Thursday, November 29, 2018

We Now Live In A Police State

I had a comment from an anonymous reader on the post I wrote entitled Eric Swalwell:Tyrant Wannabe that bitterly noted he might get into a firefight with police who showed up at his house to take his guns. I advised that it might be better to settle the matter in court than to fight it out with police on the spot. But, from my comments you might think I am sympathetic with so called "Red Flag" laws. Nothing could be further from the truth. I believe these laws to be Unconstitutional on several grounds. Of course, as always, others seem to write what I am thinking more succinctly than I can, so I present William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism piece entitled "Red Flag Laws": Rights Cannot Be Suspended, Only Violated by Thomas L. Knapp.
Rights are inherent characteristics possessed by all human beings, not privileges to be granted or withheld at the whim of a bureaucrat in a black dress. And the point of the 5th Amendment’s due process clause is precisely to protect the life, liberty, and property of Americans against arbitrary judicial edicts. Under the US Constitution, “laws” which violate those protections are null and void.
This point is true, but just as it is prudent to back off when a 18 wheeler wants to violate your right of way in traffic, so it makes sense to let the police have your guns for now, then sue to get them back. Should it be this way? Hell no. But reality is often far different from theory. In this case, the violation is of the 5th Amendment rights. The 5th Amendment states:
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
As an example of one such law in action the reader is pointed to the Maryland case of Gary Willis, who answered his door at 5:00am to find, unexpectedly, police at his door. Like any reasonable person, getting a knock on the door at 5:00 in the morning, he had a gun in his hand. Who wouldn't? Having no knowledge of the proceedings against him, he would not suspect that the police arrived at that uncivilized hour to seize his property. I would just be making coffee. The police seeing his gun, naturally shot him. Why the police chose 5:00am to deliver the news that he was about to have his 5th Amendment rights violated was never asked, evidently. Who made the accusation, we can not know. Neither, apparently, can the accused. Due process involves the accused facing his accuser, and offering evidence in his defense. None of these things happened in Gary Willis's case.
Neither the cops who killed Willis, nor the judge who sent them to do so, will likely be held accountable for the killing of a man accused of no crime and minding his own business on his own property. That’s the very definition of lawlessness.
Why did a judge order police to steal Willis’s guns? We’re not allowed to know. The contents of such orders are considered state secrets.
What might we call a system under which anonymous judges can secretly order anonymous police officers to expropriate property from citizens who have neither been accused of nor convicted of crimes, on pain of death for resistance?
The only term that seems to fit is “police state.”

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Why Leftists are immune to the "good guy with a gun" argument

Today I would like to highlight an article by Karen Kataline over at that tells us Why the Good Guy With a Gun Arguement Doesn't Work with Leftists. Of course, it sounds like click bait, and I bit, but it is an interesting look into the "mind" of your typical Leftist. I put "mind" in scare quotes because, from the description, it is obvious that these people react emotionally to any idea, never using reason and the thought processing parts of their brain. But let her tell it:
Conservatives have an excellent argument in favor of the Second Amendment by proclaiming that “it takes a good guy with a gun to stop a bad guy with a gun.” Unfortunately, it makes no sense to Leftists and it’s instructive to examine why.
The Left has been working overtime to erase the difference between good guys and bad guys. To them, we are all just as capable of being Charles Manson as we are Mother Theresa. They claim that individual choice and personal responsibility has nothing to do with who is good and who is evil. Maybe that’s why they can always be counted upon to come to the defense of ruthless, hardened criminals. They have for decades perpetuated the idea that criminals are victims. Now, they've moved on to painting law-abiding citizens are criminals. This speeds us on the road to being all the same. Think of it as the redistribution of personal responsibility.
If you are white, male, Christian, or God-forbid, a Republican, you are already guilty without having done anything at all. If you dare to own a gun, you are de facto guilty. It doesn’t matter what choices you make. The Left does not consider this to be prejudice as long as the right people are pre-judged. They argue that they can perfect the world and our behavior by creating a “correct” society which they will define for us. We are merely spokes in their socialist utopian wheel.
I agree with everything said here except the part about the capability of everyone to commit murder. I believe we all have the capability. That is baked into us by our nature. Mankind is a predator, and as such, must restrain himself from praying on his fellow man.  I believe it is wrong to kill another human being because each of us was created in the image of God himself.  We, of course are not God, but we are also more than the animals.  Our DNA and a chimpanzee's may be 98% alike, but the other 2% makes us moral agents.  While some try to bring us down by showing that great apes may be able to learn the use of a very limited vocabulary, the fact is that never in a thousand years would an ape develop, much less teach other apes to use, a language.

That 2% of DNA makes all the difference.  No animal could compose, or play the great organ pieces of Johann Sebastian Bach.  No animal could dream up, much less play the guitar as Chet Atkins.  No animal could compose the works of Shakespeare, despite what statisticians might say about the subject of an infinite number of monkeys typing on an infinite number of typewriters.  No animal can conceive of basic algebra, let alone the calculus. On the other hand, no animal could have committed the atrocities of Adolf Hitler or Joseph Stalin.  For better and worse, we are not like the animals, and we are certainly not God.

Leftists, however, don't see these things for what they are, and continue to conflate the majority of the good guys with the small minority of those who choose to live by their own code, and take whatever it is they want.  They often even romanticize these people.  Yet somehow, they themselves are more "evolved" than the rest of us.  They have "seen" the future, and if we just give them the power, they will instruct us poor deplorable masses in the right way to live.  Well, good for them, but before we entrust them with all the power, perhaps one of them could demonstrate for us one of J.S. Bach's masterpieces on the organ?  Just one??  In the meantime, since evil people roam among us, we'll just keep these weapons just in case.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Different World Views Lead to Different Conclusions

I think I mentioned in a previous post that I had had a conversation with a Leftist who claimed, against all evidence, that socialism would work if ever it was actually tried.  I countered with the fact that many Socialist experiments had failed utterly, starting with the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, more commonly known as Soviet Russia.  At that point the conversation was ended by the other party's request.  I initially thought that he didn't want to be confused by the facts.  It turns out that may not be the case. 

