Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Adventures in Amateur Radio

I have been a Technician for some 17 years, always intending to get my General license and get on the air on the High Frequency (HF) bands, but other things always seemed to get in the way.  In February I finally took the General exam, and passed.  I acquired a rig, a Yaesu FT 450D, and a power supply.

The Mrs and I had several discussions about antennas.  She didn't want a permanent antenna showing outside.  Apparently that is a common reaction by people who don't mess with radios.  So, I ultimately acquired an Alpha Antenna Pro Master Complete 80 - 10. The 80 and 10 refer to the band, with 80 meters being 3.500 MHz to 4.000 MHz. The amateur radio bands can be found here. Besides being portable, so that it doesn't need to be up all the time, it has a Near Vertical Incident Skywave (NVIS) element. The NVIS element is critical to being able to listen to and respond to the local section nets for the Nation Traffic System. If you wonder why the federal government allocates valuable space in the radio wave spectrum to amateur radio, the National Traffic System (NTS) is one major reason. When disaster strikes, often normal communications go down. The National Traffic System often is the only thing providing health and welfare communications out of the area.

The vertical antenna worked great for long distance, as I quickly picked up conversations with people in Texas, Iowa, Georgia and Virginia.  But I could barely understand local net traffic, and they could barely understand me.  I talked to Steve at Alpha Antenna, and got some good tips, which help some.  Still, this was supposed to be a "tactical" antenna.  Hmmm.

Some research led me to the idea of a low dipole tuned to the local NTS frequencies.  Normally dipoles should be hung 1/2 of a wave length high, which in the case of 80 meters is somewhere around 150 feet in t air.  But, if the are hung only several feet, they become excellent "cloud burners" sending the signal straight up, to be reflected straight back down and enabling local communication.

I managed to splice some wire onto a 40 meter dipole I already had using wire nuts, and used a couple of ceramic end insulators, also just laying around, to build an 80 meter dipole.  Now the general formula for a dipole length in feet is 468/frequency in MHz.  But for low dipoles, the actual numbers approach 450/frequency.  Frustrating though it was, I did get it tuned to the actual frequency on the 80 meter band.  Suddenly I could hear everyone checking into the nets.  Not only that, but there is actually a lot of activity that takes place locally, within a couple hundred miles, on 80 meters that I was not getting from the vertical.

This week we have had a frog strangler of a rain event.  I took down the vertical because of high winds and possible lightning.  Interestingly, when I got on this morning to check into the morning traffic net, my antenna was again detuned!  It actually appears to have moved downward by around 100 Hz.  It was enough on that band to keep me from checking in.  It seems this is normal too.

After years of the reliability of communications on the Very High Frequency (VHF) bands it is a challenge to reliably communicate on the HF bands.  On the other hand, the VHF frequencies are short range in nature, whereas the HF bands allow world wide communication.  Of course, in this day and age in which anyone can make a telephone call to the other side of the world, at any time, it may seem...well...stupid to be trying to communicate by such a hit and miss technology.  But just remember when disaster strikes...sometimes the only thing left is your friendly local ham.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Once again, the ugly, murderous heart of the Left is exposed

Andrew McCarthy has written an article over at National Review today that perfectly states what is going on with Judge Watson in Hawaii, and Judge Chuang in Maryland.  What is going on is that these judges don't like Trump's policy, and so no will not approve a temporary ban no matter what.  Never mind the laws and the Constitution, which places the responsibility for who is allowed to immigrate in the hands of the political branches, not the judiciary.  Andrew McCarthy explains it all very well in Travel Ban Is About Vetting - Which Means Its About Islam.
The president’s first order was not invalidated because it was invalid. It was invalidated by an outrageous political maneuver disguised as a judicial decision by the Ninth Circuit federal appeals court. Yet government lawyers — especially the law-and-order, have-faith-in-the-system types — can’t help themselves. They see litigation as a high-minded chess game, winnable by reasoned strategy: Look at what the court said the infirmities were, address them, and then take another crack at persuading the tribunal.
...snip...
The Ninth Circuit struck down the first executive order not because it transgressed the theoretical constitutional rights of lawful permanent-resident aliens, immigrant visa holders, or state universities. The judges struck it down because they are the political Left. This had nothing to do with law. The Left has a policy objection to the notion of subjecting Muslims to heightened immigration scrutiny, because it has a policy objection to government recognition of the nexus between Islamic scripture and terrorism committed by Muslims.
The emphasis is mine. Think about that, though. The Left has a policy objection to the Government's recognition of the nexus between Islamic scripture and Islamist Terrorism. Why would that be?  Don't people on the Left have children who might be killed by terrorists? Or is it that they don't care about anyone's life? And if they don't care about anyone's life, including their own, then what has all this so called "caring" been about? You remember, the climate, people starving in the streets, people dead in the streets?  The hand wringing about the homeless? And if they really don't care about people committing bloodiy murder, what was all the gun grabbing for?  If Newtown had been committed by an Islamic terrorist, would that have made it alright?  The Aurora theater?  Gabby Giffords?  Is Major Hasan Nidal the only one where the Left was happy because he hollered "Alahu Akbar!" before he started murdering unarmed people?

It seems so.
Of course it is unfortunate that innocent, pro-American Muslims have to be put through more paces than other aliens. But it is not quite as unfortunate as the incontestable fact that inadequately vetted Muslims commit mass-murder attacks. While some of the innocent, pro-American Muslims will resent the heightened scrutiny (though many will see the need for it), those who are eventually admitted to our country will be safer because of it — a matter of no small consequence since peaceful Muslims, more than any other group, are killed and persecuted by jihadists and other sharia supremacists. In any event, though, the security burden has to be imposed on someone, and as between Americans and aspiring Muslim immigrants, it is less the responsibility of Americans than of alien Muslims that Islam endorses war and conquest. We didn’t create this problem.
This is the vetting that the Left and the courts are determined to prevent. They would have you believe that the Constitution is a suicide pact: that alien Muslims somehow have a First Amendment establishment-clause right against enhanced inspection; that an immigration system that has always vetted against totalitarian political ideologies cannot vet against this one, sharia supremacism, because it shrouds itself in religion.
So forget the executive orders. This is the ground on which the Left has to be defeated. We will never get there by denying that Islam is the heart of the matter.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

If you think carping about white privilege of cultural appropriation, you are barking up the wrong tree

I can't tell you how many times I have heard a black person tell me about an incident of racism that perfectly matches an incident that happened to me.  Usually this is about the job that went to someone else.  Really?  So if he doesn't get a job he applied for and is qualified to do, it because of racism, but if I don't get a job that I am qualified for its because of...?  Having been on the other side, actually hiring people for jobs, I can tell you that there are many factors that go into deciding who to hire, and race isn't one of them, but personality is.  People skills often count for a lot, and someone with a chip on his or her shoulders is at a disadvantage in the job market.

All of these things were going through my mind as I read John Hawkins' piece entitled Sorry Liberals, There Are No Oppressed Americans at Townhall.com today. If there is something called white privilege, I never got the benefit of it, but I suspect that everyone has to struggle in one way or another. Everyone has roadblocks to overcome, and it is in overcoming them that we learn the most.

I have also been hearing lately about so called "cultural appropriation."  This has to be the most moronic, the most idiotic thing the Left has come up with yet.  A black woman attacks a white woman for wearing corn rows because that is "cultural appropriation," and the white woman is of course properly chastised.  I wouldn't put up with that.  If wearing corn rows is a "cultural appropriation," then what to make of a blacks talking on cell phones, driving cars, or indeed using anything that runs on electricity?  Sound harsh?  Please note that the automobile was first invented by a European, the radio, which is what cell phones are, was invented by an Italian, and the electrical generation system used in the United States was invented by a European immigrant.  These and many other innovations are part of our culture, so hands off. if you want to play that game.  Personally, I think it is stupid, counting coup.

Hawkins:
Nobody of any race makes you choose to have unprotected sex and get pregnant at 16. Nobody makes you choose to have three kids by three different baby daddies. Nobody makes you flunk out of school. Nobody makes you spend money on partying instead of your rent. Nobody makes you assault a police officer. Nobody makes you rob a house and get a criminal record. It’s not oppression. It’s a sub-culture that says you can make every mistake in the world, but your screwed-up life is still someone else’s fault.
There are women, gays, and minorities around the world dying to get into the United States. The ones that get the opportunity to do so legally spend thousands of dollars and put up with years of paperwork to come here. You think that’s because it’s such a racist, sexist, oppressive country? It’s ridiculous. It’s silly.
In the end, we get what we get because of individual initiative, and using our talents and abilities the best ways to achieve our goals. One more thing. Trying to find, and act on God's goals for us helps a whole lot. With God, all things are possible. Without God, you are just floundering. If you think nailing others for cultural appropriation will give meaning to your life, you are barking up the wrong tree.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

We are called to wise stewardship, not foolishly declaring animal rights

I heard several weeks ago that Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus will be closing this May.  The Circus is the oldest continuous running circus in the world, billed as the Greatest Show on Earth.  While many factors no doubt affected the decline of the Circus, the final blow was the decision to retire the elephants as a result of a lawsuit by so called "animal rights" people.  Even though the company won the lawsuit, the cost of doing so spelled doom for the Circus.

