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Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Americans Don't Really Want America

     They say that the first step to recovery is to admit that you have a problem. Well, here is the problem: Americans, as a people, no longer love Liberty. Black, White, Red, Brown, Yellow, gun owner, businessman, student, teacher, you, me, and everyone else has let our love of Liberty be subjugated by our fear of disapproval.

     It's not entirely our fault; we are a generous people. We are fully aware of our prosperity, and we are driven by our national character to want to help those in need by sharing it. We want to feed the hungry, help the impoverished, and heal the sick.What other nation has been able to make hated enemies into valued allies? When, in history, has another nation done so much for those that had done nothing for them?  Our compassion has been our strength.

     And therein lies our weakness.

     Those that seek to fundamentally change America have all but succeeded, and they used our best qualities against us. Since they believe that enlightened self-interest is evil, they have sought to eliminate it and, by extension, any regard for the individual's rights in favor of a convoluted collectivism that is rooted in envy and hatred.

     Envy, for instance, is exhibited when a man goes to college, works his ass off to get good grades, enters the business world and sacrifices his social life, maybe a marriage or two, and a significant percentage of health and well-being, in order to rise to the top of his industry. He works for a corporation and brings in hundreds of millions in profit, and is rewarded with bonuses in the amount of double-digit millions, and those petty little minds that can't even conceive of copying that path label him as "the 1%" which, in Progressivespeak, is a euphemism for "evil."

      In spite of the thousands of jobs he has created, the improvements in the quality of life, contribution to the dynamism of the economy, or the astronomical amount of tax revenue generated by his efforts,  he isn't held up as an example for others to follow. Instead, he is vilified by collectivists for being greedy, by the church for being materialistic, by those of lesser ambition for being obsessive, or by those of his own racial demographic for selling out. Moreover, any efforts he makes to include and benefit the aforementioned groups is seen as pandering.

      Hatred was evidenced just recently when Ben Shapiro spoke at California State University- Los Angeles . People that wanted nothing more than to listen to his speech were blocked from entering the building, in some cases, violently, while those of opposing viewpoints stood outside chanting. Ironically, colleges and universities used to be places where intellectuals could debate the merits of different ideas, keeping what they found valuable and discarding the rest. Now? Now they're nothing more than indoctrination centers bent on filling young minds with collectivist propaganda, and suppressing dissent by any means necessary.

     Add to this the total domination of popular culture by those that hate America, combined with the utter refusal of conservatives to engage it, and you have what amounts to a one-sided war for the soul of this nation; our young people. Young people are more in tune with the world around them than ever before. With the myriad of electronic devices, and the all-pervasive social media, every young person from Middle School up can access amounts of information their parents never imagined. Despite its banality, pop culture is a powerful force in this country. Think of the thousands of hours young people devote to searching the internet, playing video games, or listening to music, and you begin to understand how someone who grew up in a Christian Conservative family can develop some controversial ideas.
     Conservatives make disapproving clucking noises and do nothing. We don't like Hollywood, but we offer no alternatives. We hate the disgusting lyrics in music, but we do not cultivate talent more to our liking. We disparage 'Fifty Shades of Grey' but we don't publish anything worth reading. We rage against the education machine, but we continue to send our children there, and we do nothing to change it or provide an affordable alternative. Our nation is shifting towards totalitarianism, and we stand there like a witness to a horrific auto accident; we don't want to see it, we can't look away, and we don't know what to do to fix it.

     The reasons that this societal shift has taken place would, and has, filled volumes. The infantilization of men, the domination of the culture, the demonization of the productive class, all geared towards fundamentally changing the system, has been done before. Hitler did it, Lenin did it, Mao, Pol Pot, Castro, all of the worst despots in history started out by fomenting hatred and envy against those that made up the productive class. They co-opted the young through the education institutions, and they made it all seem adventurous and romantic to "join the revolution." And when they finally took power, they killed, and killed, and killed until there were, literally, rivers of blood and mountains of corpses. They killed the productive class, they killed those that opposed them, and they killed a large portion of the academics and revolutionaries that helped them, all in the name of solidifying their power and securing an iron fist around the nation.

     The reason this was possible was because they had no one that was willing to resist in sufficient numbers to be effective, largely because the over-educated and the under-educated both bought into the rhetoric, and those in between were too busy with the mechanics of day-to-day living to pay more than cursory attention to the situation until it was too late.

     As Americans, we like to believe that we are different, immune to the foibles that brought down other people. We fail to realize that those that seek to dominate us understand us better than we understand ourselves. They understand the one major flaw in our national character:

     We want to be liked more than we want to make hard decisions.