It later occurred to me that this was a case of two people talking past each other.  We both saw the same facts on the ground, but we each came to different conclusions based on different assumptions about  the nature of people, and different understandings about world view.  It is these differences I wish to explore today.

My side you probably know well, and from the general lack of comments, you probably agree with me.  Of course that means I am "singing to the choir" and convincing no one.  Which of course also indicates I should quit blogging.  But that is a consideration for another day.  I believe, as our founders did, that men are born in sin, are prone to seek their own interests at the expense of the interests of the polity.  Even when we consciously set out to do good, our efforts are corrupted by our sinful nature.  Our Constitutional Republic is the best system that could be devised, but clearly it is not perfect.  And in very real ways, the protections that the founders put in place to protect our liberties have been cut away.  This, I am convinced, was due to a lack of understanding of the true nature of the Constitution, along with deliberate distortion of that documents' meaning.  The Senate was originally appointed by the various States, and each State had an equal voice in the Federal government.   The Justices of the Supreme Court were intended to read the law as written and understood at the time and not to apply novel theories to the law that were never intended.  The idea was to spread government power as far and wide as possible to prevent too much power from getting into the hands of too few people.

Of course, in my view of mankind, it is easy to become cynical, to think that all politicians are rotten and the only solution is to throw all the bums out and elect an new set of bums.  But such a view must be resisted, for each individual is just that, an individual.  Everyone comes along with his own set of experiences, prejudices, beliefs, indeed the whole of that person's life adds up to a unique individual.  Identity politics, therefore is anathema to my way of thinking, because it does not allow each individual to express his own individuality.  On the other hand, ordered liberty means that each individual must give up a certain amount of liberty to achieve maximum liberty for everyone.  That balancing act, determining how much liberty people should have, and how much should be constrained, is the purpose of the Constitution, and of our Constitutional Republic.  It is the very essence of rights and responsibilities.

Now, look at it from the other side.  About half the people in this country believe that people are fundamentally good.  From this springs the idea that if material goods could be spread out so that everyone had an equal share, then there would be no wars.  If every war is about power and money, then take away the need to more, and there is suddenly no need for war.  One is tempted to join hands and sing  Kumbaya. But seriously, at the core, this is their belief.  Out of this belief grows the belief that there is no God, no heaven or hell.  After all, if we are all basically good, then morality is part of our nature, and the only thing that determines morality is ourselves.  Some people, of course, (and by some people we mean those mean people, conservatives) chose to be evil.  Virtue signalling is how they signal to each other that THEY are not like THOSE PEOPLE.  If all people are basically good, then there can be no better or worse cultures, each culture grew out of its own history, and must be respected, indeed celebrated, on its own terms.

With that understanding then, socialism, as expressed in the Communist Manifesto can indeed work. It just requires having the right people governing and they must persuade the masses to give up their private interests to achieve Utopia: a Paradise on Earth.  So far, they people who believe this stuff haven't found the right people.  But they're not giving up, no sir.

If you believe the basis for the Communist Manifesto, and you are steeped in Marxist theory, then the fact that "socialism has never actually been tried" is a statement that makes a certain amount of sense.  The Soviet Union, almost from the start, employed brutality, murder and intimidation not persuasion.  It was like living under the mafia.  Of course, we know the bloody history of Nazi Germany, but the official name of the Nazi party was the National Socialist German Workers' Party.  Oddly, it was voted into office, and was less brutal than the Soviet Union, but then the Soviet Union set a very low bar to clear.  Nazi Germany was as evil as the Soviet Union, but had less people to kill in order to achieve its goals.  Communist China, Cuba, Cambodia under Pol Pot, North Korea, Vietnam, and the many "People's Republic of" all testify that human nature can not be overcome.

Most of the people you meet of the type are what Lenin termed "useful idiots."  These people are true believers, and they are dangerous precisely because they believe themselves to be right, and because of their belief in the goodness of mankind, have no higher authority than the State.  They can not believe that the "authorities" are perhaps wrong, so they will do whatever these "authorities" tell them to do.  They believe in the idea of collectivism, that people with a common history necessarily see things the exact same way, and they attempt to make each group out to be victims, that only the benevolent (socialist) party can defend against the oppressor class.  Currently in the United States, the "oppressor class" are whites.  In Nazi Germany, the "oppressor class" were Jews.   Pol Pot's oppressor class were the educated.   In practice, socialism always requires an "oppressor class" to unite the "masses" against.

So there you have it.  A perfect example of people seeing the same facts, but coming to different conclusions based on their different world views. If you want to see what socialism begets, look to Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala, or Venezuela.  These countries are not poor because of a lack of resources.  Japan is a country with nearly no resources, yet it is prosperous.  These countries instead have people who, if they have the right laws, do not respect them.  Until they respect the laws, and put in place protections for property rights, they will never be prosperous.  But that is a story for another day.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

The Anniversary of GCA68

David Codrea marked the 50th Anniversary of the Gun Control Act of 1968 back on October 22.  The date slipped by me, with other things going on.  David is of an age that he remembers, as I do, that legislation and notes the effects that it has had upon our liberties and freedoms.  Codrea's peace can be found at entitled 50 Years of Infringement After GCA68 Shows Only Constant Is Obsession With Control.

 Codrea notes the many changes that have occurred as a result.  GCA68 doesn't actually prevent non prohibited individuals from obtaining a gun, but it does make them jump through more hoops, as well as making the process more expensive. And the number and expense of those hoops has only grown. That was deliberate by the way. The first goal of GCA68 was to set a precedent, to obtain a law that past muster with the Second Amendment, but would make owning a gun legally so expensive as to prohibit the poor and blacks from being able to afford a gun.  I can remember Senator Birch Bayh railing against the infamous "Saturday Night Specials," which were killing supposedly thousands of people. Actually, these small inexpensive handguns provided people with a last line of defense for those who had to go into dangerous neighborhoods to provide needed services. A New York Times article of the period shows New York Mayor Lindsay complaining even then that the problem was guns from outside the city.

