Liberty is an inherently offensive lifestyle. Living in a free society guarantees that each one of us will see our most cherished principles and beliefs questioned and in some cases mocked. That psychic discomfort is the price we pay for basic civic peace. It's worth it. It's a pragmatic principle. Defend everyone else's rights, because if you don't there is no one to defend yours. -- MaxedOutMama

I don't just want gun rights... I want individual liberty, a culture of self-reliance....I want the whole bloody thing. -- Kim du Toit

The most glaring example of the cognitive dissonance on the left is the concept that human beings are inherently good, yet at the same time cannot be trusted with any kind of weapon, unless the magic fairy dust of government authority gets sprinkled upon them.-- Moshe Ben-David

The cult of the left believes that it is engaged in a great apocalyptic battle with corporations and industrialists for the ownership of the unthinking masses. Its acolytes see themselves as the individuals who have been "liberated" to think for themselves. They make choices. You however are just a member of the unthinking masses. You are not really a person, but only respond to the agendas of your corporate overlords. If you eat too much, it's because corporations make you eat. If you kill, it's because corporations encourage you to buy guns. You are not an individual. You are a social problem. -- Sultan Knish

All politics in this country now is just dress rehearsal for civil war. -- Billy Beck

Friday, January 20, 2017

Quote of the Day, Inaguration Edition


I can now hate the President and not be racist.
I was all prepped to be called sexist. -- Zach Ariah on Facebook

Yup.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The Death of Civility

Remember the calls for increased civility following the 2011 shooting in Tucson where Congresswoman Giffords was wounded and 18 others were shot?  Obama called for "a new era of civility." The University of Arizona (Tucson) opened a new "National Institute for Civil Discourse."  "Political Civility" was the new buzzword - and, of course, all of the incivility came from those troglodytes on the Right.  In an early example of "fake news," the shooting was blamed on "right-wing rhetoric" because Sarah Palin "targeted" Giffords in campaign literature. Never mind that the shooter was mentally ill, politically to the Left, and absolutely not a Palin supporter.

Well, there's been a lot of the same rhetoric recently.  But why now?

Because Tough History is Coming.

In 2002 Charles Krauthammer defined the political divide this way:
To understand the workings of American politics, you have to understand this fundamental law: Conservatives think liberals are stupid. Liberals think conservatives are evil.
Thomas Sowell, who refers to the movers and shakers in the "progressive" movement as "the Anointed" stated in his book Intellectuals and Society:
Because the vision of the anointed is a vision of themselves as well as a vision of the world, when they are defending that vision they are not simply defending a set of hypotheses about external events, they are in a sense defending their very souls - and the zeal and even ruthlessness with which they defend their visions are not surprising under these circumstances. But for people with opposing views, who may for example believe that most things work out for the better if left to free markets, traditions, families, etc., these are just a set of hypotheses about external events and there is no huge personal ego stake in whether those hypotheses are confirmed by empirical evidence. Obviously everyone would prefer to be proved right rather than proved wrong, but the point here is that there is no such comparable ego stakes involved among believers in the tragic vision. (That would be those of us on the putative "right." - Ed.)

This difference may help explain a striking pattern that goes back at least two centuries - the greater tendency of those with the vision of the anointed to see those they disagree with as enemies who are morally lacking. While there are individual variations in this, as with most things, there are nevertheless general patterns, which many have noticed, both in our times and in earlier centuries. For example, a contemporary account has noted:
Disagree with someone on the right and he is likely to think you obtuse, wrong, foolish, a dope. Disagree with someone on the left and he is more likely to think you selfish, a sell-out, insensitive, possibly evil.
Psychologist and blogger Robert Godwin once wrote:
The philosopher Michael Polanyi pointed out that what distinguishes leftism in all its forms is the dangerous combination of a ruthless contempt for traditional moral values with an unbounded moral passion for utopian perfection. The first step in this process is a complete skepticism that rejects traditional ideals of moral authority and transcendent moral obligation--a complete materialistic skepticism combined with a boundless, utopian moral fervor to transform mankind.
David Horowitz spoke in 2013 at The Heritage Foundation.  For those unfamiliar with Mr. Horowitz, he was a "red diaper baby" - his parents were card-carrying Communists in the 50's - though he says they only referred to themselves as "Progressives" - and until he had his own epiphany in the 70's he himself was a committed Leftist.  No longer.  Here's a pertinent excerpt from that speech:
Progressives are focused on the future, and what's the chief characteristic of the future? It's imaginary! The future they are focused on never existed in human history, and as conservatives we understand it can never exist. It's an impossible dream and a very, very destructive one, as we know from the history of Progressive movements in the 20th Century which killed a hundred million people in peacetime.

--

It is, as I've said in many places, a crypto-religion. "The world is a Fallen place, and we're gonna save it."

This is what makes them so dangerous. They see themselves as Savior. A decent - I would say "authentic" religion says that the world is a really screwed up place and human beings are incapable of unscrewing it.

--

People who believe that Redemption will take place in this life, and they're going to be part of it, that's the Hitlers, that's the Lenins, that's the Maos. And unfortunately it's the ideology, moderated of course, but the ideology - moderated for the American framework - of the Democratic Party and the Progressive Left:  'If we have the power, we can do it.'

So if you believe that social institutions can change things by getting enough power, then when you look at your opponents, who are the people who are not going along with the program? You see yourself as the army of the Saints. Who are they? They are, YOU are the party of Satan!

