Archive for the ‘Activism’ Category

Dereliction of Duty

Saturday, February 24th, 2018

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In successive days of late afternoon disclosures, what has become clear from the tragic shooting in Parkland, Florida is a serious problem with the Broward County Sheriff’s Office.  It’s also increasingly clear that the highly political Sheriff, who on Wednesday evening during CNN’s pant-hoot-howl-disguised-as-townhall, lashed out at NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch (@dloesch on Twitter,) had more than a few pressing reasons to deflect criticism and turn the attention of both the audience and media toward guns and the National Rifle Association.  On Thursday, we learned that there was a Broward Sheriff’s Deputy who had been assigned as a School Resource Officer on the Parkland campus who failed to enter the building to confront the shooter, for more than four minutes of the slightly more than five minutes the shooter was active in the building.  On Friday, this catastrophic dereliction was discovered to have been far worse: There were at least three more officers who arrived and likewise refrained from entering the building, even after police officers responding from Coral Springs arrived and independently entered the premises. There are no words to describe this betrayal.  There is no excuse Sheriff Scott Israel can offer.  It’s time for him to surrender his badge and gun, but also for Florida Attorney General Pam Bondy, to begin an investigation of the conduct of the Broward Sheriffs Office.

People are shrieking that the School Resource Officer, 33=year veteran of the Sheriffs Office, Deputy Scot Peterson, should be charged.  After all, during the period he stood holding his gun outside the building while the shooting continued inside, it is likely that most of the deaths occurred.  He was there in perhaps less than one minute after the shooting commenced, but never entered.  Modern(post Columbine) active shooter doctrine directs officers to enter the premises immediately, backup or not, body armor or not, and to engage the shooter or shooters as quickly as possible because it is opposition that almost always stops these killers, either by being killed, or by killing themselves.  Deputy Peterson, apparently milking the taxpayer in his last years before retirement, obviously wasn’t interested in putting himself or his pension at risk to save school kids and teachers about which he seems not to have been even slightly concerned.

Friday’s revelation only makes it worse, as it appears at least three more Broward deputies arrived soon after, while the shooting was still in progress, and together with Peterson, none of them attempted entry into the building.  The shooter, Nikolas Cruz, was able to walk out unscathed and unchallenged.

I know there are plenty of fine officers, including the heroes from Coral Springs, who arrived and entered immediately as all current active-shooter doctrines demand, and this is not a general impeachment of all law enforcement, but it is an impeachment of Sheriff Israel’s leadership, or more properly, the lack thereof.  To have a department responsible for such a populous jurisdiction, but unwilling even to enter into lethal combat with an active shooter speaks volumes about how little worth Sheriff Israel has brought to his community, unless you value political patronage campaigns, in which he apparently enjoyed great success.

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         Rather than being “With Her,” Sheriff Israel should have been training his deputies

Perhaps Sheriff Israel should have spent more of his career training his deputies, insisting on superior performance and adherence to departmental policies.  Perhaps rather than assigning an officer ready for retirement to patrol the school campus, he might have considered sending an experienced and courageous officer to protect the most precious resource in his county.  Instead, he appears to have assigned a deputy to the school who was much closer to the end of his career than its beginning, and seemed not to be very interested in getting inside to face the shooter and protect the children and faculty.

This is sickening.  It’s bad enough that the FBI had every opportunity to have prevented this tragedy.  It’s bad enough that over the last few years, Nikolas Cruz had repeated encounters with the police and with the school, but he was permitted to go on until this disaster. None of it is excusable in any respect, but what is simply intolerable, and what must not be accepted, is a pattern of malingering and dereliction on the part of multiple officers, suggesting a mindset that is part of the corporate culture of Sheriff Israel’s department.  This sort of thing is always the result of poor leadership.  It’s always the result of bad management and a tendency in government to keep the ineffectual around long after they should have been terminated.  Instead, they’re permitted to linger on the tax-payer’s back, squandering a payroll that could have been spent on more effective public servants.

I am always loathe to second-guess the actions of officers on the scene, because there can always be factors of which a distant observer like myself might quite naturally be wholly unaware. I have family in law enforcement, and I know a laege number of courageous officers who protect the community in which I live. I know too many good men and women who take seriously their oaths to haphazardly malign peace officers. I know most of our officers, the great body of them, would not have hesitated to run headlong into that school in an attempt to neutralize the shooter, even at obvious risk to life and limb.  Sadly, this was not the case with the first four Deputies to respond to that school in Parkland, and it apparently isn’t part of the normal culture of Sheriff Israel’s department.  On the other hand, I’m sure when he was kissing-up to Hillary Clinton, as pictured above, it was his best officers who were present to provide additional security to augment the needs of whatever Secret Service protection Clinton may have enjoyed at the time.  The school gets the ROAD Deputy(Retired On Active Duty,) while more courageous officers are sent to protect much less precious things than our children.

It’s time for Sheriff Israel to resign.  It would have been bad enough to simply know the truth of this, but that it took Scott Israel more than a week to disclose this information suggests he had been hoping to cover it up or justify it so as to reduce the public relations black-eye he almost certainly will now be called upon to endure. Sheriff Israel should be ashamed, as he seemed to be when first detailing the inaction of Deputy Peterson on Thursday, but now, it has become quite evident that this shame is more thoroughly institutional within his department, and it’s time for Israel to acknowledge his shame by resigning from his office. Platitudes about “taking responsibility” will no longer suffice.  Sheriff Israel must go, just as FBI director Christopher Wray must go in the wake of the FBI’s disastrous contribution to this catastrophe.

People have asked me if the officers could be charged.  I am not entirely familiar with Florida statutes, but I do know that in a number of broadly applicable court rulings, officers have no affirmative duty to protect anybody. For that reason alone, I doubt that any of the malingerers who were derelict in the performance of their duties will face any legal ramifications. Yes, they might lose their jobs, but that says nothing of actual criminal or civil liability.

I hope the people of Broward County will seek out a new Sheriff who engenders more courage in his or her officers than Scot Peterson, who seems to have been sub-par even in comparison with Paul Blart. “Shameful” doesn’t begin to cover it.

Lastly, I wonder how long it will be before some enterprising journalist(therefore nobody from CNN) will ask for a count of shots and/or victims hit when the surveillance videos are all synchronized such that an analysis of that sort can be made. How many of the students and faculty members died while their would-be rescuers stood around outside in a defensive posture?  If I were the parents and surviving students and faculty of Parkland, that’s what I’d be demanding to know, and it’s an answer for which Sheriff Israel must be held accountable.

 

The Infantilization of America

Wednesday, February 21st, 2018

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President Trump wants the sale of firearms curtailed to people between eighteen and twenty years of age.  It’s bad enough that he’s apparently decided to go along with the gun-grabbers in various ways, but now he wishes to further infantilize young adults.  Some of what I will say may ruffle some feathers, and it may be erroneously construed as an attack on the young, but frankly, I don’t give a damn.  We don’t permit 18-20 year-olds to drink.  We do permit them to vote.  We permit them to remain on their parents’ health insurance through their twenty-sixth birthday.  We didn’t permit them to purchase handguns, and now it seems we will deny them any guns of any description.  What has remained unchanged for many generations is that we permit them to serve in our military as early as seventeen.  If you wonder who is to blame for the crass irresponsibility of so many among our young, look no further than the ways in which we diminish them.  Since this seems to be the cultural trend, I think it’s time to amend our constitution to comport with our cultural and legal machinations.  Let’s make the new age of majority twenty-six, and return all those younger to a state of pre-emancipated infantilization.

Some of you will think I’m joking.  Some of you will believe that I couldn’t possibly be serious.  I am completely serious.  Let us revoke adulthood from all those under twenty-five.  Here’s how that would apply:

  • No vote
  • No military service
  • No booze
  • No marijuana even in states where it has been legalized
  • No contracts of any kind
  • No firearms of any sort
  • No “right to privacy”of any kind
  • No marriage
  • No driving

If we want to infantilize our young, let’s at least do it thoroughly and consistently. Let us return them to a state of pre-emancipated minor, subject to all forms of parental intervention, and supervision.  Understand that I don’t want this, but if we’re going to begin stripping rights from them, we must strip them as a set.  Adulthood is an all-or-nothing affair, and I think it’s time we recognize this in law.  Since the previous administration thought twenty-five year-olds should remain on their parents’ health policies, and since the current administration thinks they shouldn’t be able to buy an AR-15, then there’s no point in them being adult in any part.  Any.

I had an M16 thrust into my hands for the first time at age seventeen.  I was a big kid, so it was assumed I would also make a good candidate to drag around an M60 machine gun, with the M16 cross-slung on my back.  They seemed to think I was able to bear up under the load, and so I was, amazingly.  There’s a lesson in there, but of course, it’s lost on a President who thinks 18-20 year-olds shouldn’t have AR-15s.  My question is:  When will President Trump order Secretary Mattis to discharge all servicemembers under the age of 21?   The weapons with which they are routinely entrusted are far more lethal than anything you can pick up in your local gun shop.

Or will the President recognize that just as there is variability in young adults with respect to their fitness for military service, there’s just as much variability among the young adults and their capacity to safely own firearms?  It seems the Commander-in-Chief is confused.  He’s certainly confusing me.  He’s causing me to ask why, if he will not stand up for the rights of all Americans, including young adults, I should endeavor to defend him against the “Russian Collusion” hoax.  Truth is truth.

Meanwhile, in Florida, our children, who haven’t the good sense to defer to their parents on politics, are being exploited by the anti-gun phalanx.  They’re kids, after all, and we already know that they don’t use logic until their brains are more fully developed, as late as twenty-five?  Why do we think car insurance drops in price for people obtaining the age of twenty-five?  It’s because they make better decisions on average, because we’ve known for years that their brains aren’t fully developed until then. Of course, some people remain dominated by emotionalism in their decision-making into their seventies, apparently.

What I really believe is that all the rights and privileges and responsibilities of adulthood go together as a set.  When we define the age of adulthood, that’s the end of the argument.  It’s always been abominable to me that at seventeen, they shoved an M16 in my hands, but I was forbidden a beer or a handgun.  Now it seems the President wishes to add rifles to the round-up of things young adults cannot possess.  I think it’s horrible policy, but if we’re going to do this, then let us pick the age of adulthood and let it stand in all circumstances, in every case, everywhere and at once.

Like all such reflexive measures taken in the aftermath of a tragedy, this is another horrible mass abolition of rights for law-abiding people because in our society, we have a handful of lunatics.  I’m tired of losing my rights due to criminals.  I’m tired of losing my rights to the pleas of hyper-emotional, arrested development children. Let us at least be consistent in defining what are adults.

 

 

 

The Next School Shooter

Thursday, February 15th, 2018

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It’s coming.  You know it, and I know it.  Every rational person knows it.  Somewhere in our nation, one or more people are preparing to go on a shooting rampage, and one of them may intend your child as a target.  That shooter-in-waiting is already armed, already possesses the means to carry out the intended attack.  It’s too late to talk about banning guns, bullets, gas masks or backpacks.  The thug is already primed, and all that is now needed is for the fuse to be lit.  Perhaps the death of a relative will be the trigger. Maybe it will be something in our highly polarized political environment that will ignite this rampage.  There’s no way to know where the shooter will appear, but there’s no doubt that the shooter is waiting, and while we bicker about banning guns or ammunition or anything else, and while we talk about “mental health issues,” we are failing our children in a sickeningly fundamental way:  We’ve shirked our first responsibility as parents to defend our children by leaving them defenseless in the face of monsters.  We cannot pretend that we can intercept these shooters by banning their implements, and we must face the fact that the only way to protect our children is to rise in their defense.

When you deliver your child to the school in the morning, or watch them load onto the school bus, you’ve effectively discharged your responsibility; everything the school does with your child is a matter of the authority with which you vested them when you placed the school in loco parentis.  You’ve effectively given the school temporary custody, presumably for the purposes of education.  At the same time, our federal government has so thoroughly nationalized our schools that we have largely prohibited the faculty and administration of our schools from participating in the defense of our children.  Except for licensed law enforcement officers, there’s nobody who can legally possess a gun on our schools’ grounds.  When it is suggested that we ought to increase security at our schools, and that the faculty and administration of our schools ought to be included in that defense, it is said that teachers cannot be armed because they cannot be trusted to refrain from a shooting rampage of their own should a child or children get out of hand.  In essence, we are told that teachers are a psychologically unbalanced lot, not to be trusted with guns.