Interestingly, the NRA lobbied in favor of GCA68, supposedly believing that we would have been stuck with even greater infringements if they had not participated.  It is the kind of thinking that has gotten us ever more and more egregious infringements of the Second Amendment, and has spurred the Left to never be satisfied.  Had they taken a "give no quarter" attitude from the start, we might well have been in a better position today vis a vis guns.  Instead of having each and every crime on the gun, we might have had to concentrate instead on the true problem, the criminals who commit the crimes.  While I am a member of the NRA, I have often thought that with friends like the NRA, who needs enemies?  For many years the NRA seemed to think the Second Amendment was written so we would be able to hunt.

Go read David's article from last month. 

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Eric Swalwell: Tyrant Wannabe

I've seen several articles on this guy, Eric Swalwell, and his inflammatory remarks.  But I haven't dealt with them yet, having other pressing items with which to contend.  Now that the elections are winding down, the Democrats having stolen several seats in government, and Florida having proven itself to be yet again the laughing stock of the world, it seems time to take Mr. Swalwell apart.

William Sullivan, writing at the American Thinker today, has already done much of the work for me, in an post entitled  Dem Congressman: Government can always nuke resistant gun owners. Sullivan notes that the reason for the Second Amendment is that government might one day become so tyrannical that the citizens would need to be armed to preserve their freedom. Swalwell's tweet makes clear that is exactly the case he would have us face:
Here's the most mind-boggling part of all this: he expresses that belief while simultaneously arguing that the federal government should infringe upon the rights of gun-owners and should confiscate and outlaw ownership of Americans' deadlier weapons, making them less capable of defending themselves against a ruling class that views itself as capable of forcing the citizenry to do whatever it deems best for them.
In short, Eric Swalwell accidentally makes a brilliant case for gun rights. It's hard to imagine how the existence and exact purpose of the Second Amendment could be better justified, or why Americans' right to keep and bear arms must be protected at all costs.
Just so.

Mr. Swalwell is probably well aware of the fact that by and large, it is criminals who are committing the murders, armed robberies, muggings, and other crimes with guns.  He must also know that criminals are not going to give up their guns, and they are not going to buy them through the legal commerce in guns, which requires a background check.  These background checks of course remain on the books, and the government can inspect them at any time an know who owns what guns and where they live.  Criminals, on the other hand, obtain their guns from theft and the black market.  He probably also knows that people generally don't just snap, unless they have a history of mental instability.  He must know further that guns don't just "go off."  Given what he knows, therefore, the intention is clearly to disarm the law abiding while leaving the criminal and mentally unbalanced armed to the teeth.

Further, underlining Mr. Swalwell's bad faith is his insistence on calling his proposed confiscation a "buy back" program.     I don't know about you, but I did not buy my guns from the government.  And, contrary to Mr. Obama's assertion that U. S. companies "did not build that!," they did indeed without any help from Uncle Sam.  Therefore, what the government did not build and did not sell, the government can not buy back.

Also, I would note, while the price paid for the gun in question is a negotiable amount when done in the private world, in which both the buyer and seller receive value for the transaction, this so called "buy back" will be entirely at the government's bidding.  The government will name the price, and you MUST give up your weapon for that price, or men with guns will come and force you, or kill you as the case may be.  This is not buying and selling in the traditional sense, but yet again an illustration of the relationship Swalwell sees between the government and the people.  In Swalwell's eyes, the people are the subjects of the government, but the Constitution was written to place the government at the people's command, not the other way around.

Swalwell, therefore, is either a  megalomaniac wannabe tyrant himself, or else unhinged.  In either case, he should not be anywhere near the levers of power.  And what does this say about at least 50% of those who voted for him.  Are they willing to put themselves into bondage to Mr. Swalwell?  Are they also willing to speak for their children, their heirs, forever?  Because if they vote away their rights, they will never get them back.

Finally, for those calling Mr. Trump a "tyrant." please note that Mr. Trump trusts the people with guns.  He has not indicated he wants to take them away.  Remember that when the government does not trust the people, it is probably because the people should not trust that government.

Update:  Scott Morefield had an interesting take on the exchange between Dana Loesch and Eric Swalwell yesterday at entitled The gun control question that stopped Eric Swalwell in his tracks. Either Swalwell doesn't know the relative power differences between 5.56/.223 and 30.06 or .308 or he uses the fuzzy term, "assault weapons," to mean banning all semi-auto rifles.  . She suspects he does indeed know the difference, but wishes to cover up his real intent to ban all semi-auto rifles and hand guns with a fuzzy term "assault rifle," which describes nothing.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

The Virtue Signalling of the Left.

Here's an interesting piece from Bearing Arms that notes that Californians Are Flock to Gun Store in Wake of Borderline Shooting. The Borderline Shooting refers to the discharged Marine who shot up a country dance event at the Borderline Bar in Thousand Oaks, California. He managed to kill 12 college aged people attending the event.

So, interestingly, I know Thousand Oaks. I used to live just down the hill from Thousand Oaks in a place called Camarillo, CA. At the time, I worked at the Pacific Missile Test Center, located just South of Port Hueneme, CA home of the Sea Bees, the Construction Battalions. This was back in the early 1980s.  California was even then the "land of fruits and nuts," but the inmates had yet to take over the asylum.

Tom Knighton notes that:
The story goes on to talk to Mike Rowan, a former corrections officer, and current firearms instructor at Trigger Burst Training Center. Rowan notes, “I get a lot of closet liberals, people who normally would never want anything to do with a firearm, and I train them and they secretly own firearms.”
What happens if these same liberals wake up and recognize that their side wants to disarm them through laws that have no impact on the bad guys? If that happens, it’s over for gun control activists.
I can imagine exactly what they will do.  In Europe, guns are heavily regulated and nobody supposedly has them. Yet, a number of people secretly have them anyway.  Here in the United States, people like Al Gore have huge carbon foot prints, but espouse everyone else live like their cave man ancestors.  Indeed, I had a friend at work who claimed to believe in man made global warming.  But he drove a Ford Explorer. I was astonished, and asked him about it.  "It doesn't work unless everybody does it," was his reply, as if that made his hypocrisy all right. People's capacity for telling others what to do, but not doing it themselves is very high.  Liberals typically want to be seen as all these supposedly "good" things, even if they don't actually do them.  So, while liberals continue to pass feel good gun laws, liberals will secretly find ways to keep their guns.

