Thursday, December 27, 2012

Thoughts On Current Gun Control Efforts

Thoughts On Current Gun Control Efforts

Guest post by Ol' Remus at Woodpile Report

As Napoleon said, never interrupt an enemy when he's making an error. Gun control activists are taking a tall dive into a blue pool, not realizing the rocks are only a few inches below the surface. AR-15 platform guns are the de facto home defense and sporting arm, yet they argue a return to another era. They've been told times have passed them by but they continue to weld themselves to the past, not even knowing bolt-action hunting rifles were originally state of the art weapons of war. It's understandable. They live in a chat-cocoon and say things like, "clips that hold twenty bullets", which to knowledgeable ears sounds like, "them thar fancy shootin irons what reloads their own selves right out of a little box." Yet somehow they're qualified to tell others what they "need." What's next, gas lights? Vacuum tube computers?

 Urban voting blocs are used to weilding command and control based on a steady input of spoon-fed misinformation. They think semi-auto rifles are some fantastic Superweapon Of Tomorrow, not understanding the AR-15 is well over fifty years old, the AK-47 even older. They'd be surprised to learn Mexico's first semi-auto was the Mondrag√≥n of 1887—yes, 1887—a capable arm in 7mm Mauser typically equipped with a 20-round magazine. Over a million were made. It was still in service sixty years later when the first AK-47 was issued—in 1947, duh—and even saw use in the Viet Nam War. 1887, the year Doc Holliday died and the Sherlock Holmes stories were born. Civil War veterans were around 40 years old. Grover Cleveland was president. Space Age technology it ain't.

 Nor do they understand a modestly equipped garage shop could turn out a half dozen good quality AK-like guns per day, with a late start and a long lunch. Hint: they were designed for just that. Pakistani mountain villagers can do it. STEN Guns and the like, even easier. Moonshiners make whiskey every day too, with no help from industrial distillers. Prohibitions don't work, won't work and never have worked. But just to be sure, let's see how the War on Drugs is doing. It's going on eighty years now and =>1000s CONVICTED 1000s<=. We must be down to our very last Reefer Madman by now, and if not, a redoubling of effort is indicated.

 Nor do they understand the 5.56 NATO is but a variation of the elderly .222, a mid-range varmint round of no particular distinction, certainly not the dazzling super-killer of journalist's imagination. An ammo prohibition? Dream on, Zeppelin fans. Aside from the billions of rounds on hand, deep-drawing cartridge brass was a mature technology in Lincoln's time. Which would be before electric lights and even the "easy availability" of modern steel. While it's not trivial, it's something a cottage industry could handle.

 The 9mm cartridge, of 1902 by the way, is particularly unchallenging. It's what the Uzi uses for one, and the 9mm launches bullets twice as heavy as the AR-15 does. Oh my! Cast lead bullets—bullets are the thingy that comes whizzing out of the barrel, Spanky—work just fine in most any cartridge. And common match heads are near enough to primer powder. Magazines? Rollforming by preference, but standard equipment will suffice. And so on. It's all antique technology. The future they fear and loathe arrived before their parents were born. But shhh, let them cling to their crank-start car mentality. It seems to comfort them.

 They've been told and told, yet they chose to take this swan dive. So far they're having a great time. You may want to avert your eyes when they smack against reality.

Reprinted with permission from Woodpile Report.

Monday, December 17, 2012

They Have Blood on Their Hands

They Have Blood on Their Hands

A gunman whose name we do not need to memorialize took advantage of our gun control laws to slaughter some 20 children and seven adults in a Newton, Connecticut elementary school.

In addition to the gunman, blood is on the hands of members of Congress and the Connecticut legislators who voted to ban guns from all schools in Connecticut (and most other states).  They are the ones who made it illegal to defend oneself with a gun in a school when that is the only effective way of resisting a gunman.

What a lethal, false security are the Gun Free Zone laws.  All of our mass murders in the last 20 years have occurred in Gun Free Zones.  The two people murdered a couple of days earlier in the shopping center in Oregon were also in a Gun Free Zone.

Hopefully the Connecticut tragedy will be the tipping point after which a rising chorus of Americans will demand elimination of the Gun Free Zone laws that are in fact Criminal Safe Zones.

One measure of insanity is repeating the same failure time after time hoping that the next time the failure will turn out to be a success.  Gun Free Zones are a lethal insanity.

We must tell our elected officials that they are acting as the criminals’ friends as long as they continue to support legislation that only protects criminals, not decent people.

Oh, and we must also insist that these criminal friendly elected officials not even try to blame gun owners and our “gun culture” for what a criminal did.  Had a few of us been available with guns at the Newton school, most of the victims might still be alive.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Prospects for Negotiations Dim

Prospects for Negotiations Dim

By George Friedman

The Israeli-Hamas conflict has entered into a negotiation phase. Both sides want talks. Hamas wants them because any outcome that prevents an Israeli ground assault gives it the opportunity to retain some of its arsenal of Fajr-5 rockets; the Israelis want them because the cost of an invasion could be high, and they recall the political fallout of Operation Cast Lead in 2008, which alienated many European and other governments.

 No matter how much either side might want to avoid ground warfare, negotiations are unlikely to forestall an Israeli assault because Hamas' and Israel's goals leave little middle ground.