This notion is always baffling to me, particularly when uttered by actual parents of minor children.  Are we to understand that teachers and coaches and principals may not be entrusted with a firearm, but that they are to be trusted to act in loco parentis? We trust them to shape the minds of our children, but we cannot trust them to defend our kids?  If an actual parent believes this, then there are only two rational options: 1.) Immediately withdraw your children from that dangerous school, or 2.) Reconsider your qualifications as a suitable parent for your children.  It is self-evident that if a teacher or administrator is insufficiently trustworthy to possess and carry a firearm, they have no business whatever acting in place of me with respect to my child(ren.)   If I can’t trust somebody with a gun, I certainly won’t trust them to instruct or oversee my kid(s.)

Bear all of this in mind when presented with the litany of excuses as to why we can’t or mustn’t arm non-police officers in our schools.  Remember that the thug is already out there, waiting for the timer to go off, or otherwise be “triggered” on his way.  The shooter is already armed.  The shooter already has ammunition.  You can ban guns and think you’ll discover him by psychological intervention, but you’re only kidding yourself, or permitting yourself to be misled.  The only place you can approximately guarantee the safety of your child(ren) is at home, but even there, it’s not guaranteed.  That said, you are in a position to defend your child(ren) in a way that is not possible in a conventional school environment.

It’s impossible to stress this point too thoroughly.  We must defend our children, but it must be an active defense, rather than an exercise in apprehension of villains and recovery of bodies.  Our teachers, administrators, coaches, and security must be armed and able to repel attackers.  They must be trained.  If we have teachers who cannot be trusted with a firearm, they should not be trusted with our children.  That next school shooter is out there.  It’s not possible to stop the shooter by banning anything.  The shooter is likely already armed.  The question parents must answer is this:  If you know the shooter is out there, though you can’t know his location, identity, or motive in advance, how do you defend your children?  Why are you sending your children to be safeguarded by people who are unable and/or unwilling to protect them?  Why are you putting your children in the midst of people with whom you would would not trust a gun?  The answer is an active defense.  It must be.

There will always be killers among us.  We can’t stop them all, and we can’t always intervene before they’re able to inflict casualties, but the only way we might is to present an unambiguous, active defensive curtain around our children, with trained, rational adults empowered to provide that defense.  Everything else is political cowardice.  It’s time, with all the evidence before us, for parents to insist that there be an active defense, or to withdraw their children from these schools.  What do you have that you value more?  On which political issue are your efforts better spent?  It’s simple: We must insist that our schools be empowered to mount an active defense against violent assailants.  If you sincerely wish to protect your children from the next school shooter, it’s too late to talk about bans.  That shooter is already armed, perhaps casing the target, or merely awaiting a psychological trigger; your child(ren.)  Only an active defense offers any hope.

 

Editor’s Note: It’s despicable that while the Parkland Florida shooter was preparing to commit his crime, the FBI, which had been notified of a youtuber of the same name threatening to be a professional school shooter, did only a cursory investigation, apparently too busy chasing phantom “Trump-Russian Collusion,” as directed by their senior leadership in Washington DC.  If only the FBI field agents had been able to conduct a more thorough investigation, perhaps the outcome would have been different.

The Memo: Read it Here

Friday, February 2nd, 2018

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For now, I’m just posting a link to a copy of the memo. It’s the biggest scandal in American history.

The government website is swamped. I’ve copied it and placed it here:

HMTG-115-IG00-20180129-SD001_pdf

 

The Silent Coup d’état

Thursday, January 25th, 2018

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It’s become pretty clear that the permanent government in Washington DC is corrupt beyond repair.  Tuesday, it was reported that a “Secret Society” was formed at the Federal Bureau of Investigations in order to stop Donald Trump from winning the 2016 election in the first instance, but having failed that, in the second instance to see him removed from office.  The most damnable aspect of this is that the latter is still ongoing.   Before losing perspective, remember that I’m not a particular fan of President Trump, and certainly no apologist for him, but in this instance, it’s certain that the forces arrayed against him are acting outside the bounds of the Constitution of the United States, and they’re showing no signs of relenting.  Worse, because the Attorney General of the United States has recused himself from the “Russian Collusion” investigation, there’s nobody who can put a stop to this madness.  What we have is an open-ended coup d’état in progress against the current President of the United States, putting the entire nation at risk.  Left unchecked, this silent executive branch revolt threatens to demolish our constitutional republic, and every legitimate officer of the United States federal government has taken an oath to prevent this.  I really don’t care about the political differences I may have with President Trump from time to time in this context, because my loyalty is reserved to the republic, and I renew my pledge each and every day: “…and to the Republic for which it stands…”  Attorney General Sessions had ought to review his own oath.  Members of Congress had better review their oaths.  It is time to fulfill them, and Americans are right to demand it.  Mark Levin has been right to call this a “Silent Coup,” and heads must roll.

Naturally, it’s worse than just the text messages between Peter Strzok and Lisa Page.  That’s merely the point at which we enter into this issue.  When it became public knowledge last week that there was a classified memo by the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, headed by Devin Nunes, there erupted a call for the document to be released to the public by various House members and also people in the media, such as Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham on their respective shows on FoxNews.  This memo purportedly gives some indication of just how corrupt the permanent ruling class in Washington DC has become in administering the Federal Government.   On Facebook and  Twitter, the phrases “ReleaseTheMemo” and “ReleaseTheDocument” became explosively popular hashtags.  On Tuesday, the ranking member of Nunes’ committee, Adam Schiff(D-CA,) together with fellow Californian Senator Dianne Feinstein(D-CA,) sent a letter to Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey, CEOs of Facebook and Twitter, respectively, requesting that they investigate the allegation that “Russian Bots” were driving the meme on those two platforms.

Download the entire Feinstein & Schiff_letter in PDF format

 If you read the letter carefully, you will notice that already, Feinstein and Schiff are trying to distribute their own characterization of the memo, by way of defaming it.  Also, a question arises as to how Senator Feinstein has access to the memo to the extent she can comment about the character of its contents, since the memo is supposed to be classified and reserved at this point only to House members.  So why is a Senator commenting on the character of the memo?  It implies directly that she’s seen it.  Did Schiff disclose a classified document improperly to a colleague in the Senate?  More, when did members of Congress get the authority to make requests that sound more like demands of corporations?  These people certainly appear to be desperate to stop the disclosure of the memo in question to the public, and the reason for this is clear:  It will demolish the entire Democrat Party.  On Tuesday evening, both Schiff’s and Feinstein’s offices were hanging up on a deluge of callers letting the two Democrat hacks know that they were not “Russian Bots.”

There seems little impetus in Washington DC to release the memo, despite all the obvious evidence that the government is completely out of control.  Many Republicans seem more intent on fighting with President Trump than in pursuing the reckless, treasonous cabal that has sought and continues to seek to overthrow the duly elected President of the United States.  I cannot stress this point nearly enough: These people are traitors, and they have committed treason, and if they are not brought to justice, the United States Constitution is dead. If these conspirators are permitted to evade the full measure of justice, and if their masters are likewise able to escape detection and prosecution, our constitution is dead.  The country over.  In such a circumstance, there is no longer any moral law to restrain any person of integrity.  This must be an instance in which the great multitude of the American people must proclaim: “No justice, No Peace!”

Your country is being stolen from you.  At this moment, they are conspiring to steal the law from you.  They are conspiring to steal a duly elected President from you.  You may not like Donald Trump so well, but if you now stubbornly cling to #NeverTrump in spite of the current circumstance, you are forsaking your country.  Even if you are not a Trump fan, you must know what is at stake.  This is the sort of occasion for which sincere pledges of allegiance and oaths to protect and defend the constitution were made.  The last time this nation faced such a thorough mortal threat to its very existence from within, the year was 1861, Lincoln had been inaugurated, and the Civil War had commenced. I do not mean to say that Donald Trump is equivalent to, or even like Abraham Lincoln, as it is all too plain that he is not, but just like Abraham Lincoln, he is the duly elected President of the United States, and the conspiracy against him is no less broad or deep than the conspiracy that resulted in Lincoln’s assassination in 1865.  In fact, it is fair to say that while these conspirators have not yet resorted to violent means, it is certainly true that the conspiracy is wider in scope, and worse, it is secreted within the government of the United States.

None have yet asserted it, but it is possible that Robert Mueller is a party to this conspiracy.  Attorney General Sessions must immediately step in and put an end to Mueller’s bogus investigation.  He must dispatch the US Marshals to secure all pertinent evidence in the Department of Justice, including at the FBI, and within the NSA and CIA, and any other agencies in which there were participants in this attack on the United States.  Make no mistake about it: This was(and remains) a serious attack on the integrity of a US Presidential election, not by Russians, but by agents of our own government, perhaps in coordination with members and officials of the political party in power over the executive branch at the time.  More, there is now evidence that at least two of the conspirators were involved in getting the Mueller investigation going, and getting Mueller appointed by another person who may either be another conspirator, or may have been incompetent in acting as their puppet.  This entire ordeal stinks of wretched, skulking treason, and Robert Mueller is tainted with its stench.  It is time for Attorney General Sessions to formally rescind his recusal, and to appoint a special prosecutor to get to the bottom of this conspiracy, and setting to right all those instances in which justice was thwarted or obstructed, and to bring to justice those who had any part in it.  This must include any members of previous administration(s) who were even tangentially connected, and it must bring charges against all the participants, no matter how highly they had been placed in former regimes. It may be that there are members of Congress, judges, and elected or appointed officials of the executive branch who will be rounded-up under this mandate, but this must be ended, and ended with swift and unyielding reverence for our constitution.

Editor’s Note: As I finished typing up this posting, Mark Levin‘s broadcast of Wednesday evening had begun.  His first hour focused on this subject, and it was Levin who coined the term “Silent Coup” in this context, so he should be credited with that.  I’d urge you to listen to that first hour, as it covers most of the facts we now know, and in truth, it had been Levin who first began piecing together this story of treachery and treason nearly one year ago. You can listen to Levin’s audio rewind in the player below:

Stealth Attempt to Ban Your Guns In Progress

Sunday, January 21st, 2018

2nd_amendment_ftIn Washington DC, as law-abiding Americans go about their days minding their business, the machinery of state has found a new approach to attack their right to defend themselves with modern firearms.  No longer content to accept the fact that the Second Amendment guarantees the individual right to keep and bear arms, and no longer willing to accept venerable definitions even of inanimate objects, the administrative state will now redefine terms in order to further restrict your liberties, and ultimately, to strip you of them entirely.  It will be incremental, and as usual, the method will be to attack at those points where the defenders are less certain, or less committed.  The immediate object will be items like “bump-fire” stocks and “echo triggers,” but the ultimate aim is the banning of all “semi-automatic” or “auto-loading” weapons.  Those of you who think your shotguns or pistols are safe had better think again.  Those of you who think even your revolvers will be exempt had ought to reconsider.  Naturally, the military, police, and other official entities will be exempt, and you will be left defenseless, ultimately, because you will not be permitted the means to resist.  You might think you can live without bump-stocks or echo triggers, and you might be right if that’s where it would stop, but it won’t.  It never does. For that reason, I wish to arm you with the knowledge you need to make a choice, and commit to it in the face of this lunacy, and to provide you the information you need to stop this now.  The BATFE has drafted new rules, and you need to comment and oppose them.  To make your argument, you’ll need to understand how they’re attacking your liberties.

Let us begin by understanding what they want to ban.  In the end, they are intent on depriving you even of lever actions and even more primitive weapons. They will reduce you to blunderbusses used only in ceremonies and re-enactments.  To do this, they took the first step by regulating machine guns, so-called “fully automatic” weapons under the National Firearms Act of 1934. In 1986, the Hughes Amendment prohibited the production of new “automatic weapons” for the civilian market.  Now, they’re prepared to take the next step.  The “problem” they wish to “solve” is that you would be able to fire one round immediately after the previous with an additional squeeze of the trigger.  That’s what an auto-loader or “semi-automatic” does.  Discharging the round currently loaded in the chamber causes the firearm to load the next round into the chamber, ready to be discharged when the trigger is again depressed. This is accomplished by some combination of spent gas and mechanical operation, the former powering the latter. The long-held definition of a semi-automatic has been that some additional human interaction is required to cause the next cycle, ordinarily another trigger squeeze. A device like a bump-stock merely helps the operator speed up this process.  The human operator still depresses the trigger to initiate each additional discharge.  What’s different is that the human is merely taking advantage of the natural recoil of the firearm at higher speed.  The cost is that the accuracy is sacrificed.  The method is to use the slop of the added mechanism to create a circumstance whereby the weapon’s natural recoil and a sloppy hold on the weapon create a moment when the weapon is recoiling, and then quickly returns to it’s firing position, meeting the finger which is positioned to again depress the trigger.  The weapon is still a semi-automatic, but human guile has made it approximate the rate of fire of an automatic.