But the fate of a company, even as storied a one as Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey is not what this is about.  What this is about is yet another Leftist notion that is largely unexamined, and which is accepted as true because it appeals to their emotions.  But a little rational examination will prove that animal rights do not exist.

Let us first look at human rights.  The traditional human rights are Life, Liberty, and Property.  But each human right as corresponding human responsibilities.  The right to Life, for instance also requires us not to take a life unjustifiably.  What are justifications?  Well, self defense would be one.  If someone is trying to take your life, you have the right, indeed the obligation to defend your life.   Similarly, if someone takes something of yours without proper compensation, that person is accused of stealing, and is punished.  The right to property carries with the the obligation not to steal.

Presumably, if animals have rights, then they also must have responsibilities, is this not so?  Presumably also, an animal's rights mirror our own:  Life, Liberty, and Property.  Now, I have observed my well fed cats go out and catch a small animal, a field mouse or a chipmunk, disable it, then play with it for a time before killing the poor thing.  Clearly the cat was not hungry, or it would have eaten its prey.  But it did not eat its prey, and besides, there was plenty of food still in its bowl.  No, the cat did this for the entertainment value alone.  Is the cat a murderer, deserving to be executed for its crime?  Or, is this behavior simply in the cat's nature?

And here we come to tje truth of it.  For no one would suggest that the cat be executed, or even punished.  Anyone would say that the cat was just doing what a cat does.  It was, in other words, in the cat's nature.  The cat therefore has no responsibility, and can not be held to account.  But if a cat has no responsibilities, it also has no rights.  What are bandied about as "animal rights" are in fact human responsibilities.  Man has a responsibility to treat all of nature with respect.  We are not supposed to be cruel or greedy.  But at the same time, we also may use the earth, the animals, and all the earth has to offer.  It is called being a good steward.

  

Saturday, March 11, 2017

The enemy of my enemy is not my friend, but maybe a temporary ally

Author A. Simon has written an interesting and very useful survey of the various literary dystopiae that have been written since Thomas More's Utopia in 1515. The purpose of most of these has been to try to warn society about the dangers of man arrogating to himself the powers of God. The survey can be found at the American Thinker today in an article entitled The New Dystopias. Simon writes:
In 1515, Sir Thomas More wrote a fictional description of a foreign land that he called "Utopia" (meaning "nowhere"). It may be remembered that Marco Polo had previously created a new literary genre, the travelogue. In Utopia, private property and money had supposedly been abolished (Hatred of private property is a common theme running across revolutionary writers advocating utopias. We see it in Rousseau’s Discourse on the Origins of Inequality, on Marx’s and Engels’ The Communist Manifesto, Pierre-Joseph Proudhon’s What is Property? And Peter Kropotkin’s Anarchism), there was complete equality, travel was restricted and could only be done with permission from the authorities, euthanasia was encouraged, goods are held in common, individuality and diversity were suppressed, everyone wore drab clothing of the poorest quality, yet everyone was supposed to be happy...
See a problem here? Have you spotted it yet? Yes, it says everyone was supposed to be happy. Why? Would you be? Neither would I. What these writers are engaging in is a flight from reality in which they posit that if only others would act as they say they should, then they would be happy. These people place the burden of making themselves happy on others, and thus are never happy themselves. And you can see it in the Leftists who seem to occupy a significant portion of the news. Are feminists happy? Are the race hustlers happy? Indeed, are any Leftists you know happy, or were they during the Obama years? No? I have actually spoken to hard core Marxists who insist, despite all evidence to the contrary that the Soviet Union wasn't communists. True communism (whatever that is) has never been tried!  By moving the goal posts around the field, they hope to keep the beautiful dream alive in the face of hard evidence it does not work.
However, the real reason they disappeared is that they went against human nature. This human nature was not the result of a lifetime of bad habits and education and values, as the utopians insisted, but rather what constitutes a human being. These utopian communities were the inventions of intellectuals, who, as is their wont, were out of touch with reality and besotted with particular ideologies. (As John Dewey pointed out in Human Nature and Conduct, artificial systems of morality have been based on a disregard for human nature instead of being based on it. Moral constructs, whether religious or philosophical, are fantasies, they are ideals created outside of man and if people do not live up to those ideals, well, it just means that human beings are too corrupt.) They invented castles in the sky, convinced others through their verbal virtuosity (to use Thomas Sowell’s apt phrase) and then were bitterly disappointed when reality repeatedly slapped them in the face. The fact of the matter is that people, by nature, want to own things. They want to excel. They have pride. They have individuality. They have their own opinions. They are not "equal" in the extreme sense of the word. They want a spouse who is faithfully exclusive. They enjoy good food, homes, clothes, property, possessions and objects of exquisite quality. That is normal. It is normal to enjoy life.
Perhaps what my friend really meant was that the people subjected to these "Utopias" didn't react as predicted. But since the theory can never be wrong, oh no, the people must be forced to see it the way Fearless Leader sees it, which of course simply makes the stubborn mules more unhappy.  Fearless Leader then has to administer more punishments to get his people to like their medicine.  It reminds me of an old saying in bureaucratic organizations:  the beatings will continue until morale improves.

While a regime like the Soviet Union has slipped from our consciousness at the moment, it is well to remember that we still live in a vast surveillance state, in which every electronic communication is recorded and stored in huge government facilities.  Wikileaks, who are not our friends, nevertheless inadvertently provided us with a useful reminder.  The shear volume of it all really, the phone conversations, the emails, and the surreptitious spying upon essentially 7 billion people, preclude ever making it useful for any legitimate purpose.  The spies tell us  that they have stopped untold numbers of terrorist plots with all this information, but we can not know about any of it, so just trust them.  Really?  This focus on the minutiae of the lives of ordinary people by powerful men seems somehow creepy.  But, it reminds us that the totalitarian temptation, as Jonah Goldberg put in in his book Liberal Fascism, is always with us, and sometimes infects us all. The only way to get rid of it is to rigorously mind our own business, and let other mind theirs.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Dismantling the Administrative State

Long time readers will know that I have been against the making of rules and laws by the executive agencies for a long time.  My reason?  It is Unconstitutional.  The Constitution rests the making of laws in the Congress, the execution of those laws with the Executive, and the courts rule on the laws in specific cases.  But in the Administrative state, one agency makes the rules, enforces the rules, and exacts punishment.  They have taken over the role of both Congress and the Courts, and yet they exercise the role of the Executive as well.  No wonder the Administrative state has grown to the proportions it has.  Madison would have called the Administrative state a tyranny.  And so it is.

David S. D'Amato has an article explaining how we find ourselves in this at the American Thinker entitled Dismantling America's Destructive Fourth Branch of Government. Remember that this is another "Progressive" idea designed to control you and me because the Progressives believe themselves more capable of managing our lives than we are. D'Amato:
How did such an abysmal change to the constitutional edifice come to pass so quietly? The story begins more than a century ago, when new assumptions about the role and configuration of government gradually superseded the classical liberal ideas of the founding generation. A look at the political thought of Woodrow Wilson provides a useful illustration of this new way of thinking about the state, now known as progressivism. Wilson believed the “science of administration,” which he saw as still in its nonage, must be adapted to accommodate widening “new conceptions of state duty.” To Wilson, “the weightier debates of constitutional principle” were passé, increasingly irrelevant to the more-pressing questions of running a large and complex government apparatus. The idea of limited government itself belonged to a simpler time.
Wilson’s answer to the admittedly “poisonous atmosphere” of corruption and confusion in government at all levels was an appeal to the “impartial scientific method.” Here, he was a product of his time. Successive breakthroughs in the natural sciences had convinced Wilson’s generation virtually everything, government included, could be understood and restructured in terms of fixed scientific laws; government and human nature were believed to be perfectible through science.
Once again, the egg heads proved to be stupider than the average man on the street. Wilson's notions of a scientific elite running things does not take into account the fallen nature of man. Ordinary people simply will not act as Wilson believed them to act. Even if they could, they would still be operating from a position of knowing but a small part of the whole.  If Wilson had but read the Federalist Papers and not dismissed them as the writings of some old fuddy duddies, he would know that the Founders had already considered the problem and come up with a solution. That solution put monkey wrenches in the wheels of government to keep it from becoming too large and powerful.  Many times I have heard people decry the slow pace at which government moves, but that slow pace is a feature, not a bug.
The D.C. Circuit, in an opinion authored by Ruth Bader-Ginsburg, held the EPA’s new rule was impermissible. As an energy company, Chevron had standing to appeal, and the Supreme Court heard arguments in February of 1984. Reversing the D.C. Circuit, the Supreme Court concocted a new test for determining whether a federal agency’s rulemaking ought to stand. Confronted with a statute that is “silent or ambiguous with respect to the specific question,” the proper inquiry is whether the resolution provided by the agency regulation represents a “permissible construction” of the law’s language. Courts must defer to any interpretation that is reasonable -- which is to say, that is not “arbitrary, capricious, or manifestly contrary” to the law -- an incredibly low bar for the government. Calling up the Wilsonian ideal of a bureaucratic state run by qualified, disinterested professionals, the Court noted, “Judges are not experts in the field.”
As a matter of practice, the Chevron doctrine completely precludes judicial review of an administrative agency rule. The rule thus perverts the constitutional order by allowing the federal government to interpret the meaning of the law for itself, without any material check on its interpretations and, therefore, its power. Such total deference fundamentally undermines the vision of the federal government reflected in the Constitution.
(Emphasis mine)
Even if one agrees with an agency’s interpretation in a given case, this repositioning of authority is a dangerous subversion of the rule of law (the irony, of course, is that in Chevron, deference to the fourth branch happened to result in less bureaucratic meddling). Left free to police itself, the federal bureaucracy has naturally arrogated to itself more power and discretion, its regulatory reach stretching into almost every area of life. It has acted in accordance with its nature. The administrative state is at base the embodiment of ruling-class condescension, contemptuous of its benighted wards and their efforts at self-organization.
And so we find ourselves being squashed by a leviathan that is never satisfied as long as one person out there defies their authority.  Part of the effort to return our country to the founding principles will be getting rid of the regulations and the agencies that make them) that grow like weeds everywhere and constantly. Trump's executive order to to reduce regulations is a modest start. Congress needs to take back the power to make laws, and deny it to the agencies. The agencies need to be scaled back to their proper role of enforcing laws made by Congress. Congress is not an innocent bystander here. They willingly ceded power to these unaccountable agencies because doing so took the heat off of them: they need to stand up to the plate and do their jobs.And the courts?  They need to be scaled back to their true role as well.  But that is a subject for a different post.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Sometimes you catch the bus, sometimes it rolls over you