 One of Hamas' main goals in this current round of fighting is to retain enough Fajr-5 rockets to allow it to threaten the Israeli heartland, the Tel Aviv-Jerusalem corridor. If they succeed, Hamas will have gained a significant lever in its relations with the Israelis. The Israeli goal is to deny Hamas these rockets. The problem for the Israelis is that this requires a ground assault in order to have any chance of success. The Israelis may think they know where the rockets are, but they cannot be certain. Airstrikes can target known facilities, at least those where rockets are not stored in hardened underground bunkers. But only by going in on the ground with substantial force will the Israelis have the opportunity to search for and destroy the rockets. 

Finding middle ground will be difficult. The retention of the Fajr-5 both dramatically improves Hamas' strategic position and gives Hamas the chance to further weaken the Palestinian National Authority. Hamas cannot agree to any deal that takes the rockets away -- or that does not at least leave open the possibility that it could have them. Meanwhile, Israel simply cannot live with the Fajr-5 in the hands of Hamas.

Lack of International Involvement

It is interesting to note the remarkable indifference of most countries that normally rush to mediate such disputes, the United States chief among them. Washington has essentially endorsed the Israeli position so strongly that it has no option to mediate. The Turks, who had been involved with the Gaza issue during the flotilla incident of May 2010, have taken no steps beyond rhetoric in spite of relations with both Hamas and Israel. The Saudis have also avoided getting involved.

The Egyptians have been the most active in trying to secure a cease fire: Beyond sending their prime minister into Gaza on Nov. 16, as well as their intelligence chief and a group of security officials, Cairo then hosted a delegation of senior Hamas and Islamic Jihad members to further this goal. But while the Egyptians have a great interest in preventing an Israeli ground invasion of Gaza and are crucial to the Israeli imperative to prevent weapons smuggling via Gaza, there is little more they can do at present to mediate between the two sides.

If no one seems to want to serve as mediator, it is because there is such little room for negotiation. It is not ideology but strategy that locks each side into place. Hamas has come this far and does not want to give up what it has maneuvered for. Israel cannot allow Hamas a weapon that threatens the Israeli heartland. This situation is too serious for the parties to reach an agreement that ends the hostilities for now but in reality simply pushes back the issues to be addressed later. No one is eager to mediate a failure. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon has said he will go to Gaza in the coming week, but he will not be in a position to find middle ground.

Israel will not budge on this. Hamas could be compelled to relent under threat from its core financial supporters in the Arabian Peninsula, but these states, such as Qatar, are all far more concerned with the threat posed by Iran. The fact that these rockets likely originated with Iran ought to give them incentive to lean on Hamas.

Dubious Prospects for Negotiations

It is important to bear in mind that the war is already under way. Israeli airstrikes are intense and continuous. Hamas is firing rockets at Israel. What has not yet happened is a direct ground attack on Gaza by the Israelis, although they have been mobilizing forces and should now be in a position to attack if they so choose. But the Israelis would much rather not attack. They fear the consequences -- measured both in human casualties and in political fallout -- that would certainly follow.

Thus, both sides want a negotiated end on terms that would leave the other side in an impossible position. While Hamas might be able to live with the status quo, Israel cannot. A negotiated end is therefore unlikely. Still, both sides are signaling their willingness to talk, and however forlorn the possibilities, there is a chance that something could be arranged.

We remain of the opinion that this current pause will be followed by a ground assault. Only by expanding the discussion beyond the Fajr-5 to a broader settlement of Hamas-Israeli issues could these negotiations succeed, but that would require Hamas recognizing Israel's right to exist and Israel accepting the equivalent of a Palestinian state run by Hamas in Gaza -- one that might spread its power to the West Bank. The more expansive the terms of these negotiations get, the more dubious their prospects for success -- and these negotiations start off fairly dubious as it is.

 "A Pause for Negotiations in the Israeli-Hamas Conflict is republished with permission of Stratfor."

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Why Crazy Bitches Are So Good In Bed

Why Crazy Bitches Are So Good In Bed

Why Crazy Bitches Are So Good In Bed
Just so you understand, I do not post this from purient interest. Rather, I feel that this piece relates to how large an influence on our behavior base mental calculations make. There are various disparate parts of our mentation that contribute to our behavior. What it says about you or your sex life is beyond my surmise, and being heterosexual, not my interest. What this means to an understanding of the mental disease called, lately, liberalism, is of far more interest to me. Why would an American multiculturalist, either homosexual or feminist, support mohammedism, when its acceptance and integration into our society must result in its destruction? I figure that it is probably some failure of the Rationalization Hamster.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Obama and Biden, in Their Own Words

Obama and Biden, in Their Own Words

Conan O'Brien takes tape of the two men and fashions campaign slogans from them. Very funny, and true!

Obamacare, Here it Comes!

Obamacare, Here it Comes!