If you want to understand a so-called liberal, just think of a hellfire and damnation preacher and his mentality. That's what it is. That's why they're rude, they're always interrupting, that's why it doesn't bother them in the least that there are no conservatives on their faculty. Because conservatives are evil, they're spreading ideas that are evil, that are keeping people from enjoying this paradise on Earth that they're going to bring about.
And, from the post A Thumbnail History of the Twentieth Century at the now-defunct blog Canus Iratus, this piece I've quoted repeatedly:
The rise and fall of the Marxist ideal is rather neatly contained in the Twentieth Century, and comprises its central political phenomenon. Fascism and democratic defeatism are its sun-dogs. The common theme is politics as a theology of salvation, with a heroic transformation of the human condition (nothing less) promised to those who will agitate for it. Political activity becomes the highest human vocation. The various socialisms are only the most prominent manifestation of this delusion, which our future historian calls "politicism". In all its forms, it defines human beings as exclusively political animals, based on characteristics which are largely or entirely beyond human control: ethnicity, nationality, gender, and social class. It claims universal relevance, and so divides the entire human race into heroes and enemies. To be on the correct side of this equation is considered full moral justification in and of itself, while no courtesy or concession can be afforded to those on the other. Therefore, politicism has no conscience whatsoever, no charity, and no mercy.
David Horowitz would disagree with the assertion that "the rise and fall of the Marxist ideal is rather neatly contained in the Twentieth Century," but other than that, I cannot disagree with Glen Wishard's analysis of "politicism."  Neither does Jonah Goldberg.

Why was the Tea Party so reviled?  Because a lot of them figured this out.  Goldberg in his 2008 book, Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Change said:
Progressivism, liberalism, or whatever you want to call it has become an ideology of power. So long as liberals hold it, principles don't matter. It also highlights the real fascist legacy of World War I and the New Deal: the notion that government action in the name of "good things" under the direction of "our people" is always and everywhere justified. Dissent by the right people is the highest form of patriotism. Dissent by the wrong people is troubling evidence of incipient fascism.
Andrew Breitbart certainly understood it, and was the target of so much hatred they made a documentary about it.  (Recommended, by the way.  Strongly.)  Alaska had an invasion of "investigative reporters and scandal-chasers" when Sarah Palin was announced as McCain's pick for Veep, according to MotherJones in September, 2008.  Politico noted at about the same time:
The Palin sleuthing in and around Wasilla is getting a little ridiculous, said T.C. Mitchell, an Anchorage Daily News reporter who covers Wasilla and Palmer and was waiting in the Palmer courthouse clerk’s office to make copies of the Richters' file. He had been there earlier in the day and inspected the most pertinent parts, but wanted to make sure he didn’t miss a peripheral detail and get scooped by the suddenly ubiquitous national press.

Mitchell said the Daily News received a call from a media outlet seeking the rules of the Miss Wasilla Pageant, presumably to determine whether Palin cheated when she won it in 1984.

There’s a growing backlash in and around Wasilla to the prying of the national media into the life of their native daughter and her family.

As journalists from ABC News — and, of course, Politico — on Wednesday leafed through bound copies of the Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman at the local newspaper’s Wasilla office looking for a 1996 story detailing then-Mayor Palin’s conversations with the local librarian about censorship, Frontiersman reporter Michael Rovito said he was not going to write about the pregnancy of Palin's 17-year-old daughter Bristol.
As a commenter at the Columbia Journalism Review said at the time:
.... now if someone would start digging though some garbage cans in Chicago. Silly me!
Yes, silly him.

So the American public was told everything the muckraking media could dig up (or invent) about Palin during the race, yet just a few days prior to the election, former NBC anchor Tom Brokaw commented during an interview with PBS talking-head Charlie Rose that "we don't know much about Obama."  He was speaking about Obama's foreign policy positions, but Charlie Rose later said:  "I don't know what Barack Obama's worldview is."  Brokaw responded, "No, no.  I don't either."


We knew everything there was to know about Sarah Palin, though much of it was wrong - "fake news," but no one could be bothered to talk to anyone about Obama's relationships with Bill Ayers or Rev. Wright, much less find out about his college admissions, transcripts or anything he'd ever written for the Harvard Law Review.  Mitt Romney and the 2012 election?  He put his dog on the roof of his car, and he didn't pay his taxes.  Oh, and he had "binders of women," the sexist.

Albert Gore wrote in a 2010 New York Times op-ed:
From the standpoint of governance, what is at stake is our ability to use the rule of law as an instrument of human redemption.
Human redemption. The deliverance of humans from sin. By use of Rule of Law. Yeah, no gulags implicit in that.

The thought chills, and he said it in perfect seriousness.

Two years prior to that, Barack Obama stated, after winning the Democrat primary race:
...I am absolutely certain that generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless; this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal; this was the moment when we ended a war and secured our nation and restored our image as the last, best hope on earth.
I can't help but think he was talking only about the Progressives.

Now we have President-elect Donald J. Trump, largely elected by the people who made up the Tea Party and who were contemptuously rejected by the Republican establishment, not to mention reviled by the Progressive Left.  And the Left is going batsh!t.  The source of today's QotD delves further into this Church of Progressivism theme.  A further excerpt from that piece:
The Blue Church is panicking because they've just witnessed the birth of a new Red Religion. Not the tired old Christian cliches they defeated back in the '60s, but a new faith based on cultural identity and outright rejection of the Blue Faith.

For the first time in decades, voters explicitly rejected the Blue Church, defying hours of daily cultural programming, years of indoctrination from the schools, and dozens of explicit warnings from HR.

We've been trained since childhood to obey the pretty people on TV, but for the first time in decades, that didn't work.

Donald Trump won because flyover America wants their culture back, and Blue Team has not been rejected like that before.

The younger ones have grown up in an environment where Blue Faith assumptions cannot even be questioned, except anonymously by the bad kids on Twitter.

But now the bad kids are getting bolder, posting funny memes that make you laugh even though John Oliver would not approve, like passing crude dirty pictures under the table in Sunday School.

Meryl Streep is panicking because for the first time voters have rejected HER, and everything her faith has taught her to believe.

There is a new faith rising on the right, not an explicit religious faith like old-school Christianity, but a wicked kind of counterculture movement. We laughed at the hippies in 1968, but by 1978 they were teaching in classrooms and sitting behind school administrator desks.

Where will the hippies of 2016 be sitting after eight years of Trump? How many of the shitposting Twitter bad boys will start up alternative media outlets, until one of them becomes the new Saturday Night Live?