While perusing the Smallest Minority blog spot, I came across Upside Down by Sarah Hoyt. The point of the post is that technology is moving faster than we can readjust. The so called elites who have been leading us have no more idea what to do than anyone else. Marxism/Socialism/Fascism/Communism is all they have, and it was never a very good match for reality in the first place. It is a theme I have also heard several times on Glenn Beck.  Here's a sample of her post, but I urge you to read the whole thing and think about it:
Because of movies and books, and the inevitable Marxist gloss on anything created/taught in the last century, a lot of us think a revolution comes about when the pressure on the people being oppressed is so strong that they rise come against the oppressor, and assert the will of the people.
This is not jut crazy, it is fricking delusional. Like most ideas Marx had and disseminated to gullible minds, it would have benefited a little bit from JUST a little exposure to the real world.
...snip...
The problem is this: humans crave leadership but proper leadership requires that the leader know what the heck is going on. Leaders work, if they’re carefully trained to lead (one of the reasons Heinlein advocated breeding and raising rulers, or at least jokingly advocated it) and in our complex technocratic society, more so, but what if what they’re learning actually renders them more unfit to lead, because they can’t see conditions as they are right now?
Imagine this. In the near future, say within the next decade, truck drivers who are now involved in the distribution of goods will be replaced by self driving tractors. The first place they will disappear from will probably on the interstate highways. But as more and more of this infrastructure expands to more and more local roads, driverless trucks will become more prevalent. Now there are a lot of truck drivers.  The number of over the road truck drivers is 3.5 million, while the total number for all truck is estimated at 15.5 million.  Do you think a truck driver can retrain as a software engineer?  No?  But that is what we are telling them.

The typical Marxist/Socialist/Fascist/Communist idee fixe for people earning small amounts is to RAISE THE MINIMUM WAGE.  Who, after all, can raise a family on the minimum wage?  But of course the minimum wage was never intended to be adequate for people raising a family.  It was rather intended as a first job, or entry level job, to be replaced by subsequent higher earning jobs as one gained experience.  No one was supposed to work at McDonald's as a career.  But now with the minimum wage being pushed in some states to $15 per hour, many fast food restaurants are going to automated kiosks, which will replace cashiers.  No doubt they are working on smart phone apps to eliminate the kiosks one day too.

I can remember when most businesses had a receptionist cum secretary who answered the phone and forwarded the call to the appropriate party.  She (for usually it was a she) has been replaced by automated answering devises and computers that allow a person to type his own letters, specifications, and so on.  In structural engineering, more and more is done with computers, and less and less is done by smart guys with a slide rule and a pencil and paper.  Engineers are usually smart enough to do something else, and survive.  But not everyone can.  And besides, how many hard hitting documentary producers does society need?

No, mass production for some things is not going away, any more than agriculture went away. But it is going to shrink, products are going to become more customizable. And one size fits all government will be almost impossible, the further we get into that change.
...snip...
But it wasn’t until this weekend and the conversations about last week that I GOT it. It’s not just government. If it were just government, it would be easy. But the same stick hitting politics is hitting EVERYTHING from Hollywood to your local grocery store. A lot of it is still being done the way it was ten years ago, sure, but that is probably incompetent, delusional, and quite likely hurting the business.
We have not yet seen the fall out of the 2008 financial crisis. So far, things have been kept under control by a combination of low productivity, a shrinking workforce, expanding welfare, and the government lying about inflation. While we know inflation is at 10-15%, the government has been under reporting and the average MSM watcher remains unaware. If the economy heats up, we could have hyperinflation as seen in the Wiemar Republic between WWI and WWII in Germany. What happens then is anybody's guess.

Some wag has been quoted as saying that history doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme (often attributed to Mark Twain, but he did not say it.) We can not know what the future holds, but at times like now of fast moving technological changes, with no one to lead us into the bright future because no one can see what happens next, bad things have happened.  Be prepared, and keep your powder dry.  As Kevin of the Smallest Minority says, hard history coming.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

The Rights of Man, Properly Undestood

There are two articles at the American Thinker today that are of interest to readers here.  The first I shall expand upon is entitled Human Rights Correctly Defined by Paul Pauker. Today when we have Leftists running around proclaiming rights that  truly are not, it is good to have an actual definition of what are the actual rights of man. The second article is entitled A Bad Case of Christophobia by John Steinreich. While I won't do anything more than mention it here, you should go and read the whole thing. I think I will make use in the future of his idea of "Christophobia."

Mr. Pauker notes that the rights of man, meaning here every human being that walks the planet, are the right to life, liberty, and property.  While these rights are those granted by God to all people, they are also called Natural Rights because they flow from the natural order of things:


Natural rights have four main features:

  •  They are universal (they apply to everyone, everywhere);

  • They are unchanging (they stay the same, from generation to generation);

  • They are unalienable (they cannot be taken away by a government);

  • They are negative (they are the right to not be killed, the right to not be physically restrained, the right to not be robbed, and so on).
While natural rights are universal and therefore apply in every nation, the government holding power in one nation does not have a duty to secure the natural rights of people from another nation. For example, Mexico has the duty to secure the natural rights of the Mexican people; Syria, the Syrian people; et cetera. However, when a nation has permitted a foreigner to legally enter the nation, such a duty exists for as long as the foreigner is legally present in the nation. Nevertheless, there is no duty to permit a foreigner entry into a nation in the first place, and there is no duty to secure the natural rights of anyone present in a nation illegally. Consequently, the United States does not have a duty to permit either immigrants or refugees into the nation, and it does not have a duty to secure the natural rights of illegal immigrants (from Mexico or any other nation).
And it is precisely on these points that so many get their virtue signalling crossed up. In the rush to show that they are more compassionate and caring than we knuckle dragging conservatives, they often run roughshod over the natural rights outline in the Declaration of Independence.  We conservatives recognize that people everywhere enjoy these rights, but it is not the duty of the United States to either protect those rights when foreigners are here illegally, nor is it the duty of the United States to protect those rights for foreign people outside of the United States.

As to other so called "rights" such as the right to decent housing, the right to health care, and so on and on and on.  You have the right to such housing as you can afford.  If anyone but you pays for any part of your housing, that is an act of charity, and you should be thankful.  The same goes for healthcare.  Note that no actual "right" exists for you to call on the services of another. "Rights" that call upon another to perform some duty such as health care of housing, are known as positive rights.  But positive rights do not exist in reality.  If you could command the services of another by "right," that person would then be your slave, something which is illegal in this country.  That is why conservatives object to positive rights, and unlimited government.  When government grants positive rights, it necessarily commands others to do the bidding of those subsidized by those rights.  In essence, those supplying the rights become the slaves of those receiving them.

The Bill of Rights of the Constitution outlines a number of rights that are corollary to life, liberty, and property.  For example, the Second Amendment provides that I may bear arms.  I have this right as a corollary to the right to life.  If I have no means to defend my life, then the right is somewhat hollow.  On the other hand, the government can not command that a gun maker must provide me with a gun to defend my life.  But if a gun maker has suitable weapons, and I freely contract with him to provide me with one, then I have the right to purchase and bear it.  .00000

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Sobieski Gets the Second Amendment and the Kolbe Ruling

So, finally, Daniel John Sobieski actually gets the meaning of the Second Amendment.  While others have highlighted the huge danger that the 4th Circuits ruling in Kolbe establishes, few have stated why we are so worked up about it. It is not because twe are alarmed about losing our hobby. If the government decided to close down amateur radio, for example, I might be upset over the investments I have made in amateur equipment, but I would not be blogging about it. And I don't even hunt deer. Mrs. Polykahr might shoot me herself if I ever harmed one of her beloved Bambis. No, I, and most of the other people who are alarmed by the 4th Circuit's ruling are alarmed because if the Second Amendment is effectively read out of the Constitution, it will permit a future Leftist Government to take actions to criminalize gun owners and to do what it can to confiscate our guns. They will, no doubt, by their actions, bring about a civil war.