What are the costs nfor women? Sonja Eddings Brown has the facts, at least the ones we know about already, in this video.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

The Three Great Scams of Our Time

The Three Great Scams of Our Time

The Three Great Scams of Our Time

This article is a detailed look, written by David Solway, which explores how the public has been misled by the government and the media, all with the purpose of subverting the will of We the People to pursue life, liberty, all with the aim of creating a world where the state is paramount. No surprise, I really enjoyed the section about the global warming scam, but the takedown of Obama is priceless. The meat of the argument is:
The latest revelation about Obama’s lack of candor—to put it mildly—has reconfirmed the intuition that he was a scoundrel from the get-go. “[T]he thirty eight documented falsehoods in the president’s memoir Dreams from My Father…revealed by David Maraniss’s new book Barack Obama: The Story,” writes Roger Simon, make it clear that “the president is a liar.” Edward Klein’s just-published The Amateur, garnished with a trove of insider information, only reaffirms that this president is quite possibly the shallowest, least prepared, and most self-infatuated, mercurial, and duplicitous man ever to sit in the Oval Office, bar none. Nixon, Carter, and Clinton seem like choirboys in comparison.

And yet, the man who has broken nearly every campaign promise; who has turned the White House into a banquet hall; who has led his nation to the brink of insolvency; who thrives on class warfare; who has placed a major portion of his resum√© under seal; whose publicity bio for his first (and unpublished) book gave his birthplace as Kenya and was not revised until shortly after he declared his bid for the presidency sixteen years later; who often appears to prefer golfing to governing and debases the gravity of his office with tasteless and frivolous performances on late-night comedy television; who flouts Congress with impunity; who passes major legislation in the dead of night; who plainly has no love for the American Constitution; who ties up industry and commerce with senseless regulations; who is not averse to ceding national authority to the United Nations; who labors to import the collapsing European social model of economic syndicalism, public sector expansion, and dirigiste supervision into American life; who promotes the fortunes of the Muslim Brotherhood, thus imperiling American security and national interests; who relies on the possibly illegitimate exercise of executive privilege to suppress critical intelligence, as in the “Fast and Furious” gun-running scandal, while at the same time apparently leaking sensitive data to the press in order to augment his image; who prosecutes whistleblowers under the 1917 Espionage Act; who instructs his Department of Justice to sue states intent on cleaning up the electoral rolls peppered with dead, illegal, and multiple voters (who will obviously cast their ballots for the Democrats); and who has alienated America’s traditional allies and befriended its most feral enemies—this man continues to bask in significant acclaim and support. He may even be re-elected, despite the fact that Obama in his very person represents and embodies the greatest—and most transparent—scam the presidency has ever suffered.
Read the whole thing. You will not be disappointed.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

More Union Corruption Caught on Tape

More Union Corruption Caught on Tape

James O'Keefe keeps doing his thing, finding corrupt officials, getting them down on video tape.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Detached Obama. Bored, even.

Detached Obama. Bored, even.

Obama: DC `feels as broken as it did 4 years ago'
A stunning interview on CBS, showing a shockingly uninvolved chief executive. So he brags that while he is forced to sit with his inferiors at the G8 summit he at least can doodle to while away the time... I am dumbfounded that this has not yet gotten wide distribution. Oh well, have a taste of it here:
"I'm a surprisingly good pool player, so if you ever see me in a pool hall, don't just think that you can ..."

"Don't walk up and throw down money is what you're saying?" interviewer Scott Thurman asked.

"That's what I'm saying," the president said. "I might end up cleaning your clock. That's a possibility."

The president also described himself as "a pretty good doodler" of faces, people and other things.

"Sometimes when I'm in a big important international meeting and you see me writings stuff down it might be that I'm just drawing some folks," he said.
Is it just me, or is saying "big important international meeting" make him sound like a child?

Bizarre Obama Rant

Bizarre Obama Rant

Friday, July 13, 2012

Law? What Law? HHS Gutting Welfare Reform

Law? What Law? HHS Gutting Welfare Reform

Republicans accuse HHS of gutting welfare reform with quiet policy change

To Obama and his Obamunists, like Kathleen Sibelius, HHS head, law is a mere inconvenience. After all the work Obama put into HIS signature achievement, Obamacare, now he is about to gut Bill Clinton's signature achievement, welfare reform. Dare I suggest that this is a payoff to energize the zeal of welfare recipients to vote?

Thursday, July 12, 2012

No Evidence - YouTube

No Evidence

Finally someone in the Romney campaign gets it. In this ad we hear Romney's spokesman calling Obama a liar, straight up. That's what needs to be said. If the electorate is really as dumb as the "experts" say, then we need some basic truths that even idiots can understand. It is the fact of Obama's dishonesty - not the economy - that will sink him, at least with the low information voters.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Most. Ridiculous. Lawsuit. Ever.

Most. Ridiculous. Lawsuit. Ever.

Accountant Claims Wrongful Termination Because Her Job Was Too Hard
If an employee can sue because her employer demands that she complete her work, then the entire basis of employee compensation fails. If senior accountants and lawyers can demand overtime pay, then salaries will end, and we will ALL have to punch a clock.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

BHO's Got to Go

Emmy Award-winning Creative Director Ryan Bomberger scores with this nice little video. H/T - Townhall

Union Political Spending 4 Times Higher Than Reported

Union Political Spending 4 Times Higher Than Reported

Political spending by unions far exceeds direct donations | Fox News
Surprise surprise! Unions have been spending 4 times as much money as they report to the Federal Elections Commission, according to a Wall Street Journal investigative report. The over one billion dollars reported over the last several years is really more than four billion.