Sam Hyde tried it on Adult Swim, but that was just the early prototype, like Mad Magazine was for the left. There will be many others after him, and they won't be stopped by network filters. They'll come "out of nowhere" on the web, from the secret places that the inquisitors at Google can't shut down.

And that's what Meryl Streep is really scared of. She's not truly aware of it, just like fluttering housewives couldn't really understand the counterculture threat in 1968. But they feel that something is changing in their safe little world, and they know they have to fight it, because this threat isn't just passing pointless budget resolutions and selling pointless platitudes about family values - these guys mean business, and they're fighting on her turf.
And once again "political civility" is on the tongues of the media talking heads, and the waves of incivility are being blamed on Trump's supposed legions of hatey-hatemonger racist homo-xeno-gender-phobes in a renewed " 'Shut up,' they explained" campaign. Never mind the actual evidence.

But we won't shut up anymore.  We're now in a war of religions, Red vs. Blue, and we know how "civil" those are.

It's going to be an interesting four years.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Quote of the Day - Politics as Religion Edition

This Reddit essay, Why Hollywood is really freaking out over Trump was pointed to on Facebook this weekend, and I strongly recommend you read the whole thing, but this excerpt needs to be memorialized:
Blue Team Progressivism is a church, offering you moral superiority and a path to spiritual enlightenment. As a church it's got a lot going for it. It runs religious programming on television, all day every day. Every modern primetime program is like a left-wing Andy Griffith show, reinforcing lessons of inclusion, tolerance, feminism, and anti-racism.

Watching a 90-pound Sci-Fi heroine beat up a room full of giant evil men is as satisfying to the left as John Wayne westerns were for the right.

The Blue Church controls the HR department, so even if you don't go to church, you have to act like a loyal churchgoer in every way that matters while you're on the clock. And off the clock, on any kind of public social media platform.

Jon Stewart and John Oliver are basically TV preachers. Watching them gives the same sense of quiet superiority your grandma gets from watching The 700 Club. The messages are constantly reinforced, providing that lovely dopamine hit, like an angel's voice whispering, "You're right, you're better, you're winning."

Hollywood award shows are like church talent shows - the skits and jokes aren't really funny, but it's fun to look at the pretty girls, and you're all on the same team.
He's right. Not only is the "news" media the clergy of that church, but the entertainment media is, too. I'd go so far as to say that the entertainment media is the actual "High Church" while the news media is its Inquisition.

See also, this.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

In Other Bedbug-Related News...

So, I'm cleaning the computer / reloading room because of the damned things, and I'm going through all the stuff I've accumulated over the last few years reloading related.

Holy crap, I've got a lot of stuff. Just some of what I've been surprised by:

1,300 Speer 200 grain .45 Gold Dot projectiles, plus another 200 230 grain Short Barrel GDHP (and I still have 50 of the classic 200 grain "Flying Ashtray" projectiles). I've got about 500 Rainier Ballistics 200 grain plated HP's. But only 1,000 pieces of unprimed brass.

500 pieces of Winchester .38 Super unprimed brass, new in unopened 100 round bags. (I traded my .38 Super in on my Hi Power last year.) Plus about 200 rounds of loaded ammo and another 150 once-fired cases. (Never did find a lot of that brass after shooting it.)

680 pieces of 405 grain Remington .458 jacketed softpoint projectiles and 975 300 grain .458 JHP projectiles, plus another 200 Speer 400 grain SPRN. I think I can feed my .458 SOCOM and .45-70 for a few years.

I should have gone through all this stuff a while back.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Trump's Press Conference Announcement

President-elect Donald Trump has announced that he now has all the materials necessary to build the promised wall along the Mexican border.

When he won the election, 60+ million Democrats shit a brick....

Monday, January 09, 2017

The Husband Store

My dad sent me this one, and I had to share.

One day a woman happens upon the store and enters the ground floor.  She is met by a large sign that says "All the men on this floor have jobs."

"Wow," she thinks, "that's a good thing, but hardly sufficient to make them marriage material." So she gets on the elevator and goes to the second floor.  On this floor she is greeted by a sign that says, "On this floor all the men have jobs and like kids." 


"That's great, but I have to wonder what's on the next floor!" so on she goes.

The sign on the third floor says "On this floor all the men have jobs, like kids and help with housework."  She doesn't even bother stepping off the elevator - on to the fourth floor.

"On this floor all the men have jobs, like kids, help with housework and are devastatingly handsome."  On to floor five!

"On this floor all the men have jobs, like kids, help with the housework, are devastatingly handsome and romantic."

You know what happens next.

When the elevator doors open on the sixth floor, there is only one light lit, the one that illuminates the sign.  THIS sign says, "You are shopper 33,695,427 to reach this floor.  There are no men on this floor.  This floor serves to illustrate that no matter what, no woman can be pleased.  Thank you for confirming our hypothesis."



Now across the street, the same man built a Wife Store.  Same six floor design, same rules.  On the first floor the sign says "All the women on this floor love sex."  On the second floor the sign says "All the women on this floor love sex and have money."

No one has ever visited floors 3 through 6.

About Damned Time

I have complained on this forum for quite a while about 18 USC 922(g)(1) dating back to 2005.  Recently over at Quora someone asked What would you change about American gun laws? My answer:
It would be simpler to ask “What wouldn’t you change about America’s gun laws?” Other answers here have been interesting, but I think in this case I will answer a slightly different question: “What ONE gun law would you change if you could?”

I would change 18 U.S. Code § 922 (g)(1)
It shall be unlawful for any person who has been convicted in any court of, a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year to ship or transport in interstate or foreign commerce, or possess in or affecting commerce, any firearm or ammunition; or to receive any firearm or ammunition which has been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce.
Do you have any idea how many “crimes” are “punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year”? Note that you don’t have to actually be sentenced to “more than one year,” just that the sentence could be more than one year.

Here’s a few examples:
It used to be that “felony” meant:
a crime, typically one involving violence, regarded as more serious than a misdemeanor, and usually punishable by imprisonment for more than one year or by death.
Now misdemeanors come with possible sentences of two years, and you can be charged with a felony for failing to pay for a movie ticket. And there’s no path to get your rights back.