The truth the BATFE’s rule will not now address is that no device beyond the firearm itself is actually needed to accomplish this.  Human guile, a bit of practice, and a little time accomplish the same thing.  This truth will be “discovered” at some future date, and when it is, the BATFE will move to ban semi-automatics on the exact same basis: That they can be manipulated in such a way as to behave, to the uneducated observer, like an automatic.  At present, they are basing it on the idea of “rate increasing devices,” but that’s a hoax.  None of these devices increase the rate of fire, but the human inducing it to operate are the instrument of the increase.  Since they can’t very well ban humans, at least not yet, or ban fingers, or ban loose or sloppy holds on weapons, they will instead ban the weapons.

I encourage each reader to go view a few videos on youtube.  These videos each show a person operating a semi-automatic in such a way as to approximate the rate of fire of an automatic.  Here’s an AR-15:

 

Here’s a Glock pistol:

Here’s a shotgun: Bump-firing a Mossberg 930.  I think you get the point. There is no form of semi-automatic that can’t be “bump-fired,” and to be perfectly blunt about it, the fact that owners of any semi-automatic weapons of any description would support a ban on “bump-stocks” or any other alleged “rate-limiting device” is merely an act of ignorance or cowardice.

The only “rate-increasing device” is a human.  The only salient fact is that your rights are under attack by the BATFE, perhaps at the direction, or at least under control of President Trump.  Congress is certainly complicit, as Republicans in Congress wish to simply make the issue go away, and making BATFE the heavy in an election year is the most expedient way.  Republicans can get their ban of bump-stocks without being seen by their pro-gun voters to participate in a vote to ban them.  This nifty abrogation of their responsibility is also an shirking of their constitutional role.  Permitting them to ban “bump-stocks” or “echo triggers” will next lead to the banning of any trigger modification, including reduced trigger pull weight.  Do you enjoy that improved trigger on your Glock?  Is that trigger on your custom AR-15 really smooth and light? What about the trigger on your Benelli shotgun?  Making them lighter or smoother also makes them easier to bump-fire.  Before long, anything that can be bump-fired by any methodology will be banned, factory-standard or not.  This will be the end of your semi-automatics.  Then it will be double-action revolvers, which in principle, could also be bump-fired.  Ladies and gentlemen, I submit to you that permitting the BATFE to redefine the terms will permit them to ultimately ban all semi-automatic firearms, and a few more besides.

There isn’t any question about it:  This rule must be stopped, and the NRA is doing nothing about it, at least to date, but they’re not likely to do so, because they want the issue to go away too.  To my knowledge, only the Gun Owners of America is taking any action, at least to date.  You can help, and you should, even if you don’t own any of these types of weapons, because things may change and the day may come when you decide you want or need one.  Banning these items on the basis that they “increase the rate of fire” is astonishingly dishonest, since the only true “rate-increasing device” is human ingenuity.  Please visit GOA’s website for more details, and to help by making official comments with the BATFE during the current comment period.

There is one more reason to stop this rule, and it’s a constitutional problem unrelated to the Second Amendment. People have spent millions and millions of dollars on their bump-fire stocks and their echo triggers and so on.  A rule that would now effectively make the possession or use of these items constitutes a “taking.”  In effect, the rule proposes to steal the value of these items without compensation.  Now it is true that I would oppose this even if the government promised to make the owners whole, but the simple fact is that as many as a million of these various devices, perhaps more, are in circulation, and most of them cost hundreds of dollars.  It’s hard to say with an exact number, but the amount of value this would steal from the aggregate of their owners is probably in the hundreds of millions of dollars. This violates the Fifth Amendment’s prohibition of uncompensated takings:

…private property [shall not] be taken for public use, without just compensation.

That seems pretty straight-forward, and it’s an objection we should all raise.

People with an anti-American point of view favor these gun bans, and bans on “rate-increasing devices.”  The problem is that they’re frauds, using each unfortunate attack or mass shooting as an opportunity to steal our liberties.  Note that these same devious liars did not call for the ban of Home Depot rentals after one of those trucks was used by a terrorist.  Why not?  Because too many Americans would reject it.  That’s why your voice is needed now: The government, even under President Trump, needs to know that a large number of the American people reject it.  Don’t fail to speak out in defense of your liberties, and in the name of reason and fact.

For a video discussion of this regulation, including a former BATFE employee explaining how this is being done, see the Military Arms Channel video on youtube.

The Conspiracy to Murder Kate Steinle

Friday, December 1st, 2017

kate_steinle_ft

They conspired to kill her in the open.  They gave their hired assassin a gun and the opportunity to kill her.  They might just as well have pulled the trigger themselves, and it’s clear that they had no interest in protecting an unarmed, innocent American citizen from criminal aliens.  This conspiracy has been in place for years, and it reaches far and wide across the State of California, and indeed, across the whole of the country. The conspiracy includes the governor, past governors, former presidents, former presidential candidates, and all manner of office holders up and down the ballot.  It also includes the people who selected these from among the choices on the ballot.  They have created a monstrous situation in which felons who have been repeatedly deported from our nation are permitted to return, and are not held for federal authorities when apprehended.  This is a despicable circumstance, and it’s one that every right-thinking American should not only condemn, but for which they must demand an immediate remedy.  It is time for Congress to ask, and for the amnesty-hounds in Congress to stop using as a bargaining chip.  It’s disgusting in every conceivable way, and yet the conspirators remain, free, uncharged, and unrepentant.  They stand committed to the prospect that the legal fiction of “sanctuary cities” is permissible and that these policies create new victims.  Their entire argument is a lie, and it’s time to face the fact that these conspirators constitute enemies of the United States, and both the Congress and the President of the United States must act to pursue them.  The people of the United States must demand it.

Kate Steinle shouldn’t be dead.  The man who pulled the trigger, claiming that the gun in his hand had fired spontaneously, has been found not guilty of murder by a jury.  I do not like to criticize juries in general, but based on what we know to date, the jury in question apparently believed the defense argument that the shooting had been accidental, and this means they are ignorant buffoons.  It cannot be that any of the jurors know very much about firearms.  The gun in question, a Sig Sauer P320, a .40 S&W pistol of substantially good performance and reliability, was alleged by Jose Ines Garcia Zarate’s defense to have discharged itself.  The seven-time felon, and five-time deportee claimed that he found it and it went off on its own while in his hand.  Let me state clearly: Any juror who believes this is a despicable fool.  FOOL.  I have handle and fired the model pistol in question, and like most modern firearms, it is not some cheap piece that malfunctions routinely.  If, as Zarate claims, he found the pistol under the bench, if it could discharge spontaneously without his muscular involvement, my first question is: “Why didn’t it discharge itself at some point before he picked it up?” We are asked to believe, by both Zarate and his defense team, that the gun “just went off by itself.”  This is impossible.  If it were possible, why would it lay there for some substantial period of time before he retrieved it from the ground, wrapped in some sort of rag as it was claimed, never discharging until it was in Zarate’s hand?  It’s a lie.  It’s a lie so obvious that only a jury of perfectly ignorant dolts could possibly believe it.

Of course, as foolish as the jury may have been, and as dishonest as the public defender may have been, there’s hardly a thing that could match the incompetence of a prosecutor who was clearly in the tank for the City of San Francisco.  Facing a lawsuit from Steinle’s family, the city would find it much easier to fight a lawsuit without a clear guilty verdict.  You see, and let’s be very careful to understand the logical chain, if Zarate is not responsible, then the City of San Francisco cannot possibly be guilty by virtue of their Sanctuary City policy.  This is the logic the lawyers for Kate’s parents will have trouble overcoming in their lawsuit.  If Zarate had been found guilty, the City’s Sanctuary City policy would clearly be on the hook, because they ignored the Federal Immigration detainer, and let him loose.  If he’d been found guilty, the city would be directly culpable.  Now, the City of San Francisco will claim: “Sure, we turned him loose, but he was found “Not Guilty” and not held criminally liable for Steinle’s death, therefore, our turning him loose didn’t result in Steinle’s death.”

Watch.  This will be their argument.  Bank on it.  I suspect malingering on the part of the Assistant District Attorney Alex Bastian.  He works for the City of San Francisco, after all, so with a lawsuit pending against the city, it wouldn’t be in his interest, having been hired by the DA more than one year after the murder.  Why wasn’t a more experienced prosecutor put on this high profile case?  Usually, they queue up to fight over who gets these sorts of cases.  Not here.  A new hire ADA was given this case?  Why?  He wasn’t supposed to win.  Do I have evidence?  No, of course not, but I’ve been around long enough to spot a set-up when I see one.

All of this is beside the point.  The truth is that in many ways, this case is repeated over and over again, not just in California, but all over our nation.  The left is so intent upon finding new votes that they will abet any criminality committed by those who they seek as new voters.  Many establishment Republicans also turn a blind eye toward this despicable situation, because they’re in the pocket of the US Chamber of Cronyism.  Americans cannot find justice, and Kate Steinle is just the most notable recent victim of this conspiracy.  In short, they don’t care at all for you.  They’ll sacrifice as many Americans as may be necessary to fulfill their dreams of power.  They’ll do anything to aid the criminals because their war against us is incomplete.  Justice will be denied yet again, and an illegal alien killer will be let go, or in this case, simply deported.

He’ll be back.  Maybe San Francisco will pick him up for another crime.  He’ll be let go, the City ignoring the ICE detainer.  He’ll be free to kill another American daughter, or son, maybe this time, yours, or mine.  We won’t protest. We won’t chant “No Justice, No Peace!”  We won’t call Congress to raise an unholy furor.  California will continue its slide, with the balance of America not far behind.  These people are wrecking our country.  They’re parties to the murder of our fellow citizens.  Their conspiracy against us is prevailing, out in the open, right before our eyes.

Donald Trump Finally Gets With Program: Repeal Now, Replace Later

Friday, June 30th, 2017

 

repealnowreplacelater_ftAt long last, I think President Trump may finally be getting the message clearly from the American people, because his latest tweet on the matter makes it clear that he wants something done, and soon. “…immediately REPEAL, and REPLACE at a later date!” That’s what I’ve said since the outset.  Two years ago, the House and Senate each passed a basically clean repeal bill, and sent it to Obama, who naturally vetoed it.  One doesn’t need to be a cynic to suspect that many of the Republicans who passed that bill did so because they knew Obama would veto it.  Now that they have a President who might actually sign it into law, they’ve come up with all these permutations of a replacement law that effectively do nothing to rid us of Obama-care.

Now that “show votes” won’t cut the mustard, and they’re actually going to need to produce something, a large contingent of the Republican majorities in the House and Senate have suddenly gone soft on Obama-care.  It’s time to hold these rotten, lying scoundrels to account.  For years, in cycle after cycle, beginning with the elections of 2010, they have promised us that they would strip Obama-care out of the law, bit by bloody bit, but now that it’s time to deliver, we find the sickening truth: Many of the House and Senate Republicans had been using this as a mere rallying cry for re/election to office, but had no intentions to actually repeal the horrible, freedom-stripping monstrosity that is Obama-care.

President Trump had talked a good deal about “repeal and replace,” both during the campaign and since, and it was one of the reasons my support for Mr. Trump has remained less than whole-hearted.  If he can manage to completely rid us of Obama-care, he will manage to gain the more active support of some reluctant conservatives. After all, this is one of the most devastating pieces of legislation in generations, and it has done more to kill jobs and people than any legislation in my lifetime.  The tax burdens and redistribution of wealth explicit in Obama-care are killing the country.  The law, formally known as the Affordable Care Act, is simply a Trojan horse for the worst predatory actions of a centralized government run amok in the history of our country.  It is fitting then, as we enter the Independence Day weekend, that we begin to address one of the worst attacks on American independence in the history of the nation.

It’s time to repeal Obama-care, outright, and without replacement.  If it’s to be replaced with something to address concerns at some future date, that’s fine, and we can have those arguments then, but no more of this holding Obama-care over our heads as they try to get something only slightly less obnoxious to our liberties through the Congress.  Repeal NOW, and replace later!  That’s what should have been this President’s intention from the outset, and while I’m disappointed that it’s taken this long for him to see it, I believe in this case that it’s a case of “better late than never.”

One of the things that surfaced this week is the sad story, heart-rending, and insanely outrageous story of a little baby, Charlie Gard, who will be left to die by virtue of the National Health Service in the UK, and the Human Rights Panel of the European Union.  The child has a rare, almost always lethal condition that is killing him, and his parents raised more than $1.4 million to finance an experimental treatment in the US, but the EU’s Human Rights Commission(a.k.a. “Death Panel”) has determined that they may not take their child to the US for this treatment.

All of my life, I have heard the complaint of various leftists advocating on behalf of government-run healthcare that conservatives and libertarians who wish to rely upon the free market are cruel and heartless, but what could be more cruel than a government entity essentially sentencing your baby to death when you had raised the money to try one last thing to save his or her young life?  What is more hideous is that under Obama-care, and soon, if the leftists succeed in moving us to a single-payer system, this is what we’ll have here in America as well:  An unsustainable health financing system that kills off the most vulnerable among us, whether or not one has the ability to pay.