Part 2 - Taxes and Trust

Part 2 - Taxes and Trust

EXCLUSIVE - CADDELL: Taxes and Trust - The Achilles Heels of Obamacare and Obama, Part II
Pat Caddell appends part two to the important piece I linked yesterday.

World Historic Site Vandalized by Animals

World Historic Site Vandalized by Animals

Mali Islamists destroy tombs at famous Timbuktu mosque | Reuters
Islamic shrines are being purposely destroyed in the former center of Islamic learning, Timbuktu. Only subhuman animals could do such things. Sorry, I can't see this any other way.

Monday, July 09, 2012

The Nagging Persistence of Tribalism

Humanity is a Tribal Species

The Nagging Persistence of Tribalism - Taki's Magazine
The most reasonable discussion and explanation for our American obsession with race and racism I have seen yet. I can't imagine how any intelligent person could disagree with this.

Then Jim Goad sums it up thus:
The sanest route would be to treat everyone fairly while conceding that life is unfair. Presume that anyone who ignores nature and thinks everything is 100% nurture is a natural-born idiot. And you should tolerate whomever you like, avoid whomever you dislike, but NEVER tolerate anyone who won’t tolerate you.

Taxes and Trust: The Achilles Heels of Obama

Taxes and Trust: The Achilles Heels of Obama

Taxes and Trust: The Achilles Heels of Obamacare and Obama
Pat Caddell has some advice for republicans in this election season. Emphasize taxes and trust as two areas where Obama has not only let us down, he has willfully lied to enact his agenda, as the SCOTUS decision on Obamacare makes clear. As Caddell writes:
These are the big stakes for the 2012 election: whether a deceptive president--and/or a deceptive presidential administration--should be rewarded with a second term.
The article is a bit long, but well worth it. Caddell is the democrat republicans should look to, since he learned the weaknesses of the statist left from the inside.

Majority believe Obama has changed country for worse

Majority believe Obama has changed country for worse

Hill Poll: Majority believe Obama has changed country for worse -

Two-thirds of likely voters say President Obama has kept his 2008 campaign promise to change America — but most say that he has changed it for the worse. A new poll commissioned for The Hill found 56 percent of likely voters believe Obama’s first term has transformed the nation in a negative way, compared to 35 percent who believe the country has changed for the better under his leadership.

Saturday, July 07, 2012

Mankind has paid a high price for anti-Semitism

Mankind has paid a high price for anti-Semitism

The Atheist Conservative: » Here we go again

Many people today have no curiosity about the history of war, they just feel that we should stay out of them. Understanding war, how it begins and ends, is a very important area of study. There are few courses of study in this crucial body of knowledge available in academia today. Here is a serious post that explores the root causes of World War 2, and the role played by French antisemites in assuring Hitler's victory.

Another Obamanaut Craves Dictatorship

Another Obamanaut Craves Dictatorship

LaHood: Golly, I envy the Chinese government « Hot Air
Ray LaHood is a dummy in a cabinet full of less-than-impressive functionaries, but he is merely the latest democrat to speak of the fantastic freedom than Red China operates under. Freedom FROM the will of the people, that is. Even LaHood is not so foolish that he believes that the Chinese people are free. Right? Right?

Friday, July 06, 2012

One Trick Pony Obama in Denial Over Numbers

One Trick Pony Obama in Denial Over Numbers

White House warns 'not to read too much into' jobs reports | The Daily Caller

As his incompetence makes the recession worse, Obama is in deep denial about it - a denial he would like the electorate to follow. Telling Americans that we should not "read too much into the unemployment numbers" does not change anything. Highlighting Romney's unemployment number as Massachusetts governor, which he got down to 4.6% while Obama's own number is 8.2% relies on the ignorance and lack of regard for the facts of his voters.

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Federals Fail To Sell Unused Properties

Federals Fail To Sell Unused Properties

In any private enterprise, management exerts energy to minimize cost and waste. That is a necessary requirement for continued survival. Federal property and expense management has no such requirement, and therefore costs continually rise. In fact, since ever-increasing budgets and appropriations are the most imprtant aim of any bureaucracy, this is not surprising. What IS surprising, however, is the fact that the Left supports expanding the size and the scope of government and has little regard for reforming such massive waste.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

She did the right thing - by accident

She Did the Right Thing - by Accident

Carney: 'I feel rotten' about accidental fracking vote ::
Genius democrat is so "green" that she pushed the green button. Now that the governor's veto has been overturned and frakking is legal in N.C. she is pissing and moaning because she did the right thing - by accident.

Fired Racist Lashes Out at New Media

Fired Racist Lashes Out at New Media

This is a hilarious video. Joe Williams, who was just fired from his position at Politico for his racist rants and tweets, is angry at those who caught him out and aired out some of his most egregious racist statements. He calls them "self-appointed watchdogs." I guess when journalists are appointed by the right it is somehow different than the self-appointed media of the left. With no apparent sense of irony, he made these comments on Al Gore's Current TV. Watch, and laugh. Video from, natch.