     We would rather send billions of dollars abroad to fund countries that hate us, than rebuild a crumbling infrastructure. We would rather tax the middle class into extinction, than cut welfare benefits to illegal aliens. We would rather allow regulatory agencies to run roughshod over farmers and ranchers in the name of environmentalism, than allow them to produce, even if it means they grow a few too many apples, or collect rainwater on their own land.

     The culmination of all of these elements is an era of self-loathing so acute as to be fatal. We have been conditioned to hate our prosperity, our Constitution, even The Founders of this nation, instead believing that the solution to the country's ills can be found in politicians spouting the same, tired platitudes that, throughout history, have led nations to ruin.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Hello? Anyone here?

     Hey all, it's been a while. I have to be honest; the fault is 100 percent mine. Frankly, I had run out of things to say, and really, I couldn't muster the motivation  to write. But, the times we face today have piqued my interest. We're in the waning days of the Obama Administration, and those that support it say that it has been a raging success. Those that oppose it say that it has been a ruinous failure. I tend to agree with those that say it has failed. I'm not going to write a list of the whys; suffice it to say that the 17 trillion in debt guarantees that rough times are ahead.

     Unfortunately, it doesn't look like relief is on the way.

     On the one hand, we have the Democrats. Masters of the long game, they reached the pinnacle of their existence when they managed to convince their constituents to vote, not once, but twice, for a man who was nothing more than the result of marketing and opinion polls, and was elected for no other reason than the color of his skin. In other words, Obama got elected because voting for him was "cool."

     Now? The bottom of the barrel is all they have left. It's the choice between a card-carrying Marxist, and a woman who has more baggage than Delta Airlines. That either of these two are being considered by young people is a statement on the horrific condition of our education system.

     Which brings us to the GOP. The first thing we need to realize is that the current incarnation of the Republican Party has no interest whatsoever in furthering Conservatism. As soon as a non-establishment candidate gained enough prominence to be a contender, the Old Guard within the party turned on them like a pack of mad dogs. This is nothing new; they did the same thing after the "Republican Revolution" during the Clinton Regime. Currently, they have ostracized and marginalized the Tea Party candidates and they are in the process of eliminating Ben Carson (easily the smartest candidate of either party), because what they want is another toady to parrot the party line without disturbing the status quo. Because, as I have said before, they don't want to fix what's wrong because for them, it isn't broken.

     Then, there is Trump. On the surface, he looks like a good deal; too rich to be bought, too powerful to care what the GOP says, and plain spoken, opinionated, and says all of the right things.

     And he's completely full of shit.

     If you look at the things he said even ten years ago, you realize he wants to be President because that is the only box he hasn't checked on his Bucket List, and he's willing to say anything to get it. Trump isn't the worst of the candidates, but don't believe for a second that he has this nation's best interest at heart. Trump's first, last, and only priority is Trump.

     This election will be, far more than ever before, about the lesser of two evils. No doubt, we are about to be inundated with dire warnings of "This is the most important election ever!" and all sides will talk about how much they want to help the little guy. Ultimately, the only reason that ANY of them will win the election is because "None of the above" isn't on the ballot.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

I've Gotta Say It;

     Let's be honest; Islam is a religion of nutjobs. Any organization that codifies, within its tenets, the ownership of another human being is, by definition, an immoral institution that needs to be eradicated. I don't care if it's The Caliphate or The Confederacy, it's got to go.

   If the reports out of Iraq, regarding the brutality of ISIS, are true, then they should be exterminated like a pack of mad dogs. Beheadings? Crucifixions? Women turned into chattel? Chase every swinging dick down and put a bullet in them. Allowing these assholes to run around unchecked is just asking for trouble to come to our shores.

    Now, in the interest of full disclosure, I have never held any love for Muslims. The best that I could muster was apathy. I can still remember watching the news coverage of the '72 Olympics when the Black September group attacked the Israeli team. I joined the Army in response to our embassy being taken in Iran. When the Marine Barracks in Beirut was bombed, we were put on alert. Every one of us was ready to go avenge our comrades in arms. I can see Robert Stethem being dumped on the tarmac like it happened yesterday. The horror of the events on the Achille Lauro, the bombing of La Belle Disco in West Berlin, Pan Am Flight 103, and on, and on, and on.

    That said, I don't think one more American boot should be on the ground in Iraq unless we go in with the intent of bringing them a taste of Total War, American Style. Like the man said, "War to the knife, and knife to the hilt!" After all, Germany and Japan were once our enemies, it took total war to bring them to their knees, and now they are staunch allies.

