Friday, June 23, 2017

An Important Article from Daniel Greenfield

Daniel Greenfield has a article at Frontpage Mag entitled The Civil War is Here. Read the whole thing, please.

Read it?  You really need to.  Please.

So, ok.  I have been following the antics of the Left since, oh, say, 1968.  I knew some of the people involved in the Kent State riots.  I knew some of the people peripherally involved with the Weather Underground, or at least who wanted to be.  I was not in Chicago for the Democrat Party convention, but I watched it on television.  These people have always put a chill down my spine.  Greenfield knows whereof he speaks here.
After losing Congress, the left consolidated its authority in the White House. After losing the White House, the left shifted its center of authority to Federal judges and unelected government officials. Each defeat led the radicalized Democrats to relocate from more democratic to less democratic institutions.
This isn’t just hypocrisy. That’s a common political sin. Hypocrites maneuver within the system. The left has no allegiance to the system. It accepts no laws other than those dictated by its ideology.
Democrats have become radicalized by the left. This doesn’t just mean that they pursue all sorts of bad policies. It means that their first and foremost allegiance is to an ideology, not the Constitution, not our country or our system of government. All of those are only to be used as vehicles for their ideology.
That’s why compromise has become impossible.
When compromise, real give and take, not just we give they take, becomes impossible, when arguments no longer persuade, when even moderates on their side are ignored or worse, you don't leave much room for anything else.


The left has made it clear that it will not accept the lawful authority of our system of government. It will not accept the outcome of elections. It will not accept these things because they are at odds with its ideology and because they represent the will of large portions of the country whom they despise.
The question is what comes next.
Europe is on the verge of a civil war over ostensibly religion, but really it is over who will rule. America has imported this foreign philosophy, this cancer, and has allowed it to grow inside its body politic until we find ourselves facing the same thing. We can be of no use to anybody else if we are fighting ourselves. Frankly, I pray, and I weep, not for myself, for my days are nearly over, but for my grand children.

Keep your powder dry!

The Speech Police Strike Again

David French writes approvingly today at the National Review Online, of an 8-0 lose at the Supreme Court for a Patent and Trademark Office refusal to grant a trademark to a band named the Slants. French's article can be found at Anti Free Speech Radicals Never Give Up. French:
But not even a ruling joined by Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan, and Sonia Sotomayor can persuade determined, far-left censors, and just as sure as night follows day, Laura Beth Nielsen, a research professor for the American Bar Foundation, took to the pages of the Los Angeles Times to make the case for viewpoint discrimination. I’ve seen enough pieces like this to recognize the type. They always begin with misleading statements of the law, declarations that free-speech protections aren’t absolute, and then move to the core pitch — in this case, that the state should regulate hate speech because it’s emotionally and physically harmful:
"In fact, empirical data suggest that frequent verbal harassment can lead to various negative consequences. Racist hate speech has been linked to cigarette smoking, high blood pressure, anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, and requires complex coping strategies. Exposure to racial slurs also diminishes academic performance. Women subjected to sexualized speech may develop a phenomenon of “self-objectification,” which is associated with eating disorders."
Really? One wonders what data she is citing, and how they managed to link "racist hate speech" to these syndromes which have other causes and therefore need to have the confounding causes neutralized in the analysis. Could not all of these issues be related to lifestyle choices that are in fact the actual cause?

Enough! Mr. French hints at the true issue at hand in his closing argument:
To paraphrase Alan Charles Kors, co-founder of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, no class of Americans is too weak to live with freedom. Rather than indulging weakness and fear, activists left and right would do well to cultivate emotional strength and moral courage. The marketplace of ideas demands no less.
The radicals don't want people to grow up. Instead, they want to infantilize everyone so that their juvenile arguments actually make sense. In a world of blind people, the one eyed man is king. In truth, as adults we learn that we can not control others. Calling someone the a name does not make them so. Contrary to the ancient belief, words are not some form a magic.  You can call me a frog all day long, and I will still not croak, hop, or be able to send out my tongue to catch flies.  We learn as adults that what others think of us is not critical; rather it is what we think of ourselves that matters. We cannot, remember, control others. We can only control our own reactions.

The notion that we can only control ourselves has implications for other areas of life.  For example, if you believe that my gun, in my holster, threatens you, then you need to check your motives.  My gun in my holster is only a threat if you have evil intentions towards me.  Yet this sort of argument is often used by people trying to limit where I can carry my gun.  Well, they say, we can't have guns in the store with children.  Think of the threat of a gun to the children?  Such people never think that maybe my gun is there to protect their children.   They need to check their motives, because on this, mine are pure.

John Lotts research is meticulous and points to the notion that the more guns in an area, the less crime. I say "theory" because it can never be proven completely.  Still, John Lott has only reported what he has found after careful statistical analysis on a county by county basis.  Yet he has been demonized by the very people who are claiming that speech is violence.  Is there perhaps a double standard at work, as so often with left wing jihads?