Sobieski's article can be found at the American Thinker today by clicking on Fourth Circuit Infringes on Heller. Sobieski writes:
Before gun control zealots shout “aha!” remember that Heller established that the right to bear arms was an individual right, not a privilege granted by the state. Our Founding Fathers made clear what they considered a militia to consist of and what the purpose for bearing arms was self-defense against thugs and tyrants, not to hunt deer: The famous ride by Paul Revere was not to alert hunters that deer season was now open, it was to notify free men that it was time for gun owners to grab their muskets and finally free themselves to fight tyranny.
But even Sobieski doesn't seem to understand that despite the rulings of these "Men in Black," the rights outlined in the Bill of Rights are not granted by the Constitution. Rather, that document specifically acknowledges these rights to warn any government official not to infringe them. The rights acknowledged by the Constitution are granted by our Creator. Because of this, to restrict these rights is a sin against God. But the Left doesn't believe in God either, or they would take their calling to be a judge as a sacred duty.  A judge who took his calling seriously would judge according to the law, not make up laws to suit his opinion.  Each person is supposed to be a moral agent, acting under the constant guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Monday, February 27, 2017

More on the 4th Circuit Ruling in Kolbe

In case someone looked at the 4th Circuit Court ruling in Kolbe and thought that it only applies to the 4th Circuit, Jonathon Keiler writes a piece in the American Thinker today to disabuse that person entitled 4th Circuit Sets Stage for a New National Gun Ban. Keller argues that the 4th Circuit was anticipating a Clinton win, in which case she would already have her nominee sitting on the Supreme Court, and would have by now rammed a gun ban through at least the House. Keiler:
In an unusual opinion that at times reads more like an op-ed at the New York Times than a legal ruling, the 4th Circuit Court last week upheld Maryland's highly restrictive "Firearms Safety Act." It's apparent that the 4th Circuit acted in anticipation of a Hillary Clinton victory in November, in which case its decision would have gone unchallenged by the Supreme Court or affirmed, thus substantially laying the groundwork for the overturn of the Supreme Court's ruling in District of Columbia v. Heller, and with that the effective national evisceration of the 2nd Amendment under a second Clinton administration. The 4th Circuit, like a lot of people, miscalculated, and their judicial overreach should push a heretofore reluctant Supreme Court to reinforce the Heller decision.
The 4th Circuit's decision in Kolbe et al v. Maryland was a direct, if often legally incomprehensible attempt to greatly limit the Supreme Court's seminal decision in Heller and set the stage for a new national ban on semi-automatic rifles. Heller held that the 2nd Amendment confers an individual not a collective right to keep and bear arms. Kolbe, so long as it stands, says this individual right does not extend to any firearm with military utility, which is arguably pretty much every gun ever made.
Keiler gets closer to the obvious point, but doesn't quite make the connection that the Second Amendment was designed so that the citizens of the United States would be armed with precisely the militarily useful weapons that would be needed should we be called upon to defend the nation. Certainly we may use these weapons in any way that is legal for us to use them. Hunting, sports such as bullseye matches, steel matches, International Defensive Pistol Association (IDPA) as well as long range shooting, and various combat training sports.  These were all once popular in the United States. Participation was high, and competition was fierce.  Ball games and other substitutes for such activity was relatively unknown then.

The Left in this country is not defeated.  They never rest and never give up.  The gun grabbers are just one vanguard of the Left, seeking to undermine and destroy the Constitution.  I would even argue that these people are traitors, though you can not prosecute them as such.  We need to be ever vigilant, and on the attack.  

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Why the Supreme Court Needs Neil Gorsuch

In an otherwise excellent article on the many mistakes the Fourth Circus...er...Circuit Court of Appeals made in deciding to uphold Maryland's law banning so called Assault Weapons, Charles C. W. Cooke overlooked the obvious.  The Second Amendment specifically intends that the American citizen should, in fact, be armed with weapons necessarily useful for war, in order to be a well regulated and ready militia.

Charles C. W. Cooke's article can be found at National Review, entitled The Fourth Circuit Runs Roughshod Over the Second Amendment. Go read the whole thing because it does provide useful information about the Court and how it goes about its work of undermining our rights.  Cooke writes:
As Judge Traxler’s dissent pointedly establishes, the majority achieved this transformation by contriving “a heretofore unknown ‘test,’ which is whether the firearm in question is ‘most useful in military service.’” In effect, this “test” is designed to permit judges to determine that any weapon they might dislike is unprotected by the Second Amendment and can therefore be prohibited with impunity. Forget that Heller contains its own explicit tests. Forget the “common use” standard. Forget “dangerous and unusual.” There’s a new kid in town, and he’s coming for your rifles.
If the Second Amendment were taken seriously by the Court system or our elected "leaders," each citizen not prohibited by law would be required to posses an M-16. and a certain amount of ammunition for it, and to be ready to deploy at  a moment's notice.  Saying that civilians should not posses Weapons of War is to turn the Second Amendment on its head.

Electing Trump was the beginning of fighting back against the Left's hostile take over of this nation. We, as both Christians and as Constitutional Conservatives need to become more militant in defending and asserting our beliefs in the face of the constant threat. The Left will not back down. They are implacable.  They are unreasoning and unreasonable.  Our only hope is if we defeat them totally

Update: David Codrea has a good point in Fourth Circuit Second Amendment Subversion Highlights Critical Need to Vet Judges over at Oathkeepers.org. We have been sold a mess of pottage many times before. One wonders about Justices such as Souter and Kennedy. Did Republicans knowingly put these traitors on the Court? If so, why should we trust them now?

Update 2: In a post at the libertarian site "Personal Liberty" by Will Grigg, he gets that the Second Amendment protects weapons useful for warfare, but then misses what Scalia was saying in the Heller case. While Scalia said that:“The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home. … Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited,” Scalia continued. “It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose.” Scalia made the distinction about the fact that people have a right to weapons "unconnected with service in the militia" because at the time, the nearest Supreme Court case dealing with the subject was the Miller case, where the Court said that to its knowledge, short barreled shotguns had no military use, and therefore denied Miller's argument. Scalia's point was that military usefulness was only ONE reason for the Second Amendment, not the ONLY reason for it.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Time for Congress to "REIN" In the Alphabet Soup

How come it took so long for someone to recognize the problem?  I have been on this case since...well...I can't really remember.  I even proposed a rule like the one Trump has made that says that for every new rule, two old ones must be repealed.  To find out what I am talking about, read Stephen Moore's post over at Townhall.com entitled Congress Must Stop Death-By-Decree. Moore writes:
Trump is off to a speedy start in rolling back the rule-making industry in Washington. He has signed an executive order that mandates that any agency wanting to implement a new business regulation must at the same time repeal two existing regulations. This should reverse the tide of regulatory burdens. Yet there's so much more to be done. And Congress, not just the president, will have to play a lead role.
Moore is right about the fact that Congress needs to get involved. First, it is the duty of Congress to make the laws that affect business, the people, and the economy. It is not the Executive branch's job. The Constitution firmly places making the laws in the hands of Congress, and executing the laws faithfully in the hands of the President. Some argue that the highly technical nature of such regulations makes it impractical for average citizen lawmakers to understand the myriad things over which they would be making laws. But the fact is that the people who generally make it to Congress are pretty sharp, and can quickly acquire knowledge enough of the subjects, and in any case, they can hire staff with knowledge of these matters to tutor and prepare them.

Second, it is the height of the meaning of "conflict of interest" to have the making of the law and the interpretation and enforcing of the law in the same agency.  Why can no one see this?  The possibilities for abuse are endless, and in fact have occurred under both Republican and Democrat administrations.  Since the courts tend to defer to the agencies in such matters, the chance for an ordinary citizen caught up in the byzantine red tape to receive justice is almost nonexistent.

Third, it is most undemocratic, which of course is the Progressive way.  While maintaining the forms of democratic governance, the Progressives have slowly piled one undemocratic law on another until our entire government is ruled by unelected bureaucrats and judges.  In point of fact, Betsy DeVos's statement that she wants to work herself out of a job should be on the lips of most of the cabinet positions and executive commissions created since the turn of the last century.  Most are not needed and do more harm than good.  Congress has slowly ceded so much power to these agencies, that at times it seems to have become irrelevant.
The solution is a law that requires congressional approval before a regulation takes place. If I had my way, each and every new rule would only take effect after a vote of approval by the House and Senate. If they have to stay up until midnight to do it, so be it.
That's what we pay these people for. At the very least, the Regulations in Need of Scrutiny Act (or the "REINS Act") would require congressional approval of any rule with a cost of $100 million to workers, employers or consumers.
At the very least, indeed.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Compelling Christians to Endorse Gay Weddings

In his most recent post, over at Townhall.com, entitled It Is Absolutely Outrageous for the Government to Force Christians to Violate Their Faith Michael Brown asks how this can happen. The answer I think is the unspoken assumption that these poor, confused folks have no choice in the matter of being gay. While the "gay gene" has not been discovered yet, and I doubt it ever will, belief in the "gay gene" is the over riding concept that makes violating the Constitution seem acceptable.  These people also view the Constitution as being written by old farts who could not possibly know what today's hip people know.  What arrogance.