Islamist threat to Timbuktu's ancient scientific texts - science-in-society - 03 July 2012 - New Scientist

In Timbuktu it is 1591 All Over Again

Islamist threat to Timbuktu's ancient scientific texts - science-in-society - 03 July 2012 - New Scientist
Muslim raiders are doing the same thing they did in 1591 - destroying ancient art, texts, and shrines. Some of the materials in their crosshairs include medical and scientific books that, among other things, show the danger of tobacco. Once again we see the benighted and anti-intellectual yearnings of true believers in Islam come to life.

Monday, July 02, 2012

Daily Kos Formula on ObamaCare: 'Conservatives Want to Hurt People,' Liberals Want to Help |

Democrat Formula on ObamaCare

Daily Kos Formula on ObamaCare: 'Conservatives Want to Hurt People,' Liberals Want to Help |
While most normal people think this is a joke, the far left actually believes the fantasy that "Republicans and conservatives want to hurt people; Democrats and liberals want to help people."

The true aim of Obamacare revealed

Jacob Hacker, The Architect of ObamaCare and the Public Option in making his case, admits that this idea is a covert route to a Single Payer System. Don't you just love how they'll "let us keep" our current options? How blatantly totalitarian!

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Jack Lew: The individual mandate isn't a tax - Brett Norman -

Jack Lew: The individual mandate isn't a tax

Jack Lew: The individual mandate isn't a tax - Brett Norman -
Jack Lew, like the rest of the White House crime syndicate, is a pathological liar. Lies about Obamacare, Fast & Furious, and taxes, will be a necessity if The Won is to have a chance at reelection. Or at least, so THEY apparently believe.

Roberts switched views to uphold health care law - CBS News

Roberts switched views to uphold health care law

Roberts switched views to uphold health care law - CBS News
This is some important reporting on the SCOTUS decision in the Obamacare case. If you want to understand how it happened, and get some serious insight in how the court operates, and some hints about how they will rule in the future, you must read this piece from CBS's Jan Crawford.

Ten Questions for Brandon Darby : The Other McCain

Ten Questions for Brandon Darby

Ten Questions for Brandon Darby : The Other McCain
The real democrat effort to reelect The Won is being fought in the shadows. Read this for a sample of what is going on in the democrat dirty tricks department.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Source of Barack Obama’s Power to Trick Us Comes from Our Willingness to Be Tricked « naked capitalism

Rats flee the sinking ship

The Source of Barack Obama’s Power to Trick Us Comes from Our Willingness to Be Tricked « naked capitalism
We are seeing more and more criticism of Obama from his former friends on the left. I am enjoying articles like this, where folks on the left are as disgusted by Obama as anyone on the right. Even more, perhaps, since we never liked him, while they believed in him, and he let them down totally.

Economists Without Calculators - Robert Bryce - National Review Online

Economists Without Calculators

Economists Without Calculators - Robert Bryce - National Review Online
The Green fanatics are entitled to their opinions, but not their own facts, and they are surely not entitled to their own math. Green may be keen, but it does not scale - Wind and solar energy are not serious answers to any global energy scenario that a single human living today would welcome.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Watch Elizabeth Squirm

Watch Elizabeth Squirm

Elizabeth Warren and Deval Patrick met at her headquarters for him to deliver his endorsement yesterday. When the inevitable question of her fraudulent use of a phony Cherokee background for career advancement, Patrick declared that, speaking as governor for all the people of Massachusetts, while the question was proper, the answer was out of bounds - that the people of Massachusetts had no interest in the subject. Personally, I love watching Elizabeth Warren bounce and squirm in the background as Patrick speaks. Who would vote for such a nebbish? Well, watch, and decide, for yourself. And, for more grins and giggles at the expense of Ms. Warren, watch this gem of self glorification. I find it hard to believe that this woman will make it past the primary or be otherwise replaced by her party. Failing that, I'd put my money on Brown for reelection.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Pat Condell on the UN and Israel

Pat Condell, on the UN and Israel

Pat Condell is an outspoken atheist, so his beef with the United Nations has nothing to do with God. It is all about, well, watch for yourself.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Thoughts on the impending ACA decision

Thoughts on the impending ACA decision

I spent a fair bit of time listening to the oral argument in this week's presentation of the ACA Obamacare appeal. I also read along with the transcript (Lots of mistakes there, but nothing really consequential) I have pondered the words and the voices and the nuance, and then I read all the commentary I could.

Just about everyone seems to believe that it will be a 5-4 decision, but I believe that this underestimates Chief Justice Roberts and his recent history. He is a consensus builder. The libs, especially Ginsburg, were so vociferous in their naked appeals to retain most of the bill even if the mandate is struck down, while a majority was seemingly determined (if one can divine a Justice's intentions from his questions) to strike down the mandate, that it is not impossible to foresee a decision of a greater majority striking down the mandate alone, along with dicta asking the congress to do their job, and fix what is left.

THAT would be the only non-political result, and it would make all the "pundits" look silly - again. Zero Base Thinkers know that the common knowledge is almost always wrong. This time, the left wing legal punditocracy was SO wrong that it, almost by itself, proves that all the recent studies of liberals vs. conservatives are right when they present findings that conservatives know much better what liberals believe than liberals can divine what conservatives are thinking. If they do not believe that conservatives seek justice or clean air and water, it is easier to understand why they had no clue that a majority of SCOTUS believes that the constitution is serious when it limits the central government.