If I could change nothing else, I’d change that.
Well, it's being challenged in court, and one of the lawyers challenging it is Alan Gura (h/t to SayUncle for the pointer).  Gura won in the 3rd Circuit, but is also pursuing a similar case in the D.C. District Court.  The government has filed a petition for certoriari to the Supreme Court after their loss in the 3rd Circuit.  Hopefully a good replacement for Scalia will be seated on the Court in time to hear it, should they grant cert.

On an unrelated note, I just realized that this is my first post for 2017.  I guess I really am cutting back.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Another Quora Thread

No, not that thread, a different one.  If you're among the tl;dr crowd, just skip down to the last comment.  It's in gold.

Here's the question that was asked last December:

Questions that Contain Assumptions:  How do extreme gun rights advocates defend the fact that the shooter in San Bernadino was able to legally buy AR-15 assault rifles with 1400 rounds of bulletproof vest-piercing ammunition?

Here's my answer and the comment thread that followed:
You're obviously not familiar with California's gun laws. If, in fact, the San Bernadino shooters were armed with fully-functional AR-15 rifles, they did not acquire them legally. Those are verboten in California, as are pipe bombs.

You are also obviously not familiar with "bulletproof" vests. Vests are classified by what power levels they are rated to stop. The classes are:

Level I - rated to stop up to .38 Special, a rather mild handgun round.
Level IIA - rated to stop up to 9x19mm and some .357 Magnum handgun rounds.
Level II - rated to stop high-velocity .357 Magnum.
Level IIIA - rated to stop most .44 Magnum handgun rounds.

You'll note that none of these are rated to stop any rifle cartridge. The Level IIIA vest is the heaviest vest normally worn by police officers in the performance of their everyday duties, because as the level of protection goes up, the vests get thicker, heavier, stiffer, hotter, and more uncomfortable. A Level IIIA vest or lighter won't stop a .30-30 Winchester round (traditional deer rifle cartridge) from one of these:

 photo win94.jpg

The lightest rated vest that can stop a 5.56NATO round (the round fired by the standard AR-15 rifle) is Level III, and it includes plates made of steel or ceramic. Level IV vests are the only vests literally described as being able to stop "armor piercing" ammunition fired from rifles, and 5.56NATO ammunition does not meet the definition of "armor piercing."

As far as having 1,400 rounds, that's less than a case and a half of ammunition - otherwise known as "a good weekend" in a lot of places in America.
Edwin Blake Waddell
We can quibble over specifics. My only point here is that it bothers me (and many others) that these shooters were able to get assault-style rifles (or weapons, whatever semantics you prefer) legally. My point was never that the weapons were obtained illegally. That's the whole problem! Some laws need to change. I question how thorough these "background" checks are. The F.B.I. found evidence that Farook was in touch with people domestically and abroad who have Islamist extremist views, according to officials. Sounds like a red flag to me. We can argue about whether they had "rifles" or "weapons" and how many rounds of ammo they had, and what kind of bullets they were but the bottom line is: another day in America, another mass shooting and it is becoming the "new normal." Whether they are terrorists or mentally ill or normal people who "snap", I'll say it again: It's too damn easy to get a gun (especially multiple assault guns) in this country! Something needs to change. Background checks need to be expanded. Maybe a mental health evaluation needs to be passed before purchasing a gun. I think I am hearing from "good guys" who want to "keep their guns." NO PROBLEM! I don't want to take away guns from good guys. They may save my live some day. But strengthening a few regulations might, just might, keep some "bad guys" from getting guns. I would think responsible, safe gun owners would welcome tighter regulations. You guys would PASS a tighter background check. The Farooks of world (mostly) would not. I know: "bad guys still find a way of getting weapons." Well some, yes. But if tighter regulations kept just a few mass shootings from happening, it is worth it!
Except the weapons were acquired illegally, and apparently modified illegally, and combined with illegal explosives.

And your response is that you want to make it MORE illegal. Illegaler!

I think you need to do some research. How about reading this report (PDF, 18 pages):

Enforcement of the Brady Act, 2010

If that's too long for you, here's the TL;DR version:

In 2010, about 76,000 background checks resulted in denial of sales, some 47.4% of which (34,459) were for "a record of a felony indictment or conviction." How many people ended up in jail for signing their names to a falsified Form 4473 - which carries a 5-year prison sentence? Well, 62 people were "referred for prosecution." That's 0.18%.

Of those 62, thirteen plead guilty or were found guilty - down from 73 in 2006.

Or how about this:

 photo federalprosecutions.jpg

It doesn't appear that more laws are needed, but possibly the will to use the ones we've got already. I have to ask - if we aren't using those laws, then what are they for? And why should we add MORE?
EBW
Ok, I'm fine with using the ones we have if they will really bring down gun related deaths. I just think that access to guns is part, not all, of the problem. I'm not satisfied with the ways things are in America related to gun deaths. The rate of prosecutions are not keeping up with the rate of gun deaths. Look at the stats in this article especially in contrast to other countries:http://www.vox.com/2015/10/3/9444417/gun-violence-united-states-america
Gun related deaths are down. Are YOU aware of this?

Gun Homicide Rate Down 49% Since 1993 Peak; Public Unaware

 photo homicides.jpg

The guns are already out there. They're not going to go away. Making it more difficult for people to buy guns from gun shops will have NO EFFECT on firearm accessibility to people who are willing to commit murder, which (as it happens) is also illegal.

Here's one of my favorite excerpts from the gun control meta-study commissioned by the Carter Administration and published in 1982 as Under the Gun: Weapons, Crime and Violence in America:

"The progressive's indictment of American firearms policy is well known and is one that both the senior authors of this study once shared. This indictment includes the following particulars:

(1) Guns are involved in an astonishing number of crimes in this country.

(2) In other countries with stricter firearms laws and fewer guns in private hands, gun crime is rare.