Go read the article, if you can without throwing up your breakfast.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Re-litigating the Welfare State

Looking over the election results so far, and noting widespread election fraud, has me thinking back to 2008 and the fraudulent elections of funny man Al Franken to the Senate.  Franken's long election battle gave Democrats the 60 votes necessary pass Obamacare, against the will of 80% of the electorate.  The Democrats kept insisting that "healthcare is a right" and that therefore the government should provide it to see that everyone has the benefit of a minimal health insurance policy.  I remember my doctor saying "in a country as prosperous as this one, don't you think we should provide healthcare to everyone?"  I remember asking how he thought we became a properous nation in the first place?

Chief Justice John Roberts apparently twisted himself into a pretzel to find this obscene law "Constitutional."   What I intend to do here is to unpack the arguments made for ObamaCare, because these same arguments keep coming up.  And if John Roberts doesn't know this either (he should) then perhaps someone will clue him in.

Certain rights are listed in the Constitution, in the first ten amendments to that document, known as the Bill of Rights.  The rights acknowledge in the First Amendment include:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
That seems fairly straight forward.  So, when an employer tells you you may not speak about something to those outside the company, is he abridging your right to free speech in contravention to the First Amendment?  If you said no, go pick up a gold star.  But how about if the FBI writes its own subpoena to request your email records from your internet supplier and the FBI tells them they can not inform you that you are under investigation?  If you said yes, you fail.  Whether or not a court agrees, it seems to violate the black letter law of several Constitutional amendments.

Now let's take a look at the Ninth Amendment, which says:
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
Here we find the famous penumbras and emanations that the Surpemes routinely wrap their odd interpretations of the Constitution.  It is in these unenumerated rights. So, from this you might expect that the Democrats claim that you have a right to health care is correct, and once again you get a gold star. Horay! But not so fast. Hold your horses before going out and getting your very own subsidized health care.

Going back to the First Amendment, you have a right to free speech, correct?  Does that mean the Government must give you a radio station?  No?  What about a microphone? A bullhorn?  A soapbox?  Anything?   No?  You may study the issues, hire the venue, and...well...speak.  Anything you want.  But you have to pay all expenses required, and nobody else has to listen.  Sorry.  You can buy radio ads, or get someone to write up an editorial in a newspaper.  But if you lie you may be sued for slander or libel.

It is the same way with the Second Amendment.  You have a right to a gun, a rifle or pistol, etc.  You have the right to keep and bear arms.  But the State is not obligated to give each citizen an AR-15 and 100 rounds of ammunition.  No, you have to supply yourself with such weapons as you deem necessary for the safety and security of yourself, and those under your care.  And guess what?  Having a right means you don't have to exercise it.  You can decide not to exercise any right granted you under the Bill of Rights.

And that brings us to the "subsidized" part.  In order to provide some with health care, the government takes tax money from each person who pays taxes, which includes me, and uses it to subsidize the heath care of others.  Now don't think that because I object to the government doing it, that I am not a compassionate person.  I routinely give my own money to help our local food bank, for just one charity.  My objection is specifically using tax dollars to subsidize the healthcare of those who can not, of will not provide it themselves.  And this objection extends to welfare payments, and corporate welfare as well.

First, by providing tax money, which is taken under threat that men with guns will come, and take me away, or if I defend myself will kill me. the government is essentially forcing me to work in order to provide for someone else.  This is, at its most basic form, slavery.  I seem to recall there was a 13th Amendment to the Constitution that outlawed such things in the United States.  Now here it is back under the guise of "compassion."

Secondly, the government is usually the least efficient organization for providing such services.  I remember that Hillary was routinely throwing out numbers of people who were uninsured.  I believe we all finally settled on the idea that there were 30 million such.  So how many are still uninsured?  Turns out the number is still 30 million.  Surprise!  In this year's election, Linda Coleman ran ads saying that George Holding and voted to deny people with pre-existing conditions health insurance.  Would that it were so, but no.  Our Republican Congressman did no such thing, fearing exactly what he got.  I wonder if he wishes now that he had, since he was tarred with it anyway.

The reason the Democrats propose and usually manage to pass these laws, and the Supremes let them. is for power.  And since nobody seems to read the Constitution and take it seriously, we end up with these poorly thought out decisions that simply compound upon one another and drain away our potential.   

Voting in the Former United States of America

I have been contemplating the now widespread use of manufacturing ballots for use in stealing elections.  While the process itself has been going on for a long time, mostly Republicans looked at it as a price one paid for self government.  The 1960 presidential election appears to have been stolen from Richard Nixon by John Kennedy using the famous Chicago "dead vote," wherein voters who reside in the cemetery allegedly rise from the dead to vote and then return to their graves.  Richard Nixon could have challenged the vote, but chose not to, to preserve the illusion of fair elections.

In 2008, Al Franken, supposed comedian, won the election after 1099 felons illegally voted in a race won by only 312 votes. The original story, that a box of ballots that all went for, wait for it...Al Franken, was a myth. I am not so sure. Somehow, these recounts always...ALWAYS...turn out to favor the Democrat. This sort of result is statistically impossible. And yet it as improbable as it is, it seems to be universally accepted by the media.

Martha McSally has recently conceded to Kyrsten Sinema in the Arizona Senate race.  Now, Martha McSally is a Colonel in the United States Air Force, a pilot who was the first woman in the Air Force to fly combat missions.  She has also served as a Congressman from Arizona.  She is a moderate Republican, certainly not one I would endorse for President, but none the less a better candidate than Kyrsten Sinema, who make a number of gaffes calling her constituents "the meth lab of democracy. I am guessing that Arizonans don't mind being insulted by their politicians. In any case, the Arizona Secretary of State called McSally twice to tell her they had "found" 4000 votes. And somehow McSally, who had been winning on election night, suddenly loses to the Democrat...again.