This is the ugly secret of all Marxist healthcare systems, anywhere on the globe, including Obama-care: They promise free healthcare for all, but in truth, nothing is free, and all people wind up dependent upon and enslaved by the system.   All choice and discretion is removed.  Out-of-program health expenditures are forbidden.  New treatments and drugs are aborted in order to fund current demands.  In the end, what you get is a “free healthcare” system that is neither free nor “healthcare.”

This is why Obama-care must be repealed, fully, and at once.  I’m contacting all my members of the Congress, and those in leadership in both houses, to Repeal NOW and worry about replacement later.  I’m glad President Trump is finally seeing it this way.  We must demand our members support the same legislation that was vetoed by Obama in 2015, and we must demand it at once!

 

 

Voter Ignorance Driving “Controversy”

Sunday, April 24th, 2016

ignorance_no_excuse_ftIn most presidential primary seasons, and indeed, most presidential elections, the actual process is invisible to most voters.  Most don’t know many details, and in most years, it doesn’t really matter much. In 2016, it’s different, and the reason it’s different is because the Republican Party is deeply divided.  Most primary cycles conclude with one candidate or another attaining the crucial majority of delegates between mid-March and mid-April.  This year, that’s not the case, and because of it, the true process has become illuminated more than usual, such that many voters, either having never participated before, or having been clueless participants in cycles of the past, now see something that’s always been there, but react to it as though it’s alien to them, the country, or the party in question.  The process isn’t alien, abnormal, or otherwise different in any substantive way, but for those who’ve been drive-thru participants in the past, they’re very shocked by the existence of a process that’s been normal for nearly two centuries, though they’re just learning of it now.  I wonder how many of these people paid any attention in civics class in high school.  I wonder how many civics class teachers failed even to mention it.  Whatever the case, as the old saying goes, “ignorance of the law is no excuse,” but rephrased for this election process, it’s not just the law of which voters have claimed ignorance, but of the entire underlying process by which the Republican Party selects its nominees.  My aim here is to alleviate that ignorance, primarily because I’m tired of this phony “controversy.”

As the first order of business, let’s establish some facts, whether we like them or not, so we can work our way through from there:

  • Political parties are private organizations.  They have their own rules, bylaws, and procedures. Their internal processes are theirs and theirs alone. The candidate the party selects is the party’s choice, but not truly the choice of voters
  • Our nation IS NOT a democracy, never has been, and had never been intended to be. Neither are the political parties (a much earlier article that covers this subject in full is here)
  • The Republican Party at the national level does not have full control of the Republican Party in each state, though it exercises some control via the national convention and the rules committee.
  • Most delegates for most states’ parties are bound in some number of national convention ballots, varying by state, but this doesn’t always mean what people think it means

These concepts have been true and available to inspection for every person who is alive today in the United States for their whole lifetime, and generations before. There are rules changes periodically, but the underlying process has not changed much since at least the nomination of Abraham Lincoln in 1860. What our contemporary electorate needs to understand is that in our system of government, their votes for President are a recommendation to the Electoral College, but not a mandate.  Their votes in primaries serve as a recommendation to the parties, but these votes are not fully binding on the parties.  This may surprise a drive-thru participant in public affairs.  If one has educated him/herself, one ought to have known better all along.  This list of bullet-points may seem like a negative thing to one who is ignorant, but if one understood the intentions of our constitution’s framers, one will understand it also because one understood it all along, having bothered to inform his/herself.

Before new readers have a walleyed hissy-fit because it seems that I’m calling so many voters “ignorant,”I want you to understand that there’s a qualitative difference between “ignorance” and “stupidity.” Ignorance is simply not having the requisite information.  Stupidity is the failure to seek to alleviate one’s ignorance due to a lack of intelligence.  Foolish mischief and prideful stubbornness result in the failure to seek to alleviate one’s ignorance for the sake of maintaining one’s internally contradictory opinion.  Ignorance can be alleviated with a modicum of effort.  Before we recoil at the “discovery” of this “hidden process,” perhaps we should actually seek to know and understand it.  In any event, the level of ignorance among registered Democrats is several magnitudes worse.  Most of them haven’t bothered even to read the Constitution.

Since the beginning of the Republican Party, it has always decided who its nominee for the Presidential election would be through a series of states’ conventions with a delegate process that has always, always varied from state to state.  The truth is, as a Republican, there’s only one state about which you really need to care: Yours!  If you want to be an elections analyst, or you’re merely very curious and hold an intense interest in public affairs,  you might want to know all the others, but it requires a lot of study. Since the various states change their rules from time to time, and since new state statutes and constitutional amendments in those states affect those rules from time to time, it is always in flux.  It is always evolving.  It always has.  It always will.  That is part of the dynamic condition of the sort of constitutional, representative republic our framers had designed.  If it ever ceases to evolve, you will know that the party has failed entirely, and probably the country as well.

All the state parties, to maintain their charters as recognized constituents of the RNC, must abide by some general rules, and agree to the rules set by the national party.  Those rules can cause the state parties to adjust their own rules so they can maintain compliance.  An example of this was Colorado, which in August 2015, changed its rules in order to protect its interests in the national convention.  Let’s see if we can get this straight, shall we?  In 2012, Colorado’s GOP held a “straw poll” to seek the recommendation of the voters at large.  That state-wide straw poll had never been binding before, but because of the RNC’s rule changes, it would have to be binding if they wanted to hold a straw poll.  In other words, delegates selected by the state party would be forced by RNC rules to go to the candidates according to the results of the straw poll, effectively converting the state from a Caucus system, to a primary election system.  The Colorado Republican Party didn’t want to be constrained in that fashion, because they feared being stuck with delegates bound to a candidate no longer in the race.  Just as now, there are delegates bound to Rubio and others who are no longer in the race, and they will be obliged to vote for those candidates on the first ballot at the convention.  Colorado didn’t want its delegates constrained in that fashion, so they changed their rules, as they are entitled.  They did so last August such that every campaign had time to know the rules and adjust accordingly. Some did, but some didn’t.

Speaking of ballots at the National Republican Convention in July, I suppose I need to cover this briefly, since it seems there is a good deal of confusion.  The way the national party, the RNC, selects the candidate who will be the party’s nominee is through a system of ballots.  (Votes, if you prefer.)  There are a total of 2,472 delegates in the Republican Party.  Half of that number is 1,236.  Add one(1,) and what you have is 1,237, also known as a “majority.” For those who are confused about this, it is important to remember that a “majority” does not mean “the most.” It means “one more than half.” A “plurality” is equal to “the most.” If the rule specified a “plurality” instead of a majority, then all a candidate would need to obtain is “the most” delegates.  (The highest total.)  The rules state, and have always, always stated, that a majority is required.  This is not something new to 2016, but it has become an issue of popular concern because there now exists a better than even chance that no candidate will make the 1,237 delegate mark.

Now, in the electoral college, in the actual general election on the first Tuesday following the first Monday in November, the candidate who obtains a plurality of electoral college votes is the winner, but here’s the bonus prize:  The electoral college doesn’t actually meet until December.  It is there that the new President of the United States is actually selected.  It is most often a rubber-stamp of what the electorate has recommended, because most states bind their electors to do so.  Nevertheless, it is possible, in some circumstances, for some elector or other to raise objections and to derail the rubber-stamping.  It’s not happened in American history yet, but it is possible for the Electoral College to discard the “will of the people” and select somebody else, strictly speaking.  It’s very, very unlikely. It is, however, possible. (For the record, this year’s presidential election falls on Tuesday the 8th of November, meaning this is one of those rare years in which the 1st of November falls on a Tuesday, such that the election gets bumped back to the second Tuesday of the month, because the Monday before the first Tuesday is the 31st of October.)

Returning to the national convention, let’s imagine one in which no candidate has obtained 1,237 bound delegates prior to the first ballot. It is still possible to win on that first ballot because there are usually some number of unbound delegates.  It simply depends upon how clever a negotiator one is, with respect to the unbound delegates, and how large a shortfall one has.  If nobody has obtained at least so many that with the addition of unbound delegates, they’re able to close the gap, what you now have is officially a “contested convention.”  Of course, it should also be stated again that something else is true: It is possible to have 1,237 or more bound delegates going into the convention, and still lose.  How can that happen?  Easy!  All it takes is that a candidate with 1,237 delegates has even one delegate abstain from the first ballot.  In other words, ultimately, nobody can actually be nominated with certainty until the convention. This is where the term “presumptive nominee” arises.  A presumptive nominee is a candidate who has obtained 1,237 bound delegates, but who hasn’t yet officially received the party’s nomination when the delegates cast their votes.   Even if you had all 2,472 delegates bound to you prior to the convention, if 1,236 of them abstain from the first ballot, what you have is a “contested convention.”  While highly, highly unlikely, even if a candidate somehow managed to have 2,000 or more delegates bound for the first ballot, it is strictly possible for that candidate to be defeated.  So you see, those who say that the “party chooses the nominee” are exactly, technically correct, and if the party is absolutely dead-set against a candidate, they have the ultimate ability to turn that candidate away.  That said, the party is not so likely to go this far to prevent the nomination of a candidate because it’s suicidal in an electoral sense.

One might wonder why a party would do so, or what justification there would be for denying a candidate the nomination.  One reason might be that some substantial proportion of the party finds the proposed nominee unacceptable for some reason, perhaps electability, or that the candidate’s long-term impact on the party might be substantially damaging to its ends. Whatever the case, it is possible, and has happened that the candidate who had “the most” delegates going into the convention wound up without the nomination.  This was true in 1860, when Abraham Lincoln actually went into the convention with the third highest delegate count.  If you wonder why John Kasich sticks around, here is your answer, (although Abe Lincoln, John Kasich clearly is not…) Of course, Kasich has another hurdle to clear as the rules now stand: He hasn’t won a majority of delegates in at least eight states. This is a requirement that was put in place four years ago. At present, Kasich has only won a majority of delegates in his home state, Ohio, and it’s likely the only state in which he will have won a majority of delegates by the time we get to the national convention in Cleveland, this July. Unless there is a change to rules, he won’t be eligible for nomination.

Yesterday evening, I read a story about a lawsuit against the GOP by Larry Klayman, of Freedom Watch, who you’ll probably remember/know from Judicial Watch lawsuits fame.  Klayman is an unabashed Trump supporter. His lawsuit against the GOP is over the fact that apparently, Florida delegates are bound for three(3) ballots.(In many states, it’s just one ballot, two in others, and none in states that don’t bind delegates at all.)  Freedom Watch is claiming that the delegates ought to be perpetually bound to Trump, but this is utter madness for a very obvious reason.  Let me explain Klyaman’s foolishness by way of an example:

Imagine arriving at the July convention with no candidate having obtained 1,237 bound delegates.  Further imagine that all states perpetually bound their candidates, so that no matter how many ballots they cast, they would always, always be compelled to vote for the same candidate.  How would the party ever obtain a nominee?  It couldn’t!  Think about this for a moment, and then you will realize that Freedom Watch’s foolish lawsuit is truly a nuisance lawsuit that belongs in the category of “frivolous” if ever a lawsuit belonged in that category.  His excuse, the “tort”(or “harm”) he cites in his suit, is that the people of Florida(of which he is one, thus alleging standing,) are being defrauded by the Florida and National GOP because they “held forth” that delegates will be bound.  In other words, he’s saying that because voters may not have informed themselves of the Party’s rules, they’re being defrauded.  Ladies and gentlemen, this is a toxic bit of political grand-standing, if ever there was one.  Any decent judge, of sound mind and judicial temperament, would bounce this case out of his/her courtroom faster than one can say “build a wall!” Is Klayman really alleging that he didn’t know the delegate rules for his state, and was therefore harmed?  That’s nearly the most preposterous thing I think I’ve read lately, but as I’m certain most readers will have observed, there’s no shortage of absurdity in this election cycle.

Having meandered through this whole topic a bit, I suppose I ought to conclude. My conclusion is as follows: The party selects its nominee – not the electorate – but the party tends to listen to the recommendations in various forms it has received from the electorate, where applicable.  All of this has been true for every election in my lifetime, the lifetime of my parents, and for many generations before. If a person older than, let’s be charitable and say twenty-six years of age, doesn’t know these facts and rules, it’s only possible because they have chosen never to engage themselves in discovering them.  I chose twenty-six because by then, a person should have participated in at least two presidential election cycles.  I don’t know if I knew all of this by the time I was twenty-six, but I am fairly certain I’ve known most of it since at least the age of thirty years.

