Quote of the Day

From Kurt Schlichter:

“When you own a weapon and can defend yourself and your rights, you are a citizen. When you do not, you are a subject.”  (emphasis added)

And that, in a nutshell, is the real root of the Left’s desire to gut the 2nd Amendment.  This week marks the centennial of the advent of communism.  The body count that ideology racked up was due in no small part to the fact that its targets were usually unarmed and unable to fight back effectively.

one execution from utopia

The entire article is worth your attention, in light of recent events.

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The third certainty

It’s said the only things certain in life are death and taxes.  To that I would add it’s certain the Left will call for strict gun control that guts the 2nd Amendment every time a mass shooting occurs.  After all, as Rahm Emanuel put it: “never let a serious crisis go to waste.”  So it’s no surprise the friendly fascists at moveon.org already have a petition up for “commonsense gun control:”

* Ban civilian ownership of weapons designed for warfare.
* Close the gun show loophole.
* Create certificates of ownership for firearms, similar to automobiles, which should be governed by similar regulations, including the need for training, testing, and insurance.

Let’s take these one at a time, shall we?

First of all, who would decide whether a weapon was “designed for warfare?”  I’m sure they have in mind the spooky black rifle of their feverish nightmares known as the AR-15.  Never mind that civilians can only own semi-automatic versions of this, which makes it no different from most hunting rifles.  There are also many people who are proud owners of Springfield M1911 handguns.  These were originally designed for war, but are now commonly owned by civilians.  Would that no longer be permitted?  Maybe they’re thinking about automatic weapons (which the ignorant on the Left often claim AR-15s are).  Here’s the problem: it’s been illegal for more than 30 years to own an automatic weapon without a specific federal license that is extremely difficult to obtain.

That’s right, kids: our shooter in Las Vegas was in possession of more than a dozen weapons that were just as illegal for him to have as it was for him to kill people with them.  But feel free to cling to your fantasies that laws will prevent this kind of thing.  Just don’t drag me or my legally owned weapons into your unworkable utopias.

Second: “close the gun show loophole.”  This ridiculous phrase is used after every shooting, as though these killers are buying their weapons at the local Shriners show before going on a rampage.  There are no specific loopholes in federal law that apply to gun shows.  None.  Those who engage in the business of selling firearms, whether at a gun show or at a private business, must run a federal background check before completing a sale.  Period.  The only way around this is personal resale (for instance, if I sell a weapon to a relative).  To be accurate, what gun control advocates need to say is they want to require everyone to get Uncle Sam’s permission before selling their own legally owned property.  That sounds much more infringing on personal liberty than “closing a gun show loophole,” though, doesn’t it?

Third: ownership certificates with various requirements attached.  This is where I may part company with some.  I believe the 2nd Amendment is a crucial liberty and non-negotiable.  Every law-abiding citizen has the inalienable right to self-defense, and that includes the mechanical means to enable that defense.  That said, every right carries a responsibility, and it’s clear many people don’t take that seriously.  So just as I would advocate a citizenship exam before allowing people to vote, I do not necessarily object to requiring citizens to pass a safety and qualifying course before receiving a certificate to own personal weapons.  The only issue here is one of degree.  There are plenty of gun controllers who would use such a concession to create a process so onerous that nobody would be willing/able to complete it and thus obtain a firearm.  If such a process were permitted, it would have to be under the guidance that the burden is on the State to show why someone should NOT be issued a weapon, rather than on a citizen to show why they should.  (This is similar to the difference in “may issue” versus “shall issue” for concealed permits.)

So of the three items in the petition the first is deliberately ambiguous, the second is a tired sound bite, and the third may — MAY — have some merit if done correctly.  Instead of putting enormous effort behind such an ill-thought petition, here’s a better use of your time:

Ask why it took police SEVENTY-TWO minutes to respond and breach the shooter’s room in Las Vegas.  (This is the first of many odd things that stand out about the Las Vegas attack.)  Then ask yourself if you want to outsource your personal defense to institutions that have, at best, a questionable ability to actually protect you in the event someone has murder in mind.  (As the saying goes, when seconds count the police are only minutes away.)