My father had a saying that "Children should be seen and not heard."  Why?  Because children, having limited ability to reason, and no experience of life, advance callow arguments that often collapse in the face of reality.  The Supreme Court here was correct in rejecting these claims.  Rather people need to toughen up if they are going to face the world as it is, rather that as they think it should be.  Growing up means learning to face reality.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Maybe Conservative Principles Need Re-Evaluation

Today at Townhall.com, in an article entitled Spare Me the Principles Lecture. Kurt Schichter makes the point that if our principles become a suicide pact in which we are doomed to death and destruction by those who have no principles, maybe we should re-evaluate them.
First, the “If it’s wrong for them to do it to us, then it’s wrong if we do it to them” formulation is less a principle than a tired cliché. This minor disruption was a tactic; shouting was a tool. It is moral for the good guys – and we are the good guys – to use tactics and tools against an enemy that are immoral when they do it. It was immoral for the Nazis to bomb London; it was moral for us to bomb Nazis. Of course every tactic and tool is not acceptable, but the guys who stormed Omaha Beach did not “become what they were fighting” because they used the same tools and tactics as the enemy.
Second, this sort of performance art is so harmless that the cost/benefit calculus weighs in favor of tolerating such occasional inconveniences. That’s not to say we should not impose higher costs on them – we disapprove of the firing of people for what they say, but Kathy Griffin’s defenestration was a sacrifice worth making to demonstrate the costs of liberal misbehavior. This is crucial. They must pay a cost for establishing their new rules.
...snip...
Finally, if our principles are worth having, they are worth fighting for in a way that might conceivably lead to success. One of the folks telling me how wrong and unconservative I am for finding it amusing – a patriot, though wrong – also mentioned that he had been fighting for free speech on campus and in the culture for 20 years. Hmmm. I’ve been fighting for them for 30 years, ever since my dean at UCSD called me in to yell at me because I wrote that the student government was composed of leftist dweebs. Shouldn’t the fact that we have spent decades using the same tactics and losing indicate that maybe we ought to try something new?
Make no mistake that Trump was not my first choice, nor my second or third, for that matter. However, Trump was far superior to the woman Schlichter calls "Felonia von Pantsuit." He has done several things so far that are in line with movement conservatives' agenda. If conservatives felt the need to let Obama have his way, they why don't they also support letting Trump have his? Where is the full throated cheer for Trump?

Over at the Christian Mercenary, T. L. Davis writes:
Now, whether it is the media clamoring for Trump's assassination, or the leftists judges ruling unconstitutionally to deny Trump the power of the presidency, or the collectivists of both parties trying to challenge every action of the president and pursuing impeachment options, it is all designed simply to deny a legally elected president the power of the presidency. They don't mind if he holds the office, or lives in the White House, what they will not allow is for him to fulfill executive duties.
This is treason, but it is much more than that, it is the initial stages of a civil war, because if they think they are going to be able to run Trump out of town on a rail with no consequences they are sadly and destructively mistaken. These are actions being taken against the system, not just Trump. They have a narrow focus on a single man, but they forget that Trump has millions and millions of followers and even more that recognize this violation of civil society as treasonous and who will join with the Trumpsters, whether they ever agreed with him or not, because it is a very dangerous precedent that cannot be allowed to succeed.
Those whom we elect must be allowed to fulfill their duties, or there is no use in voting.
Of course that is the outcome Leftist elites most desire: that conservatives realize that there is no use in voting, stay home, and the Left can continue with it transformation of the country. The Left thinks that all the actual street fighting will be done by rent-a-mobs and union thugs.  But they may be sadly mistaken, for if it comes to that, they may find themselves to be targets as well.  Such is the effect of targeting Republican Congressmen, and then justifying that act.  Having sowed the wind, they may well reap the whirlwind.  Or, as T. L. Davis writes:


Take all of the legitimate means of change off the table and there remains only one possible solution: war.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

A Dangerous Justification

Today at Townhall.com, Allen West took MSNBC host Joy Reid to task for what he called a A Dangerous Justification. West, you will remember, was a Army Colonel who fought in Iraq, then ran for and held a Congressional seat. In terms of war, he knows whereof he speaks. West:
As I sat in the airport on Grand Cayman awaiting my flight back to Dallas, I began checking my news feeds and getting back up to speed. Sadly, I read of the dangerous justifications of the attempted assassination of Republican Members of Congress. The absurd and troubling assertion of one Joy Reid Sunday morning on her show on MSNBC should be cause for concern of all Americans. Ms. Reid offered her weak, boilerplate, insincere hopes for Rep. Scalise then went on to condemn the Republican Representative due to his “voting record”…and insinuate that there is some “moral responsibility” to take action against him for such.
Is this what we want in our Country? Do we want partisan commentators dangerously justifying the shooting of an elected representative because his policies are in opposition to theirs?
Our Constitution was designed, among other things, to deliver a system of politics which did NOT devolve into open warfare. For the most part, it has delivered on that objective. We have been able, for the most part, to resolve our conflicts without killing each other. The stability this has given us has been used to achieve immense prosperity not only to ourselves, but to the world as a whole. But now certain people believe that their causes justify any means necessary, including political murder.

