H. Smith School of Business of the University of Maryland and former director of the Office of Economics at the U.S. International Trade Commission. He now supports a dollar-yuan conversion tax that would be applied to Chinese imports into the United States at a rate that would be adjusted to the rate of Chinese currency market interventions.
If Trump is elected, and is successful at putting an end to massive illegal immigration, vetting immigration from Muslim countries, and curtailing unbalanced trade, we might yet save, truly save, the middle class. The middle class is the hard working, tax paying, yeomanry of America, without whom both the poor and the rich do not survive. Beyond restoring the middle class, Trump also needs to work to reform education so that the middle class has the tools to compete in the world.  we can't all be rock stars and fashion designers. Somebody has to make cloth and guitars.  Why not us?

But more important than this, we need industries to actually make stuff in America because if we have to go to war, and we have to import this stuff, we don't want too be in a position of importing it from a hostile nation.  The steel industry has largely gone overseas.  The ship building industry has gone overseas.  Only Ford remains as a private company building cars and light trucks in the US, and Ford imports a lot of parts from overseas.  General Motors has become Government Motors, and Chrysler is now the American face of Fiat.  Fiat for crying out loud!  Just imagine fighting WWII today.  I realize we probably won't have to fight a WWII, but if we are not prepared to, we surely will.  Si vis pacem, para bellum-If you want peace, prepare for war.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Keith Lamont Scott Narrative Continues to Unravel

As you probably know from other sources by now, Keith Lamont Scott did indeed have a gun when he was shot by Charlotte police. No "book" was found at the scene, but Scott was wearing an ankle holster which can clearly be seen in the police body camera. So, the entire "reason" for rioting in the first place was made up. Why?

 First up is Where Did Keith Lamont Scott Get His Gun?. Scott, as it turns out, had a long and violent criminal history. In crime scene photo you can see he was carrying a Colt Mustang Plus II in a well worn ankle holster. As a convicted felon, Scott would have been prohibited from possessing a gun, much less carrying it in public. The gun in question, however, is a rarity and something of a collector's item. So where did Scott obtain the Colt Mustang Plus II?
This leads us to the probability that Scott’s gun was obtained on the criminal black market, and more than likely through theft. Criminals are unlikely to know the actual value of the firearms they steal, and a relatively obscure handgun like the Mustang Plus II in .380 amusingly doesn’t have the cachet among criminals that a stolen Glock or even a Hi-Point does among criminals.
It’s bizarre that the media isn’t pressing Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police to reveal information about the firearm in Scott’s possession, including and ATF tracing information that may indicate the origins of the pistol into the retail market, and whether it was ever reported stolen.
In an update, Joe Bruno reports that police confirm that the gun was reported stolen after a break in, and that the suspect says he sold the gun to Scott.

Next up, we find that Keith Lamont Scott Threaten his Wife Last Year with the gun he had when shot by police. This puts the lie to her statement, caught on her own video, that Scott did not own a gun. Indeed, we have it in court records that she in fact knew he did.  So, what was she trying to do with the lie that the gun was in fact a book, and what did she see that made her repeatedly tell Scott "Keith, don't do it!  Don't do it Keith!"?  Only she can tell us, but she is unlikely to be questioned by police.

Finally, Bob Owens notes that Scott Apparently Was Holding a Handgun, Not a Book Owens simulates Scott's position in the photo taken from CMPD body camera, and shows that indeed it does look like a gun. Under these circumstances, it makes perfect sense that the officer involved will not be charged. But will this convince Black Lives Matter, or indeed change their narrative?  Or, unless the thug actually shoots the police first, will they not be satisfied?  I suspect that latter.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

The Daily Show Makes the Case Against Gun Free Zones, but Doesn't Follow Own Logic to its Conclusion

Guy Benson, over on points out that Oops: The Daily Show Inadvertently Makes the Case Against Gun Free Zones. Go watch the Daily Show make the case that putting up a sigh telling Muslims to "get out" really has no effect on Muslims intent on murdering "infidels."
You know what’s also strange is this man genuinely thought people who go around blowing people up would be stopped by a sign? You realize you’re talking to terrorists, not vampires. They don’t need to be invited in, alright? Or maybe he’s onto something, because if you think about it, we’ve never tried that. We’ve never actually tried to repel terrorists with signs. Yeah, maybe that’s all the airports need is a sign that says “No Terrorists,” yes? Yeah, and then guys are going to be walking going, “Oh, I was going to blow up the airport, but the rules are rules and they said I can’t come in. They said I can’t. They said I can’t come in.”
I think I have made that point many times here about so called "gun free zones," AKA victim disarmament zones. If a criminal means to commit a crime in a gun free zone, he is not going to be put off by a sign, just as a terrorist is not going to be put off by a sign or for that matter, a law.