(3) Most of the firearms involved in crime are cheap Saturday Night Specials, for which no legitimate use or need exists.

(4) Many families acquire such a gun because they feel the need to protect themselves; eventually they end up shooting one another.

(5) If there were fewer guns around, there would obviously be less crime.

(6) Most of the public also believes this and has favored stricter gun control laws for as long as anyone has asked the question.

(7) Only the gun lobby prevents us from embarking on the road to a safer and more civilized society.

"The more deeply we have explored the empirical implications of this indictment, the less plausible it has become. We wonder, first, given the number of firearms presently available in the United States, whether the time to "do something" about them has not long since passed. If we take the highest plausible value for the total number of gun incidents in any given year - 1,000,000 - and the lowest plausible value for the total number of firearms now in private hands - 100,000,000 - we see rather quickly that the guns now owned exceed the annual incident count by a factor of at least 100. This means that the existing stock is adequate to supply all conceivable criminal purposes for at least the entire next century, even if the worldwide manufacture of new guns were halted today and if each presently owned firearm were used criminally once and only once. Short of an outright house-to-house search and seizure mission, just how are we going to achieve some significant reduction in the number of firearms available?" (pp. 319-20)

--

"Even if we were somehow able to remove all firearms from civilian possession, it is not at all clear that a substantial reduction in interpersonal violence would follow. Certainly, the violence that results from hard-core and predatory criminality would not abate very much. Even the most ardent proponents of stricter gun laws no longer expect such laws to solve the hard-core crime problem, or even to make much of a dent in it. There is also reason to doubt whether the "soft-core" violence, the so-called crimes of passion, would decline by very much. Stated simply, these crimes occur because some people have come to hate others, and they will continue to occur in one form or another as long as hatred persists. It is possible, to be sure, that many of these incidents would involve different consequences if no firearms were available, but it is also possible that the consequences would be exactly the same. The existing empirical literature provides no firm basis for choosing one of these possibilities over the other. Restating the point, if we could solve the problem of interpersonal hatred, it may not matter very much what we did about guns, and unless we solve the problem of interpersonal hatred, it may not matter much what we do about guns. There are simply too many other objects that can serve the purpose of inflicting harm on another human being." (pp. 321-22)


Here we are 33 years on, with probably 200 million more firearms in private hands. Homicide rates are at levels last seen in the 1960's, but nobody told the public, and the constant drumbeat of "GUN CONTROL!" is increasing in tempo.

I wonder why that is?
EBW
I'm sure we could trade "definitive" articles all night to support our views (my turn) but 'crazy me' still thinks that the more guns there are, the more gun deaths there are. http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2013/09/13/2617131/largest-gun-study-guns-murder/
AKA: "I reject your reality and substitute my own."
EBW
Yep. We both have our own versions of reality.
The question is: Which of our two respective realities is the one that doesn't go away when you stop believing in it?
And the pièce de résistance, posted tonight, more than a year after this thread originated:
Sekaye Knutson

I was leaning towards increased gun control until I saw this beautifully thorough thread.
And THIS is why I write there.

RIP Professor Brian Anse Patrick

Just announced on his Facebook page:

It brings me great sadness to report that Brian Anse Patrick, pictured here with a great elk that he took down in Montana in 2010 (his favorite activity of all), known to many as the author of numerous books published by Arktos and elsewhere, as a Professor of Communication at the University of Toledo, as a championship target shooter and advocate for gun rights, as a CCW permit instructor, as well as through his many lectures and interviews on the subjects of propaganda and the American gun rights movement, passed away after suffering from cancer on the night of December 26/27 at the all too premature age of 62. As generous a soul as there has ever been, many of us who knew him can attest that our lives were made better through our friendship with him. Brian helped me through many rough patches of my own life over the course of nearly 20 years with his sage counsel and indefatigable drive to help his friends, as well as with his astute wit, which was matched only by the sharpness of his marksman's eye. He was also the one who first taught this city boy how to shoot and appreciate the outdoors at his estate in northern Michigan, a true refuge from the ravages of the modern world where we would be regaled with tales of his wild youth and philosophically plumb the depths of life, the universe, and everything while quaffing the finest spirits. He was certainly the most fiercely independent individual I have ever known in both mind and action, and a man who benefited from a lifetime of wide reading and love of good books. I also never knew anyone else who could throw together a meal in half an hour from whatever was lying around his kitchen and have it taste like the best thing you'd ever eaten on every single occasion - and never be the same twice. His story, rising from a ne'er-do-well problem child with a GED to become a tenured professor, should be an inspiration to those who see academia as closed to the unconventional. He was representative of an archetypal type of primordial American which is becoming all too rare in America today. Brian, wherever you are now, you won't be forgotten.
Professor Patrick is the author of The National Rifle Association and the Media: The Motivating Force of Negative Coverage, which I quoted from extensively in my 2008 überpost The Church of MSM and the New Reformation. Someone sent the Professor a link to it, and after that we sometimes traded emails and he sent me proof copies of a couple of his later publications. Great guy and a stout supporter of the Second Amendment. Read his 2015 Daily Caller peice, A Martin Luther of Gun Rights?

Give 'em hell wherever you are, Professor.

It's official:  2016 sucks donkey balls.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Quick! Before it Disappears!

Got another live one over at Quora.  If you don't want to read the entire thread (it's epic), just skip down to the last two comments in the thread started by "Iwan Doherty."

Wow.  Just...wow.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

I Was Only Off by Twelve Years...

Back in 2004 I predicted:
So, here's my prediction: When Bush wins the election with enough margin to prevent cheating on the part of the Dems, there are going to be riots. There will also be domestic terrorism by the moonbats.

The "Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party" has no place to go? They've been stirred up past the point of no return. They're going to go completely nuts.
I was only off by, oh, twelve years and three elections:

 photo desperate_democrats.jpg

Ironbear was right - the thought that they no longer have their hands on the levers of power has made them go stark-raving.  In addition to the items listed above:
Suddenly that "cold civil war" is warming up.

