Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Harvard Law Journal Concludes Unborn Babies Have Constitutional Rights

So. it takes a Law Journal article from a prestigious university to discover what most of us unschooled types already knew: Harvard Law Journal Concludes Unborn Babies Have Constitutional Rights. Maybe there is something to Jeff Foxworthy's question, "Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?"

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

The Absurdity of "Cultural Appopriation

Back in August of 2015 the Washington Pest,,,er,,,Post ran a story about cultural appropriation which claimed that it was once a appropriate critique but it has now run amok.  One Cathy Young wrote the piece entitled To the New Culture Cops, Everything Is Approriation. Except for actual cultural theft, the taking of artifacts that belong to a culture and rightly should be in their museums, the idea of "cultural appropriation" is absurd. I would point out, however, that when some of these artifacts were taken, it was because the culture that produced them no longer could guard them as they should, and so it is appropriate when they again can, to return them. But for the rest of it, the only word I can muster is balderdash.

Frankly, I am more than happy to put my culture up against anyone.  If someone claims that a white person is wearing corn rows for instance, I would counter with something like "Fine, I'll take them out.  When will you turn off the electricity?  Or start walking. because automobiles are a European invention?"  I could go on and on, but those would be enough to start.

The problem, of course, is that students today do not know history as the should, and so they are easy marks for the race hustlers and assorted charlatans that compose the so called academics ..."in the late 1970s and 1980s as part of the scholarly critique of colonialism. By the mid-1990s, it had gained a solid place in academic discourse, particularly in the field of sociology." Men (and I shouldn't have to add Women, but I do) have been learning from other men, and "borrowing" their ideas since men have been men.

Cattle is thought to have first been domesticated in the Near East and also in the Indus Valley from wild Aurochs some 10,000 years ago. Should only the peoples who first domesticated them be allowed to breed and own cattle? More recently, the Chinese invented gun powder, but the idea for using it to power a projectile at another person or animal came from multiple sources in the Middle East and Europe.  Who then can claim to be the only culture to use the firearm?  Most things will turn out to have many fathers and mothers, and claims of cultural appropriation can rightly be made against all sides.  Henry Ford is credited with the idea of the assembly line.  Should only Ford be allowed to use it, and all other manufacturers have to build there automobiles one at a time by hand?  The world would be poorer if that were the case.

If one takes the whole of a culture, and not just cherry pick those things that make the case of appropriation, one begins to see that we have been borrowing...appropriating, if you will...since time immemorial.  The things we have borrowed have often been put to new uses, and have been so fused into our own way of life, that these things have become indistinguishable as cultural borrowings.  Like most things the SJW get wrong, the idea of cultural appropriation is an absurd waste of time and energy designed to keep you upset and allow them to tell you what to think and to do.

Monday, May 29, 2017

For Concealed Carriers, Long Range Shooting Is A Valuable Skill to Have

I have been told many times at the range that there is no reason to practice longer shots than the proverbial 7 yards.  The reason?  If you have to shoot more than 7 yards, you can run, seek cover, or perform some other approach to protecting yourself.  Seems true.  But then one hears of handgun shots at further distances that were necessary to hut down a bad guy who just wouldn't quit.  Indeed, Sam Hoober has an article at the Daily Caller that explains why Why You Should Practice Long Range Handgun Shooting. Hoober is also a Contributing Editor for Alien Gear Holsters.

Hoober first makes the point that most of your shooting practice should be short range, flash sighted or point shooting to targets at as little as 3 feet, and that practicing your draw is vitally important as well. But, and here's the kicker, the long range handgun shot is not a zero percent affair. It represents a small, but not zero percentage of shots taken in self defense, or defense of another.  Naturally, no one who carries wants to shoot another human being, but we are a predatory species, and some of us forget that we are not supposed to prey on each other.

Hoober provides examples from history including Wild Bill Hickock's famous shot at 75 yards against Davis Tutt. But there are less notorious individuals mentioned as well who had to make long range shots against various attackers. Long range shooting is a valuable skill to have in your tool box.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

How Much American Blood Will Liberal Courts Have on Their Hands?