But, this is the part where I begin to have some trouble.  Listen to the audience laughing away at the presenters remarks, true though they be.  Now, if the liberal audience "gets it" when a liberal presenter delivers the "news" on the show, why doesn't that translate to the audience "getting it" in other contexts?  Why can they not stretch their brains just a little to find similar logic in similar circumstances?  The next leap is then to ask, why make a law that will affect only those not inclined to disobey the law in the first place?  Perhaps there is an unspoken agenda at work?

I am not, of course, trained as a lawyer, so the following represents my  opinion as a layman trying to follow the law.  I realize that many of these laws are designed to punish people of whom the authorities suspect of doing actual harm to people, through fraud, assault, theft, and other actual harms, but they can not prove it.  Having laws prohibiting things that might otherwise not be dangerous in and of themselves may  allow prosecutors to convict these people of "something."  The trouble is that these types of laws are too often turned on otherwise law abiding people.  Often the reasons for this are less than noble.  Too often, too, the very people who should be the subject of such laws are never charged with committing the crime. For example of 80,000 people who were denied a gun because of a background check, only 44 were prosecuted in 2012 according to Kelly Ayotte in Politifact. Politifact goes on to muddy the numbers some, but in the end finds that Ayotte's statement is "mostly true."

Under such circumstances, if the goal is simply to provide ordered liberty for everyone, the only legitimate reason for making laws under our Constitution, why add more laws that will be ignored not only by the criminal but by the prosecutors as well?  The law should not be designed to play "gotcha" with the citizen.  It should instead free him to be his best.

An apology to Mrs. Keith Scott

I must apologize to at least the wife of Keith Scott. She did witness the events  This video obtained and broadcast by NBC News, shows the events from the point of view of the wife of Keith Scott. In the video taken on a cell phone, you can hear her yelling at Keith to stay in the car. You can also hear the police officer yelling at him to drop the weapon. So, the police officer, a black man himself, thought he saw a weapon, and was frightened enough to have drawn his weapon and was shouting commands at Mr. Scott.  Clearly Scott was ignoring both his wife and the police officer.   What is unclear is why?  Did Scott mean to provoke the police?  Or was he just confused?

In the video, the wife yells to the police that Scott has just taken his medicine and that he won't hurt them.  Unfortunately for Scott, the police officer doesn't really know if what the wife is yelling is true, or if he even heard her.  The well known tunnel vision effect could have already set in, such that only by complete submission could Scott himself have prevented his being shot.  So, if it was a book, as the wife claims, that makes the anger understandable. It doesn't, of course, explain the rioting, looting, and generally acting like animals. Nothing justifies that behavior.  The mob takes out its anger on any number of targets who had nothing to do with what caused their anger.

The rioting assumes that every white person is a devil.  Clearly this isn't true, any more than the notion that every black person is a racist out to destroy every other race of men.  All people are in fact children of God, and everyone you meet potentially displays the image of God.  

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Keith Scott's Family Should Not Be Allowed to Show Their Faces in Public Again

According to Bob Owens over at Bearing Arms, it now appears the Scott family made up the story about how Keith Scott died, which story apparently set off the Charlotte Riots. Of course, that begs the question, how did the rioters come together so quickly and just decide, on the spot to start a riot? But before we get to that, let's look at Keith Scott's family's vicious behavior:
But Keith Lamont Scott was not shot by a white officer.
He was shot and killed by an African-American CMPD officer.
There was no book nearby.
And there was a gun, which other witnesses in the apartment complex admit seeing in Scott’s hands as officers warned him repeatedly to put it down.
Scott’s family apparently made up their story about how he died as they went along.
And so called journalists went along with it because the lie fit their narrative. But, how does the Scott family benefit from creating the lie, and how can they think it was doing the right thing to do so? I understand the emotional turmoil the people close to Keith Scott must feel, but it appears that the death of Keith Scott was caused by Keith Scott, in an apparent suicide by cop.  Was Scott associated with the Muslim movement, wherein he would supposedly gain benefits in heaven by martyring himself?  (Also note the difference between what a Christian martyr is versus Muslim Martyr.  In Christianity one can not initiate martyrdom by killing, or threatening to kill others.  No, you must be killed while peacefully practicing Christianity.  As with everything else, Muslims have it backwards.)

Back to the question asked earlier, about how the Charlotte Rioters came together so quickly and on the spot seemed to come up with a decision "we should riot."  To me this defies explanation.  Have these people got nothing better to do?  Don't any of them have to go to work in the morning?  What about taking care of their families?  Getting the kids bathed, teeth brushed, homework done, and off to bed?  If this was a "flash mob," brought together by social media, doesn't the press have equal access to social media?  Don't the police?  Bring an old fart, without a smart phone, I am not on social media.  Besides, the current "in" media changes every five seconds, so why bother.