If you think that this characterization is unfair, consider this: when was the last time that the conservative movement got caught as flatfooted as liberals did over the Obamacare critiques? Liberals do seem to tend to get unpleasantly surprised a lot.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Many Blacks Still Don't Get It

Many Blacks Still Don't Get It

A piece making the rounds of the web lately is written by an accomplished young black woman, Reniqua Allen. She has apparently assimilated into successful corporate life, but something within her is wired wrong. She can not take success, but is mired within a mental trap that is holding her back. For want of a better phrase, we can call it her ghetto values.

All previous generations and races and creeds that have made it into the mainstream have managed to remember who they were, even as they became Americans. This black woman, and apparently quite a few others, can not escape their mental prison. I do not know why this is so, but if survivors of the Khmer Rouge can assimilate, if holocaust survivors and genocide and famine refugees can bring unhyphenated Americans into the world, why are the blacks having such a hard time of it?

She writes:
A few weeks ago, I was standing outside a posh bar on the Lower East Side of Manhattan with my friends of almost two decades. I made an offhanded comment about the ratio of blonde-haired-blue-eyed chicks to brown girls like me. It seemed like a zillion to one.

My pals, who are white, didn’t get why I was bringing this up. “No one cares about race except you,” one said.

I tried to explain my frustration with having to always choose between an all-black experience or being the “only one,” whether at work, in grad school or even out for a night in New York. I waited for a nod of sympathy; instead, my best friend threw her hands up and said: “How can we all be racist? Look at who is president!”

I didn’t have a response.

Right now the nation has embarked on a massive conversation about race surrounding the tragic death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Florida. On Friday, President Obama weighed in. “I think all of us have to do some soul searching to figure out: How does something like this happen?” he said.
I can answer his question easily. I suspect most Americans can. Bad things happen to people all the time. The reason we even know about Trayvon Martin is the subtext of those who will not allow this incident to pass without exploiting it. The subtext of the Trayvon Martin case has nothing to do with the two people involved in that unfortunate event, it is all about race hustlers exploiting the death of that young man for their own purposes, but more important, it is about the mob mentality of those who, all evidence to the contrary, will not let this thing go.

Reniqua Allen wants to have a conversation about race, and she should have it, but this one has nothing to do with the unhyphenated Americans. It is a necessary conversation that must be had between African-Americans.

She makes many false assumptions. For example:
I have encountered many people who seem to believe, subconsciously or not, that Obama’s win is proof that America has reached the mountaintop. What more is there to say about race, they ask me, after this country so proudly and overwhelmingly elected a black president? They cite success stories as disparate as Oprah Winfrey, Jay-Z and former Time Warner chief Dick Parsons. But Oprah’s billions don’t counteract the dire poverty and unemployment rates in the black community.­

Even the most well-intentioned white people, who fundamentally understand the challenges of race in America, often can’t understand why race, as a subject to wrestle with, can never be “over.” They can’t understand what it’s like to walk down the street and have someone fear you just because of your race. Or to go to your doctor’s office after-hours to pick something up and have someone think you’re the maid. Or to have someone give you a virtual pat on the head for being “articulate.”

And they certainly won’t admit that thugged-out guys scare them. Or that if they saw a young black man in a hoodie walking in their neighborhood, like Martin was in his father’s neighborhood outside Orlando last month, they wouldn’t call 911 but they might cross the street.
Guess what Reniqua? You and yours are just not that special. We all have faced this stuff. I have been terrified by thugs of all races. In high school the Chinese boys from Chinatown were a formidable force that altered my path from the closest subway station to one further off, but in the other direction. There was some serious trouble with the Italian thugs as well. Yet, when the object is a black man, I am not supposed to notice? But that is exactly the point, Reniqua. I am not supposed to notice, and for the most part, I do not. But the point of your essay is that I must. That the black experience is somehow different, somehow special, and that your problems are mine. Well, guess what? They are not mine. I have never done anything to you or yours, and no ancestor of mine has either. My father was the first member of his family to even see a black man. When he arrived in America, he was too busy coping with his own assimilation to bother with yours.

Racial politics is a name for a weapon wielded by your side, not ours. We DID elect a black man, and his failure in that office is not protected by his race. We are treating him like a man, not like a black man. Isn't that the point? Race is so 20th century. Most Americans are over it. Some blacks are unhappy about that. This is somewhat like what happened to feminism. Feminists wanted women to be treated equally, but when they had seen that in the flesh, many still wanted a man to pick up the check, to open the door, to take charge.

Many blacks need to understand that this has moved out of the mainstream. You guys are another ethnic minority, just like most of the rest of us. If there is a problem within your ethnic culture, it is for you to discover what it is, and fix it if you can. Black kids getting killed is a problem, but almost all of them are killed by other blacks. White America can not fix that. Lord knows we tried, which is why almost half our prison population is black. The killing needs to stop, but to the extent that it is a product of black or ghetto culture, it is up to you, not me, to solve it. President Obama is in a fine position to help with that. To the extent that his performance in that regard disappoints you, join the club.

Update: Reverend C.L.Bryant hits similar notes on CNN.