We may disagree on what should be rights, and what should not. But the way the Left has proceeded is not the way contemplated by the Constitution.  The Constitutional way is to amend that document. The framers never believed that they, being fallible men, were writing the perfect document. Therefore they put in place means to peacefully amend it. Indeed, it has been amended 27 times. The problem for the Left is that they don't believe they can sell their version of a constitution to the American people. So:
Ms. Reid also advanced her thoughts that supporting the Second Amendment, an individual right in the Constitution, provides a dangerous justification to take violent action. Does Ms. Reid not believe, or even understand, that law abiding, legal gun owners have this constitutional right? I find it rather perplexing that Ms. Reid would say that same-sex marriage is the law of the land, but the Second Amendment is not. The 14th Amendment equal protection clause was used by five unelected Supreme Court judicial activists to construct a right, and since when does the SCOTUS have this as an enumerated power under our Constitution? The Second Amendment is an actual constitutional right, yet law abiding citizens appear to not have the same equal protection under the law. Therefore, in the world of Ms. Reid, my being a Board Member of the National Rifle Association, the Nation’s oldest civil rights organization, gives a dangerous justification for violence against me.
If Ms. Reid believes that political violence is justified, is she truly prepared for what will follow? Should she perhaps read some of Mike Vanderbough's blog posts? Journalists who incite violence will be properly the targets if violence follows. There is a thin line between inciting violence, and arguing for you preferred policies. Ms. Reid has, it seems, crossed that line. she, and others who wish to claim that Mr. Hodgkinson's actions were somehow justified need to do a lot of soul searching. Murder is never acceptable. The acceptable way is to vote him out of office. West again:
We are indeed diving into dangerous waters. When constitutional conservatives disagreed with President Barack Obama on policy they were disparagingly called racist. When black Attorney General Eric Holder had contempt charges voted against him in the House of Representatives it was called racist, regardless of the Operation Fast and Furious fiasco. When Hillary Clinton fails to win support, and the presidency, we are told it is because of sexism. When there are Americans who wish to not have an antithetical system of governance in our Country called Sharia law, leftists condemn them as Islamophobes.
What we are witnessing is the attempt to demean, denigrate, disparage, demonize, and now dehumanize any opposing viewpoints to progressive socialist ideology. This establishes a dangerous precedent and justification, of actions such as what was undertaken by Mr. Hodgkinson last week at the Republican baseball team practice. If the new mantra for the liberal progressive left, and their media accomplices, is to use the tools of coercion, intimidation, and violence in order to advance their ideals, and secure power, this is truly a dangerous avenue.
Indeed.

Monday, June 19, 2017

When They Say "By Any Means Necessary" They Mean "By Any Means Necessary"

There are two posts today on the same subject: if the Left doesn't stop raising the level of rhetoric and violence, what it gets will not be what it wants.  First up is Kurt Schlichter with a piece over at Townhall.com entitled If the Left Wins Their Soft Coup, Everyone Loses - But Mostly Them. While I know whereof Mr. Schlichter speaks from history and reading, Mr. Schlichter knows it first hand. Perhaps that is why he is so strident.
Now, that’s assuming Trump doesn’t fire Mueller, something he has every right to do under the Constitution - and should do based on this hack’s obvious corruption. The furor the media has threatened would follow in order to keep Trump from doing so will turn out to be yet another nothingburger. But if Trump doesn’t can him, Mueller and his team of committed Never Trumpers will claim the President obstructed “justice” for not hanging his head in shame over the Democrat lies. And that will go nowhere. Trump will never be impeached. And Trump will pardon any of his associates Mueller and his pack of cynical leakers tries to indict on whatever puffed-up, bogus charges they invent in order to justify this exercise in investigatory onanism.
And we should hope that’s how it ends.
Because what happens if the voice of half of America is effectively silenced by the DC swamp and its media guardians? The Tea Party was the first manifestation of the anger out there at the establishment. It was polite – it even cleaned up its own messes after its peaceful protests. The media, and the same alleged conservatives who saw the Tea Party as a threat to their own position because it caused donors to start asking for results instead of simply writing checks, attacked the Tea Party. Well, then we got Trump, who was not nearly as polite, and who took the White House fair and square from the designated establishment candidate. And now they want to use non-ballot means to make sure the normals’ choice is again ignored.
What do they think comes after Trump? Someone nice?
The Left may be stocking up on guns now, but the right has a head start in that department. In The Crisis of the Left J. A. Frascion, MD presents the psychological problem facing the Left. Since their basic theory can not be wrong, the Left is forced into ever more radical means to make us be what the Left wants us to be.
Rhetorical extremism increasingly reigns. All not worshiping at the altar of left-wing victimization are cast as irrelevant, hateful, unenlightened bigots. Free speech is routinely censored. The antifa fascists employ vandalism to silence "hate speech". Republican town hall meetings are shouted down. Trump's severed head is held up in effigy. He is stabbed to death in theatre. Republican Congressmen are marked for assassination. Radical left-wing activists and their disciples in media, academia, and entertainment have opened Pandora's box. Only they can shut it, but they do not seem so inclined. Like the moderate Muslims who remain silent in the face of Islamic terrorism, the moderate left seems to be okay with the radical left's violent streak. It's all the fault of the right, anyway. After all, the victimized are justified in resorting to any means necessary to vanquish the villains in attaining social justice, just as ISIS is justified in lashing out at American and Western imperialism, the source of all their problems. Ex-president Obama, in a farewell address in Chicago in January, expressed admiration for restraint shown by outgoing presidents in retreating from the political arena, but indicated that he would not stay silent if he perceived a threat to core American values (under the new administration). Apparently, he feels that censoring of free speech, violence, and attempted murder remain within the realm of core American values. No red line has yet been crossed. If and when it is, what then? History provides us the answer.
Indeed.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Making Arrows