It is amazing to me that people who are in their forties, fifties, and sixties now complain about this as though it’s all news to them.  The Internet has been around as a commonly accessible research tool for more than twenty years.  Most states and most state parties have had websites devoted to this information for most or all of that time.  To claim ignorance at this late date is to openly proclaim one’s complete lack of diligence.  If one can surf the web over to Ebay or Amazon, to make purchases, and so on, I don’t see how it’s possible that somebody who wanted to know this information was somehow denied access to it.  The election laws governing the states’ parties are generally available through each state’s Secretary of State website, where they may also provide links to the various parties operating in their state.  I encourage all Americans of voting age, or even younger, to learn and know at least the laws relevant in their particular states, and certainly the rules applicable to the party with which they choose to associate, if any.

The United States was established so that citizens could, through the various levels of government and attending political processes, participate fully in their own governance.  In short, being a citizen is supposed to be an active lifetime engagement for the people to determine the course of the nation.  in order to fully realize that participation, citizens should become familiar and remain up-to-date on the laws and rules applicable to their particular political interests and participation.  For most of my readers, most of this will not be news, although for perhaps some of the younger readers, it may be enlightening, but with all the, dare I say “trumped-up” controversy, I thought it critically necessary to clear the air on this issue.  Factually, this is the process.  You might not like it as is, but you have the ability to work to change it. If you think the existing parties cannot be reformed, you are also free in America to form your own and if you’re very successful, in a decade or two, you might be able to have grown it enough to have viable national candidates.  What is not true is that some giant magic “easy button” exists to  “fix things” instantaneously. Being an active citizen is something too few citizens actually do, and this is to the detriment of the country as a whole, and certainly to the parties in particular.  Ignorance of these facts leave too many Americans easy prey for demagogues, and it’s instructive to watch how, with the circumstance of the GOP nomination fight, so many Americans are easily led astray.  I dearly hope this will be a lesson for many, providing them the impetus to engage in the true blessing of self-governance in a thorough fashion they had never contemplated before.

Lastly, I would like to address the complaints of those who argue that it’s “too hard” or “too difficult” or that there is some situational constraint on one’s participation in the full political process.  I grant that at various times in our lives, it can be more and less difficult to find the time to fully participate, but I also know this: If most of us really wanted to do so, most of us could find a way.  What I’ve seen is that for many, complaining and stomping around is a good deal easier, and it satisfies the temporary emotional need.  That sort of laziness will never lead to change, however, and it’s high time that having informed oneself, each goes on to a full and unrelenting participation.

Editor’s Note: This article should not be seen as an endorsement of all aspects of the Republican Party’s rules or procedures, but instead a simple statement about the simpler fact that some form of these rules, with some variation, have been in place since the beginning of the party.  It’s also intended as a way to further that historical perspective and to alleviate some of the ignorance made plain by the reactions to this information by some people.  My intent is not to criticize the electorate at large, but to make them aware of these historical facts so that even should they fail in this election cycle to obtain their desired result, they will have no excuse for not being ready to fully participate in the next cycle, and to fight for those changes they believe are necessary. 

 

 

 

 

Unequivocal Decision Point – No Advice Needed or Solicited from GOP Establishment

Thursday, March 3rd, 2016

romney_ug_ftI recognize that for many, 2016 has been the most confusing, confounding primary season in memory.  One of the things that I’ve always and forever detested is the Republican Establishment. Long time readers will know this has been the case.  In my most recent previous post, Stupor Tuesday, I explained why this race is now down to two men.  Ted Cruz and Donald Trump are the only viable campaigns remaining in 2016.  I have often stated in various places, both here and on Facebook and Twitter, that I don’t feel entirely comfortable with either of these candidates.  Let me state this clearly, and let me make it clear to all my readers, because whatever my issue-wise sympathies, the moment either of these candidates links up with the GOP establishment, or I am able to discern that either has linked-up with the party bosses, I will immediately support the other candidate in a all-out way.  I said yesterday on Twitter, half jokingly, the following:

You know how we conservatives are always miffed at GOPe for expecting us to join them, while they never join us? How stubborn are they?

In truth, I hope they’re stubborn as Hell. I hope they stubbornly stick to their guns and completely and utterly destroy the GOP as we’ve known it.  Their decades of intransigence, selling out the country with horrible trade deals to increase their personal treasuries and to extend their political influence while simultaneously ruining the country by giving away our sovereign power and our right to national self-determination has been a process that is absolutely despicable to me, and ought to be anathema to all Americans.  I don’t hate much in this world, in the true sense of the word, but the GOP establishment is one entity on this planet that collectively deserves all the contempt I can muster.  The fact of the matter is that the GOP establishment with all its gamesmanship aimed at subverting genuine, conscientious, sincere conservative activists to their purposes is simply an abomination.  I am not willing to side with the GOP establishment for the sake of one more election, under any circumstance. I am not willing to have them join with me because I know that will simply be their key to the front door through which they will slowly smuggle their agenda.

Today, Mitt Romney presented his statement on this election.  Let me make this clear: I don’t care what Romney says. Romney was a loser, and he was no friend to conservatives, and honestly, I don’t think he was a friend to our country’s future.  Trump says “he choked,” but I think it was worse than that. I think the GOP establishment wanted Obama to stay in office for a second term, so they could blame Obama and the Democrats for all of the statism and cronyism they’ve been perpetrating against us these last four years. Truly.  I think the GOP establishment in Washington DC has been sand-bagging the last four years and doing Obama’s bidding because it is what they and their wealthy donors, like the US Chamber of [Crony]Commerce have demanded. They tried to put the GangOf8 “Screw America Amnesty Bill” over on us, and they used Democrats to anchor a voting majority, and factually did so in the Senate.  In the House, under Boehner and Ryan, the party bosses have used a voting bloc comprised of a majority of Democrats and the RINO contingent to pass continuing resolutions, and other legislation that simply perpetuates the problem, with McConnell backing that effort in the Senate with the same strategy.  It’s disgusting. The GOP establishment is reprehensible, but now they want to pervert and twist the 2016 primary season more than they’ve already done. To the degree this is now a two-man race comprised of two “outsider” candidates, it is wholly due to the mismanagement and sedition of the Republican Party bosses, and an intractable DC establishment that hates conservatives, generally governing with contempt for them.

Let me explain something to you, my loyal readers who have hung in there over the years, particularly the last couple, when you had every reason to suspect I might never return: I love my country, as do you. As a young man, I spent much of my youth manning the defense of Europe from the Soviet Bloc when the matter was still very much in doubt, and our national security was very much at risk. I returned home when George H.W. Bush was taking the reins and making massive cuts to our defense infrastructure as part of a supposed “peace dividend,” a policy continued by his successor, Bill Clinton. What I discovered upon my return was that in my half-decade absence from my country, while serving as its instrument abroad, Ronald Reagan’s hopeful, courageous America was being replaced by a shrinking, tepid, but allegedly “kinder and gentler” America, suffering in the aftermath of a recession brought about in part by a broken “read my lips” promise.

Conservatism had seemed to be on the ascendancy throughout Reagan’s time in office, and many of us assumed, wrongly, that George Bush the elder would merely continue Reagan’s programs and policies. It was not the case.  It was he who caused the loss to Clinton in 1992, and it was in the same way that his son’s mismanagement of the government early in this century led to Barack Obama. I view the era from January 1989 through present as one unbroken string of Bush governance. Neither John McCain nor Mitt Romney put up much of a fight, the difference between them being that John McCain at least had a running mate in the person of Sarah Palin who did not want to stand down, and who did not want to yield. That’s the truth.

Over the last seven years, since Obama’s first term commenced in 2009, when Republicans had the power to fight, they laid down. We sent them help in 2010. In 2011, they failed us, and if you go back to the older posts on this site, you will see detailed in those posts the budget battles of 2011, and how the Republicans in the House under the leadership of John Boehner repeatedly failed us.  In 2012, we sent more help. There were some efforts, but then there were also those we had sent who betrayed us, such as Marco Rubio, among lesser lights.  In 2014, again, we sent more help, and no longer could Boehner claim “one-half of one-third of the government” as his excuse. Instead, in vote after vote, they engineered Obama legislative victories using a few hands-full of safe Republican RINOs in combination with almost all of the Democrats to give Obama whatever in Hell’s name he demanded.

Betrayed! That’s where we’ve been, and with few exceptions, that’s where we are. Now we sit in 2016 in the middle of the primary season, and again, the GOP establishment is trying to rig things, but failing that, if they don’t get a nominee acceptable to them, they are going to spike this election. Bill Kristol of WeeklyStandard fame has said he’d consider Hillary rather than voting for Trump. He’s an establishment hack, and if he wants to support Hillary, so be it, let him, but then let him leave also the Republican party, never to return. If the Republican party establishment does anything other than to support the nominee of the party to its fullest capacity, the Republican party will be killed-off in the aftermath.  Millions upon millions of long-time Republicans, conservatives, and undoubtedly, others in the broader Republican coalition will see to it.  We’ve had it with the GOP establishment.  It’s not their party any longer, and if we need to pry it from their [politically]”cold dead hands,” we will. The time of the DC Democrat/Republican uni-party is at an end, one way or another, and if it means the GOP must die to be reborn, so be it. If we must kill the GOP to rid ourselves of the DC establishment virus that infects the body of the Republican party, I stand ready to assist. If this election is lost due to the DC establishment malingering or sabotage, woe will become their constant companion, because we now know beyond a shadow of a doubt where the lines are drawn, and who is screwing whom.

In media, FoxNews is in trouble, and they know it. Ailes is reportedly apoplectic at the disclosure of his secret meeting with Rubio and other GangOf8 shills. The network’s ratings are in full-scale collapse, because they’ve been so pro-establishment for so long that given their wholesale marketing of Rubio, their audience has had enough.  They’re turning off FoxNews.  They’re fleeing the establishment mouthpieces.  It had gotten so bad that it’s become a running joke on Twitter, Facebook, and in the blogosphere that “No matter where Rubio finishes, He won, HE WON!”  Even Hannity is being openly mocked on Twitter. It’s been brutal for the semi-conservatives who have been carrying Rubio’s water on-air on FoxNews.

Based on all we now know, let me offer some advice to the two remaining viable candidates:

To both men, run from Mitt Romney. He’s a plague. Defeat is his constant companion, because his base of support is a uni-party establishment that many of the people in the Republican party have grown to hate. Run away from entanglements with the DC establishment. Such associations label a candidate as a doomed loser and a probable sell-out.  Flee like Lott, and don’t look back, lest you turn to a pillar of salt. We, the sane and patriotic people in the Republican party wish only to burn the establishment down. Don’t get caught in the flames. Others will.

To Donald Trump: Expand on the manner in which you presented yourself on the evening of your Super Tuesday wins. You will earn more credibility in the eyes of voters if you remain calm, cool, and Presidential. Stop scaring people with your rhetoric that seems even mildly threatening, specifically with respect to Americans(criminals notwithstanding.) Don’t threaten our constitutional protections, and please do more to explain the details of your programs and proposals. You terrify conservatives in many respects, because we don’t see many signs that you’re rooted in principle. The rank-and-file conservatives in the Republican party try very hard to live by principles as the guiding lights for their mortal lives. If you want to gain our support, particularly if you win the nomination, and wish not to have us sit out this election, you’ve got to begin engaging the issues from a principled position more frequently.  The whole discussion of healthcare is a good example of how you’ve horrified conservatives, many of whom believe you are in favor of something akin to single-payer healthcare.  That’s a euphemism for socialized medicine, and it’s a terrible failure providing rationing of even diagnostic and preventative care that leads to greater mortality rates for diseases that have much higher survival rates here in the US. I use this as an example, but the point is clear: Principles move conservatives; vague banter and platitudes will not. Take the US Constitution to heart, and conservatives may listen. Your press conference Tuesday was a good start in the right direction. Expand on that.

To Ted Cruz: You must run, in fact, flee in great haste, from all things establishment, and all things globalist in intent or origin.  Many conservatives fear that your history provides evidence of a too-close coziness with the Bush family, and while we understand that nobody in Republican politics in Texas over the last four decades can go far without knowing and relating in some manner to the Bush family, your connections to them could easily serve as an albatross around your neck in this election. Jealously guard American sovereignty, and prevent its usurpation by foreign powers and interests who do not hold the interests of the American people at heart. You have taken the position of reversing yourself on the TPP, but you must extend that opposition. The truth is that their can be no such thing as “free trade” with a people who are virtually enslaved.  We did not trade with the Soviet Union. We refused them, as we were right to do because we should never give the moral sanction of the veil of “free trade” to their human rights abuses.  China is no different, as their tanks in Tiananmen Square demonstrated, and their program of compulsory abortions proves.  Mexico is a cesspool run by an oligarchy that keeps its people in destitution. The American people are quite beyond tired of having a government represent interests other than those of the whole body of the American people in these deals, and no longer have confidence in our elected officials to do right by the American people. We need your unambiguous statement that you will pursue the interests of the American people, as the American people see them, but not as the establishment in DC decides they must be.