    Unfortunately, our current leaders don't have the stomach or the balls to deal with these people with the utter ruthlessness that would be necessary. Our government has this weird need for our enemies to like us. As far as I'm concerned, they can like us or hate us, as long as they fear us, it's all good.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

It Seems That American Businesses Never Have The Money... do something right, but they always have the money to do it twice. Seriously, it's like they took a page out of the US Government's manual on business management, and incorporated it into their own practices.

    Case in point: Remington Arms Company. Specifically, the R51 Semi-Automatic Pistol.

    On the surface, this thing should have been a winner. It had slim, sleek lines, good sights, a good trigger, and was touted as being one of the easiest semi-autos for women to manipulate. Based on a Remington design from the early 20th century, it promised to be The Next Big Thing in firearms.

    The gun rags featured it on their covers, raved about its ergonomics, beauty, and the novelty of making an old design new again. What they didn't talk about was how well it functioned. Those few writers that actually got to take it to the range couched their descriptions with such weasel words as "teething problems" and extolled the virtue of "only" a couple of jams.

    As with too many things these days, it was a good idea, but poorly executed.

    My own experience was limited to the three examples that came into my place of employment. All three had universally bad triggers, retracting the slide felt like dragging a railroad tie down a gravel road, and the grip safety required a vice-like grip to activate. All three sold, and all three came back for a refund.

    Now, Remington is re-releasing the R51. It's even featured on the cover of the August issue of Guns Magazine, a huge credibility risk for them. And, indeed, it seems that Remington is trying to undo the debacle; according to The Truth About Guns, they have worked out the bugs and it will be all better now. They're even willing to replace all of the substandard ones with the new version. Let's hope that the bugs are worked out, because, while the current iteration of the R51 won't do much damage to a target, it may have irreparably damaged Remington Arms reputation while simultaneously destroying the credibility of the dead tree gun rags.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Things I'd Like to See On Television

     I've given up on Hollywood. I mean, if you have to look to video games and comic books to supply you with a plot to a movie, I figure that you're pretty much out of ideas. The latest thing is to rewrite fairy tales to make them more violent. All in all, I'm convinced that Hollywood is breathing its last gasp. Hopefully, someone more imaginative will show up and make some real stories.

     To that end, I have some ideas:

     For an action comedy, I'd like to see Todd Palin show up on Bill Maher's show and kick the ever-loving shit out of him. I don't mean a couple of punches and done; I want to see Bill Maher crawling on the floor, clutching his balls while spitting teeth and vomiting blood. I mean, Maher has taken liberties with Sarah Palin that no husband would be able to tolerate if the perpetrator weren't surrounded by bodyguards. Personally, I think the look on Maher's face when Todd Palin showed up on the set of his show would be worth whatever came next. In any case, I'd give to any Defense Fund that Todd needed.

     For drama, nothing beats C-Span. However, I think that each Senator and Representative should be required to have all of their bank accounts connected directly to the economy, and have money added or subtracted by the same percentage that the economy grows or shrinks. That way they have some "skin" in the game. If the economy expands by 5%, they get a 5% bonus. If the economy takes a dive, so does their wealth. Oh, and an extra percentage point is deducted for every time they get caught in a lie.

     Romance? No problemo. Just follow the love life of S.E.Cupp . When you have that much intellectual horsepower contained in a package that attractive, well, the trail of broken men will be long but interesting. She regularly makes mincemeat of her adversaries on The Cycle, I suspect that she is equally formidable in her personal life.

     All in all, I'd say that those three things would be a good start to improving television and a damned sight better than any reality show.

     Next time: Real stories that would make better movies than Hollywood movies.


Sunday, January 20, 2013

Civility and the Second Amendment

     By now, it has become obvious that the Washington DC overlords have decided to make another attempt at banning certain types of firearms. Adhering to Rahm Emmanuel's advice to "never let a crisis go to waste.", the Democrats have resurrected the Assault Weapons Ban on the heels of the Sandy Hook massacre. Make no mistake; the shooting of those children was the answer to the gun control crowd's prayers. Before the shooting, gun control, as a political issue, was dead. The Democrats knew that to submit any gun control legislation was a short path to the unemployment line. Considering the monumental failure of the original assault weapon ban in reducing crime, the citizens of this country weren't buying into the lies anymore.

     Enter Adam Lanza.