I have been shooting pistols since 1976.  But before that, I shot arrows, with a recurve bow.  Today, the recurve bow is considered "traditional" along with the far older longbow.  The longbow has a long and glorious history as a weapon of war and hunting.  Indeed, the longbow archers are credited with winning the Battle of Agincourt in 1415. While the recurve bow also has a long and glorious history, going back to the ancient Mongols, the modern recurve developed in the early part of the 20th century, and eventually replaced the longbow as the preferred weapon both for hunting and sport, and reigned supreme until the invention of the compound bow. I have to admit that the compound bow is a superior design, when everything works right. But it is complex, with lots of moving parts, and getting one set up takes more work. But, if I hunted, I would probably use a compound bow because of its superiority in power and speed.

One of the interesting side hobbies to archery is making arrows.  Now, whether you are making wooden arrows, aluminum arrows, or carbon fiber arrows, the basic processes are the same.  None the less, there are differences.

If you are making wooden arrows, you can, of course, go down to the hardware store, buy doweling, cut it to size, fit a nock (the piece that fits up to the bow string), a field point or broadhead, and fletching (the feathers or vanes)  to the thing and shoot it.  But your success would be purely luck.  Rather, you buy wooden arrow shafts, which have been tested already for what is know as "spine" Spine is the stiffness of the arrow measured with specific weights at 28 inches. The heavier the bows draw weight, the stiffer the spine you need.  Unfortunately, you often have to test the spine yourself, and maybe you will find 6 shafts out of a dozen that are equally spined within some tolerance.  The closer the tolerance, the fewer shafts you will find suitable for making arrows.  But, wooden arrows can work well with traditional bows, and the artistry of some arrowsmiths is astonishing.

Carbon Fiber arrow shafts are all the rage right now.  The shafts are lighter for the same stiffness as either wood or aluminum.  They are expensive though, and do break rather spectacularly when they break. and can cut you quite badly.  Further, they don't give any warning when the shaft is damaged.  Carbon requires special care be taken when cutting it because the dust can be breathed in and cause lung damage.

I use aluminum shafts.  Aluminum is light weight, consistent, needs no special care, and ranges from inexpensive to quite expensive depending on your desires. Aluminum is also very forgiving, and when it is damaged, it is obvious.  For going to the range, I use Easton Tribute shafts.  The "Tribute" was a marketing name trying to rip off the popularity of the Hunger Games movies, but that does not take away from Easton's tradition of quality when it comes to providing arrows, and components.  Tribute shafts come with swaged ends for the nocks, and the first step is to glue on a nock.  Almost all of the glues used in archery today are cyanoacrylate glues, or Super Glue.

The next step is fletching.  I prefer to use turkey feathers as opposed to plastic vanes.  Feathers move and lay down as the arrow passes the bow, whereas vanes may tend to kick the arrow out from the bow.  But then again, since most competition archers use carbon arrows with plastic vanes, that may just be rationalization.  In the end, feathers just look better.

You need two colors of feathers.  One, known as the cock feather, is the index.  You want the cock feather point out from the bow.  The two other feathers are called the hen feathers, and they are located at 120 degrees and 240 degrees around the arrow from the cock feather. See here for an illustration of cock and hen feathers.

Naturally, if you had some sort of jig that would allow you to place the feathers at the correct spacing, and align the cock feather at 90 degrees to the string, that would be wonderful.  As it happens, such jigs are made, with a variety of features that can make them expensive.  For straight fletching with feathers, a simple jig is all you need.  Once again, you glue on the feathers with super glue.