Meanwhile, the recount goes on in Florida. Interestingly, one Chelsey Marie Smith has signed an affidavit claiming to have witnessed Broward County officials actually manufacturing votes ahead to the elections here.

Daniel John Sobieski has a piece today at the American Thinker entitled Ending Election Fraud in which he argues that (at least some) voter fraud can be eliminated by requiring citizens to re-register to vote in person every year, and requiring state issued identification to be presented in person on election day. No early voting.
Things like motor voter and early voting are a plague on our electoral integrity that even the Russians couldn’t dream up. Early voting is an excuse for laziness that doesn’t allow a voter to change his mind. Early voters can move to another jurisdiction or even be dead on election day. Motor voter is problematic in states that hand licenses out to illegal aliens who then can drive to the polls and vote, disenfranchising American citizens. Provisional ballots make no sense. If you can’t properly register by election day, don’t bother to show up. It is not that hard. Put down your cell phone, register, and wait for the next election. Mail-in ballots are invitations to fraud, plagued with signatures that don’t match and ballots denied depending on the election judge’s finite wisdom or political prejudice.
Just what is so hard about requiring a voter to physically show up on election day with an ID that proves they are alive, an American citizen, and who they say they are?
Photo IDs are required to board an airplane, an Amtrak train, open a bank account, buy liquor, cash checks, enter a federal building, and for a multitude of daily activities. Consider this bit of irony: when Eric Holder went to Texas to denounce the voter ID laws of that and other states, each person entering the LBJ Library where he spoke was required to present his photo IDs in order to be allowed in to hear the speech.
The empirical evidence shows that voter ID laws do not suppress minority voting. In Georgia, black voter turnout for the 2006 midterm elections was 42.9 percent. After Georgia passed its photo ID, black turnout in the 2010 midterm rose to 50.4 percent. Black voter turnout also rose in Indiana and Mississippi after they enacted their voter ID laws.
I agree with Sobieski as a far as he goes, but I think we may need to go further. The only way Democrats who are stealing elections are going to stop is if they know that if caught, they will definitely lose. How? By simply not allowing votes from those counties  and precincts to be added to the election totals. For example, Broward County Election official Brenda Snipes has been re-elected time and time again since the 2000 election snafu that went to the Supreme Court. It was her shenanigans that caused that brouhaha. If the voters insist on re-electing someone who commits election fraud time and time again, then the voters deserve to be disenfranchised until they come to their senses. As it stands, they are disenfranchising hundreds of other voters across Florida, and in the case of the 2000 Presidential election, potentially millions of voters.

We have clearly gone overboard to make what is, after all, a civic duty, a right of citizenship, too easy at the expense of voting integrity.  When people can not count on the fact that each citizen gets one, and only one vote, and that those who are prevented from voting do not do so, no one can believe that they are being represented by the people they for whom they voted.  In fact, the Democrats are creating a banana republic right before our eyes, and if they are not careful, we they may start getting banana republic politics to go with it.

Update: Ann Coulter has her usually caustic take on the Florida vote stealing right here.
Election recounts would be more plausible if Democrats occasionally let the Republican win. But they don't. Ballots miraculously discovered days and weeks after the election -- in the back seat of a car, after helpful "corrections" to the ballots by election supervisors, etc. -- invariably result in a surprise win for the Democrat.
Voters are just supposed to accept that, unless Republicans win an election by an insuperable margin, the Democrats will steal it.
I would have thought that 55,000 votes would be an insuperable amount. Dems do rise to the occasion, no?

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Remembering Kristallnact, or Night of the Broken Glass

80 years ago, between November 9 and 10, 1938, a progrom of the Jewish people, known as Kristallnact or Night of the Broken Glass, took place in Nazi Germany.  The official name of the Nazi party was "National Socialist German Workers Party.  The true difference between National Socialism and Communism is that Communism looked for the Socialist revolution of all nations resulting in a world government of the proletariat, whereas the National Socialist were worried (ostensibly) about themselves.  With that as a quick background, Gary Grindler wrote an article yesterday at the American Thinker entitled What Truly Caused the Progrom of 1938?:
Everyone knows what happened 80 years ago, November 9-10, 1938 in Germany. The unprecedented pogrom of the Jews got the name Kristallnacht – "Night of Broken Glass." Today, we are well aware of the approximate number of murdered Jews, destroyed businesses, and burned synagogues. The formal reason for the pogrom was the murder of the German diplomat Ernst vom Rath in Paris by the Jewish teenager Herschel Grynszpan on November 7.
Unfortunately, few people know about the true causes of the pogrom.
Who created the conditions under which a mass pogrom of Jews in the Third Reich could even take place?
Grindler goes on to explain the timeline of the systemic disarmament of the Jewish people by the Third Reich, the Nazis, until:
Finally, in March 1938, a new gun control law was passed in Germany. In this law, the only mention of Jews was in the part that declared a total ban on Jews from participating in the production and trade of firearms and ammunition. However, this law, on the one hand, lifted restrictions of the possession of firearms by members of all Nazi-connected organizations (such as the NSDAP, the SA, and the Hitler Youth) and on the other hand prohibited the possession of firearms by all "untrustworthy" and those persons "relieved of their civil rights." By the law of 1935, not only Jews, but also all political opponents of the Nazi regime, as well as Gypsies and the homeless, were treated as "untrustworthy."
Due to the combined application of the laws of the Third Reich of 1935 and 1938, the confiscation of all firearms from German Jews was categorically legalized.
As a result, a massive (and effective) campaign for the confiscation of weapons had begun, and in many regions of Germany, the Jews were wholly disarmed in just six months – by November 1938. For example, the day before the pogrom, on November 8, 1938, the New York Times published an article reported that the head of the Berlin police noted with satisfaction that practically all firearms from Berlin Jews had already been taken. The Nazis' sequester was effective because law-abiding German Jews registered all their weapons, as the law required. As a result, the addresses of the Jewish owners of the firearms and the details of the weapons in question were known to the authorities in advance.
You can read the rest of Grindler's article. It is an incredibly horrific event in a century characterized by incredibly horrific events. While it is important to keep track of it from a historical perspective, there are lessons here for us today in the United States.