Andrew McCarthy has an article over at the National Review Online today that spells out what the courts are attempting to do with regard to Trump's Executive Order (EO) on travel from six Muslim majority nations, and the ultimate goal of Sharia Supremacists.  The article can be found at How Sharia Supremacism and Judicial Imperialism Threaten National Security. McCarthy argues that Trump's focus on an EO as opposed to getting on with the vetting process to determine if a person is a Sharia Supremacist is both short sighted and wrong headed. Speaking about the 4th Circuit's recent ruling in the case:
Three judges filed compelling dissents that will prove quite useful when, as Trump promises, the case proceeds to the Supreme Court. The continuation of the litigation is an unfortunate outcome, even if conservatives and other rule-of-law types, buoyed by Justice Neil Gorsuch’s appointment, may be right that the EO has a better shot in the High Court.
That’s because the EO doesn’t matter. You may not have noticed, but sharia supremacism has already won, regardless of what the Supreme Court does.
See, the EO was never an end in and of itself. It is a means — a fatally flawed one — to a vital end. That end is a vetting system that enables our security services to distinguish pro-Western Muslims from sharia supremacists. That’s the goal. The EO was conceived as a temporary pause while the vetting system took shape.
The problem with Islam has always been that it is a political theory hiding inside of, and disguised as, a religion. Both Christians and Jews hold that to be successful (as they define success) one must surrender one's will to God's will. One must use one's will in the furtherance of God's objectives. We learn about God's objectives by reading sacred Scripture. To the extent that Islam requires the same thing, Christians have no problem. However, their Scripture is not the same as our Scripture. Our Scripture describes a God who loves us and all creation, while theirs describes a god who hates most of his creation, but there is no explanation why that is. He apparently hates dogs, pigs, Jews, Christians, Pagans, Shinto, Hindus, and on and on in a litany of hatred that causes a thinking man to suspect that the two different texts were inspired by to different beings. Furthermore, the god of Islam demands respect and obedience. To enforce these things, there is Sharia. Sharia makes the Pilgrims look like pikers. The Pilgrims sailing to America and setting up a theocracy seem in light of Sharia like liberal hippies.
There is a single battle that must be won. American culture must be convinced that Islam, while it has plenty of diversity, has a mainstream strain — sharia supremacism — that is not a religion but a totalitarian political ideology hiding under a religious veneer.
Intellectually, this should not be a difficult thing to do. Sharia supremacism does not accept the separation of religion from political life (which is why it is lethally hostile to reform Muslims). It requires the imposition of classical, ancient sharia law, which crushes individual liberty (particularly freedom — of conscience, of speech, and in economic affairs). It systematically discriminates against women and non-Muslims. It is cruel in its enforcement. It endorses violent jihad to settle political disputes (since such disputes boil down to whether sharia is being undermined — a capital offense).
Nevertheless, what should be easy to establish intellectually is difficult as a practical matter. Sharia supremacists and their progressive allies maintain that Islam may not be parsed into different strains. For legal purposes, they insist it is a monolith that is protected by religious-liberty principles — notwithstanding that a) progressives are generally hostile to religious liberty and b) sharia supremacists themselves would destroy religious liberty. Perversely, then, they argue that the First Amendment is offended by national-security measures against anti-American radicals who would, given the chance, deep-six the First Amendment in favor of sharia.
It is essential to win this debate over the political nature of sharia supremacism. Our law has a long constitutional tradition, rooted in the natural and international law of self-defense, of excluding aliens on the basis of radical, anti-American political ideology. Thus, if sharia supremacism is deemed a political ideology, we can keep out alien adherents of a cause that both inspires the terrorists of today and, wherever it is allowed to take root, produces the terrorists of tomorrow.
And so we see that these judges are out of touch with the American people. They do not live in what Rush Limbaugh might call "Realville."
And the judges’ values tend not to be your values. You value American national security. They value a new, aggressive, and indiscriminate protection of religion — provided that the religion is Islam. Your value is a trifle. Their value is transformed into a right of Muslim immigration, derived from the new, judicially manufactured right of America-based Muslims not to have their self-esteem bruised.
Sharia supremacism and judicial imperialism: a combination that is breaking our will in a way no previous challengers ever could.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Ben Carson Speaks Truth to Power. New York Times Covers Their Ears

In another blog post at the American Thinker, Thomas Lifson takes on the difference between not having stuff, and poverty. I can personally witness the truth of what he and Dr. Ben Carson are saying in this post, entitled Intense Backlash Proves the Truth of Ben Carson: Poverty Is a State of Mind. A man, or woman, is not defeated until he or she surrenders, and a person is not poor unless he believes himself to be poor. Poor is not a lack of stuff, but a lack of vision, of ambition, of the belief that he is down and the system is rigged against him.