Remember when the mixing of two different races, was viewed by some as against God's laws.  Never mind that the Bible never said a word about it.  These people, having no understanding of God's law, and view Christians who will not participate in gay weddings as being just like the bigots of old.  But there is a huge difference.  In the old days, people who viewed mixing the races as wrong or sinful often took action to murder couples of two races.  Nobody is murdering these people.  They are simply asking to be left alone.  The aggressors are now the ones supposedly discriminated against.

Michael Brown is right to cry foul here.  While discrimination because of race is, and was wrong, and there is no Biblical basis for it, discrimination against gay behavior is not in the same class.  I do not know if being gay is a choice or not, but engaging in gay behavior is.  It is the behavior, not the person that results in discrimination.  Say a gay person goes into a shop and wants to buy cookies.  Is anyone going to refuse?  No, of course not.  Even if a Christian knows that the person is gay, they are not going to refuse.  It is only when asked to participate in gay behavior that the Christian will refuse.  And being asked to supply cakes, flowers, or a venue for a gay wedding is asking participation.  In essence, the State is requiring Christians to endorse a gay wedding.  The State is compelling the expression of speech in favor of gay weddings,whether one believes in gay weddings or not.

Such outrageous court rulings can not be allowed to stand.  Eventually, one or more such cases will reach the Supreme Court, and it will be imperative that a strict originalist like Neil Gorsuch is on the court.  In the meantime, Christians should cry out about this as often as people will listen.

 

Monday, February 6, 2017

Christians Finally Getting Priority in Refugee Program

Uzay Bulut has a good article on the plight of Christians and Yazidis in the Middle East at the hands of ISIS. The article is over at the Gatestone Institute entitled The West's Real Bigotry: Rejecting Persecuted Christians. Bulut writes:
Finally, after years of apathy and inaction, Washington is extending a much-needed helping hand to Middle Eastern Christians. U.S. President Donald Trump recently announced that persecuted Christians will be given priority when it comes to applying for refugee status in the United States.
Christians and Yazidis are being exposed to genocide at the hands of ISIS and other Islamist groups, who have engaged in a massive campaign to enslave the remnant non-Muslim minorities and to destroy their cultural heritage.
Without dwelling on the indifference of the previous administration to the fate of these people, who are the true refugees as the word is defined, u us gratifying to see that the Trump administration is finally doing something about it. The United States is a nation founded by Christians, based upon Christian law and values, and we should prioritize Christians in our refugee program. Let Muslim countries take in Muslims.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Trump Nominates Neil Gorsuch

President Trump's nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court to replace Antonin Scalia has been praised by conservatives including some Never Trumpers like Glenn Beck.  Overall, I agree.  The Second Amendment is very important to me, but not at the expense of the other Amendments in the Bill of Rights.

Gorsuch does not really have a Second Amendment record, so getting at how he might rule on a Second Amendment case has to be done by looking at other rulings that have some reasonable bearing on the Second Amendment.  Andrew F. Branca has that article over at National Review today entitled What Justice Gorsuch Might Mean for the Second Amendment.

Branca is correct that we in the 2A community are often quick to cry wolf because we have been burned so frequently. And while we have lately been gaining ground, for too long we have been losing it by the trick of "compromise" in which the gun grabbers propose something, and we feel we have won because we talked them out of going the whole hog. But make no mistake, we have lost a little piece of our rights, and they will be back for more. The gun grabbers are never satisfied. So it is reassuring that an attorney who has been in the thick of gun rights for 30 years says that Gorsuch can (probably) be trusted.  There are no guarantees that we will not get another David Souter.

I am inclined to let Trump run with things, as long as he acts withing his authority under the Constitution.  So far, so good.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Thanks, Obama, For Another Injustice

It is shocking to me that a Federal Court of Appeals could find that the mere act of going armed for self defense constitutes automatic suspicion on the part of the police.  But, according to David French writing for National Review Online, in an article entitled Fourth Circuit Takes Aim at Gun Owner Rights, that is exactly what the Fourth Circuit Federal Court of Appeals 0did. French writes the article from the point of view of gross judicial activism, which it of course is. The judges literally wrote new law. But it is also a civil rights issue with little in the way of evidence to back it up. The judges went way beyond the facts to strike at concealed carry permit holders, lawful gun owners all.

The case in question was a frisk of a felon in possession of a gun, of whom the police had a reliable tip that he was  carrying a weapon.  Ok, so far so good. But then the judges go further as French reports:
The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals just suffered from an outbreak of bad judging. In an en banc opinion, the court ruled that after a lawful traffic stop, the police may frisk any person who they believe may possess a firearm, regardless of whether that person possesses a concealed-carry permit. The court actually typed this sentence: “The danger justifying a protective frisk arises from the combination of a forced police encounter and the presence of a weapon, not from any illegality of the weapon’s possession” (emphasis added.) The implications were clear: Even lawful gun owners are by definition “dangerous” and can be broadly treated as such by the state.
This is nothing short of an open invitation to the State to treat all gun owners as criminals in possession of arms, whether they are actually carrying or not.  Since any time a police officer stops a car for any reason, the existence of a concealed carry permit comes up on his computer, he knows before he confronts the individual that he has such a permit.  By law, we in North Carolina must also tell the officer that we have a permit and whether or not we are armed.  But even if not armed, the police do not have to believe us, and can prone us out on the side of the road on the mere suspicion that we might be dangerous.  This opinion gives them the right to suspect anyone who might be carrying a firearm.

This kind of reasoning, and judicial activism belongs more in the Ninth Circus...er...Circuit than in the Fourth.  According to David Codrea at the War on Guns, we have Obama to thank for this abortion of justice.

Thanks, Obama.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Someone who truly "gets it"

David Codrea at the War on Guns point to this site: All Federal Gun Control is Unlawful - Plubius Huldah I do not know if Plubius Huldah is her real name, probably not, but she certainly understands the law. Go have a listen. Its 25 minutes long, but well worth it.

 As I have noted before, among Constitutional Conservatives, the eventual goal is to repeal all Federal gun control. States can, of course, impose gun control, but would be wiser to impose gun regulation in accordance with their duty to develop and train a functioning militia.  Plubius Huldah makes all these points in her speech: that our right to arms comes from God, not the Constitution; that all Federal gun control is Unconstitutional, therefore null and void; that the Federal government is the creation of the States, and therefore the States sovereignty is higher than that of the Federal government; that the Federal Constitution list 21 powers, none of which is to regulate or control guns.

People tell me that I just don't "get it," that in today's complicated and highly sophisticated world we can be ruled by an ancient document written by slave holders.  But if you read the contents of text messages and tweets, one can be forgiven for thinking that we have actually become less sophisticated in our present day.  Then people were educated, today they are trained for jobs.  In the end, I don't buy the hype.  I believe we can still be ruled by the Constitution, and that the closer we cleave to it, the more free and prosperous we will be.

Wynton Marsalis has Class to Go Along With a Towering Talent.

As someone who has played the trumpet, and someone who loves to hear well played trumpet and brass music, I have long respected the ability of Wynton Marsalis to play the instrument with seeming superhuman ability.  His classic recording of Baroque Music for Trumpet sets new standards for the interpretation of music, and includes a moving version of Pachelbel's Canon in D that my Wife considers the absolute greatest recording of that piece ever done, bar none. I have gone to Wolf Trap twice to see Mr. Marsalis perform, as well as Dizzy Gillespie, and I have attended the Lincoln Center on two occasions to see performances of the original Canadian Brass.  Of course while his great classical recordings set new benchmarks, his jazz recordings are incredible.  I have Standard Time vol. 1 and 2.  I see there is a 3 that I need to obtain at some point.

One thing that has impressed me about Wynton Marsalis is that he has kept his political opinions to himself. Marsalis is a towering talent, putting to shame many lesser lights who sound off really just to get attention. He works with young students extensively, and as noted, performs occasionally as well. So, it was with interest that I read Clarice Feldman's blog on American Thinker entitled Wynton Marsalis Nails It on Performers Boycotting the Inauguration. There was a time when if a President asked someone to perform at a function, if that someone could arrange to do so, he did. It didn't matter whether he was the one for whom you voted. Respect for the office compelled even the loyal opposition to accede to such demands.  After all, if the President wants you to perform, he clearly finds you talented and accomplished enough to showcase for his guests.  Can one not feel honored for that?

With the election in 2008 of Barack Obama, I did not cry, or throw a fit, or riot, or do any of the things Leftists have done.  I knew what Obama was, and I considered McCain to be really no better.  My one nod to protest was to take down the flag that I have flown in the yard.  It is still folded up, by the way.  When people ask why I no longer fly my flag, I point out that we no longer live in the United States of America.  We now live in the territory once occupied by the United States of America.  It is true, Barack Obama and his minions have turned the once great USA into a banana republic.  None of the things he believes about this country are true.  We were not colonial powers, we did not steal the resources that made us the biggest economy on the globe.  It was, after all Texas oil, not Middle Eastern oil that fueled much of our industrial expansion, and we bought the Middle Eastern oil, we didn't steal it.  And the steel used to fight WWII, that came from the Great Lakes region.