The Democrats (read communists) have taken a majority in the House of Representatives. Nancy Pelosi, majority leader, has indicated that gun control will be a priority in the House. Could some sort of gun control get through? It is conceivable that a Republican Senate, under the right circumstances, could pass a bill that originated in the House requiring any number of restrictions on guns. As we have seen recently in California, with probably the toughest gun laws in the United States, gun control again did not work to stop the mass shooter in Thousand Oaks. Gun control never works to stop criminals, but as noted above, it does work to disarm those who follow the law. But of course, those who follow the law are not the problem with guns, are they?

Invariably we see that these mass shooters are mentally disturbed, often have been reading neo-Nazi and white supremacist or Islamic literature, and have become convinced that killing their so called "enemies" is the only way they can feel safe.  These people are like a computer that executes an endless do loop with no exit subroutine.  The problem is how to devise ways to get these people the help they need without also creating a way that the Left can characterize anyone it wants to as mentally disturbed and forcing them into "treatment."  We remember normal people who were so characterized in the Soviet Union, and placed in mental institutions away from influencing public life.  We do not want it here.  The current so called "Red Flag Laws" on the books in many states are too much, allowing the taking of property without due process.f 

The other thing we have seen over the last two years is the Democrats (read communists) have constantly demonized conservatives and those espousing conservative positions. Maxine Waters, who will be taking a leadership role in the new House, has actually encouraged people to confront conservatives and harass them.  And then of course, there was the attempted assassination of Republicans at the baseball practice in which Steve Scalice was injured. I don't want to suggest that conservatives and Christians have become the Left's new "Jews," to be disarmed and destroyed. At least not yet. But that is certainly one of the outcomes of the current trend.

A friend said yesterday that he was glad he was on the way out, that he would not live to see the destruction of the Republic and its utter devolution into chaos.  I have to admit to sometimes having similar thoughts and feeling a similar lack of faith.  I have no illusions, for instance, that I can defy a Federal order to confiscate guns and survive.  They already have an effective registry of the guns that have been purchased since 1968, just like the Nazis had one inherited from the Weimar Republic.  As to how the American people let the Democrats (read communists) back in power, I can only think that they were persuaded by ads that even as they were running, both the Democrats themselves, and the media knew were lies.  Nobody cared.

By the way, keeping your powder dry does not mean keeping it in the safe and only petting the can once in a while.  You can use it, they'll make more.  The time has come that if we don't start fighting back (rhetorically speaking) that we will lose everything.  Actually, the hour may be too late.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

It Is Probably Too Late for Mr. Bakke

For those who may not remember, California v. Bakke was the Supreme Court case that legitimized the principle of affirmative action in 1978.  It was another case of judicial activism.  I doubt though that Hubert Humphrey actually ate his hat as promised upon passage of the Civil Rights Act. While I support the act itself, which is intended to be colorblind, I have never agreed with affirmative action quotas.

Sultan Knish, aka Daniel Greenfield, writes about Harvard's Racist Diversity over at his blog. Harvard is being sued by 20,000 students who have been kept out of Harvard by a system of affirmative action. But as Greenfield points out:
The success of Asian students exposes the racist lie on which all the claims of white privilege are built. If America is a racist society that excludes non-whites, why do Asians succeed and thrive in it?
America is not a white supremacist society. It’s a fair and just society whose meritocracy has only been compromised by affirmative action. The lawsuit by Students for Fair Admissions reveals what racism in America really looks like. If you want to see institutional racism, skip the trailer parks where the last of the KKK wizards collect their food stamps, and look at Harvard’s affirmative action quotas.
Asian success represents a unique threat to the cult of diversity. Affirmative action is essentially a collectivist scheme for redistributing college admissions, jobs and business opportunities by race. To be in favor of it, and of any socialist scheme, you have to believe in your inability to succeed on your own.
That’s the essential question of the old debate between capitalism and socialism through the lens of identity politics. Some groups are willing to suppress individual merit for collective privileges even though accepting them sharply caps their individual ability to succeed. Others want off the plantation.
Socialism offered to cap individual potential in exchange for collective security. Affirmative action offers racial groups the same poisoned gift. It claims to do this in the name of fighting white privilege and institutional white supremacy. But what better tool of white supremacy could there be than seducing racial minorities into abandoning their best and brightest by offering them racial quotas and caps.
In the end, maybe if you don't believe in your own success, why should the larger society?

Its a Head Scratcher

Its a head scratcher for sure.

Yesterday, a leftist friend and I got into a gentle discussion.  I brought up that the recent purchase of Jordan Peterson's book 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos. I thought he would find the book interesting, perhaps useful for self understanding and improving his own life, and as a gift for his grand children. "Now, why is that? he asked. I replied that it appeared that socialism was gaining ascendancy among the youth, and that socialism had never worked. Which of course got his dander up. He wanted to know which socialist systems had not worked. I started with the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. I was prepared to cite every case of socialism from 1917 on. But he interrupted me with "That was not a case of socialism; that was a dictatorship!"  He had almost made the connection, and then he switched subjects.

The connection I wanted him to make was that socialism leads to totalitarianism, which eventually leads to dictatorship, and for the people living under such a system, there is little difference between a dictator, a so-called "King," or "Emperor," or indeed any other type of tyrant.  Rather than make the connection, he began talking about an oligarchy.  Well, of course I don't like oligarchies either, because that is another name for tyranny.