The last thing is the point.  I use what are known as field points for shooting targets at the range. They are easier to pull out of the target, and are cheaper than broad heads. Again, on Tribute shafts you use glue in points.

So, there you have a completed arrow, that you made.  Unlike cartridges where the bullet, powder and primer are all used and only the casing can be reused, an arrow can last for years.  When the fletching gets ratty, you can refletch. You can replace nocks and points.  You can even straighten some shafts that aren't too bent.  On the other hand, one never can have too many arrows.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

What will you choose: God, or Allah?

Two articles today, one from Selwyn Duke at the American Thinker entitled Was Muhammad a True Muslim and the other from Herschel Smith over at the Captain's Journal entitled Islamic Jihad Targets the Weak and Defenseless, So Prepare to Defend Yourself, Your Family, and Your Tribe, illustrate the true nature of Islam and to a lesser extent Christianity. Both articles are long, so take your time, but read both. I'll wait. Have you read both? Excellent. Selwyn Duke writes that:
The distribution of violent injunctions in these books helps explain something else. A German study involving 45,000 teens found that while increasing religiosity made Christian youth less violent, increasing religiosity made Muslim youth more violent.
Well, that's interesting. Why do you think that is? Could it be that the Bible teaches consistently a message of peace toward all mankind? Could it be that Jesus teaching, that the central point of the law is to love God with all your heart, mind, and soul, and to love your neighbor as yourself is actually true? Could it be that people who tell you that jihad is really an internal struggle are practicing Taqiyya, the Muslim practice of lying for the faith? Because if they told you the truth you might raise a defense?

Many people today reject the God of the Bible because they think Him cruel, and tyrannical. His church, they feel, wants to control them. But when God gives a command to do something, or to avoid doing something else, it is not as a tyrant, seeking your unthinking compliance. Instead it is a warning given by a loving parent. God is saying that He designed the universe a certain way. That if you disobey his commands there will be consequences, not by him, but by the nature of what you have done. For example, God designed the universe with a property called gravity. Gravity is neither good nor bad, but if the wrong actions are taken, the consequences will be disastrous. So, if you were to go to a high cliff, spread your arms out and jump off, expecting to fly, you would instead fall to your death.

People who have never even cracked the spine of a Bible will often site the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah as examples of God smiting people for their sins. Now, the Bible is somewhat reticent about exactly what sins the people of these two towns committed, but we can be sure that they were not asking God to come into their lives and guide them. Now, these people had free will, as we all do, and since they rejected God, he did not interfere to warn them of the coming destruction. He did warn Lot and his family though, because Abraham, Lot's brother, loved God. Notice that the since people of Sodom and Gomorrah left God alone, he did not intrude upon their lives   Notice that while you can read the Bible with the purpose of finding cruelty and hate, you can also read it with the purpose of finding God's love for his creatures.  As always, it is your choice.

The Bible teaches love for all creation because God first loved us.  Islam is a different animal, and the god of Islam, Allah, is not the same "person" as our God.  Our God is consistent in his message from beginning to end.  He can not lie, and since the Truth is unchanging, our God is too.  But for Islam, as Smith writes:
One of the facets of sharia (Islamic Law) that turns the light bulb on in people’s minds more than anything else seems to be the moment they grasp the Koranic concept of abrogation and progressive revelation.
Islam teaches that Allah (the god of Islam) revealed Islam to mankind throughout history progressively. Allah revealed the Law to Moses which predicted the coming of Mohammad. Those who did not accept the Law of Moses were lost. When Allah revealed the Evangel to Jesus, which also foretold of the coming of Mohammad, it abrogated the Law of Moses, and those who did not accept it were lost (hellbound). When the final seal of the prophets – Mohammad – came and revealed the Koran to all of mankind, it abrogated all that came before it, and those who did not accept it were lost.
Or, as Smith writes:
Muslims’ role model, their “Perfect Man,” is very different from Jesus in type of influence but not in degree of influence. As Warner points out, “The Koran says 91 different times that Mohammed's is the perfect pattern of life. It is much more important to know Mohammed than the Koran.” Thus is “Mohammed” (and its spelling variants) the world’s most common male name, belonging to approximately 150 million men and boys. And there’s a reason why pious Muslims write “PBUH” (“Peace be unto him”) after his name and why they’ll riot if he’s portrayed in a cartoon. He is, in a sense, the human face of Allah.
Islaamnet.com makes this clear, writing that “when Allaah says: ‘Whosoever obeys the Messenger [Mohammed], has indeed obeyed Allaah’ (Surah An-Nisa 4:80), it should be clear that one has obeyed Allaah by obeying the Messenger.”
Islaamnet also informs that Allah commanded, “‘It is not fitting for a believer, man or woman, when a matter has been decreed by Allah and His Messenger to have any choice in the matter. If anyone disobeys Allah and His Messenger he is clearly astray’ (Surah Al-Ahzab 33:36).”
This Messenger is, again, that warlord, bandit, mass murderer, employer of torture, polygamist and slaver trader and master. Worse still, it’s not that Muslims always rationalize away or attempt to whitewash this history. The truly devout ones may consider these actions — when directed toward non-Muslims — to be “good” because the actions have been sanctioned by their perceived author of right and wrong, Allah, and his messenger.
Do you not yet see the difference? One loves, one hates.  I will pray that you do.