 When the same people came out in support of Obama in 2012, I was again appalled, but I still did not protest beyond keeping my flag down.  I have watched as Obama and his administration have torn the fabric of this nation, starting with the rule of law, and the Constitution.  But they did not do it alone.  No, it was more a case of Gulliver being tied down by the Lilliputians.  Now that the Lilliputians are on the run, we must finally destroy them (not literally) or drive them out.

I read a lot or enthusiastic things about Trump's agenda from people that, as far as I know, have little knowledge of it,   Truth be told, however, it Trump puts good and decent Supreme Court Justices in place, honors and defends the Constitution, and brings back the rule of Law, it will be enough.  I will be able to fly my flag again..  In the meantime, I think I will put on my copy of Baroque Music for Trumpets once again.  Good on ya, Mr. Marsalis.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

There is no bridging the gap, squaring the circle, or third way

Here is a theme I have been contemplating since the election of Donald Trump.  You hear, amidst the anguish, the gnashing of teeth, and the vows of resistance, calls for unity.  "Can't we all just get along?"  I have come to the conclusion that unfortunately, the Left has gone too far, and that there really is no way to bridge the gap.  For one thing, we no longer have common goals with disagreements on how to accomplish them.  The truth is that Conservatives and the Left have diametrically opposed goals.  We have diametrically opposed understanding of the nature of people. There is no way to square the circle;  Clinton's third way is as dead as a door nail.

David Solway, writing in the American Thinker today expresses that thought very well in a piece entitled United We Fall. Solway's point is that the gap can no longer be bridged, and the attempt to do so, especially by appeasing them, will not work. Solway:
The left, which includes the majority of national institutions -- the legacy media, the academy, television, Hollywood, the social media providers, the judiciary, online and print groups, government departments, the Democratic Party and much of the Republican Party, the political class as a whole and the army of liberal voters -- will never be pacified. The left will never cease in its efforts to scheme against a Trump -- or any conservative-leaning -- administration.
Trump must take seriously Newt Gingrich’s warning against the temptation to “give in” to the left when opposition starts to mount from every quarter -- the Greens, government employees, the teachers’ unions, indeed the entire progressivist Category 5 hurricane of demands and vilification. Not only should Trump resist that temptation, he must not waste his time and energy seeking to heal what cannot be repaired, but needs to engage in a kind of domestic cold war, using every legislative means in his purview to contain a dangerous and implacable internal enemy. This is realpolitik applied locally.
The fact of the matter is that the people fighting on the Left will never give up. They can not, for their whole identity is tied up in the notion that believing in these causes makes them better that the poor benighted rest of us Bozos on the bus. We can pray for them, but we must not give them an inch. For their idea of compromise is us giving something up. They never give anything up. And whatever "compromise" you make is always a good first step.  Since their values are rootless, they are constantly moving the goal posts and can never be satisfied.
It is naïve to assume that the political fissure between left and right, collectivism and individuality, Socialism and classical liberalism, fantasy and reality, can ever be bridged. In essence, this is a perennial conflict, one which the great satirist Jonathan Swift in The Battle of the Books, drawing from the classics, described as the enmity between the predatory spider, who purls illusions out of his own entrails, and the foraging bee who produces sweetness and light and convulses the spider’s self-spun “citadel.” It is a conflict between opposed epistemological frames of reference -- in Swiftian terms, that of the fanatic parvenu and that of the companionable humanist. Today it is a war between progressivists and conservatives, between utopian experimentalism and traditional values. The rupture cannot be parged. One should not invest in a fruitless and destructive effort to create unity where none is possible.
Where the effort to achieve unity has real meaning is in the attempt to mend the surmountable divisions of opinion within the conservative family in order to form a strong front against the forces that would subvert the political coherence and even the survival of the nation. Unity only makes sense if it is accomplished within the often disparate group of genuine patriots who may disagree on many points, yet who are basically at one in struggling to establish the rule of law and a functioning democratic -- or rather, republican -- polity. But to work for the unification of oil and water is not only an egregious error but a recipe for social and political disunity.
In his own unique way, Kurt Schlichter is making the same point in a polemic at Townhall.com entitled And Now the Left's War on Normal Americans Truly Begins. Hillary said that half of Trump supports we a basket of deplorables, which we took as a badge of honor. After all, do be despised by the despicable is indeed a badge of honor. If forced to say who I stand with, I stand with the Deplorables.
President Donald Trump replaces President Faily McWorsethancarter Friday, but we’re not going to be able to Netflix and chill in the fight for freedom. The left and its establishment allies are desperate to regain the power they see slipping away, and we need to understand that the only way to stop them is to beat them to a pulp and leave them whimpering in the fetal position, crying out for their genderfluid mommies.
The left’s strategy is simple – deny normal Americans normalcy. After all, that’s what we really want, a return to normal. We haven’t experienced real normal since the Democrats denied the legitimacy of W’s election in 2000 – you know, during one of those time frames when denying the legitimacy of the president was cool, a phenomenon that coincidentally only occurs whenever a Republican wins. Then came 9/11 followed by 15+ years of botched wars and economic decline, along with an unprecedented cultural offensive against normal Americans. Once the only place you heard that average Americans were racist sexist homophobic everythingist everythingphobic was on college campuses; now, with the active assistance of Obama and his collaborators, it’s everywhere – in our entertainment, in the media, in our faces
. And we’re sick of it  #ThisIsWhyYouGotTrump
I did mention his own unique fashion, right? But seriously, putting aside his attempts at humor, and recognizing that he is speaking metaphorically when he writes that w need to "beat them to a pulp...mommies," the only way we will be rid of Leftism is to defeat the ideology. The only way to defeat the ideology is to defeat the proponents of that ideology. I propose we take a leaf out of the Trump playbook, and do not take them seriously. Laugh at them. Make fun of them. Shame them. Treat them like they have been treating us. And as always, defend yourselves.  Don't assume others watching know that you are not a racist, sexist, homophobic, Islamaphobe.  But have fun while making them squirm
 Leftists do not have a sense of humor, for everything everywhere, everyday is about virtue signalling and one-up-man-ship. Make fun of that too.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Christians need to become the Church Militant again

I have been going through a spiritual upheaval of late, which has made me cranky and somewhat angry. I think it has been resolved, and for the first time I am finding again peace and serenity, in knowing that God is in control, and I am not. But though God is in control, if I ask Him, he will tell me what I can do today. I did. And he led me to an interesting piece on Townhall.com by Michael Brown entitled Will the 'Trump Effect' Trickle Down to Conservative Christians?.

I have come to believe that conservative Christians have been convinced that they have lost the culture wars by the constant drumbeat of the faux news media, television and movie entertainment, schools and other cultural outlets that have constantly told us that the Left is winning.  And it has been remarkably effective.  The Left has also infiltrated and hijacked our mainline protestant churches such that abortion and the ordination of openly gay individuals is not just tolerated but openly celebrated.  At the same time, the old Christian hymns are no longer sung, favoring instead a milquetoast infantile "Christianity" instead of the old militant style.  But I have seen our Congregational charter, and it talks about our commitment to be the "Church Militant."

For those who may not remember the militant style of Christianity, I do not mean that we should be out killing anyone (except in defense of ourselves and our loved ones when someone presents the real threat of death or serious injury.)   That we leave for Islam, representing the pretender to God's throne. Rather the militant style is to speak with authority and conviction about things we know, and to boldly testify about things we know are wrong.  But these things must be said in love, for though Jesus loves, part of that love is to allow us to choose.  Heaven of hell, it is our choice.  The only thing separating us from God is---us.

Michael Brown is correct, but you may not be convinced.  Perhaps you need a little more.  No doubt you are aware of the displays of the tantrums the left has been going through, the crying, the gnashing of teeth, the attempts to claim victory by some set of rules, not of course THE RULES, the attempts to have the Electoral College overturn the election, and now the attempt to delegitimize the President Elect by the use of faux news.  No doubt as well these have provided some schadenfreude to shell shocked conservative Christians.  Note, if you did feel some sense of schadenfreude, shame on you, but in all fairness, I did too.  Anyway, to put some of this in context, here is Thomas Lifson over at the American Thinker to explain it to you.

Lifson, writing in a blog entitled Why the Left hates Trump so intensely, that nails the reason squarely on the head. It turns out that what the Left has been preaching is not real. Oh, they have put up a beautiful facade, rather like a Hollywood set, complete with the cowboy sleeping in a tilted back chair with his hat pulled down over his eyes. Everything is correct down to the furniture and the period costumes until you notice that an extra is wearing a wrist watch. What???  That is the Trump Effect.  You can read more about it by clicking on the Reddit link in the Lifson piece.

We must all softenour hearts, and toughen our minds if we are to become once again the Church Militant, who once conquered the world, not with the sword, or bullets, but with the Truth.