No civilian crowd should ever be under (illegal) automatic weapons fire for more than an hour. And none should ever face such a situation without recourse to their own ability to defend themselves.  Granted, concealed carry weapons at the concert likely wouldn’t have done much against a madman firing from the 32nd floor.  Remember, though, the reason this is news is that such an event is an outlier, not the everyday experience.  In many crises there are often plenty of veterans (both of the military and police) and brave lifelong civilians present who, given the tools, would be willing to respond much faster to such a public emergency.  The public should not have to depend on someone else to save them when they are capable of saving themselves.

I’ll close by pointing this out: many of those yammering about gun control the past couple of days were fully on board both with the Obama administration’s “Fast and Furious” gun running scheme to Mexican cartels, as well as his release of billions of dollars to Iran — a known terrorist-supporting government openly determined to obtain atomic weapons.  Given this, their pleas of “give me your guns so we can make you safe” sound more than a little hollow and self-serving.  Besides, if Trump is “literally Hitler,” isn’t calling for public disarmament self-defeating?  (Never try to look for consistency in Leftist arguments — it isn’t there.)

We live in an increasingly dangerous world, where terrorists maim with weapons as varied as automatic weapons and automobiles.  At the same time our governments seem determined to allow a continued flood of strangers from violent lands to settle among us. Between terrorists and the mentally ill, there is simply no way to predict when the next incident will occur.  As someone who carried a weapon and defended this nation–including the Constitutional right to carry firearms–for 24 years in uniform, I’m not about to give up my legally acquired weapons or the right to defend myself and my family.

Period.

Dissent versus dissing

NFL fans appear to be ready to mount their own “protest” by ignoring the sport, after a fatal league infestation of knee-taking.  This is giving the Left vapors: “you can’t do that!  It’s our right to dissent.”

Yes, it is.  And it’s the fans’ right not to associate with people who do so in such a childish fashion.  You see, this isn’t about dissent so much as it’s about dissing. (As in “disrespecting.”)

Dissing the symbols of America, just because its past isn’t more perfect than any other nation.  Whether you take a knee during the anthem or simply cut to the chase and burn the flag, you’re expressing hostility to symbols that still mean a great deal to a lot of people.  Many of those people would be only too happy to help fund you a one-way plane ticket to whatever country whose heritage and symbols you find superior.  We’re generous that way.

Dissing present-day citizens who have the audacity to believe government should both protect the border and leave them alone, and they should have the ability to call out and resist idiocy — such as allowing people to choose whatever bathroom they “feel like” that day — as they see it.

Dissing the Christian heritage that forms an essential part of the foundation this country was built upon.  (Why isn’t it “dissent” to refuse to participate in a gay “marriage” ceremony?  Aren’t professional sports also “public accommodations?”  Bake that cake Stand up NFL — you’re offending people!)

The mistake many make is in focusing on the issue du jour in isolation.  This isn’t about just the NFL.  It’s merely a continuation of a tiresome trend that has finally worn out its welcome and the average American’s patience: the cultural appropriation of anything considered “as American as Mom and apple pie” to churn out anti-American agitprop.  The populist/traditionalist backlash that is brewing is due to people realizing the elites aren’t out to reform America so much as they are to replace it with something more to their globalist likings.  They’ve been doing this to our institutions for decades.  Now the fight is more out in the open.  This situation makes many angry.  I’m one of them.  The very anger I feel towards ‘those people’ (a deliberate reference – figure it out if you can) makes me concerned for the future.  For if I imagine it multiplied by millions of fellow citizens, it is a tremendous potential force that can be harnessed for good or evil.  Nor is America alone is seeing this anger rise among those who still value the nation of their birth.

As Christians, we’re not told it’s wrong to be angry — only that in our anger “do not sin.” Easier said than done.  As the famous philosopher Yoda once said, “…anger leads to hate; hate leads to suffering…”   And frankly, I wouldn’t mind seeing some of the ringleaders of these constant shenanigans suffer…

…even if it’s only suffering cramped economy-class seating on a long one-way flight to somewhere else, with citizenship and return privileges revoked.

Too harsh, you say?  Subversion–what they’ve been up to for a couple generations–is merely treason spread out over time.  Once it’s recognized for what it is, such a penalty seems light in comparison to the standard.