There is however, something else that needs to be done. While Christianity tolerates others beliefs, in the hope that they will eventually come to believe and be saved, Islam can not tolerate any other belief. What this means for you, brothers and sisters in Christ, is that you will eventually have to make a choice, Allah, or God.  They are not the same, that is more taqiyya.  Allah, or God.  You will need to be prepared to defend your self, your family, and your neighbors.  As Smith writes:

While it may interesting to study and practice maneuver warfare and small unit combat tactics, techniques and procedures, MOUT and CQB techniques, the most likely first employment of a weapon you will ever face will be with your handgun and/or tactical knife. Remember Herschel’s Dictum. Always carry, always be prepared, keep your head on a swivel, and know with certainty that this is headed our way.
We’ve all had adequate warning.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Ten Transgender Truths

Today, Selwyn Duke has a blog post on Ten Transgender Truths for Legislators and Concerned Citizens. We haven't heard much from Mr. Duke in a while, so this blog post is welcome. Duke points to the main truth when he writes:
There is no sound science behind the transgender agenda. No “expert” can point to any physiological markers, in any given case, proving that at issue is a biological phenomenon and not a purely psychological one.
That, of course, should be the end of the story. But of course it is not, and so the rest of the Ten Truths must be added. Go read the whole article, and arm yourself with the facts. It is not about making confused people feel better, but rather about, yet again, social engineering. These people just can;t leave anyone alone.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Self Driving Cars? Meh

In my retirement years, I have a part time job driving cars for a well known rental car company.  The company buys cars in bulk, and at close to the manufacturers cost to build them, then the rent them for several months to a year, and sell them to dealers, auto auctions, and even retail.  I drive cars to their final destination before the name on the title changes hands.

One of the things we have talked about among ourselves is the prospect of self driving cars.  Some people feel these will be the greatest devices since the invention of the automobile.  Others look at the many ways that cars have accidents, and wonder if a computer can actually handle each of those things efficiently. Today at the American Thinker, Stephen Bryen has an aritcle entitled Problems and Pitfalls of Self Driving Cars. One of the most telling statistics is this:
One argument for them is that a self-driving car means less wear and tear on drivers, especially emotional wear and tear. Will there be less road rage, anxiety attacks and exhaustion in a car that drives itself? The answer (to a degree) is a qualified "yes" if you, the driver, trust Emil, the self-driving software that is running your car trip. Is Emil up to snuff? Does Emil understand the threats popping up "out there" in the real world? Is Emil reliable? (I decided to call my future self-driving software Emil. You can substitute your favorite name for Emil.) Anyway, opinion polls show that people are afraid of self-driving cars.
The question being asked, of course is, "Why do we need self driving cars?" The answer appears to be that some people want them, but in order to have them, we have to ALL have them. If only some have them, the supposed advantages disappear. In my job, I meet a lot of people who are "car guys." People for whom a car is not just a vehicle to get you from point A to point B, but rather something almost magical. Many of these guys will pay extra for standard transmission. I realize these guys represent a minority, but does being in the minority mean you just have to shut up and take it? In any case, go read the article, and make up your mind for yourself.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Dennis Prager Responds

Today, Dennis Prager, conservative writer, talk show host, and religious Jew, published an interesting piece at Townhall.com entitled A Response to my Conservative Critics About Trump. I will get into it in a minute, but first if you missed it, you will need to read what the hubbub is all about. What it is about is this piece, published last week at National Review: Why Conservatives Still Attack Trump. Prager gives a variety of reasons, among which is that Trump is not a movement conservative, which is true, Trump's character is not that of a moral man, and that these people do not really believe we are in a war with the Left in this country.  Prager answers his critics in his follow on column.

Now, I can say personally that all of the criticisms of Trump have echoed my own misgivings about the man.  He is not a movement conservative, as is Ted Cruz, and he does not articulate conservative principles in a voice I recognize.  He is a flawed individual, as are we all.  But, and Prager makes the same point, God often chooses flawed individuals to do His Work.  Indeed, God often chooses men because of their flaws to show what mighty things He can accomplish.  Now, I do not know if Trump is God's will or not, but it would not surprise me learn that indeed he is.  On the last point though, I have always been clear that we are in a life and death struggle with the left.  It is a cold war, to be sure, but a cold war the left is winning.