"May you live in interesting times," indeed.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Observations on South Carolina

So I've been back in South Carolina for my third trip in the last eight weeks or so, and I've had some thumb-twiddling time here so I've done a bit of driving around and sampling local cuisine at non-chain restaurants, and one trip to a local movie house (tiny, two-screen, one-show-a-night), and I've noticed some things.
  • Apparently there was a helluva recent storm (I expect it was Hurricane Matthew).  There are trees and highway signs down everywhere in various stages of being cleaned up. 
  • There's a lot more swamp in South Carolina than I realized.
  • There's a lot more trees in South Carolina than I realized.  Damn those woods are thick!
  • There are more churches per square mile than I would have believed.
  • Palmetto State Armory has a LOT of billboards up on major thoroughfares.  Black rifles - with suppressors! - don't seem to frighten the natives.
  • I've lived in the South before, and South Carolina is hands-down one of the most polite and friendly places I've ever been.
  • Even small towns seem to have 2-3 Japanese restaurants of some kind or another.
  • BBQ appears to be the State Food.
  • At least in November and December the combination of cool air and lots of water makes for a lot of morning fog.  Coming from southern Arizona that's kinda cool.  Haven't seen fog in a while.
Anyway, that's what I have to report.   Oh, and I saw a couple of deer this morning crossing a fairly major road.  Lots of "deer processing" places advertising on the side of the highways, too.  Given the thickness of the local woods, I don't imagine there are a lot of long shots during hunting season, unless you're on the opposite side of a farmer's field.

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Miss Sloan

So there's a movie opening this weeked wherein the NRA is bashed by a Washington lobbyist.  I thought I was going to have to sit down and write a screed, but someone already beat me to it.  Once again in the longstanding tradition of TSM, here are another person's words who said it better than I could.  From the IMDB.com page for the film, I give you AdultAudienceMember's review of "Miss Sloan":
Movies like this are like peeing on yourself in a dark suit. It might make you feel warm and relieved for a little bit, but in the end you have done nothing but stained your underwear. This movie was obviously meant to be red meat for the victorious Hillary. Ooops, that didn't work. Libs, gun control is dead. This movie is full of lies and half truths. According to the FBI, so-called assault weapons are used in so few crimes (only a fraction of the 500 deaths out of 30,000 annually), that they don't bother keeping and exact count. Most deaths (2/3rds) are suicides of old white men. Of the remaining the vast majority of deaths are associated with gangs, drugs, and cities run by Dems. Why isn't there a movie about the urban culture of Chicago where young black men are being slaughtered by other young black men? Well, that wouldn't fit the narrative, would it? As for the contention that most gun owners want more restrictions, that is believed only by the uneducated. I teach psychology, sociology, and statistics. That number was milked from a survey. Surveys are statistical and psychological manure. They require voluntary participation and honesty. Few gun owners are going to participate and civil-rights opponents will lie.

The WHO concluded that there is no correlation between gun violence and ownership. It is a cultural issue. As for suicides, Japan allows no firearms and has just about the highest rate while the US, with just about the loosest on the planet, is tied for 50th in the list of nations. It doesn't take any courage to make a movie based on lies. It's about the money....and this dog will lose tons of it.

Since 2000, the FBI has processed 300 million firearm sales. Prior to that there was a conservative 200 million already in civilian hands. BHO has sold more guns than any other President hands down. And yet, with one half billion firearms in the US, the violent crime rate continues to fall. As concealed carry States have swollen to include all but three, crime has dropped. Where is the blood in the streets?

What should have been made is a movie about Obamacare and all the damage it has done to health care. That is a crime. Well, that's going to get washed away soon, too.

I am sure pajama boys and overweight Trigglypuffs will go see this and then weep at what could have been. And that is good. Nothing is so sweet as the taste of liberal tears.
Bravo, sir. Bravo!

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Deal With It

I got this piece by email from my dad.  Apparently it's making the rounds of the interwebs.  Written by Irish op-ed columnist Ian O'Doherty in Ireland's Independent newspaper, his Nov. 13th column A two fingers to a politically correct elite is worth your time, I think (links and bold emphasis mine):
Tuesday November 8 2016 - a day that will live in infamy or the moment when America was made great again?

The truth, as ever, will lie somewhere in the middle. After all, contrary to what both his supporters and detractors believe - and this is probably the only thing they agree on - Trump won't be able to come into office and spend his first 100 days gleefully ripping up all the bits of the Constitution he doesn't like.

But even if this week's seismic shockwave doesn't signal either the sky falling in or the start of a bright new American era, the result was, to use one of The Donald's favourite phrases, huge. It is, in fact, a total game changer.

In decades to come, historians will still bicker about the most poisonous, toxic and stupid election in living memory.

They will also be bickering over the same vexed question - how did a man who was already unpopular with the public and who boasted precisely zero political experience beat a seasoned Washington insider who was married to one extremely popular president and who had worked closely with another?

The answer, ultimately, is in the question.

History will record this as a Trump victory, which of course it is.  But it was also more than that, because this was the most stunning self-inflicted defeat in the history of Western democracy.

Hillary Clinton has damned her party to irrelevance for at least the next four years. She has also ensured that Obama's legacy will now be a footnote rather than a chapter. Because the Affordable Care Act is now doomed under a Trump presidency and that was always meant to be his gift, of sorts, to America.

How did a candidate who had virtually all of the media, all of Hollywood, every celebrity you could think of, a couple of former presidents and apparently, the hopes of an entire gender resting on her shoulders, blow up her own campaign?

I rather suspect that neither Donald nor Hillary know how they got to this point.

Where she seemed to expect the position to become available to her by right - the phrase "she deserves it" was used early in the campaign and then quickly dropped when her team remembered that Americans don't like inherited power - his first steps into the campaign were those of someone chancing their arm. If he wasn't such a staunch teetotaller, many observers would have accused him of only doing it as a drunken bet.

But the more the campaign wore on, something truly astonishing began to happen - the people began to speak. And they began to speak in a voice which, for the first time in years in the American heartland, would not be ignored.