One of the things that has had me puzzled in the latest election is how people who have great wealth, can also at the same time be any form of Marxist.  It seems like one would have to daily fight off a case of congitive dissonances.  Of course, the boogyman of the right, George Soros earned his billions the old fashioned way: he stole them from people far less fortunate than himself.  And he hopes to dismantle the American system.  Why?  Why does any bad guy do what bad guys do?  Evil has its own apparent rewards.

But what about Tom Steyer, a hedge fund manager and self made billionaire.  What does he get out of spending his money on leftist causes?  Is he that ignorant of history that he believes he is spending money for charitable purposes?  Or does he believe he will get a return on his investment?   What about Larry Page, net worth $4 billion, who is the CEO of Alphabet, parent company of Google.  Or Jeff Bezos, net worth $156 billion, founder and CEO of Amazon.  What does he hope to gain from his efforts to help Left wing causes and candidates?

Of course, let us not forget Michael Bloomberg, $46.2 Billion net worth, and the funder of Everytown for Gun Sense as well as a number of state level gun grabbing bills, ballot initiatives, and so forth.  What does Michael Bloomberg get for his money?  It seems sometimes as if gun grabbing is an ego driven thing, a hobby horse if you will.  Bloomberg will always have armed body guards.  But he doesn't think the "little people" should have guns to guard themselves, just as he doesn't think New Yorkers should buy large sugary drinks.  Michael Bloomberg has changed his political affiliation again back to Democrat, not that his run as Mayor of New York on the Republican ticket fooled many.  He will be one of the people running to replace Trump in 2020.

So, here's a question.  One of the tenets of the Left is that material wealth should be evenly distributed, from each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs.  So how come these billionaires accumulated so much money in the first place?  If someone truly believed the wouldn't he have shunned the large salary, the stock options, and other inducements thrown his way so that others who needed it more instead could have had the wealth they needed?  Doesn't accumulating all that wealth, and then giving it to politicians, who go to congress precisely to become fabulously wealthy themselves seems hypocritical, no?

Its a head scratcher alright.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

How to Come In From the Warm Cocoon and Find Cold Hard Reality

I voted today.  It is a small enough civic duty.  There are other civic duties that are more onerous, such as sitting on a jury, and formerly, going out for militia training once a month.  As I was approaching the polling place, a woman asked if I would like a Democrat ballot, all filled out, of course.  "All you gotta do is vote like they tell you."  I declined.  What do I look like, a low information voter?  Inside, as I was waiting in line, it occurred to me that there was no one there to ask if I needed a Republican ballot.  Either the Republicans are as stupid as they are portrayed. or they have more faith in the intelligence of their voters.  I prefer to think its the latter, but will not discount the former.

This brings me to a piece I read this morning entitled Walking Away from Cognitive Dissonance by Karen Kataline. After giving the example of Judy Monro-Leighton, who perfectly exemplifies why we should not believe all women without evidence, she then provides this:
Here’s one they’re driving by now: Ten women in Vermont did a naked photo shoot for a campaign called “Grab Them by the Ballot.” Chelsea Handler recently joined the bandwagon just to add some celebrity gravitas to the cause.
I know we're not supposed to ask, but how does stripping naked with only a ballot to cover your private parts make the case that women are oppressed and Democrats should turn out to vote?
If you do ask, you can expect to be subjected to personal attacks and smears that have an “ist” or an “phobe” at the end. “Racist!” “Sexist!” “Homophobe!” “Xenophobe!” We ought to have a song with those lyrics. We could write it ourselves.
I have often wondered how people can believe two mutually exclusive things at the same time. It would be as if you believed tomatoes are poisonous and yet good for you, and you should eat as many of them as you can stand. For example, how can Nancy Pelosi, famous for being Catholic, also believe that women have a right to abortion on demand? Does she think God will forgive her when she meets him on judgement day?
I recently decided to challenge some of this thinking with alumni from Columbia University Graduate School of Social Work, of which I am a member. I posted the Judy Munro-Leighton story on their Facebook page. Without commenting on the piece itself, they screeched, “Troll!” and “Racist!” One poster called my ethics into question, and another said I shouldn’t be allowed near clients.
I have been treated to the same thing. People claiming liberal (I don't think the word means what they say it means) do not want any facts to get in the way of their thinking.  Unfortunately, one can not make them begin to think for themselves, they have to discover the reality on their own, and if often takes a long time, if ever.  Pray for them, as I will.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Its All About the Benjamins

The true nature of the invading force on our Southern border is exposed here by William L. Gensert in a piece at the American Thinker entitled The Caravan: Rules During an Invasion. Gensert takes a while to get to the heart of his argument, but it is this: the "caravan" otherwise known as an invading force, is a tool of the Democrat party.
Let's unmask the "caravan" for what it is.
Look at the timing. The mass of migrants seems to be scheduled to arrive at an hour of convenience for the Democratic Party. The timeframe is malleable. At first, there were trucks picking them up at night (when no one was looking) to get them to the border faster, just in time for the election. Suddenly, as the Democratic Party's needs have changed, those trucks have disappeared.
Yet we know, should things change again, and the Democrats want them to arrive before election day, there will be new trucks to bring them here. Should they want the huddled masses to breach our border after election day, they will let them continue their walk on foot. The determination of the course of "caravan" action will depend on what the president says and does and what the left thinks the optics will be.
It's all about the Benjamins. People mistake the left as an ideology when it is really a religion, and as with all false religions, proponents are all about power and wealth. It is not a coincidence that powerful Democrats all become fabulously wealthy, with multiple mansions and scads of servants, while serving the public.
I do not know who is funding the invasion, and I don't wish to speculate. The Left has a number of billionaires who could be funding it. Beto O'Rourke's campaign has been caught by Project Veritas apparently admitting sending them funding for supplies. There are other possible sugar-daddies who could benefit, including some in the Mideast as well as China.  But it does appear to be controlled by the American Left. 