Thus, while I may  personally have misgivings about Trump, and indeed I watch him like a hawk, I so far find few things to criticize.  Neil Gorsuch was a brilliant pick for the Supreme Court.  We will see if Trump has chosen the best strategy to achieve his travel ban, but he so far is acting as a President, and not a dictator or king.  And pulling out of the Paris "Accord" was a good move as well.  It was in the best interests of the United States.  Congress, on the other hand, has been acting like fools.  Here is their chance to undo a lot of the Democrats proposals, and they are fighting on the margins.  It makes me sick

Dennis Prager offers a well thought out response to his critics in this piece, and particularly takes apart Jonah Goldberg in this matter.  Goldberg is one of my favorite authors and commentators.  Prager is  right to praise his book, Liberal Fascism, and it should be in every conservative's library. But Goldberg is wrong here, if he thinks we are only in a cultural war. Prager:
Nevertheless, what most disturbs me is his second argument -- articulated in various ways by most of those who disagreed with me -- that there is simply no civil war. And many repeated the universal belief among Never-Trumpers that a Hillary Clinton victory would not have been a catastrophe.
My response is that "culture war" is much too tepid a term for what is going on now. Maybe anti-Trump conservatives are fighting a "culture war," but the left is not. The left is working to undo the American Revolution. It's very close to doing so.
Of all people, one would think Jonah Goldberg would understand this. He is the author of what I consider to be a modern classic, "Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, from Mussolini to the Politics of Change.
Despite what Goldberg seems to think, we are not in a debating society. While civil relations remain to us, the truth is that few on the left are our "friends." The days of going out and having a beer with members of he left and hailing our excellent opponents is over. They have been showing their true faces, and those faces look tyrannical to me. We are in a cold war, a struggle to the death. As Prager says:
So, shouldn't the primary role of a conservative be to vanquish leftism? To me, that means strongly supporting the Republican president of the United States, who has staffed his Cabinet with conservatives and already won substantial conservative victories. As I suggested in my previous column, conservatives would have been thrilled if any Republican president had achieved what Trump has at this point in his administration.
Yes, it should. and as David Codrea says, "any chair in a bar fight." Trump may be flawed, but his instincts seem right.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Kathy Griffin Proposes to Behead Trump

Fay Voshell has the goods on the political left, as illustrated by the insanity of Kathy Griffin publicly showing a simulation of  a severed head that resembled President Trump.  Ms. Voshell points out that this sort of provocation has been going on on the left since the French Revolution.  Whether or not Louis the XVI deserved to be beheaded is debatable.  But Trump is the duly elected President of the United States.  The election was not stolen.  The Russians had nothing to do with it.  Indeed, the actions of the left has become not just resistance to Trump, but border on treason.

Voshell entitles her article Beheading King Trump XVI and starts out with:

He was unlike our current president in many respects: He was extraordinarily indecisive, timid and distracted. He seemed not to know his own country at all, isolated as he was from the public. But his position was very like that of President Trump in that he had a mob calling for his beheading.
That the mob succeeded in their efforts changed European history, effectively bleeding the continent’s aristocracy to death until royalty was dealt the final coup de grace during WWI and its aftermath.
Quite frankly, I don't hold with a hereditary aristocracy, nor with the notion of royalty. Typically, within a generation of two of the strong men who established the dynasty, no matter how well intentioned. the progeny are weaker and less deserving of being in that position. I also do not believe in anyone having that much power. The Constitution's breaking up of that power into 3 competing power centers each having distinct roles and limitations is a good system. But the Constitutional system can only work with people who follow the Constitution in good faith. But the left doesn't do anything in good faith:
Even so, though the Left has been nearly decapitated, it still natters on as if it has life; as if it has something significant to say. It still does its zombie imitation, hoping to instill dread and fear into the opposition by impersonating real life and vitality.
Ms. Griffin’s excess is an indicator not only of the deathly fatuity and grossness leftist radicals have been resorted to, but she is also representative of the high tide of an essentially nihilist deluge that has threatened America for decades.
...snip...
For those who believe the wrong person is in office and that a great pretender is living in the White House, it is high time to remember we do not live under an aristocracy but under the rule of the Constitution of the United States. We do not believe in aristocratic succession to the presidency.
It is high time everyone who desires the exit of any president remembers the great remedy our constitutional republic has firmly in place; a remedy that has been effectively utilized for hundreds of years: Voting to elect the person the American public wishes to be in high office.
32And…stop suggesting the guillotining of Donald Trump, the president of the United States of America.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Another Adventure in Amateur Radio

Over at the Captain's Journal, Herschel Smith is discussing the current state of the debate on suppressors, otherwise popularly known as "silencers" for guns.  Smith:

“The [sound suppressors] were a victim of the success of his marketing,” said Knox Williams, president of the American Suppressor Association, which is working with the NRA on this issue. Williams referenced Hiram Percy Maxim, who first used the term in the early 1900s when he invented what he referred to as the Maxim Silencer. The term later caught on with legislators and regulators.
“He labeled it as a silent firearm, and people took it for gospel,” Williams said of Maxim.
Now, I have to admit that the suppressor debate is none to interesting to me. I will not use one, perhaps because I have grown used to putting on ear protection. But I am generally in favor of any loosening of restrictions and this seems like a no brainer to me.