Father, may I have a softer heart and a tougher mind to carry out your work today.  Amen.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

The god who hates

It is Sunday morning, and my church has cancelled services, as have most of the churches in the area due to the weather.  I have just read Raymond Ibrahim's article at the American Thinker entitled Muslim Persecution of Christians. Ibrahim points out that Muslims hate Christians because Christians rejected Muhammad's religion of hate in favor of the religion of God, which demands love. Part of that hate is generated by a gross misunderstanding of Christian religion, and I suspect goes back to the Council of Nicea wherein the doctrine of the Trinity was ratified by the Bishops, and Gnosticism was rejected. Ibrahim writes:
How much hate must a woman have to enter a church, smile in the faces of Christians, pretend to be worshipping alongside them -- here’s a similar example from Turkey -- and then knowingly leave a bomb precisely where it would kill mostly women and children? How much hate must a man have for people who are peacefully praying that, in order to kill as many of them, he is willing to kill himself?
The answer is an unfathomable -- and, to Western and Christian minds, unbelievable -- amount of hate. Yet, the wonder isn’t that the church was bombed but rather that many are surprised by it. After all, many Muslim scriptures, clerics, mosques, schools, satellite stations, and Internet sites -- even the ministry of education -- openly incite hatred for Egypt’s indigenous (but “infidel”) inhabitants: the Christian Copts. Among other forms of animosity, they teach that Muslims must hate -- and show that they hate -- Christians, even if they are their own wives.
Worse, they teach that the most abominable crimes in God’s sight -- “worse than murder and bloodshed” -- take place inside churches: there, Christians flaunt their rejection of Islam’s core doctrine of tawhid (“monotheism”) by ascribing partners to God (shirk) via their worship of the Trinity. This is why some of Islam’s most revered ulema (scholars) describe churches as “worse than bars and brothels” and “dens of iniquity” which “breed corruption throughout the lands” (see Crucified Again, pgs. 32-36).

Muslims for some reason, I suppose lack of imagination, believe that the One, True, and Living God could not be at once experienced by humans as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. To believe that our God could not at the same time be in the Heavens, and on the earth, while inspiring people everywhere with his love is to think that God is too small. God is not in a box. He is not only in Heaven, which is a convenient construct for limited humans, but rather God is everywhere, at all times, in all places, always the same. God was there at the beginning, but so was his plan for salvation through Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. All three are but manifestations of Him. They are different ways of experiencing Him.  God will be there at the end because he is already there, waiting for us to arrive.  God truly is the alpha and omega.

The greatest gift, of all the many I have received from Him, is love.  In turn, I must try to love my fellow man (and woman) as he has loved me.  Of course this does not mean romantically, but rather to attempt to understand, to empathize, and to do my best to help my fellow creatures.  Remember that Jesus performed the ultimate act for us.  Though innocent, in the real sense of the word, and not just legally innocent, he died for us, to take our sins and wash us clean, then rose from the dead to show us that death had been conquered for all time, for all people.  This was how much God loved us, that He would die for us, since we were incapable of reconciling ourselves to Him otherwise.

Why couldn't we reconcile ourselves?  Because there is no man who is perfect.  We all deserve to die, and so sacrificing ourselves does nothing.  Whether we die sooner of later makes no real difference since we are all under sentence of death.  Only God Himself could come down, live the perfect life, and die to atone for our sins.  Nothing less would do.  Nothing more was needed.

So, where do the Gnostics, who now call themselves Muslims, go wrong?  By trying to pin down where God is.  I do not pretend to understand the Trinity, because being a limited human being, I can not.  I just accept that it is so.  I accept it as a matter of faith, and I accept it as a great, most generous gift.  It is a gift so magnificent that I can only call it Grace.  But the Muslims insist that God can not be both Father and Son simultaneously.  But as we have seen, why couldn't the God of Creation, who made everything that is, and everything that is not (for there are many things that COULD have been had not He discarded them) also put a back door, so to speak into physics to allow Him to be everywhere all the time?  I see miracles happen daily, and those miracles would not happen without divine Providence.

Whenever Muslims kill Christians for their faith, eulogies for the latter -- including for St. Peter’s 28 slain -- often invoke the words of Christ: “The time is coming when anyone who kills you will think they are offering a service to God” (John 16:2). Not only is this verse prophetic; it’s key to understanding why Christians are under attack throughout the Muslim world: Their persecutors truly “think they are offering a service to God” by killing Christians. And they believe this, not because they are “radical” or have “perverted” the teachings of Islam, but because the impostor god of Islam tells them so.
Muslims will only stop hating and killing Christians when they finally abandon the god who hates and accept the God who Loves.  But, while the God who Loves, directs us to pray for them, to proselytize to them as best we can, he does not expect us to go about unarmed and incapable of defending ourselves.  You need to carry a gun with you even in church.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

If you are not armed, you may be depending on the kindness of strangers

John Hawkins has an excellent article exposing the nasty underbelly of racism at the heart of the events that unfolded in Chicago this week.  Four black men and women tortured a white mentally challenged man for 48 hours, made him drink toilet water, yelled F*** white people, F*** Donald Trump, and streamed the whole thing live on Facebook.  I doubt the victim here voted for anyone, but in any case these young men and women knew whether he voted and for whom he voted if he did.

Hawkins as entitled his article If you Listen to Liberals, Why Not Kidnap and Torture White People? And, of course, he is right. In their rush to delegitimize the election and make it seem as if they have a legitimate reason for obstructing the Trump agenda, Leftwing websites have offered up a barrage of anti white hate articles.
Think about the significance of that. These animals WANTED their friends to see what they were doing and assumed they’d react positively to it. They thought that because this kid was white and they talked about Donald Trump a little bit, people they knew would be okay with what they did.
This attitude does not come out of nowhere; it comes out of a Faustian bargain that liberals have made on race. If you are a white liberal, you call people whom you don’t like racist. This protects you from the charge because if you’re calling someone else a racist, how can you actually be a racist? Then you imply that, “If you join us in calling everyone who opposes our plans racist, you will also be protected from being called racist.”
From there, liberals turn up the heat. They encourage groups like Black Lives Matter and obsess over people who get shot while doing stupid and dangerous things around the police even though more whites than blacks are shot by the cops. They claim that common sense measures like having ID at the polls are the equivalent of “voter suppression.” They promote and encourage “bigoteers” like Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Melissa Harris-Perry, Deray Mckesson, Shaun King and Michael Eric-Dyson among many others. Their entire careers are predicated on coming up with new and exciting ways to accuse people Democrats don’t like of being racist. Then there’s “white privilege” which is really a generalized and dumb way of attacking people for being the wrong color.
There it is. The Left is using black people to advance their agenda, which of course is an agenda of white people. By constantly picking at the wound, igniting the flame of black resentment, and than pouring gasoline on the fire, the Left is exploiting black people to do their own bidding. The fact that some people, like Van Jones seem to profit from this is all the more irksome.

Truth be told, this is why a black conservative like Clarence Thomas had to be 'borked' at his confirmation hearings. The existence of a conservative black Justice delivering rulings from the bench of the Supreme Court was just too much for the Left to stand.  Fortunately for conservatives, Thomas did not bend under a ruthless attack, and today sits on the Supreme Court.

Meanwhile the Left plays with fire and depends on the goodness of the American people to keep it from becoming a holocaust. While I don't believe that any of them actually cares a whit about blacks or their plight, which in some cases is desperate, they wouldn't play these games if they thought they might actually ignite a race war that would end in their own deaths. Fortunately for them, only a small percentage of the population either black, white, or brown, is racists. Only a small percentage of the population is homophobic.  And what they
 call Islamaphobia is simply recognizing reality.

For this reason, all good people should be armed.  Those who are not are depending on the kindness of strangers.  Truth be told, such kindness may be in short supply when needed.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

National Reciprocity Introduced

Katie Pavlich points out that it was a North Carolina Representative, Richard Hudson who introduced the National Reciprocity bill into the House.  You can read Ms. Pavlich's post at Townhall, entitled NRA Backs Newly Introduced National Concealed Carry Reciprocity Bill  Pavlich quotes Mr. Hudson:
“Our Second Amendment right doesn’t disappear when we cross state lines, and this legislation guarantees that. The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 is a common sense solution to a problem too many Americans face. It will provide law-abiding citizens the right to conceal carry and travel freely between states without worrying about conflicting state codes or onerous civil suits," Hudson released in a statement. "As a member of President-elect Trump’s Second Amendment Coalition, I look forward to working with my colleagues and the administration to get this legislation across the finish line."
The National Rifle Association is throwing its support behind the legislation.
Just so.