Carson is also right in this: that if the wealth of this country could somehow be spread such that everyone got an even split of it, in ten years those who have it now would have it again. Those without would be without again.

The Democrat approach, which is increasingly the Republican approach as well, was to redistribute money to the poor, in the belief that giving them stuff would make them better off.  But if President Johnson (Democrat) had wished to wage a real War on Poverty, he would have undertaken a program to change the spirit of the poor.  It is only by a spiritual change in a man that he can become more than he is.  Once a person realizes that he may not have much, but he has enough, and begins to look for ways to help others, he is already middle class.

Trump Joins the Establishment?

So, President Trump is now doubling the number of refugees allowed to enter the United States according to an American Thinker blog post by Ed Straker today at Trump Quietly Doubling Number Of Refugees Entering US

Questions for discussion:
1) Is admitting refugees from unvettable countries part of "Putting America First?"
2) If a refugee whom Trump admits to the U.S. later kills some Americans, will Trump supporters say it could have been worse because at least Hillary Clinton wasn't the one to admit them?
3) If Trump truly believes in security for our nation, can you think of any rational reason why he is doing thins?
Good questions all. Discuss among yourselves along with this: Does Trump think this bow to the establishment will make them like him better?

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Gorsuch First Vote Does Not Disappoint

Daniel Greenfield, aka Sultan Knish, has written an excellent piece on the first vote of Neil Gorsuch on the Supreme Court.  The case involved a serial killer and rapist who was scheduled to die by execution in Arkansas.  However, the ACLU decided to take up the case of this monster, again, in hopes of keeping him alive.  Apparently the stupidity defense did not work with Gorsuch. You can find Greenfield's excellent article at the Politichicks Blog in an article entitled Good VS Evil In The Supreme Court.  Greenfield:

The left loved Ledell Lee as it loves all its monsters. The ACLU and Innocence Project filing tenderly dwells on Lee’s victimhood. We are told that he repeated eight grade and his mother smoked when she was pregnant. But despite Lee’s supposed retardation, he was cunning enough to scout houses, contrive a pretext for finding out if women were home alone and then raping and murdering them. Despite his time in special education, he managed to conduct a rape and murder spree for three years.
The pro-crime lobby would have us believe that Ledell Lee is smart enough to rape and kill, but too stupid to die.
The stupidity defense has become the new insanity defense. Every killer on death row is suddenly diagnosed with lead poisoning, fetal alcohol syndrome and mental retardation. Once you hear an ACLU lawyer argue that his murderer is too stupid to die, you know that he’s guilty as hell.
Greenfield goes on to make the point that this was a major reason we needed him on the Supreme Court, and thus was a major, perhaps primary reason for voting for Trump:
The case of Ledell Lee showed us again what was at stake in the Gorsuch battle. Legal debates sometimes seem abstract. And yet they are as real as a teenage girl being dragged out of her sister’s home into the woods, a woman being strangled behind a school and a housewife being beaten to death with the tool that her husband gave her to protect her.
The left is a pro-crime lobby. Behind the empty theater of its sham feminism and pink rallies, it is on the side of the rapists and the murderers. It is on the side of Ledell Lee and all the other monsters like him.
“If the six of you had been in that conversation, you would have come away not saying, oh these are some thugs or superpredators that I can’t relate to,” Obama smugly boasted. The left prides itself on relating to “superpredators”. It empathizes with Ledell Lee and not his victims.
That’s what Obama’s justices did. That’s what anyone else he appointed would have done.
Gorsuch’s successful appointment to the Supreme Court won justice for the women whom Ledell Lee raped and murdered. Over the objections of the pro-crime Sotomayor, Kagan, Ginsburg and Breyer.
If Trump gets another shot at appointing a Supreme Court Justice, and it will change the balance of the Court, expect all hell to break loose. The Left plays for keeps.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Why Carry Concealed

Kevin Mickalowski, editor of Concealed Carry Magazine, has the scoop on why we should be carrying concealed at Firearm Retention Starts With Concealment.