Bob Owens has an answer to that as well in a piece entitled  American ISIS: Time to Treat Black Lives Matter as the Domestic Terrorist It Is. Black Lives Matter is in fact a Leftist terror group. Like all terrorists, they use violence, in this case rioting, and the threat of rioting, as a way to intimidate the population and get them to pressure their political leaders to give in to their (unstated) demands. As far as what their demands might be, it seems they want to be able to commit crimes without consequence. that's all. They want to be able to brandish a gun, and not have the police react. They want to be able to mug people, intimidate them, sell drugs, whatever, without consequence.

Of course, the people behind the scenes, the REAL  power, want to create chaos and destruction in hopes of provoking a sense of crisis.  As Rahm Emanuel said, a good crisis should never be waste. The powers behind BLM hope to be able to put in place laws that take away our rights and with them everything we have in this world.  Don't give in.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The Skittles Analogy Is Right, Given Where We Find Ourselves

David French over at National Review Online has a post today asking When it comes to Syrian refugees, who really lacks compassion? National Review of course, has been part of the Never Trump brigade ever since he established himself in the race. I understand their concern. None the less, Trump Jr's analogy of the Skittles is not wrong, given where we find ourselves.

Yes, refugees are people, not candy.  Everyone understands that including Donald Trump Jr.  Leftist virtue signalling misses the point.  Indeed it always seems to miss the point.  Leftists are happy to make themselves feel good by taking in potentially dangerous refugees, as long as those refugees are settled somewhere far from them and their families. Frankly, I think these people see the problem, but are deliberately obtuse in order to give themselves an excuse to pat themselves on the back for their "compassion" with other peoples lives.  I don't for a minute think they care a  fig for the refugees.  They are just using the refugees as fodder for their own agenda.

French points out that as well, the number of jihadist who infiltrate the refugee population is less than the equivalent of 3 Skittles per bag.  Again, though, how low does the risk have to be to make it acceptable?  If instead of, say. 3%, the risk is only 1.5%, would you take that risk and eat the Skittles? How about 0.75%? No?   And even if Mr. French would, at some point, take a risk and eat the Skittles, what gives him, or anyone else the right to make that decision for another? French:
Yesterday, I wrote that Americans are still reluctant to face facts about the Muslim world. And one of those sad facts is that jihadists will exploit our compassion. They will exploit our openness. It is incumbent upon our national leadership (and the pundit class) to understand those facts and adopt policies that reflect that reality. If one terrorist out of 50,000 refugees brings down an airplane or detonates himself in Times Square, the ratio of terrorist to refugee is of cold comfort to the families of the fallen — especially when there was (and is) an alternative path, one that saves refugee lives while protecting American security.
I grow weary beyond speaking of Leftists who claim virtues not their own while placing the costs on others.  French points out that the choices being offered are not the only choices out there.  He is correct about that, and he is correct that we may still chose to use American power to protect the refugees over there instead of bringing them here.  We can be compassionate and protect American lives.  What French doesn't say is that it won't happen in a Hillary Administration.  We can only hope it happens in a Trump Administration.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

A Word to the Wise

Stewart Rhodes over at the Oath Keepers has The Truth About the NY and NJ Bombings (and the Minnesota Mall Attack): We Are At War You do know who Stewart Rhodes is, and who the Oath Keepers are, right?
Go armed at all times, in all places, and ignore idiotic signs and rules. I also highly recommend that you read Suarez’s recent books Killing the Active Shooter and The Final Weapon. Get your mind right, get trained, go armed, and be ready to be a protecting warrior when faced with evil rather than a bleating sheep, running away in terror, as this sad society conditions people to be. If you are present at such a terrorist attack, you are the first responder. We are at war. Act like it.
A word to the wise.

Our Fate is in God's Hands. May He be Merciful

Once again, Thomas Sowell has struck the proverbial nail on its proverbial head with the article over at entitled Our Political Predicament. I have often pondered the notion that it is exceedingly unfair to be tethered to political decisions that you personally can see are wrong, but you personally have to live with because your "neighbors" wanted it that way. I particularly remember the famous bumper sticker in the Clinton years "Don't Blame Me. I Voted for Bush." For youngsters in the readership, that would be Bush the Elder.  Such said it all, but made no difference.  We all got our belly full of Clintonian policies, whether we voted for them or not.

This then is the unfairness of democracies, and it is what the Founders hoped to protect us from by putting in safeguards that made our's a Republic.  The House of Representatives would be elected by the People.  The Senate would be selected by State Legislatures, and the President would be elected by the Electoral College based on votes by the people.  In case of a tie, the President would then be selected by the House of Representatives.  It was a delicately tuned system.  Unfortunately, this Constitutional balancing act has been breached by various means, including an Amendment turning the Senate into an arm of the people rather than the States, which has slowly reduced the power of State governments in making National law.  This in turn made other Amendments possible with which the States likely would not have gone along.  Our history throughout the Twentieth Century was changed because of the 17th Amendment.