Few of the people who voted for Trump seriously believe that he is going to personally improve their fortunes. Contrary to the smug, middle-class media narrative, they aren't all barely educated idiots.

They know what he is, of course they do. It's what he is not that appeals to them.

Clinton, on the other hand, had come to represent the apex of smug privilege. Whether it was boasting about her desire to shut down the remaining coal industry in Virginia - that worked out well for her, in the end - or calling half the electorate a "basket of deplorables", she seemed to operate in the perfumed air of the elite, more obsessed with coddling idiots and pandering to identity and feelings than improving the hardscrabble life that is the lot of millions of Americans.

Also, nobody who voted for Trump did so because they wanted him as a spiritual guru or life coach.

But plenty of people invested an irrational amount of emotional energy into a woman who was patently undeserving of that level of adoration.

That's why we've witnessed such fury from her supporters - they had wrapped themselves so tightly in the Hillary flag that a rejection of her felt like a rejection of them. And when you consider that many American colleges gave their students Wednesday off class because they were too 'upset' to study, you can see that this wasn't a battle for the White House - this became a genuine battle for America's future direction. And, indeed, for the West.

We have been going through a cultural paroxysm for the last 10 years - the rise of identity politics has created a Balkanised society where the content of someone's mind is less important than their skin colour, gender, sexuality or whatever other attention-seeking label they wish to bestow upon themselves.

In fact, where once it looked like racism and sexism might be becoming archaic remnants of a darker time, a whole new generation has popped up which wants to re-litigate all those arguments all over again.

In fact, while many of us are too young to recall the Vietnam war and the social upheaval of the 1960s, plenty of observers who were say they haven't seen an America more at war with itself than it is today.

One perfect example of this new America has been the renewed calls for segregation on campuses. Even a few years ago, such a move would have been greeted with understandable horror by civil rights activists - but this time it's the black students demanding segregation and "safe spaces" from whites. If young people calling for racial segregation from each other isn't the sign of a very, very sick society, nothing is.

The irony of Clinton calling Trump and his followers racist while she was courting Black Lives Matter was telling.

After all, no rational white person would defend the KKK, yet here was a white women defending both BLM and the New Black Panthers - explicitly racist organisations with the NBP, in particularly, openly espousing a race war if they don't get what they want.

Fundamentally, Trump was attractive because he represents a repudiation of the nonsense that has been slowly strangling the West.

He represents - rightly or wrongly, and the dust has still to settle - a scorn and contempt for these new rules. He won't be a president worried about microaggressions, or listening to the views of patently insane people just because they come from a fashionably protected group.

He also represents a glorious two fingers to everyone who has become sick of being called a racist or a bigot or a homophobe - particularly by Hillary supporters who are too dense to realise that she has always actually been more conservative on social issues than Trump.

That it might take a madman to restore some sanity to America is, I suppose, a quirk that is typical to that great nation - land of the free and home to more contradictions than anyone can imagine.

Trump's victory also signals just how out of step the media has been with the people. Not just American media, either.

In fact, the Irish media has continued its desperate drive to make a show of itself with a seemingly endless parade of emotionally *incontinent gibberish that, ironically, has increased in ferocity and hysterical spite in the last few days.

The fact that Hillary's main cheerleaders in the Irish and UK media still haven't realised where they went wrong is instructive and amusing in equal measure. They still don't seem to understand that by constantly insulting his supporters, they're just making asses of themselves.

One female contributor to this newspaper said Trump's victory was a "sad day for women". Well, not for the women who voted for him, it wasn't.

But that really is the nub of the matter - the 'wrong' kind of women obviously voted for Trump. The 'right' kind went with Hillary. And lost.

The Irish media is not alone in being filled largely with dinner-party liberals who have never had an original or socially awkward thought in their lives. They simply assume that everyone lives in the same bubble and thinks the same thoughts - and if they don't, they should.

Of the many things that have changed with Trump's victory, the bubble has burst. Never in American history have the polls, the media and the chin-stroking moral arbiters of the liberal agenda been so spectacularly, wonderfully wrong.

It was exactly that condescending, obnoxious sneer towards the working class that brought them out in such numbers, and that is the great irony of Election 16 - the Left spent years creating identity politics to the extent that the only group left without protection or a celebrity sponsor was the white American male.

That it was the white American male who swung it for Trump is a timely reminder that while black lives matter, all votes count - even the ones of people you despise.

You don't have to be a supporter of Trump to take great delight in the sheer, apoplectic rage that has greeted his victory.

If Clinton had won and Trump supporters had gone on a rampage through a dozen American cities the next night, there would have been outrage - and rightly so.

But in a morally and linguistically inverted society, the wrong-doers are portrayed as the victims. We saw that at numerous Trump rallies - protesters would disrupt the event, claiming their right to free speech (a heckler's veto is not free speech) and provoking people until they got a dig before running to the *media and claiming victimhood.

Yet none of Clinton's rallies were shut down by her opponents (unlike Trump's aborted Chicago meeting) and the great mistake of the anti-Trump zealots should have learned was that just thinking you're right isn't enough - you need to convince others as well.

But, ultimately, this election was about people saying enough with the bullshit. This is a country in crisis, and most Americans don't care about transgender bathrooms, or safe spaces, or government speech laws. This was about people taking some control back for themselves.

It was about them saying that they won't be hectored and bullied by the toddler tantrums thrown by pissy and spoiled millennials and they certainly won't put up with being told they're stupid and wicked just because they have a difference of opinion.

But, really, this election is about hope for a better America; an America which isn't obsessed with identity and perceived 'privilege'; an American where being a victim isn't a virtue and where you don't have to apologise for not being up to date with the latest list of socially acceptable phrases.

Trump's victory was a two fingers to the politically correct.

It was a brutal rejection of the nonsense narrative which says Muslims who kill Americans are somehow victims. It took the ludicrous Green agenda and threw it out. It was a return, on some level, to a time when people weren't afraid to speak their own mind without some self-elected language cop shouting at you. Who knows, we may even see Trump kicking the UN out of New York.