 I understand the argument that people need to see others they respect carrying a gun in order to desensitize them to the gun culture. But, for the actual purpose of carrying a gun, self defense, I do not see desensitizing others being more important than avoiding a fight I do not have to get into.  Everyone is ultimately responsible for his or her own life, save those children who do not have the strength or the wits yet to know what to do.  It is for them, I carry, not to protect the general public.  While, sure, the fact that a place may have a concealed carrier is no doubt a factor in making a criminal attack less likely, protecting others than myself and my loved ones is not my job.

Therefore, I have always advocated for concealed carry.  Mickalowski makes the arguments why it is the best way.  I agree with him.  It is nobody's business if I am carrying or not, including, I might add, the State.  I have a right to choose the most efficient tools at my disposal, to defend myself and my loved ones.  So I am in favor of what is known as Constitutional Carry, where your license to carry a weapon, concealed or otherwise, is the Second Amendment.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

The Progressive Monoculture. Diversity for me, but not for thee.

For those who may like my amateur radio posts, there will be more coming.  Meanwhile, let me direct you to Fay Voshell's excellent post at the American Thinker today entitled The Left's Progressive Pilgrimage, in which she makes the point that the Left in America is attempting to create a monoculture of ideas that do not allow any diversity at all. Everything that goes against the Leftist's ideal must be purged. It reminds me of the lawns of many of the leftists I know, where only one type of grass, a grass that doesn't grow here naturally, is allowed to remain.
Some may recall St. Andrew Cuomo, who in a secular interpretation of St. Patricks’ expulsion of snakes from Ireland, attempted an exorcism of people who were pro-life and pro-gun from the sacred soil of New York. If he had been able to put his threat into action as did kings of old, Cuomo, who considers himself Catholic even though he is almost violently pro-abortion, may have imitated Louis XIV’s revocation of the Edict of Nantes, effectively sentencing conservative and religious New Yorkers to exile or worse.
At the same time the newly established holy sites of progressivism are being promoted with an assiduity similar to priests’ promotion of the Christian ceremony of the stations of the cross, progressives continue their campaign to rid the South of anti-progressive graven images.
All this would be worthy of comment for sure, but Voshell raises the specter of eventual banishment and exile, if we are lucky, or worse, death and destruction of Christian and Jewish populations, since these must be seen as weeds in the progressive monoculture. It has always been the same, whether in the Soviet Union, or Communist China, in Pol Pot's Cambodia, or in Communist Cuba. It is also true of ISIS, where Christian populations have been decimated after destruction of monasteries and church buildings.

Like the last Crusades, which were a defense against Islamic invasion, not as the Islamists claim, Christian aggression, we may have to become again the Church Militant, quite literally, if we are to pass on His teachings.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

John Lott hits a home run

Real Clear Policy has an article by John Lott dated May 3, 2017 in which Mr. Lott makes the case that murder isn't a nationwide problem  Instead, it tends to be concentrated in a few very urban, and very dangerous places in the United States.  You can read Mr. Lott's article here.

The point of the article, and the point of John Lott's body of work has been that the problem is not guns, but rather the bad intents of some people.  The existence of guns does not in any way change people with bad intentions.  They would just as easily use knives, fire place pokers, crow bars, or indeed any tool they could to inflict harm on their fellow human beings and attempt to intimidate and humiliate them for power and profit.  Guns just make the task easier.  But guns also make the task of self defense easier for the citizen that would otherwise be preyed upon.

Tellingly, the national press, who advocate for gun control tend to live in these large urban areas, and tend to see the rest of the country as being like the areas in which they live.  Thus, while thinking of themselves as open minded citizens of the world, they are in fact more parochial that the people living in the much denigrated fly over country.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

More Adventures in Amateur Radio

Ham radio is interesting in that you can continuously tune a ham radio as opposed to channelized tuning on your typical AM/FM radios.  You can tune as closely as 1 Hertz at a time if you want.  A couple of the receive functions deliberately shift the received signal a few Hertz from the the transmit frequency for better reading of the signal.