To both men, you must be faithful to your pledge to support the nominee of the Republican Party, and you must avoid entanglements with the GOP establishment at all costs. You must be and remain your own men, subservient to no hidden interests.  This, the American people can trust.  This, the American people will appreciate and respect.  If you do these things, the American people will be able to decide between you in earnest, without excessive rancor or discontent.  Unifying the party at the conclusion of this contest will be infinitely easier if the two of you set this example for those who are your supporters.  The Republican Party establishment will undoubtedly undertake tricks. Trotting out Mitt Romney is their desperate appeal for relevance and control.  They may even line up to endorse one or the other of you.  You must avoid connection with the party establishment at all cost.  We, the broad base of conservatism, view the establishment as the source of so many of our laments, losses, and general discontent over these last three decades, starting with the amnesty deal of 1986.

May the best man win, and win without the assistance, cooperation or coordination of the GOP establishment.

 

 

Punishing the Victim: Obama to Create Nationwide “Gun Free Zone”

Sunday, December 6th, 2015

cbs_obama_gun_Control_tweet_sm

 

 

This morning, in promoting the day’s broadcasting schedule, CBS News tweeted out the following:

cbs_obama_gun_Control_tweet

 

 

 

If you had any doubts about the diabolical nature of Barack Obama’s ideology, it should now be clear.  Here we have the man entrusted with safeguarding the nation, and upon the circumstance of a terrorist attack within our own borders, an attack possible only due to the faulty vetting of his immigration enforcement policies that have created a virtual open border, Obama does not seek to close the door, or go after the terrorists, those who inspired, funded, and/or trained them, or any logical course of action at all.  Instead, Barack Obama seems poised to turn the entire country into a “Gun Free Zone” wherein only the bad guys have guns.

We know conclusively that gun violence is down almost everywhere in America, except for one class of location: Gun Free Zones.  Therefore, President Obama is going to do the most destructive thing possible in response: He’s going to broaden Gun Free Zones to encompass the entire nation.  That way, we’re ALL TARGETS, EVERYWHERE, ALL THE TIME.  (Unless we’re surrounded by men and women with guns because we’re under Secret Service protection.)

That’s right, ladies and gentlemen, the White House is not a “Gun Free Zone.” President Obama doesn’t live in a “Gun Free Zone.” In fact, wherever he goes, he’s in a bubble of protection that is filled with guns aimed at protecting him.  Oh, sure, he’s not wielding any himself, but the men and women of the Secret Service who surround him are armed to the teeth. Yes, the President exists in a “Gun-Enhanced Zone.”

Once again, what’s good for Emperor Obama is not good enough for Americans.  It’s good to be king.

I suspect that before this evening’s address is over, as he goes on to announce new Executive Orders clamping down on your right to protect yourself, your family, and your home and property, from the length and breadth of America, minus the statist havens on both shores, we will hear a loud refrain of these most famous words:

*** Caution: Strong Language ***

It’s time to say what needs to be said: Barack Obama, stop blaming and punishing the victims of your intransigent maladministration of our immigration laws, and your senseless policies on defense of the nation.   It’s time for you to understand that you don’t run anything that the American people don’t want you to run.

 

 

Liberty’s Last Gasps

Monday, May 25th, 2015

We live in the time of a desperate struggle no politician seems willing to name.  Our nation is sinking back into the swamp from which it emerged, in a world still dominated by primitive, tribalism from which we seem unable or unwilling to escape.    We do not examine our philosophy any longer, and we do not consider the meaning of our abandonment of principles, much less the result of such evasions.  A culture is only as good as its underlying philosophy, but ours is damaged seemingly beyond repair.  America had always suffered from contradictions, but now they are not exceptional “one-offs” but the the norm.  Those of us who have bothered to understand these dire problems have grown weary, and I am among those who no longer wish to repeat the same things, because the intended audience seems unmoved.  We are giving away our liberty, and for all of the missteps of the last two-hundred years, America survived despite them, but this situation will not persist indefinitely.  If the America our founders had envisioned is to be reborn, rejuvenated, and revived, we must do the work.  We must explain it.  We must be its advocates.  We must be willing to have the arguments.  Whether America will survive or perish, it is up to us to make its case, but to do so, we must first understand what had made America.

To understand what had been unique about America, let us consider that feature, the underlying notion, which had been at the heart of its founding, its growth, and its success.  Let us be careful to carve out only that which had made this country substantially different from all the others, lest we fall into the trap of misidentifying its greatest virtues.  Among all the things one might say about America, it’s most fundamental principle had been that “man is endowed by his Creator with certain unalienable rights.”  Whether you took that endowment to be a product of “Nature or Nature’s God,” the simplicity of this idea is that which had set America apart.  For the first time in all of human history, a government was formed that declared that it was not the ultimate arbiter and owner of all men under the sphere of its control.  In all other systems before it, and all the systems arising since, men were chattel of the state in some form or fashion. In short, they were still property of the tribe.   This was true whether you were subject to the “Divine Right of Kings,” or property of the collective as in the Soviet Union.  This has remained true in all the welfare states of Europe, and with a sickening degree of rapidity, has been increasingly adopted here in the United States over the last century.  These are the definitions of statism.  America had been the first system to reject statism.

There are those who will immediately critique the American experiment because it permitted slavery for most of its first one-hundred years.  Despicable though that institution had been, what they hope you will not notice about the former American institution of slavery, now dead more than one-and-one-half centuries, is that which it had not been: Ownership of men by the state.  This distinction, while superficial and meaningless to the objects of slavery, was the only reason the practice could be ended.  Once ended, America was a country without men as chattel.  In fact, it was the only period in all of human history in which such a society ever existed.  It was the period of the greatest unrivaled growth and economic prosperity generated by man.  All the prosperity that has followed was born of this era.  We linger as a modern society now, our vestiges of civilization now only a facade, because of the achievements of that industrial age, the age of capitalism.  It is only recently that the bequeath of that generation is finally running out of steam, because we have destroyed its underpinnings in degrees and steps ever since.  We have permitted the destruction of liberty, and slowly, in bits and pieces, returned mankind to the ownership of the state.  What we face today is only the last act of a play set in motion more than a century ago, by men whose motives were short-run and political.  It was the birth of national “pragmatism.”

The principle that man is an end in and of himself, without reference to another soul, had been the bedrock of America.  That principle has been polluted, deprecated, denounced, and demolished.  Now we see the abysmal spectacle of man the slave to man via the commands of the state.  We have escaped only to permit ourselves to again become captive to the same old treachery.  In what other manner can you explain the idea that a person subject to the laws of the United States must now be held to pay support for every artifact of modern convenience for every other soul?  How else can one explain Obamacare, SNAP, Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, AFDC, WIC, Section 8 Housing, “Obama-phones,” “Free” Internet, and all the myriad other “benefits” or “entitlements” of our allegedly civilized age?  We have no need to complain of a military-industrial complex, or of foreign aid, for all the evils they may impose, because these represent a pittance of the national expenditure when compared with all the rest.   No, what we have permitted, at first in small pieces and by small enumerations, is the enslavement of all men to all men via the artifices of the state.

We love to speak of our freedom of speech, our freedom of religion and the press, and our right to keep and bear arms, but these too are now taking a beating under the enslavement of all to all.  You have the right to free speech lest you offend somebody.  You have the right of free exercise of religion lest it offend somebody.  You have the right of a free press, but no press anywhere, except perhaps in small ways in the blogosphere is free any longer.  You have the right to bear arms in your own defense, but only in such fashion as it doesn’t offend or frighten anybody, or permit you the ability to actually repel somebody who might attack you.  You have the right to pursue happiness, but no right to hold onto the material implementations of happiness that your own exertions may have afforded to you otherwise.  These liberties were all born of the notion that no man is owned by the state, and yet slowly and seemingly irretrievably, these “rights” have been yielded back to the state.  Still, these are mere symptoms of the greater disease that is rotting away the core and health of the American political environment.  The root of this disease is philosophical, but it will not be cured by political slogans.

Men must not be owned, either directly by other men, or through a surrogate called “the state” or “society.”  So long as we permit this idea to fester and grow, it is a cancer slowly metastasizing to all parts of the body of American culture and politics.  It has destroyed our philosophy.  It has permitted egregious inconsistencies and contradictions in our laws.  It has enabled the would-be slave-masters to re-establish a foothold in a wider fashion than nineteenth century slavery ever could.  What we have permitted to be lost is the philosophical core of our argument, and every retreat or defeat in politics of the last century has been merely a symptom of the surrender of this principle: Man is endowed with unalienable rights, and it is governments’ sole legitimate purpose to defend them.  Instead, we now see that government has become the worst offender, and we wonder why we can make no ground on subsidiary concretes.

If you wish to salvage America, if it is to be done at all, the only answer is to restore in law and in fact the philosophy that holds man as his own rightful property, and his life and his liberties as the material implementation of that fact.  Please do not bother about statist notions of “obligations” or “responsibilities” of free men.  The only actual, logical “obligation” of a free man is to respect those same rights among other men, and his only collectivized “responsibility” is to pay for the upholding of those rights among all men.  This is the sole justification of governments, and it is the sole reason that any form of taxation is logically (and morally) permissible.  This means a court system, to resolve disputes among men; a policing mechanism, to apprehend those who violate the rights of men; a national defense to protect against massive attacks on the rights of men.  Deprived of the ability to use the power of the state as a gun aimed at the heads of other men in the name of their own peculiar interests, with the threat of a watchful state waiting to punish such aggressors, men must deal with one another by volitional means, i.e., “free trade” or “commerce.”

This had been our founders’ vision.  To the degree they failed to “perfect” it, they nevertheless left us the means by which to do so.  Instead, we have tarnished their ideals, and rejected their core philosophy in favor of the “pragmatic” expediencies of the moment.  We have failed to educate our young, and we have failed to remind ourselves why it is that America had been different, and why there was so much to be gained here for all men, everywhere.  It was not the material wealth of America’s resources that permitted her growth, but the idea at the heart of its laws and traditions that each person is an end in themselves, and that no person or collection of persons had the authority to disparage those rights.  Today, rights are being disparaged and deprecated at a mind-numbing pace, and we have none to blame but ourselves.  If we are to resurrect liberty from its dying gasps, we must know and publicly identify the cause of its impending death, and we must not shrink from standing in the breech in liberty’s waning moments.  Stand there, and others will accompany you, bolstered by your courage.  If not, we’ve already lost.

Obamacare Profiteer Seeks Republican Nomination – And You May Give It to Him

Sunday, December 28th, 2014

Just a Little Profit?

It should come as no surprise to readers of this site that there are Republicans who sought to use Obama-care as a personal profit center. It’s fair to say that some of them, in and out of office, were only too happy to see the new business opportunity the scandalous program represents, and now at least one of them seems poised to run for President. Jeb Bush, son of former President George HW Bush, and brother to former President George W. Bush, just divested himself of Tenet Healthcare in order to conceal this fact or at least make it “old news.”  I’ve cautioned readers in the past that the reason Obama-care would be difficult to repeal is that too many Republicans are making too much money from it.  Here, a darling son of the DC Republican establishment demonstrates the point: Why on Earth would they repeal a profit center? All that is important to this sort is power, but neither liberty nor any virtue associated with it moves them. What Republicans like Bush should get from us is only our contempt, but given the recent history of Republican primary politics, there’s a fair chance that we’ll instead reward him with our support. If we wonder why it’s so hard to elect a conservative, we needn’t look beyond our collective conservative mirror.

Friday, I received a phone call from the RNCC soliciting a donation. In simplest terms, I told the man “Not no, but Hell no!” I took a moment to explain to him that this was because the Republicans had abandoned us on Obama-care and immigration immediately after their victory in November. He offered that it hadn’t been the time to expend the “political capital.”  That’s a sorry excuse, and I told him it was because both issues were causes of personal profits for too many inside-the-beltway Republicans who were bought and paid-for by lobbyists on these issues.  I asked him why it was that Republicans were saving all this “political capital,” suggesting that this was an excuse to cover their profiteering on Obama-care and immigration.  He scoffed, so I abruptly told him to tell the RNCC to get bent, and hung up.  The last thing I like to do is be rude to somebody the day after Christmas, but this guy earned it.

That it would be less than a few hours later when I would learn that, predictably, Jeb Bush had been among the Obama-care profiteers is perfectly fitting for our current political environment.  Frankly, I’m waiting for Karl Rove to affix a crown of thorns to this guy and nail him to a cross if that’s what will be needed to sell him to unwitting conservatives. The Bush family is at full tilt, and I knew when Jeb’s son ran(and won) office in Texas, 2015 was going to be the year Jeb chose to further pollute the American body-politic and try to resurrect the Bush name among conservatives.