Then there is this take, from Leesa K. Donner over at the American Thinker entitled Donald Trump and the Gun Law Revolution. Ms. Donner writes from the perspective of someone coming out of the American gun culture:
The problem with current concealed carry laws is this: concealed carry gun restrictions are so muddled and baffling that they have citizens wondering whether they can even go from county to county within their states with their firearms for fear that they are violating one law or another.
Case in point: Most of my youth was spent inside gun clubs around western Pennsylvania, where firearm safety was indoctrinated in us with every type of firearm available – from a Colt .45 to a .357 Magnum. By age fifteen, I was entirely comfortable with pistols and by sixteen a .20-gauge shotgun. Having spent a lot of time on the firing range, I decided that a concealed carry permit was in order when my husband ran for public office in 2011. There are a lot of crazies out there, and one never knows.
Living in liberal Fairfax County, Virginia meant filling out and then filing a half-inch sheaf of paperwork along with a personal trip to the county courthouse. Finally, months later, my permit arrived. Whew!
But because we reside in the D.C. Metro area, the permit served only to complicate things. Could I take my firearm the twenty-minute drive into the District of Columbia? What about when I traveled fifteen minutes in the other direction into Bethesda, Maryland, where we worship and belong to a club? If you know anything at all about D.C. and Maryland, you know that those are two places where you most certainly do not want to get caught with a gun unless you want to find out what's on the menu at the county lock-up. The constant confusion about what was allowed where ultimately proved to be a fundamental impediment to my right to carry.
I can attest to the the problems she faces as a resident of Fairfax County, Virginia. I lived there for 20 years, and worked in downtown Washington, DC. Crossing into Maryland is like crossing into a foreign country. With license plate readers now, it is possible for anyone with a concealed carry permit from a different State or Commonwealth to become the target of over zealous police. I just didn't go to Maryland unless I absolutely had to.  Even if you left your gun at home, they can and will sometimes detain you for hours for just crossing into the State.

National Reciprocity, or making gun permits as regular as drivers licenses is a logical next step.  I hope it passes.  Meanwhile, don't get too comfortable.  Our next step is Constitutional Carry for everyone..0

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Teaching Boys to be Men

David French today had an interesting article in the National Review on the war on boys and men being waged by the radical feminists entitled Dear Feminists, 'Male Vulnerability' Isn't a Virtue. French notes that boys will be boys, because boys are hard wired to be more aggressive, more energetic, more prone to risky behavior than are girls. It is just biology.

So, the great task before the parent of a boy, and particularly the father of a boy, is to channel boyish behaviors in such a way as to produce a purposeful man.  Let's face it, left to their own devises, and without any correction, boyish culture results in Lord of the Flies.

Having gone through adulthood in the era of Gloria Steinem, and having now watched both my grand daughter and grandson growing up, I can attest that the boy came out different, from the start. He was a boy, period. He still is, because my daughter does not buy off on the nonsense of the feminists. French writes:
Indeed, traditional concepts of masculinity, which asked men to cultivate physical and mental toughness, to assume leadership roles in the home, in business, and on the battlefield, and to become guardians and protectors, became the “trap” or “man box,” to quote the University of Richmond’s ridiculous “authentic masculinities” site. The most destructive words a boy can hear? “Be a man,” at least according to the mandatory freshman orientation at Gettysburg College.
But here’s the problem — vulnerability isn’t a virtue. It’s a morally neutral characteristic at best and a vice at worst. Yes, some men are more naturally sensitive than others, but we now ask — no, beg — men to indulge their emotions, as if the antidote to awful male aggression is a good cry.
There are good reasons why generations of fathers have taught their sons to “man up,” and it’s not because young boys are blank canvases on which the patriarchy can paint its oppression. It’s because men in general have essential natures that are different from women. We tend to be more aggressive, more energetic, and less nurturing than women, and the fundamental challenge of raising most boys is in channeling that nature in productive ways, not in denying or trying to eradicate its existence. In other words, we need to make men more purposeful, not more vulnerable.
A single mother who happens to grow up among boys may be able to deliver the message, but will be unable to demonstrate it. This why every family needs a father and a mother, Neither are dispensable. Children need both. The role of the mother is fairly well defined, but the father's role has become muddied. The father needs to be not just the main bread winner, but also the source of protection of his brood, and the transferer of the traditional male values. I would count in that list of things all boys should learn, in no particular order, to sharpen a knife, to correctly wield tools, to tie a tie, to respect women and to value family and friends, to polish shoes and mend clothing, and a hundred other things that a father needs to teach his son. But most of all, a father teaches his son, by his actions, how to be a man.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Can the Left Deliver Us from Rock?

Kevin Williamson penned a blog post over at the National Review "Corner," which is their version of a blog spot, entitled The media's dishonest reporting on firearms. We in the gun rights movement have been complaining about this for years. The media generally imbues the discussion of firearms with loaded language rather than simply reporting the facts.  Indeed, the facts are often clouded by garish descriptions of the weapon used.  Instead, the focus should be on the criminal who chose to wield whatever weapon to kill someone. It is the criminal mind with evil intent that is the problem.

The reason journalists report firearms this way is partially out of ignorance. Most of the press has no idea, indeed has never fired a gun, doesn't know the first thing about them, and assumes what you see in movies is the real thing. But of course no one is going to make a movie that shows the real thing; nobody would come to watch it. It is too prosaic. In the movies, one shot from a 9mm round sends people flying backwards. In reality, they barely move. Handgun rounds are simply not that powerful, and most people survive a handgun round unless it is delivered to someplace like the central nervous system, or something that will bleed out quickly like the heart or the kidney. In a real gun fight, only the coolest of characters (which again, most people are not) is capable of consistently delivering such shots.

Another way to think about hand gun power is to realize that the weapons recoils backward as much as it pushes the bullet forward.  The more powerful the round, the harder it is to control.  Think of it like this: the bang goes both ways.  If a handgun round could push someone down, it would also push the shooter off his feet.

The other reason journalists report firearms the way they do is because of agenda advocacy.  Being of the Left, as most journalists are, and the Left's agenda is to eliminate private possession of guns to enable them to more easily rule us, the journalists see their job as to make guns a scary and as illegitimate as possible.  Thus the Bushmaster becomes a high powered automatic bullet hose, possibly capable of aiming itself.  In reality the Bushmaster is a relatively low powered (though more powerful than a handgun) semiautomatic that produces one shot for each pull of the trigger.  By comparison, the old M1 Garand, firing 30-06 rounds was far more powerful.  But fewer people can effectively handle the 30-06, whereas many more can handle the lighter recoil from a .223 round.

The Left also doesn't want, for reasons I have yet to figure out, to admit that the criminal mind with evil intent is the problem.  It seems that somewhere in the mists of time the idea has become rigidly fixed in the Leftist ideology that man is good, but he is led astray by evil objects.  In reality, men are not good, while it is inanimate objects that are neutral, neither good nor bad.  Guns are such inanimate objects.  They are neither bad nor good.  The user determines whether they will be used for good or evil.

Cain's sacrifice was rejected by God, while Able's was accepted.  Rather than asking God why his sacrifice was rejected, and what he could do to please God instead, he took his anger out on Able.  He grabbed an inanimate object, a rock, and smashed Able's head in.  So it began.  Today's guns are just more sophisticated rocks.  Can the Left deliver us from rocks?
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Sunday, January 1, 2017

Happy New Year! And good riddance to the old


It is January 1, 2017, and good riddance to what may have been one of the worst years in recent memory.  Glenn Fairman pens a peace today over at the American Thinker entitled Can You Hear It?. Hear what, exactly? The sound of returning muscularity, and masculinity to American shores. The sound of returning liberty to our shores. That sound. Can you hear it?
And lord, what a bullet America dodged! We have been given an opportunity to strengthen what yet remains, and to bottle up the secularists who would scrub the public square clean of any hope for a moral-political regeneration. Just think: The libs had control of every institutionalized avenue of power, and still they lost! And if you don’t think this is a miracle, then you are not seeing things clearly. In hating the Constitution and its understanding of liberty, should we then be surprised that Progressives despise our miracle -- just as they do we who take refuge in it?
...snip...
Having slain the personal for the sake of the political, have they not wrung the charm from life by reviling the precious and common virtues that once moved good men to good deeds? Having traded grace and humility for the curse of perpetual dissatisfaction, have they not sacrificed themselves to a distant and unloving idol -- becoming as cold and loveless as their egalitarian god while toiling incessantly to spin affluence into straw? Wracked with guilt and self-loathing because they were heirs to giants, have they not become the most miserable souls on the face of the earth for disdaining their fathers’ house, and thus warranting the curse?
Fairman has a unique style, one long absent from our writing. We, who believe in, indeed have faith in, the God of Creation, who even before he created the Universe, had us in mind, and already had set his plan for our salvation in motion, have longed for such writing. For we can not fully express ourselves without reference to our God, and our faith in his plan for us. While Fairman talks of "patriotic ardor," the reader must understand that it is patriotism in its proper place, under God, and not displacing the duties we owe our families, our communities, and our State.
Listen: for a while it could not be heard or felt, but eventually it began singing through the wires of our shared unspoken desire -- a reemergence of a mature patriotic ardor -- a welling up of love for resurgent liberties. Awakened from the nightmare, we found that noble principles had not perished in our exile. A manly fire is now burning fiercely and it will soon be unstoppable. If we allow it, its spirit will cleanse the land of leaders who had broken faith, and made common cause with the lowest among us. Let their names be stricken: men tentative in their masculine virtues and unwavering in their resolve to dishonor the patrimony of America.
Fairman's message is a happy one. We have dodged a huge bullet, for which we should thank Providence. No one else could have done
this for us. Go to church today, and pray. Have a happy New Year, be safe, but gird yourself for battle in the coming year.

Edit:  To my many readers in Canada, and overseas, we hope to become again the America that leads the world by example.  We hope to become again the America that values its allies, while holding its enemies at arms length.  The America that goes to war only reluctantly, and when all other means for peace have been tried, but when it does goes with overwhelming force.