Frankly, if you're one of those who gets their politics from Jon Stewart and Twitter, look away for the next four years, because you're not going to like what you see. The rest of us, however, will be delighted.

This might go terribly, terribly wrong. Nobody knows - and if we have learned anything this week, it's that nobody knows nuthin'.

But just as the people of the UK took control back with Brexit, the people of America did likewise with their choice for president.

It's called democracy.

Deal with it.

Monday, December 05, 2016

Friday, December 02, 2016

Fake But Inaccurate

So there's been a lot of buzz about "fake news" in media and political circles.  But Newsweak's political editor, Matthew Cooper admits that its "Madame President" issue cover article wasn't written by Newsweak staff, and wasn't even read by Newsweak editors before it published:


How much other content is written and unvetted by Newsweak's staff?  And for that matter, other "news" magazines'?

As Instapundit states about Global Warming alarmists' rants, "I'll believe it's a problem when they start acting like it's a problem."

Monday, November 28, 2016

Mental Maps

In 2005 I posted the piece below, titled Three Strikes and You're Out or Third Time's the Charm?
In either case, please note which direction they're traveling every time.

Back in February of last year I posted Love that Detroit Iron! which I will repost here in its entirety:
You have to give them an "A" for effort, or at least persistence. What a way to reimport the classics!

Marciel Basanta Lopez and Luis Gras Rodriguez have again attempted to sail from Cuba to Florida, but once again have unfortunately been intercepted by the Coast Guard short of their goal. Back in July they made the journey in a specially modified 1951 Chevy pickup.

Yes, really. Here's a picture of it:



Well, they just nabbed them (and eight of their friends and relatives) trying again. This time in a specially modified 1959 Buick!


They must have a lot of that funky green paint.

What's next? A 1955 Ford?
Well, they must've run out of green paint, and instead of a '55 Ford, they used a '48 Mercury:

Migrants' 'taxicab' boat stopped at sea (Link broken)

The Coast Guard halted a homemade craft about 25 miles off the Keys that looked like a taxi. The boat was loaded with Cuban migrants.

BY JENNIFER BABSON
jbabson@herald.com


KEY WEST - A blue, 1948 Mercury automobile loaded with Cuban migrants made it within 25 miles of the Keys late Tuesday before being stopped by the U.S. Coast Guard.

The unusual, homemade 'boat' -- described by federal officials as possibly a 'taxicab' and sporting a white top -- was stopped south of Summerland Key in the Lower Keys. It was the third time in nearly two years that Cuban migrants have tried to make it to the United States using trucks or cars specially rigged to operate as boats.

One of the men aboard the Mercury tried to make the voyage in February 2004 in a Buick but was sent back to Cuba, according to Luis Grass -- the brainchild behind similar attempts who made his way to Miami this year.
I wonder what Luis "drove" on his successful attempt?
BOARDING THE CRAFT

Television footage from NBC 6 in Miami on Tuesday night showed Coast Guard officers boarding the vehicle, which appeared to have been modified with a boat prow in front.

As many as 12 Cubans voluntarily left the car late Tuesday and moved onto a Coast Guard cutter, according to numerous federal sources. It was not immediately known if they would be returned to Cuba.

The interdiction unfolded just before dusk Tuesday.

"A U.S. Customs and Border Protection aircraft detected it just before 8 p.m.," said customs spokesman Zachary Mann. "According to our guys, it looked like a floating taxi."

Citing U.S. policy, Coast Guard spokeswoman Sandra Bartlett said she could not immediately comment on the incident or whether the migrants would be returned to Cuba, a process that could take several days.

Under the U.S. wet-foot, dry-foot immigration policy, Cubans who reach U.S. soil are almost always allowed to remain in the country, while those caught offshore are generally returned to Cuba unless they can convince a U.S. immigration officer they have a 'credible fear' of persecution if returned to the island.

'DRIVING' THE WAY

It was the latest in a series of recent attempts by Cubans to try to 'drive' their way to the Keys.

In July 2003, a group of Cuban migrants -- dubbed "truckonauts" and heralded for their ingenuity -- attempted to flee Cuba in a retrofitted, green 1951 Chevy truck. The group was stopped off Islamorada -- their truck-boat floating on a pontoon bed and powered by propellers that had been attached to the vehicle's drive shaft.

The vessel was sunk at sea as a hazard to navigation.

Returned to Cuba, several of the Cubans tried again in February 2004 using a similarly rigged 1959 Buick sedan. At least some of those who attempted that voyage, however, were taken to Guantánamo Bay in Cuba for resettlement in a third country.

Among that group was Grass, an enterprising mechanic credited with converting the classic vehicles into seaworthy escape vessels. Grass, his wife and young son were among 20 Cuban migrants resettled in Costa Rica last November.

ANOTHER TRY

Grass said late Tuesday that one of his pals -- who may have subsequently received a U.S. visa after failing last year to reach Florida by Buick -- made Tuesday's voyage with his two sons and his wife, who was having difficulty leaving Cuba because she is a doctor.

"He finally made a taxi from Havana to Miami," chuckled Grass, who told The Herald he spoke with the man's friends in Havana late Tuesday.

The group, he said, was from San Miguel Del Padron in Havana.

Grass and his family finally made it to the United States in March after crossing the Mexican border and requesting political asylum.
You have to admire their ingenuity and doggedness.
Bill Whittle noted once that if your map of idealism matches up with reality, you take note of which way the rafts are traveling when determining whether capitalism or communism works better. I can't remember the last time anyone risked their lives getting on a raft made of an antique car, much less flotsam and jetsam, and set sail for Havana to join the People's Paradise of Cuba.

How do you go about having a productive debate with people disconnected from reality? How do you reason with people who've abandoned the practice? How do you even discuss first principles with people who think words mean only what they want them to mean, and can change their definition at any time? For whom "winning" is the only priority, and are unparalleled masters at psychological projection?