The Bush family has spent most of the last eight years trying to figure out how to weasel Jeb into office.  Even before his second term had expired, George Bush’s mastermind Karl Rove went to work on the problem: How to recover the Bush name?  In order to do so, they needed a patsy, one so dismal that before it was done, people would be begging to have the Bush clan retake power.  They found one in Barack Hussein Obama.  I have known, and I suspect you have known conservatives who have declared they would vote for the devil if it meant wresting control of the White House from Democrats after two terms of Obama.  What do you think had been the point of the “Miss me yet?” campaign designed to compare George W. Bush favorably with Barack Obama? It’s all about rehabilitating the Bush family name.

Conservatives had ought to wise up. The Republican establishment is about to pull its usual divide-and-conquer maneuver so that it can saddle the party and America with another “lesser-of-two-evils” choice. The Bush family is gambling that you’ve become so desperate that you won’t care about Jeb’s profiteering on Obama-care. They hope you won’t notice, or even having noticed, won’t care about his continual drumbeat for open borders, or his insane “Common Core” education plans. No, the Bush family is hoping you will let them continue to re-invent America in their communitarian, Utopian vision. Welcome to the New World Order, a regime in which Americans are poorer, and less educated, while uniformly chanting “Bush! Bush! Bush!”

It’s already begun, of course, as CNN reports that Bush is now the early front-runner among GOP hopefuls. All of this leads me to a question: When did Americans decide that a monarchy was fine? On the left, we have the Clinton clan, and also on the left we have the Bush clan, both parading as “moderates” with respect to their chosen parties, and both being much more statist than their respective marketing would have you believe. Jeb Bush once [in]famously stated that he “used to be a conservative,” while responding to critics of his moderate-to-left policy preferences, but the fact is that nobody named Bush has ever been a conservative, instead having been at war with the conservative grass-roots of the party since the 1970s.  If Jeb evinces any confusion by that statement, it is that he hasn’t known what conservatism looks like, and had been permitted to wear that label as though it had ever actually applied to him. It doesn’t.

If conservatives don’t pull their heads out of the sand, and fast, deciding to skip over the pointless candidates who are entirely media creations at this point, settling instead on an actual conservative, get ready for another miserable primary year in which Republicans feed conservatives to the wolves. I’d ask you to consider how many of the currently polling individuals are really just creations of FoxNews, but who are neither conservatives nor crowd-drawing candidates with any hope of victory in 2016. Dr. Ben Carson?  Former Gov. Mike Huckabee? The New Jersey Blowhard? Can any of these defeat Jeb Bush? Plainly, no. Are any of these anything much beyond stalking-horse creations of FoxNews? No. There are a number of conservatives who still pine for Rick Santorum.  Can he beat Jeb Bush? Not a chance.  In all the Republican Party, there exists only a handful of people who have the kind of muscle it will take to derail the Bush train, but if they don’t step up to bat, we’ll never know for sure. Instead, we’ll be shafted with another 4-8 years of diminishing liberties and declining culture under yet another center-left Bush.

I understand that when conservatives get desperate, they will gladly accept another Bush over the leftist bogey-man of the moment, and left with no other choice, they’ll board that train, but for Heaven’s sake, it is time for conservatives to outsmart these people for a change.  If conservatives begging queuing-up behind the litany of second-tier candidates now under consideration, they will be divided-and-conquered just as in 2012.  Mitt Romney was effectively a test run for the Jeb Bush strategy, and Karl Rove knows it. If you will recall, Romney stayed around 25% support for the entirety of the 2011 silly season, knocking off conservative after conservative as they rose and fell.  Michelle Bachman. Rick Perry. Herman Cain. Newt Gingrich. Rick Santorum. Mitt Romney bested them all because conservatives were so desperate that they hopped from bandwagon to bandwagon at the first sign of weakness.  This strategy kept conservatives chasing their tails, while Romney basically survived with his base of support sticking with him through the process.  In the entirety of 2011, Romney never rose above 25-30$ support, and never fell below 20%.  More conservative candidates, along with relative unknowns, rose and fell like sine waves on an oscilloscope as conservatives rushed from one to the next in order to find a conservative champion who would not falter.  By design, I think, there were none.

If conservatives are to have a chance in 2016, they must identify a candidate soon, and must stick with that candidate until victory.  At present, I can only think of two or three conservatives with the chops to beat Bush, and as yet, none of them have made any firm indication that they might run.  Rather than pursue pipe-dreams, however, settling for the laundry-list of unknowns and also-rans FoxNews is serving-up, conservatives ought to spend some time talking about the kind of presidency they want to see in January 2017, and how to go about getting it. If you’re willing to settle for another Bush, or have one thrust upon you, fear not because Karl Rove is busy working on that, and has been since 2007.  Even if Jeb fails in 2016, you know they’ll try to derail any other Republican candidate who gets the nomination, because they’ve got another George[P. Bush] warming-up in the bullpen right now in Texas, who they will trot-out in 2024 or 2028.

If electing an Obama-care profiteer is an idea that seems to you too ghastly to consider, understand that if the Bush family has its way, you will soon endorse that action out of desperation.  The Bush family doesn’t mind providing the presidents America just barely elects, so long as they’re in charge.  Their continual quest to drag conservatives to the left in abandonment of our principles, one at a time, should be all the reason you need to oppose them and put an end to this seemingly unending American decline under their leadership.  It’s time for something different.  It’s time for a conservative. Obama-care profiteers need not apply.

 

 

Governor Palin: “Stop Electing Republicans who Act Like Democrats”

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014

We must break up the GOP establishment

Governor Palin is right, and I’m inclined to act on the principle that there is nothing to be gained by compromise with the GOP establishment.  I am to the point where I’d rather have an open leftist elected to office than to see one more of these despicable, snake-in-the-grass RINOs who act like Democrats when they get to Washington DC anyway.  Here’s Governor Palin from Hannity on FNC last night:

GOP Mafia Produces Cochran Win in Mississippi

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014

Haley’s Helot

There really is something deeply wrong with the GOP establishment, and as nearly all conservatives have always suspected, it’s this: Despite all of the GOP establishment’s haughty talk about moderation, they are willing to do anything, no matter how repulsive, to achieve their political ends in order to maintain power.  In Mississippi, Thad Cochran held onto his seat by the slimmest of margins over conservative Chris McDaniels.  Had there not been a laundry list of out-of-state, center-left interests pouring money in on Cochran’s behalf, this race would have come out differently, but what I want dispirited conservatives to know is that despite the loss, you won.  It might be hard to see at the moment, but there’s really something to be said for your accomplishments in this race.  The truth is now plain to see, and for those who doubted it before, the veil should now be thoroughly lifted:  The GOP establishment is comprised of a mafia-like element that will use any tactic necessary to keep its scumbags in office, and in this election, it was revealed in full, but this was only possible because conservatives pushed them to the brink.

Thad Cochran has been in political office nearly all of my life.  Now he faces an election for a seventh term, and if he succeeds, he will have served in the US Senate for forty-two years by the time the new term expires.  This is despicable.  What makes it all the more disgusting is the manner of his primary victory.  He did not win on the strength of his record, which is sorely lacking.  He did not win on the merits of his legislative proposals.  He did not win because Republicans in his state favor him.  He did not win even because Republican voters though McDaniels was an inferior candidate.  No, he won on the strength of contributions from his center-left connections, shady endorsements, and because his campaign’s proxies illegally urged Democrats to cross over and vote for him in the Republican primary.  They gave “walking-around money” to would-be Democrat voters, and they basically called McDaniels and the TEA Party “racists” who were out to get Barack Obama. Take a look at this flier, circulated prior to the primary run-off(H/T John Fund at NRO):

Despicable Cochran flier that circulated days before the run-off

Let me say this clearly.  Thad Cochran is a scumbag, and that he would employ such an outrageous tactic merely speaks to his unfitness for office.  Were I a Mississippi conservative, there is no way I would vote to re-elect this dirtball.  Instead, I would vote for the Democrat.  You might ask: “But Mark, if the Democrat is elected, we might not retake the Senate,” to which I must respond with a question: “We?”  Who comprises any “we” in any of this?  It is not Republicans and conservatives.  It is not TEA Party and constitutionalists.  The only “we” who will run the Senate, even if the Republicans win a majority in 2014 is the GOP establishment mafia.  I’d like Mississippi conservatives to think about that.

Haley Barbour and his extended gang, including Michael Bloomberg, Karl Rove, the Chamber of Commerce, a Facebook executive, and a legion of GOP establishment thugs were willing to use ginned-up Democrat support to steal this seat away from Mississippi conservatives.  Mississippi conservatives and TEA Party activists should know that there can be no restoration of the constitutional government they hope to promote so long as a gang of criminal cronies own their Senator.  The worst of it may have been the last-minute use of a sickening tactic of soliciting Democrats to support Cochran even if they would not vote for him in the Fall.

Listen to the following recording for a sample of what establishment Republicans(!) did to secure victory:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cpp6cYZrrcs]

This call went out to black Democrats to get them to vote in the Republican primary.

This is the establishment of the Republican Party.  They’re every bit the statist, mafia-like dirtbags the Democrats are, and as you can see, they will work with Democrats whenever necessary to maintain their grip on power.   What is my suggestion to the conservatives and TEA Party folk in Mississippi?  Either run McDaniels as an independent in November, or simply go out to support the Democrat.  Yes, I actually suggest supporting the Democrat, because since Cochran is willing to invite Democrats into the primary campaign, Mississippi conservatives should turn the table on him and give him a dose of his own medicine.  Yes, this means the Democrat will sit in office for six years, but to quote Hillary Clinton, “what difference does it make?”  You now have a six-term RINO running for a seventh term who is firmly in Haley Barbour’s and Karl Rove’s pocket.  This November, for much the same reasons, I am voting for anybody but the RINO liar John Cornyn(R-TX.)  If we’re going to take our country back, we’ll first need to surrender a few things, and in this case, it means giving up the illusion of a Republican-led Senate that wouldn’t be the least bit conservative anyway.

IRS Scandal Follow-up: The Show Must Go On

Sunday, June 22nd, 2014

…But nobody actually asked Koskinen about the Sonasoft contract. Wonder why?

On Saturday, it was revealed that the IRS has been contracting with Sonasoft for the back-up of emails since 2005, and indeed, looking at Sonasoft’s clients list, listed there is the Internal Revenue Service.  Adding to my list of things about which the Republicans should seek testimony (if they’re serious,) the specific details of the performance requirements of this contract must now be considered.  Undoubtedly, in soliciting bids for back-ups, there must have been a policy for back-ups the bidder must have been prepared to fulfill.  These details would have been dominated by a records retention schedule that would have been designed to comply with statutory minimums. In any event, such a contract would have been carefully vetted for specific performance requirements, the methodology by which performance could be verified, and the chain of responsibility for those on the government side of the contract to make sure performance was fulfilled, or to seek remediation if the requirements were not met.  There would be a schedule of audits of the performance, and there should be no excuse for pretending somebody hadn’t known their specific duties, on either side of the contract. Here’s the point: We very likely have an organized criminal conspiracy, and if the Republicans don’t begin to immediately turn over rocks to find the culprits, the evidence will be destroyed, but that may be precisely what the GOP leadership wants.

People continue to question whether I’ve entered the realm of “tinfoil-hat-wearing” conspiracy kooks, because I doubt the seriousness of the intent of the House Republican leadership in pursuing this scandal.  After all, they ask, why would the Republicans seek to cover the scandal?  Let’s be blunt, shall we?  As long as this scandal has been going on without serious investigation, how much evidence has been destroyed in the interim?  It is true that if there is a cover-up, there will always be some evidence of that, because it’s impossible to completely cover the tracks of what has been done.  Permitting a delay of the investigation would allow the culprits to destroy the evidence so that any crimes perpetrated in the original scandal would be hard to substantiate to the satisfaction of a jury, or an impeachment proceeding, even if the evidence of a cover-up would be harder to conceal.  In the end, however, let us imagine that there had been a few Republicans who had wanted to hammer the TEA Party, like John Boehner, or Mitch McConnell.  They’ve said as much in open contempt for the TEA Party.  By permitting the administration and its lackeys to destroy evidence, the evidence of their own complicity would be hidden too, and all that would remain are the allegations and evidence of a cover-up of something, in which the Republican leadership would not be implicated.  After all, they’ve been conducting an investigation, right?