Monday, March 05, 2012

Liberalism as Religion

Liberalism as Religion

If you do not receive Jonah Goldberg's weekly email missive, "The Goldberg File," you should. It comes every Friday and, no matter what else it brings, it always has a fresh take on something, always some laughs, but often it contains an exposition of a searing truth. I do not know how to describe Jonah pithily, he defies easy description, but one of the hats he wears is clearly that of political philosopher.

I often feel the impulse to link to a G-File post, but alas, they are not available online. Last Friday's email arrived hard on the heels of Andrew Breitbart's passing, and I have had a hard time with it. Maybe it is my own age, but it seems that there are more and more deaths of important people lately. The very randomness of life and death can get a man down, but then it is time to remember the dictum "Illegitimi non Carborundum," and go on.

In that spirit, and with those provisos, I quote here extensively from last Friday's G-File a riff on a favorite meme - politics as religion, as practiced by the liberal left.

by Jonah Goldberg at National Review Online-

I wrote my column today about Andrew. It tries to make the point I struggled making on Fox yesterday. Andrew's great strength was that he rejected the authority of those who didn't deserve it. He was like a mark who realizes he's been conned for years, an acolyte who wakes up and realizes he's a member of a cult. It was as if Andrew woke up one day and said, "Your magic -- i.e. your liberal guilt, your false charges of racism, your threats to deny me success in your system -- it just doesn't work on me anymore." He was free from the bad juju and had no fear of it.

It's a worldview I'm deeply sympathetic to, I hope for at least somewhat understandable reasons. It certainly explains why he loved Liberal Fascism and helped to promote it. He loved learning about how long liberals have been running some of these cons.

Anyway, enough about that for now.

On Political Religions
Speaking of Liberal Fascism, one of its core themes -- and mine -- is that modern liberalism is a political religion.

That's why I've been so intrigued and frustrated by the discussion around Rick Santorum and his various comments, including: His ham-fisted remarks about wanting to vomit after reading JFK's church-state speech, his defense of religious freedom, his insistence that Obama's environmental theology is "not a theology based on Bible. A different theology," his claim that David Axelrod is the reincarnated snake God Thulsa Doom. These have all sparked controversy, save for the last one, which I simply wish Santorum said.

I basically agree with the substance behind everything Santorum has said in this regard, even if I think his phrasing, timing, tactics, tone, tenor, and emphasis leave something to be desired. How's that for an "I agree with you in principle but . . . " statement?

The idea that liberalism is a political religion is not an obscure contention of crackpots -- even if I do hold it. As I've argued -- some would say incessantly -- the Progressives saw their political movement as a fundamentally religious one.

The 1960s have been seen by many liberal and leftist intellectuals as a religious awakening. As I wrote in LF:

The religious character of modern liberalism was never far from the surface. Indeed, the 1960s should be seen as another in a series of "great awakenings" in American history -- a widespread yearning for new meaning that gave rise to a tumultuous social and political movement. The only difference was that this awakening largely left God behind. Paul Goodman, whose 1960 Growing Up Absurd helped launch the politics of hope in the first part of the decade, came to recognize in the second half how insufficient his original diagnosis had been: "I . . . imagined that the world-wide student protest had to do with changing political and moral institutions, to which I was sympathetic, but I now saw [in 1969] that we had to do with a religious crisis of the magnitude of the Reformation in the fifteen hundreds, when not only all institutions but all learning had been corrupted by the Whore of Babylon."

And a bit later:

In 1965 Harvey Cox, an obscure Baptist minister and former Oberlin College chaplain, wrote The Secular City, which turned him into an overnight prophet. Selling more than one million copies, The Secular City argued for a kind of desacralization of Christianity in favor of a new transcendence found in the "technopolis," which was "the place of human control, of rational planning, of bureaucratic organization." Modern religion and spirituality required "the breaking of all supernatural myths and sacred symbols." Instead, we must spiritualize the material culture to perfect man and society through technology and social planning. In The Secular City "politics replaces metaphysics as the language of theology." Authentic worship was done not by kneeling in a church but by "standing in a picket line." The Secular City was an important intellectual hinge to the transition of the 1960s (though we should note that Cox recanted much of its argument twenty years later).

"Man is homo religiosus, by 'nature' religious: as much as he needs food to eat or air to breathe, he needs a faith for living," wrote the late Will Herberg.
As the Chestertonian line goes, if man stops believing in God, he won't believe in nothing he'll believe in anything. You can make a religion out of anything. That doesn't mean it won't be a stupid religion. People have worshipped all sorts of crazy stuff, including tree stumps. But just because it's stupid to worship tree stumps, doesn't mean you won't piss off tree-stump worshippers if you desecrate their stumps. And it doesn't mean the Holy Faith of Tree Stumpers won't see competing faiths as a threat to their own.

I could go on. Really. ("Please, no more about Immanentizing the Eschaton, please." -- The Couch.) I honestly think that today's liberals have little to no conception of how liberalism has become a religion unto to itself. Indeed, modern politics could be seen as "a chapter in the history of religion."

This is a huge, fundamental, first-order point about the state of contemporary life that we don't have nearly the vocabulary to discuss adequately. And that's why Rick Santorum's discussion of this stuff is so frustrating: because he's right, and yet neither he nor the rest of us have the vocabulary to discuss it easily.