     His rampage gave the Democrats the impetus they needed to renew their efforts at gun control. The bodies weren't even cold yet, and the execrable Dianne Feinstein had her already-written legislation ready to go. The media, ever ready to support any and all attacks on liberty, bombarded us with perpetual coverage of the aftermath, including, in an unrivaled lack of decency, interviews of the surviving children. A month later, the talking heads were still dancing in the blood of the children in an effort to boost ratings and appear relevant. All of this served to make emotions run high, and it seems difficult to have a calm, rational discussion with anyone on the other side.

     The problem is, trying to cite facts to someone who deals only in emotion is much like trying to knock down a brick wall with a roll of paper towels. Telling an anti-gun person that violent crime has decreased by fifty percent in the last twenty years, or that the number of school shootings has declined, or that the cities with the most lenient gun laws have the lowest crime rates, is usually an invitation to a vitriolic attack on your character. You can't have a discussion when only one side wants to be civil.

     So, don't bother.

     If someone, that you know is vehemently anti-gun, brings the subject up, disengage and go find something productive to do. It's a trap; they have no desire to exchange ideas, they simply want to use you as a focal point for their anger. They have bought into the media narrative that guns are evil, and the NRA is a tool of arms merchants.

     If you find yourself the object of a reporter's attention, do your best to speak in calm, modulated tones. As soon as they start in with the usual hyperbole about 'paranoia', machine guns, or other ridiculous straw man arguments, walk away. Leave them there by themselves. Being that laziness and stupidity are the hallmarks of modern journalism, you can be assured that the interviewer has no desire to learn anything. Instead, they're searching for a 'gotcha' moment or comment that they can spin into making gun owners look like nutcases.

     If you're writing or speaking to a politician, tell them what you want them to do and leave it at that. Politicians aren't interested in your opinion, they just want to know how many of each opposing view there are, and will act in accordance with the wishes of the greater number. Your letter shouldn't be longer than a single paragraph. Your statement to them shouldn't be more than a couple of sentences. And TELL them, don't ask. Keep in mind that they work for you.

     Above all else, go armed. The media spin machine is upping their efforts to the point where it is likely that pro-gun people may find themselves threatened or even physically attacked. If attacked, do what you must, but be sure that you are absolutely in the right, and that you end the encounter decisively and with finality.

     Like the man said, "No more Mister Nice Guy."


Monday, December 17, 2012

Atrocities Great and Small

     I have held off from writing about the Sandy Hook shooter because I didn't want to be included in the herd of bloviating bullshit artists that have infested the airwaves and newspapers since about thirty seconds after the event happened. I also needed to sort out my own grief so that this didn't turn into one long, primal, scream of rage. Rage is, I think, an appropriate response to the actions of the defective soul that committed such a heinous act, but it isn't very effective for conveying ideas.

     As a parent, I am heartsick over the loss of the lives of the children. Wanton slaughter of anyone is bad enough, but it is additionally horrific when it's children. Children represent hope for our future; the untapped potential that could be the next Einstein, Fermi, Edison, or any of a million other possibilities. For their lives to be cut short is to see all of that potential snuffed out in a matter of nanoseconds, it rattles our worldview, our security in the belief that all will be well when we are gone. To see the photos of those smiling faces and to know they ended up as bloody heaps lying on the school room floor, well the heartbreak is audible to the naked ear.

     Of course, not everybody was as heartsick and saddened as John Q. Public was; some were damned near ecstatic that a slow news day had finally livened up. We know this because almost immediately, we were inundated with speculation from the contemptible horde of talking heads that would sell their souls to be seen as 'relevant' in today's world. Instantly there were the incessant parade of experts speculating on 'who', 'what', 'where', 'why', and most tantalizingly, 'how'.

     Unfortunately, when The Moment had arrived, instead of taking a candid look at the root causes of the 'why', they all, to a person, reverted to the inane, stupid, little minds that they have time and again revealed themselves to be. How? Simple. Instead of waiting a period of time for the police to sort out the facts, they attended the initial briefing by the Chief of Police, and then the frenzy of speculation and hypothesizing began.

     Oh yes, there were the feigned looks of sadness and sympathy, the mewlings of "what a tragedy" and "how horrible". But the truth is, in this day and age in which professional news agencies are quickly being replaced by The New Media, where corporate camera crews are upstaged by anyone with a cellphone camera, the very idea that a crisis had arisen that required them to do more than sit at a desk and read a prepared script was, no doubt, a satisfaction bordering on ecstasy. The problem is that their 'examination' of the incident and the surrounding circumstances has become nothing more than boilerplate. They trot out the same, tired, theory every time some nut job has a microchip slip into overdrive; too many guns.