So it is we find ourselves in a predicament:
My own take on this election is that the voter is in a situation much like that of an American fighter pilot in World War II, whose plane has been hit by enemy fire out over the Pacific Ocean and is beginning to burst into flames.
If he bails out, there is no guarantee that his parachute will open. But even if he lands safely in the ocean, he may be eaten by sharks. If he comes down on land, he may be captured by the Japanese and tortured and/or killed.
In other words, there are huge and potentially fatal risks. But, if he remains in the plane, he is doomed for certain. To me, Donald Trump represents multiple and potentially fatal risks. But Hillary Clinton is a certainty of disaster. Her vaunted "experience" is an experience of having repeatedly made decisions that turned out to be not merely wrong but catastrophic.

Quite so, and well said.  The analogy is an apt description of where we find ourselves.  I originally was not going to vote for the President, though I would do my duty for down ballot candidates.  But then I realized that God put me on this earth to do the best I could, not to be the perfect one.  Indeed, that is why he sent his Son into the world to take upon himself my multiple sins of commission and omission.  I, therefore, am free to eat the unclean food, so to speak.  I do not have to live as a monk, hoping to not commit a sin, yet doing so by not risking himself.  So, I will vote for Trump, and may God help us all.  For our fate is in his hands in any case.  May He yet be merciful.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Harley and the Davidsons

I just got through watching Harley and the Davidsons. I recorded it when it was on Discovery, but I delayed watching because of other pressing matters. I watched the first part one week, the next the next, and recently finished the third. Overall, I would say the story is a nice piece of fiction, loosely based on the history of the Harley Davidson Motor Company. Why do I make such a harsh assessment?  How about if I get to that after a little bit of explanation.

I have been fascinated by Harley Davidson motorcycles since I was a kid.  Unfortunately, I came along during the AMF years (1969 - 1981) when Harley was making crap motorcycles, and facing an influx of good Japanese motorcycles.  Harleys had a reputation for leaking oil constantly, and having parts fall off or break down.  I can remember a Harley Davidson rider riding with a group of us Gold Wing guys.  We got to the first rest stop, and he had to turn back because his mirror kept falling off, and this was in the mid 1990s.  But despite the hard times on which the Motor Company had fallen, its reputation was being rebuilt by Willie G. and the other investors who rescued the Motor Company from AMF.

I have been a Honda man myself, starting out on a Honda CB 750. After several years, I got a 1982 Honda Goldwing Interstate. My last motorcycle has been a 1998 Honda Goldwing SE. At this point I figure I am getting too old to learn a new motorcycle layout, and besides, they are expensive. But I still love Harley Davidson not only for what it has been, but what it represents.  In a world where American industries keep being outsourced, or sold to foreigners, the Harley Davidson story is the kind of pluck Americans love.  It is both triumphant and an underdog story.  Since buying back the Motor Company, each new machine has been incrementally better, more reliable, and more powerful.  The latest big twin engine, the Milwaukee Eight, could be the best yet.  Harley also listens to its customers, and is branching out to newer riders and a wider audience.

So, what is it about the 3 part mini series that doesn't quite feel right to me?  For one thing, some of the events never happened at all, or were changed to make the movie more dramatic, or the characters more sympathetic.  For instance, when Hendee comes to challenge the Davidsons at a local race, that event never really happened.  Walter also didn't get into fisticuffs with the head rider for Indian Motorcycles.  Yes, Indian and Harley Davidson were rivals, but I doubt they hated each other.  Frankly, a more realistic depiction of the characters would have been sympathetic enough.

What really disappointed me, though, was how one dimensional the characters were.  Each of the main characters seems to have had one, and only one side to his personality.  If you only knew the movie version, William Harley was a mad scientist/engineer who never ventured out on one of his own designs.  How could a person design motorcycles without actually riding them?  In fact Harley was "an avid racer and had a passion for testing out his new bikes."  Again, while Walter Davidson and Arthur Davidson might have attended more to the business end, Harley was no slouch at business either, and oversaw the wartime contract with the War Department.  The Davidson brothers had similar multifaceted personalities that could have been brought out by the movie makers.

I realize the movie was not an enthusiasts movie, but Harley Davidson produced a lot of bikes based on the 45 cubic inch engine. The 45 is equivalent to 737 cubic centimeters today, or the 750 class. Today, the Motor Company builds a 500 cc bike (the Hoglet), the 883, and the 1200, most are built using the big twins. but in the past, the 45 was a major seller for Harley Davidson, and very little was said about these or any other engine other than the knucklehead.

I liked the movie well enough for what it was, but it wasn't a historically accurate account, nor was it really an accurate portrayal of the men who make the Harley Davidson Motorcycle Company the icon it is.