If you clear the public square of what we traditionally call religion -- Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Mormonism, Buddhism etc. -- we will not have a public square free of religion. We have a public square full of religion fighting under the false flag of "secular values" -- with no opposing sources of moral authority to resist it.The utopianism, millenarianism and radical egalitarianism at the emotional core of liberalism are fundamentally religious in nature. That doesn't mean liberalism is evil or totalitarian. But it is less than totally self-aware. The nice thing about traditional religion is you know where it comes from. The unwritten faith of liberalism masquerades in the costumes of modernity, progress, social justice and the like without recognizing that liberalism requires leaps of faith, too.

Liberalism's lack of self-knowledge about its nature makes it very powerful and very dangerous. Liberals can simply claim -- without seeming like they're lying, because they actually believe it -- that they are cold, rational presenters of fact and decency. Comte's "religion of humanity" has forgotten that it is a religion at all. But forgetting something doesn't make it any less real. Wile E. Coyote forgets there's no land underneath him. His ignorance doesn't keep him aloft.

This is how the New Class of experts and helping professions become secular priests of a wholly political religion. We confuse credentials for ordinations, regression analyses for consecrations. And without a conception of a higher authority, without a more enduring and transcendent dogma to inform our consciences, we are left following the captains of rudderless ships leading us to ruin.

Ethicists for the Slaughter of Innocents
For instance, ethicists at Oxford have now declared babies -- babies! -- are "morally irrelevant" creatures that can be killed without consequence by their parents. This would be horrifying and repugnant enough, save for the fact that among the core missions of the progressive state is to supplant the role and authority of parents.

Follow the logic of secular priests as far as it will go, and you have the recipe for a modern Sparta that makes talk of death panels seem cautious and optimistic.

You can subscribe to the G-File, and a lot more, at National Review.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Third Unanimous Decision

Third Unanimous Decision

I am not sure if this is a trend, or even if it were to be a trend that it indicates something good, but the Supreme Court has announced another unanimous decision. This time they decided that a law enforcement officer may not sneak on your land and attach a GPS device to your automobile without benefit of a judicial warrant. (Full decision here)

It seems to me that we are seeing an expansion of the police state so broad that all nine members can vote against it, but what bothers me even more (after all, the decisions made things right) is the history of the cases. Police are prone to do outrageous things, but the courts are there to rein them in. Yet, once a court rules against them, the state in these cases has appealed, and then appealed again. Thus it is not a few out of control police, it is entire states that are willing to spend millions on defeating some of our cherished freedoms. In the case of the minister, the federals would like to be able to decide how a church may run their ministry. What with their express desire to abridge our freedoms in big ways and small, it gives one little comfort that the Supreme Court is on the right side, since it appears that the rest of our governments seem keen to pursue their nefarious ends. It is all about power, and the only way the state can get more power is to grant We the People ever less of it. But our constitution is clear - this is not their power to grant - these freedoms come from God.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Ezra Levant on Canada neo-Prohibitionist fascists

Ezra Levant on Canada neo-Prohibitionist fascists

The human propensity to bully is not restricted to the U.S.A., it is on display in Canada as well. Let the government "take care" of us, and this is what we get.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Federals do not need SOPA to control the internet

Federals do not need SOPA to control the internet

This week it was announced that our protectors had shut down an evil site dedicated to piracy and the destruction of The American Way. What they actually did was shut down a site that carried 4% of all the traffic on the internet. In their game of serial Whack-A-Mole the federals are bound and determined to support the business plan of the largest media companies, and any innocents destroyed in that quest are mere collateral damage.

TechCrunch has a fine article on this trend, titled With MegaUpload Down, Who’s Next? RapidShare? SoundCloud? DropBox? They explore the way the feds took down Megaupload, but also how they are using the very same tools to imprison young Richard O’Dwyer, who merely linked to questionable content, and took down his site the minute he was informed that he might be in violation of American law, even though he lived in England and had no nexus in the United States.

At least the current law requires legal action. SOPA, if passed, will allow them to do the same thing with no restraints, no courts, no oversight. All to please the plutocrats, constitution be damned. The federals continue to establish the basis for a greater oligarchy. This one scares me. If the first amendment is gone, as well as the due process clause, so is the republic. Stop SOPA.

Another Unanimous Supreme Court Decision

Another Unanimous Supreme Court Decision

In a breathtaking repudiation of judicial activism, the Supreme Court struck down a Fifth Circuit decision that threw out the Texas State legislature's redistricting enactment, and had imposed their own map. These federal judges had decided to use their judicial authority to invent an electoral map that would assure a more democrat government in Texas. Chief Justice John Roberts has crafted a second unanimous repudiation of overreaching government in a week.

Just in case you missed the first of the two unanimous decisions, a nice overview of that one is here.

Monday, January 02, 2012

Aristarchus Panorama

Aristarchus Panorama

Some beautiful and (dare I say it?) awesome imagery has arrived from 16 miles above Luna. The panorama is fully navigable and clickable, with a resolution of 16 inches per pixel, so some awfully small details can be seen. A more detailed description of what the image holds, and links to further materials, is here.