A two-minute warning

It should be apparent by now that absolutely everything in American society has been subordinated to politics and messaging by the Left.  This is not a good development.  It means there is no room for apolitical interactions, no common ground on which both sides can agree “we may disagree, but don’t have to do it here.”  There are no symbols around which everyone can rally and say “at least we have this much in common.”  Thus the pressure in the cooker continues to grow.

Since the topic of NFL players acting childishly during the National Anthem has become the issue du jour, and has now spread to other sports, I thought I’d put in my two sense cents:

  1. “This is about free speech.”  No, it’s not.  The Constitution guarantees an absence of government coercion against speech it doesn’t like.  The public has always been free to measure the actions and speech of those who put themselves in the public eye.  The Left decided years ago to up the stakes in this area by going after the employment of those who said or supported things they didn’t like (for example, search: Brendon Eich, ex-chairman of Mozilla).  So it should follow Americans are not required to keep funding the salaries–much less subsidizing the stadiums–of well-paid players who don’t appreciate what they have.  The issue is the Left simply doesn’t like it when the same rules are applied to them.  Should have read your Alinsky better…
  2. “Only racists and bigots object to this.”  Garbage.  There are literally millions of veterans (including me) disgusted at watching the NFL borrow the valor of the military with flyovers and huge patriotic displays at their events (something the government even paid them to do), then stand behind players who want to make a particular two-and-a-half-minute tune about them rather than their country.  Unfortunately, football’s core demographic is pretty patriotic.  The NFL knows this.  Let’s see how the bait-and-switch works for them.

A process I’ve seen described as “The Great Tune-Out” appears to be under way.  Civic-minded average Americans seem to have decided not to listen any longer to political rants from pampered entertainers, and this is having an effect in multiple markets.  Good.  It’s about time.  We were told after the election that the majority shouldn’t have to live with a candidate who “only” won the electoral college.  Majority rule, and all that.

Maybe we’re discovering the majority in this country still values it, and is tired of feeding parasitical organizations that keep spitting in their face.  One can hope.  In the mean time, enjoy your now-cleared Sunday afternoon schedules!

hey-look-celebrity-opinions-where-they-belong-admin-cw-11948183

Say “no” to unqualified voting

We’ve been indoctrinated to believe voting is a “right,” and that much of progress in America is related to the gradual expansion of the franchise to the point where anyone with a pulse can enter a voting booth.  We’ve even become so “inclusive” that some cities are allowing non-citizens(!!) to vote.

Before I get bombarded with the usual Progressive insults, let me state for the record that I do not believe voting should be limited on the basis of ethnicity or wealth (i.e. landowning requirements).  But on the question of voting, there is one thing of which I am certain: the automatic universal franchise for those born here is the worst idea in the history of republican thought.  Why have I reached this conclusion?  Consider this:

A new survey conducted by the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg Public Policy Center finds that most Americans are ignorant of many very basic facts about the Constitution.

* More than one in three people (37%) could not name a single right protected by the First Amendment.
* Only one in four (26%) can name all three branches of the government.
* One in three (33%) can’t name any branch of government. None. Not even one.

You can’t do anything in life well without knowing the rules.  Why should voting be any different?  Now, note carefully what the Washington Post (motto: “Democracy Dies In Darkness“) says next:

The protection of constitutional rights is in large part the business of lawyers, judges, government officials, and other experts. But public opinion plays an important role, as well, which it is unlikely to do as effectively if most of the public is ignorant.

No.  Emphatically no.

The informed and invested citizen is the primary protector of our constitutional freedom.  Therein lies a major part of the problem: being informed and taking action requires effort and some level of personal sacrifice (such as leisure time).  For the vast majority of people, this is simply too much work.  It’s well-said that “Few men desire liberty; most men wish only for a just master.”  Voting is not a “right.”  It is a privilege, and carries with it the reverse of the coin: responsibility.  To hand over the responsibility largely to “lawyers, judges, government officials, and other experts” (notice the order in which these are listed?) is to hand over the privilege of having a voice as a citizen.  By not acting to enforce the Constitutional role on our various government functions, the public has allowed them to determine the limits of their own power (hint: none).  A true citizen refuses to accept that, and challenges — physically, if necessary — undermining of the Constitution.