    They speak in bold, outraged, tones, their voice appropriately emphatic when they utter the words "assault rifle" and "automatic weapon". They labor to compare the  current event to the other bright spots in their journalistic lives; Columbine and Aurora. They tick off the casualty count like the score at a basketball game, delighting in each bloody corpse, and excitedly describing how each corpse was "...shot multiple times...". They breathlessly relay each new detail, each titillating tidbit, as it becomes available. And when nothing is forthcoming, they make stuff up as they go along.

     But it always comes back to the guns.

     On the surface, it seems reasonable to assume that guns are the problem. And surface is what the media is all about. We know from their endless analysis that there were twelve people killed at Aurora, thirty-three at Virginia Tech, twenty-six at Sandy Hook, and thirteen at Columbine. Eighty-four people killed in four separate incidents in which some evil individuals picked up a gun and set about to inflict murder and mayhem upon people whose only crime was crossing their paths.

     They conveniently leave out cases like the Happy Land Fire and the Bath School bombing, either of which are at least as heinous as any of the aforementioned incidents. The Happy Land Fire was caused by an individual named Julio Gonzalez. Mr. Gonzalez had followed his ex-girlfriend to the Happy Land Nightclub where, after getting into an argument with her, he was ejected by the bouncers. He returned later, armed with about a dollar's worth of gasoline and a match, and burned the place down, killing eighty-seven people in the process. That's more than all of the deaths at Aurora, Virginia Tech, Columbine, and Sandy Hook combined.

     The Bath School bombing killed thirty eight children between the ages of seven to fourteen. The perpetrator was Andrew Kehoe, the school board treasurer who was angry about losing an election. His weapon? Dynamite and pyrotol; an incendiary substance that Mr. Kehoe had spent months planting throughout the school building. Get that? He had been planning this massacre for months!

     Timothy McVeigh used fertilizer and diesel fuel, the 9/11 terrorists took over the planes with box cutters, the point is this: Evil people do evil shit because they're evil. Period.

     The shooter at Sandy Hook didn't do what he did because the seductive power of a gun inspired him to do so, he did it because he was evil. The Columbine shooters did what they did because they were evil. Virginia Tech? Aurora? Happy Land? Bath Township? All committed by evil people.

     These were not people caught up in a crime of passion, nor were they soldiers suffering the fog of war. These people plotted, planned, and equipped themselves to do the maximum amount of damage in the shortest amount of time. Their whole plan was to murder as many people as possible so as to cause as much grief as possible, and then, as a final 'fuck you' they killed themselves, denying us the opportunity to see them brought to justice.

     On the other hand, they were the answer to the prayers of Democrat politicians all across the nation. Democrats had lost all of the momentum on gun control as a result of the monumental rejection of gun control as a crime control method. No one was buying into the tired, old, saw that gun control was a means of preventing crime, because the facts were proving otherwise; those cities and states where guns in the hands of the citizens were common enjoyed lower violent crime rates than those with restrictive gun control laws.

     Chicago was becoming a national joke due to the number of shootings they had every weekend, despite guns being completely illegal within the city limits. Outside of The Beltway, Washington D.C. is one of the most dangerous cities in the country. The crime in these cities was so rampant, that even the Mainstream Media couldn't avoid reporting it. So, when some evil piece of shit shoots up a movie theater or elementary school, there is a wave of delight throughout the DNC, because it means that they have a chance to become (there's that word again) relevant once more. Because in politics, you have to justify your existence by doing something. If you aren't in constant motion, the mundanes (that's you and me) might get the idea that government isn't really all that necessary. Once government is discovered to be unnecessary, the mundanes might get the idea to make government smaller. That means less money to play with. And money, despite political platitudes to the contrary, is truly what motivates politicians on either side of the aisle.

    As counter-intuitive as it is, the answer to evil people with guns is, good people with guns. Not the police or the military (although they certainly have their part) but Joe and Jane Average.

     One of the people at Sandy Hook that I will remember forever is one Victoria Soto, the teacher that hid her students in a closet and then put herself between the shooter and the kids.  I would rather that, upon seeing this vicious killer, Ms. Soto had blown his brains out with her legally concealed handgun and then led those children to safety. Instead, She was gunned down. Gunned down because of the refusal of the powers that be to acknowledge that evil people exist. They refuse because too much of their political power and too many careers depend on incidents like this for their continued prosperity. That is why, despite evidence to the contrary, despite the lessons of Israel and Thailand, those that shape and control the culture through legislation and media inflict institutional helplessness upon us all.

     Ms. Soto's blood is as much on their hands as it is on the shooter's.