Ham radio also has a number of different modes on which you can both receive and transmit within the legal limits allowed by the Federal Communications Commission.  Of course there are the usual Amplitude Modulation and Frequency Modulation (AM and FM).  But there is also Single Side-band Suppressed Carrier (SSB).   Continuous Wave (CW) uses Morse Code to transmit and receive information using very small band widths of as little as 500 Hz.  There is Radio Teletype, and a variety of digital modes. each seemingly the flavor of the month, though PACTOR and PSK31 have lasted.

Most voice is carried on what is known as SSB, where either the upper side-band, of the lower side-band is the only thing transmitted.  SSB is related to AM, in that the first SSB signals were generated as AM signals and then one of the side-bands and the carrier were filtered out.  An AM signal occupies as much as 6 KHz of bandwidth.  In the crowded ham bands, that is a lot of space.  Single Side-Band on the other hand occupies 2,4 KHz of space.  But for simplicity we can round that up to 3.0 KHz of bandwidth.  So, for any band width of the radio spectrum, you could have two SSB conversations going at the same time, or one AM conversation.

Besides occupying less bandwidth, the SSB transmissions uses the power available more efficiently.  The carrier frequency of an AM signal occupies as much as half of  the power consumed, but carries no information.  Only the two side-bands, each a mirror image of the other, carry useful information.  So, if one of the side bands and the carrier can be filtered out, the remaining side-band can carry the full power of output final amplifier of the transmitter.  If what you are trying to do is send a signal as far as it can go, with as much power as you can muster and have it carry the information as efficiently as possible, SSB or CW are your traditional modes.  The various digital modes require additional equipment,  But for basic operation at power levels of, say, 100 watts (yes, the power consumed by a single incandescent light bulb) CW and SSB are your workhorse modes.

Of course my transceiver, the Yaesu FT-450D has built in CW, SSB (LSB and USB) AM and FM modes. I am familiar with FM from my days as a Technician, and indeed I still enjoy getting on the FM repeaters and having a good "ragchew" with a new friend. FM is naturally quiet. But FM occupies 15 KHz, and so is confined to the 10m, 6m, 2m and above bands. Most of my contacts have been using either USB or LBS. But the AM world is also interesting. AM occupies little slices of each of the bands. Most activity on 80 meters, for instance. is in the vicinity of 3.885 MHz, or as the AMers call it, 3885 kilo cycles (kc). On the old tube radios that I remember, the bands were denoted in kc. It was not until I was in high school that the term Hertz replaced cycles referring to the frequency of waves. And while SSB may be transmitted at 100 watts, you have to turn down the power of an AM signal to perhaps 20 to 25 watts. But what you hear sounds more natural, less tinny, if you will. It sounds mellower. Most AMers use reconditioned "boat anchors," or old transmitters and receivers built in the 1930s through the 1950s. Names like Hallicrafters, National, Collins, and Heathkit, among others occupy the world of the AMers.  There is a different quality to audio that comes out of tubes and audio that comes out of solid state.  It is evocative of a slower paced time and it tends to be more local, though on 20 meters you can have world wide contacts.

As an interesting side note, because AM takes up 6 kc, you need to tune to 3 kc away from a band edge.  So, if your band edge is 4.000MHz, you need to tune 3 Kc down, or 3.997 MHz.  and on the other end, if the band edge is say at 3.800 MHz, you need to tune up 3, or 3.803 MHz.  For SSB, on the 80 meters band, typical custom calls for using the LSB.  So, again for the lower edge, you would tune up 3, or to 3.803 MHZ.  But you could tune all the way to the 4.000 MHz band edge because only the lower side band is transmitted.  The frequency you tune to is not the frequency of the side band, but the original, now suppressed carrier.  So, SSB also gives you 3 extra KHz of band width to play with.

If you can, get with a ham friend some time and listen to AM on the air, as well as SSB, and see if you don't notice the difference.