The only way to be able to do that is to know the Constitution.  It’s no surprise to anyone who’s read this blog for long that I believe voting should be restricted to those who have passed a civic exam at least as difficult as the citizenship test (which, frankly, is not a high bar).  Such an arrangement does not preclude participation on the basis of ethnicity, religion, gender, wealth or any of the other categories that have been used historically to deny the franchise.

What it does is require the would-be voter to earn the privilege — something nearly everyone can do (excepting the mentally incompetent, who already are not allowed full privileges in society).  By bestowing citizenship on those who enter our nation illegally, and allowing anyone with a pulse to vote, our nation shows it does not value either.

“What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as freedom should not be highly rated.”
— Thomas Paine, The American Crisis, 1776

Frankly, studying for an exam is a small price to pay for the franchise.  Others have theorized about requiring much, much more.  (While I don’t subscribe to Heinlein’s exact solution, the requirement to have a “citizen” demonstrate a commitment to something more than their own narrow self-interest would go far to fix what ails us.)

The next time you’re contemplating the sorry state of our nation, just remember it’s likely a good number of the people surveyed were in a polling place last November, and their vote was swayed more by emotions (“I feel like there should be universal health care”) than by knowledge and analysis (“There is no such thing as a free lunch“).

Idiocracy, indeed.

Stealing inheritances

I know of someone whose parents, while he was just a wee lad, broke into several antique stores, amassing a tidy little sum fencing the artifacts before retiring from such activity.  Then the family settled into the quiet life of the “Nouveau riche.”  There was just one problem: eventually the authorities broke the case and discovered who was responsible for the string of thefts.  By this time, my acquaintance was just entering a fairly respectable college, fully expecting to afford the tuition with ease.

That is, until his parents were exposed and all their assets seized.  But since it would be unfair to deny him such a great educational opportunity just because his parents had broken the law, the court ruled the family could keep the money and send him to school. The various antique store owners and their families were astonished.

Outrageous, no?

OK – confession time.  The above is made up, and I don’t actually know of such a case. But there are apparently a lot of people who would agree with the fictional court ruling above.  These are the people who want to allow the children of illegal immigrants to stay in the United States, despite their parents breaking the law to get them here.

“But a child shouldn’t have to suffer for their parents’ actions!”  It’s an easy statement to agree with, emotionally.  And yet children do suffer the consequences of their parents’ actions every day.   Children are fatherless because of “no-fault” divorces.  Children live in poverty because their parents failed to acquire skills or motivation to work a decent paying job. Children are beaten when parents abuse alcohol or drugs and fly into rages. On and on the list could go.

Our nation is being played emotionally yet again to allow people to stay here who never had any right to be here in the first place.  I understand sending away people who’ve lived here their whole life seems cruel.  But is it compassion to allow wave after wave of invaders to break into America, depressing wages and driving up social spending for those already legally here?  Does it serve justice to have an immigration policy that, in effect says, “you have to follow this specific process… unless you can successfully hide out illegally in the U.S. long enough to become a sob story when you’re discovered?” Does it build confidence in the integrity of our institutions when those charged with enforcing the law go out of their way to obstruct it:

The NYPD says the (DACA) protesters arrested outside Trump Tower (Tuesday) won’t have to be fingerprinted if they provide their information willingly — no fingerprints means no arrest information transmitted to Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

After all, we wouldn’t want to deport any of these people who are now so bold as to say “yeah, we broke the law to get here, but we deserve to stay anyway!”

The other heartstring being pulled is “if you enforce the law it will break up families!” This is only because the United States is one of the few nations left in the world where geography of birth confers citizenship (via a grossly expanded reading of the 14th Amendment*, which was dealing with the end of slavery, not immigration in general).  The Founders talked about “securing the blessings of liberty to our posterity.” That means the descendants of Americans.  One should not receive automatic citizenship unless at least one of your biological parents is already an American (even if they themselves are a naturalized citizen).  Our current process created an “anchor baby” loophole through which hundreds of thousands of migrants have put down dubious roots in our land.

And it is our land.  Not just anybody’s.  To state otherwise is to void any semblance of a nation-state or international borders.  It’s understandable that parents want to provide the best life they can for their children.  But they must do so legally.  Allowing the children of illegal immigrants to remain in the U.S. is the moral equivalent of allowing my fictional acquaintance to keep the ill-gotten gains his parents arranged.