What startled me however was the mention of a name that I am very familiar with: Hiram Percy Maxim, aka "The Old Man" of the American Radio Relay League. The American Radio Relay League, or ARRL, is the premier representative of the Amateur Radio community in the United States, and represents our interests before the FCC and the International Radio Union. One of T.O.M rants can be found here. The more things change, the more they stay the same, it seems.

I did not know that Maxim invented the silencer.  You learn something new every day!

Verbruggen: Conservatives Should Be Timid

Mr. Robert Verbruggen writes a screed at the National Review on Concealed Carry 'Reciprocity' vs Federalism. Mr. Verbruggen doesn't like the idea of just anyone carrying who isn't as well trained and responsible as he is. Just ask him:
I took a number of steps before I started carrying a gun. I got training, I read books and articles by self-defense experts, I learned the laws of my state, I started going to the range regularly, and I did “dry fire” exercises at home to keep my shooting skills up.
I also got a concealed-carry permit, which in Virginia required almost none of the above preparation. All I had to do was get a form notarized and send it in — along with $50 and a copy of the hunter’s-safety card I earned in Wisconsin when I was 13 years old, which allegedly proved my “competency with a handgun.” Nothing would have stopped me from getting a permit and carrying a gun legally if I hadn’t touched a firearm since 1997 and had received no training at all that pertained specifically to concealed carry or self-defense, as opposed to shooting deer in the freezing cold.
I have attended concealed carry training in Virginia as well, and had a carry permit there for a number of years. Personally, I thought Virginia's approach to concealed carry training struck the right balance between training on the law and recognizing that those seeking a permit are adults who can decide for themselves if, and what kind of training they may need. It is clear then, that Mr. Verbruggen's unwritten attitude is that only those who have gone to the training classes he has, and have the proper accreditation should be allowed to carry a handgun. All others are just too immature, too uneducated, too...unwashed. At the same time, he seems to recognize that even states with more lax requirements such as Constitutional Carry do not have blood running in the streets as predicted.
It’s perfectly fine, of course, for the state of Virginia to have lax permitting standards and trust that its residents will get the training they need of their own volition and good sense. In fact, a growing number of states don’t require a permit to carry at all — some call it “constitutional carry” — and their streets are not running red with blood.
So, Mr. Verbruggen's sense is, like a lot of anti-gunners, a simple distrust of his fellow men and women, but at least he sees the truth, unlike the hoplophobes who just don't get it. Verbruggen then goes on to claim that the Constitutional claims for interstate reciprocity do not rest on the Second Amendment (but they do partially) or the Commerce Clause (they don't). But then he finds the Full Faith and Credit clause. And he is correct here that the Full Faith and Credit clause does indeed compel states to recognize each other's gun permits just as each state must recognize each other's marriages and each other's drivers licenses. The existence of more stringent requirements in one state does not therefore make the drivers licenses of another state with more lax requirements somehow not recognized. The same reasoning applies. After all, an automobile is capable of delivering even greater loss of life than a handgun.
There is, however, a constitutional defense of concealed-carry reciprocity that works, one recently advanced by a trio of highly respected constitutional scholars. It’s rooted in the much-neglected and much-misunderstood Full Faith and Credit Clause:
Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State. And the Congress may by general Laws prescribe the Manner in which such Acts, Records and Proceedings shall be proved, and the Effect thereof.
...snip...
So, it’s constitutional for Congress to prescribe the effects that one state’s concealed-carry policies and permits will have in another. But not everything that’s constitutional is wise, and conservatives in particular should be wary of forcing their legislative preferences on unwilling states via federal decree.
So Mr. Verbruggen is squeamish about actually forcing states to do their duty under the Constitution for fear of making them mad. But the Left is already mad, and getting madder. And I don't mean this in the sense colloquial sense, but in its original meaning of being crazy loons. They already accuse us of trying to legislate morality. So let's get on with actually doing some of it. They will, of course, immediately appeal and the Supreme Court will have to get involved. And that will tell us something as well. so yes, let's have a reciprocity bill, and then we'll see where everybody stands.

Conservatives have been too timid for too long.  The Left has no such qualms, Just as I believe the Church should again adopt the idea of the Church Militant in support of Christianity, so should conservatives adopt the idea of Conservatism Militant in support of conservative principles.  One important principle is that of self defense.

While you are at National Review you might as well read David French's article entitled Sad Supreme Court Case Highlights the Need for Smarter Second Amendment Jurisprudence.