America was won by conquest.  That was how things were done.  We are constantly chastised because we displaced the people who were already here.  Our culture displaced their culture. I here it all the time how put upon the Indians were, even though it now appears that they in turn conquered the peoples they refer to as the Ancient Ones.  The Left, sensing potential weakness in us, wants to exploit our supposed guilt over what our forebears did.  But I do not feel any guilt, do you?  If our forebears had not won an improbable victory in the New World, I would not be here.  So no, I am not sorry. But now, another culture wants to displace ours.  Why are they seen as good, when they are simply trying to do what we ourselves did?  If we were the bad guys then, why are not they seen as the bad guys now?  The answers to these, questions and more, can be found in the last quoted paragraphs: its all about the Benjamins. 

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Tucker Carlson at Prager University

Tucker Carlson explains the recent history of the immigration issue at Prager University. If you wonder why I say that the Dems have only one principle, Tucker Carlson explains it in a nutshell for one issue.  But its the same thing on all issues we face today.  They will back anyone who can deliver votes. Now, I am aware that Republican politicians are often only slightly less shameless, but at least Republican voter tend to have a few more principles, which keeps their politicians in check. Dems, not so much.

Saturday, November 3, 2018

If you haven't voted yet...

John C. Goodman explains Who's To Blame For Our Bitter Divide over at today. It is an interesting read, and I encourage gentle readers to go there and get a good education on the origin, purpose, and results of identity politics. Along the way, you will find that the real purpose of identity politics is specifically to divide people along tribal lines, set each tribe against the others, and reap the votes by promising to get revenge for perceived historic evils done to your tribe by others.
Identity politics divides us into tribes. It implicitly sets tribe against tribe. The divisions are created not by reason, but by emotion and resentment. Once tribal warfare begins, it takes on a mind of its own – under no one’s control. But let’s not forget how all this started.
The Democratic Party long ago ceased being the party of collectivist ideas. Today it is the party of identity collectivism. It’s what Ayn Rand once called “barnyard collectivism.” Further, identity politics not only engenders hateful divisiveness, it encourages violence and threatens the stability of our democratic institutions.
Goodman goes on to explain a tribal view of rights and responsibilities gives the aggrieved party greater rights and fewer responsibilities than the supposed oppressors. Whether we are taking about skin color, or feminists, or the LGBTQxtz crowd, the implication is that Democrats are going to repay, seek revenge, and right the historic wrongs of these aggrieved parties. And there are plenty of tribal hustlers out there making a living off of the perpetually aggrieved. Whether we are talking about the "Reverend" Al Sharpton and the "Reverend" Jesse Jackson, or the screetching harpies of the Feminazi movement, or the lawfare committed by LGBTQxyz against Christians who are trying to live their faith.

Goodman is correct that this must stop.  Was your great great grandfather held as a slave?  That is a tragedy for him no doubt.  But why is that a tragedy for you now?  The Lord works in mysterious ways, and there was a reason he put you here now, and I don't think its to make the white man pay.  Similarly, were you the queer kid who got picked on by the bullies in high school?  Not good, and no doubt you have resentments.  But have you never heard of Freddy Mercury and the super band Queen?  Mercury turned lemons into lemonade.  Maybe that would be a better way than to constantly carp, complain, and seek retribution for your resentments.

I have read somewhere that the United States produces one quarter of the worlds GDP. Think what we could accomplish if, instead of nursing grievances and making someone else pay, we put our minds to how we could improve the lives of others, while of course helping ourselves as well. That is after all the essence of a successful business.  Focus on making the others lives better.  Plant our feet in the here and now, because yesterday is a cancelled check, and tomorrow is a promissory note.  All we really have is today to make our lives meaningful.  Revenge may feel good, but it leaves one hollow.

I leave you with this:
There was a time when the liberal democrats endorsed traditional civil rights – believing that everyone should be equal before the law. Those days are gone. There was a day when our universities were dedicated to the unencumbered search for truth, wholeheartedly defending the right of people to express views with which they disagreed. Those days are also gone.
Here’s why this is dangerous. One step away from the belief that you have no right to express your ideas is the belief that you have no right to vote. One step away from the idea that you have no right to express your ideas in the polling booth is the belief that the people you vote for have no right to govern.
When lawfully elected governments are deposed in other countries it is almost always in the context of a claim that elected officials had no legitimate right to be elected in the first place.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

AFA Responds to Insane Arguments Against Armed Guards at Tree of Life shooting

The American Family Association Responds to Insane Arguments Against Armed Guards by Dr. Michael Brown. President Trump had suggested that every house of worship should have armed guards, and the Huffington Post had written an article that attempted to counter the Presidents suggestion, while hilariously making the President's case. Note that I was pointed to this article by David Codrea at the War on Guns.

Before we get started though, you should probably go read the HuffPo article, written by Erin Schumaker here.

Ms. Schumaker brings up a number of points, but the most interesting is that armed guards don't stop mass shootings, they just move them. About this, Brown writes:
I mean no insult to Schumaker, but really now, you have got to be kidding me. How can this be taken seriously?
First, for the people at Disney Springs and EVE Orlando, the security guards apparently saved their lives. You better believe they’re glad those guards discouraged the killer from attacking there.
Second, if the Pulse had the same type of visible security, the killer might not have gone there either. (There was, in fact, a guard inside the Pulse who traded gunshots with the killer. But it would appear the security was not as outward and visible as at the other locations.)
Brown goes on to note that:
Schumaker also references a more recent event, when “security measures deterred a gunman who tried to enter a predominately black church last week, but he went on to kill two people at a nearby Kroger supermarket.”
Again, I’m sure the members of that predominantly black church are grateful for those security measures. As for the people tragically killed at Kroger’s, perhaps if that store had those same security measures in place, the murderer would have left that scene as well.
If one wants to explore further afield, the Aurora, Colorado shooter also apparently over looked two closer theaters in favor of the one that advertised the unarmed status of their attendees.

While I am sure that having more armed security guards will not stop all mass shooting, it is also true here as elsewhere in life, that the perfect should not be the enemy of the good.  That is, while more armed guards, more visibly placed, will help reduce mass shootings, there is no perfect solution.  Those seeking to kill large number of people will always seek out the softest targets.  In the end, each of us is held liable by our creator for our own lives.  We are each our own first responders.