So no, enforcement doesn’t mean breaking up families.  It means they should all go back.  Thirty years ago Ronald Reagan was played a fool by agreeing to a deal for amnesty in return for better border security and stricter immigration.  As we all know, only the first half of that deal occurred.  I guarantee Congress will try the same thing again, now the Trump has (properly) put this issue back to the legislature instead of trying to rule by Executive Order as his predecessor did.  We cannot allow our Congresscritters to hold stricter immigration and border security hostage to the demands of people who literally have no legal standing to be in the United States in the first place.  We must communicate to them clearly and loudly that we won’t consent to a second sucker’s deal.  On a tangential note, isn’t it interesting the GOP couldn’t fulfill its promise of repealing Obamacare, but within hours of the Administration’s DACA announcement there is already bipartisan support building to let the “Dreamers” (a propaganda term if there ever was one) remain in the U.S.?  Who, exactly, do these “representatives” represent?

Build the Wall.  Deport the lawbreaking illegal immigrants — all of them.  

This is not a race issue.  It is not a “realizing the American dream” issue.  It is an issue of whether we are a nation of laws, and one that is willing to defend the inheritance intended to be handed down to future generations.  If we fail this test we may as well erase the borders from all maps, because they will have become meaningless.

And our children will watch helplessly as invaders finish squandering the legacy of their ancestors.  

Let’s remember that when anti-American globalists try to play the emotion card.

(*) – The 14th Amendment is by far the single longest amendment to the Constitution, and the various broad judicial readings of its provisions have dramatically changed the way in which our system of governance operates.  But that’s a post for another time…

Attempting to be an art critic

I’ve been seeing this image pop up here and there across the Internet.  It’s by the same painter who did one of Obama a few years back in response to the passage of Obamacare.  The two form something of a bookend set.

jmYouAreNotForgotten 002

I think the original Obama painting was spot on, depicting as it did an aloof and arrogant president trampling the Constitution while all his predecessors (except a few to Obama’s right, or the “left” side of the crowd) looked on with expressions of “what the hell, man?”  The message of the original painting was clear.

As for the one above, I can appreciate that it’s not Trump who is center stage.  We don’t need blind hero worship or the man-on-the-white-horse syndrome here.  Trump’s depicted standing on a snake, which may be more Biblical allegory than I’m willing to extend to him.  That said, D.C. Mordor is definitely snake-infested in our day, and much of the hissing against Trump comes from that serpentine choir.  But the center of the action is a young family watering a plant (perhaps the Tree of Liberty?) in what is very parched soil.  The message could well be interpreted as Trump trying to buy time for the next generation to refresh our nation.  Changing who’s in office won’t matter until the culture itself has been changed.  Politics, it is said, flows downstream from culture.

I’m sure in this era of professional grievance-mongering, others will count faces and point out there are only a few non-white characters in the crowd.  But look who they are: Sheriff David Clarke, an outspoken patriot; an unnamed World War II veteran in a wheelchair who clearly gave to his country; an unnamed black lady and a minority man holding folded U.S. flags, signifying loss of loved ones in service to the nation.

The fault lines in this country today are not so much Republican-Democrat than they are traditionalist/progressive.  As the many “RINO” Republicans demonstrate, the parties don’t cleanly align with the other dichotomy (Sheriff Clarke, by the way, is a registered Democrat).  There are simply those who believe the “bourgeoisie” values that made this nation successful are worth preserving (perhaps “restoring” would be more accurate by this point), and the inaptly named “progressives” who would continue to tear down those values in a vague utopian quest that has ended in tragedy time and again throughout human history.

The takeaways?

  • Don’t expect Trump to solve every problem.
  • Those who love this land and the values that made it must be active in restoring them.
  • Teach your children well.  One generation — the Boomers — left a huge wake of cultural destruction.  This shows how a single generation can change a nation.  Make sure those who are our heirs are prepared to change it again by valuing and defending their inheritance.

One final thought about watering the “tree of liberty” — the artist is optimistic in his portrayal.  Thomas Jefferson warned that nourishing that fragile plant sometimes takes more than water (though his quote is often used without context).  Hope/pray for the best; prepare for the worst.