If this sounds too conspiratorial to you, consider that these are the same people who invented voting for a thing before voting against it.  John Cornyn had no problem voting for cloture on the Senate Amnesty bill last year before coming home to Texas to tell voters he had voted against the final bill, which he had.  He repeated the procedure at the time of the government shutdown last October, again voting to bring the bill for a vote, so that he could vote against it thereby claiming “conservative credentials” all the while have enabled the bill to see the light of day in the first place.  They bank on we voters remaining largely ignorant of their scandalous manipulations, so that a less-than-vigorous investigation wouldn’t provide much of a surprise. By the way, and by way of evidence of the establishment’s thesis in operation, John Cornyn won his primary by pretending to be a conservative while relying on the longterm detachment and ignorance of voters.  Still, roughly forty percent of the Republican electorate in Texas was able to see through his nonsense, but not enough to replace him as our Senator.

My point to you is this: It may be too late to salvage the data, because this has been left withering on the vine for much too long.  The list of particulars I provided yesterday should have been exercised more than two years ago, and it should have been done with vigor.  If there is no active complicity by Republican leadership, there is at least gross incompetence verging on the criminally negligent.  Are we to believe that none of the people in leadership had any idea, and that none of their staff had any idea how to approach such a scandal?  Are we to believe they had no access to any person with sufficient technical understanding who would have apprised them of the sort of things that would need to have been done to “disappear” such data?  Are we to believe that those who were conducting the preliminary investigations on behalf of House committees could not imagine to immediately contact people specializing in data recovery?  Why has it taken until yesterday to discover that the IRS had contracted with Sonasoft?  What were these investigators investigating?  Didn’t they look at the IT expenditures and contracts of the IRS for clues?  You see, once you consider all of this, it’s easier to understand how an observer could reasonably conclude that the Republicans didn’t want to investigate, and having been forced into it by public pressure, have done a half-hearted job of it.

How can we be nearly three years into this investigation, and we’re only now finding there had been a back-up company contracted?  I will not be surprised to learn that the IRS contract with Sonasoft required them to hold emails for a period of only three years, so that by now, Lois Lerner’s emails have fallen off the archive due to age.  A serious investigation would have immediately discovered the existence of a contract with Sonasoft, and those records could have been pulled three years ago.  What will we get as a result?  At best, some underlings who were a part of the cover-up will be burned, but the chain of command to the top will be obfuscated, and then we will get some dog-and-pony IRS Reform bill that will require the agency from this date forward to maintain all emails for ten years, or some such thing.  Then it will all go away, and the original participants in the scandal of targeting TEA Party groups and their members will be forgotten, and life will go on in Washington DC, with we being the only victims, now poorer and less free, and deprived of justice.

The questions I’ve posed over the last thirty-six hours are the sort I would expect of a serious investigation.  To date, we’ve had a lot of finger-waggling by Republicans asking questions of witnesses, but we’ve gotten no meat from these bones.  Certainly, it does not help that we have a Department of Justice that is led by a crook and crony, and it does not help that the media covers everything up on behalf of this administration, but if the Republicans had been serious about getting to the bottom of this scandal, they would have taken significantly more exhaustive steps by now, but to date, all they’ve done is generate ominous soundbites that tend to feed the red-meat aspects of politics, yet have resulted in no arrests, no indictments, and no justice.  In three years?  This scandal is well on its way to becoming a cold case, and that’s just how Washington DC likes it.

Update: The Daily Caller reports that the IRS cancelled its Sonasoft contract only weeks after Lois Lerner’s hard-drive “crash.”

John Boehner’s Dog and Pony Show

Saturday, June 21st, 2014

On Friday, the Republican leadership in the House of Representatives continued its wholly political, and ultimately theatrical investigation of the IRS Tea Party-targeting scandal.  Chairman Dave Camp’s(R-MI) committee brought current IRS Commissioner John Koskinen before the committee to testify as to the loss of Lois Lerner’s emails, among other misdeeds.  You may argue that Paul Ryan(R-WI) was very aggressive in his examination of the witness, but that entire exchange was mere political theater that will evince nothing at the end of the investigation.  Had the Republicans in Congress the first inclination to get to the bottom of this scandal, they would begin by taking the following series of steps:

  1.  Bring before the committee the entire IT staff that supports the IRS, particularly its executives.
  2. Audit the purchase records and replacement schedule of equipment used to support Lois Lerner’s computer usage. Congress should want to know how old her computer had been when the hard disk “died.”
  3. Require IT staff managers to testify as to the method of email archiving, email storage, email backups, and the entire email system used by the IRS.
  4. Seek a federal court order requiring the production of all existing equipment that is currently, or has ever been in use by the IRS in storing email,over the period of the last six years, including particularly SAN devices and servers.
  5. Seek a federal court order requiring the immediate production of all backup media on which IRS files and email may have been copied.
  6. Form a select committee with broad investigatory powers to pursue the entirety of this affair, particularly with an eye toward fraud, destruction of government records and data, as well as political influences brought to bear on the IRS from any branch of government or outside interest groups.
  7. Bring in experts to audit access records for servers and storage devices to discover when anybody interacted with the equipment in question. These devices and servers maintain extensive logs of the commands issued from administrators. Knowing who did what will be a key to cracking this case. The government may well have logging servers to which all events are reported.

For those of you who are less than technically inclined, I will be glad to explain to you why this whole “lost hard drive” claim is a dodge, and for those who may have less than a strong understanding of the politics, I’ll be glad to explain to you how I know the Republicans are playing a game for show, but do not want the truth to come out.

As an information systems professional, who works with storage systems, backup systems, networks, servers, and workstations every day, and who works with the applications and databases which is the purpose of all of that lovely, grotesquely expensive equipment, let me tell you a few things you won’t read in the media.  You might even take a moment to learn a bit more about your own computer.

First, the email system the IRS uses is almost certainly an IMAP or MAPI variant.  This means that on the most basic level, emails are not stored on the client, except as a temporarily cached copy.  Deleting it may cause the email to appear deleted for that user, but the mail archiving functionality will maintain a copy for a period as prescribed by policy, usually determined in applicable statutes and regulations. Most corporate and government environments will not even permit users to store mail in local folders(email folders solely on your local computer) unless they are first archived in the email archiving system, which is generally part of the same overall system. Nevertheless, examining the event viewer in Windows will offer some insight into what may or may not have been done on a given workstation or server. Linux and other operating systems have similar logging facilities.  (If you have Windows, you can get an idea by going to your Control Panel, then to Administrative Tools, and Event Viewer. You will be surprised what you can learn about your computer’s routine operations.)

In the second place, the number of servers used for an email system to support an organization the size of the IRS must be quite large.  It undoubtedly consists of multiple servers, at multiple server farms, in a redundant scheme of some sort intended to prevent the loss of data.  You, the taxpayer, has spent billions upon billions since the advent of email to provide these facilities for our federal bureaucracy.

Third, since email storage in such an environment is bound to be monumental in scale, there are undoubtedly many storage blades of some form, probably Storage Area Networks(SANs) to handle the storage needs of the mail system servers.  These are also geographically dispersed for reasons of data security, and what you should know about these technologies is that if your Storage Administrators are doing their jobs, there is virtually no credible fashion in which data of this sort could be lost simply because somebody’s office computer’s hard disk died.

To put it in context, consider one of the leading manufacturer’s systems.  Called an ISE2, it’s made by X-IO and it can contain two datapacs that contain what are essentially a stack of hard disks that are effectively “self-healing,” and in common usage, contain more than fourteen terabytes of data in each datapac.  By design, such a device already creates a Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks(RAID) by virtue of its design, permitting the administrator to choose either RAID 1(mirroring) or RAID 5(a form of quasi-mirroring).  The way these devices are used is to create storage volumes in the datapacs and attach those volumes to servers.  They can be swapped in and out, and they can be mirrored as individual entities across other devices.  The servers in question see these volumes as hard-drives, and in effect, they function in precisely that manner.    I would be stunned to find that the US Federal government is not using such an arrangement, whomever the vendor, and there are many.  Chances are high that wherever the server farm is that operates the IRS email system, there are likely to be many SAN units, or other storage containers that have similar functionality.

Putting of all of this into simplest terms, the series of failures that would be required to disappear Lois Lerner’s emails, along with those of six other IRS executives, is an astonishing string of virtual impossibilities and displays of incompetence and malfeasance that should result in the ouster of every IT manager supporting the IRS.  It’s not that I don’t believe there are incompetents working in government, or that I don’t believe there are some slothful folk administering systems for the IRS, but that the totality of this loss of data represents a complete failure at virtually every level and every step of the organization.  Even in a clunky, bureaucratic, top-heavy organization like the IRS, there are still some competent people who keep it working despite all the obstacles placed in their way. The manner in which their storage systems and server farms are designed tends to preclude the chance that something so seemingly innocuous as the loss of one person’s email(or seven) is even a remote possibility.

Knowing how such systems work, and knowing that the government spends more money on the core computing technology than any entity on the planet, their claim to have lost the email due to a hard drive failure on a client machine is an absolute farce.  To claim even that no data was recoverable on that hard drive is pretty hard to believe too, since I’ve seen data recovered from hard disks that have been in computers essentially destroyed by fires.  In fact, given the nature of the data I have handled over the course of my computing career, it is common that when a computer reaches the end of its service life, organizations resell the computers but strip the hard drives out of them for mechanical destruction so that no data may be recovered from them. (In many cases, this involves drilling holes through the platters, using a cutting torch, or other methodology designed to destroy the actual storage media in the drive, which is generally very hard metal platters.)

All of that doesn’t matter in the least, however, as the servers and archive servers and storage devices in the systems are apt to have contained one or more(probably many more) copies of the target emails. Then there are backup tapes or other backup devices. No, ladies and gentlemen, if the administration’s hacks like Mr. Koskinen come forward to tell you in smug tones that the data was irretrievably lost, they are lying.  It may have been irretrievably destroyed, but that would require a conspiracy because no one computer technician could possibly have access to all the relevant systems in an organization so large.

The technician who was responsible for maintaining and repairing Lois Lerner’s computer is not the same technician who administers the email system.  That administrator is not the same person who operates and maintains the bulk data storage containers, nor is that the same person who operates all backups and certainly not the same person who maintains and administers the network on which all of this computing takes place.  It’s not plausible in an organization the size of the IRS.  In many cases, data is duplicated and moved off-site for disaster recovery purposes.  No, if this data is unrecoverable, it is because it was ordered to be placed in that state.  Knowing this, and knowing what would be entailed in literally destroying any trace of these emails, I can only conclude that this administration is lying, and is an active participant in a criminal conspiracy and cover-up of crimes that would tend to place Lerner and her superiors in jeopardy of long jail terms, and this president in the direct path of impeachment proceedings.

At the beginning of this article, I explained to you that I believed that the claim about the emails being “lost” is nonsense, and a lie.  I hope I’ve managed to illuminate a few of the reasons why you should not believe such claims, but I also contended that you should not believe that the Republicans are very serious about uncovering the truth, despite their harrumphing to the contrary.   You see, if the Republicans in Congress were serious about all of this, they would issue subpoenas to the entire IT staff.  They would drag them in, one at a time, starting at the top, and working their way down to the lowest technician.  They would have questions, specific technical questions, prepared for them by people like me, or actually those rare birds who designed such systems, and they would begin the grilling.  Under oath.  Somebody would crack.  A lie of this sort cannot be hidden if there is a consistent and tireless effort to uncover it.

The problem may be that to uncover Lois Lerner’s email would reveal something no Representative in that committee hearing room wants you to know:  Lerner may have been receiving emails from both sides of the aisle on Capitol Hill urging audits and investigations into Tea Party groups.  The IRS was used in this instance to quell a peaceful, political uprising by making the formation of a group so painful and problematic as to frustrate into capitulation all but the most insistent and persistent persons.  The Republicans tried first to co-opt the Tea Party phenomenon, making it their own, but when they found they were unable to control the myriad of organizations springing to life around the country, their next motive was to destroy it because they posed a serious challenge to the orthodoxy of establishment power in Washington DC.  Most Republicans in Washington DC want the Tea Party buried, some of them more fervently even than the Democrats.

If the Republicans in the House cannot muster a select committee to look into this and other matters of extreme government corruption, it is only because they do no want the truth discovered.  If they will not bring an endless string of witnesses to testify as to their role in the email “losses” and the system design of the email and data facilities of the IRS, then they don’t want an answer.  Paul Ryan and others can put on one Hell of a show in the committee room, but the truth is that saying “I don’t believe you” in an exchange with an IRS commissioner isn’t going to turn over many stones.  If you want the truth, you bring in the subject matter experts and responsible parties, and you grill them and continue to remind them of their oaths.  At some point, some junior flunky intern who was told to ditch a hard disk in the Potomac is going to squeal, because he doesn’t want to go to prison.  Then you bring back the person who gave him that order, and then the person who issued that order from higher on the food chain.   Work your way down to get them on the record, until somebody cracks, and then work your way back up, exposing lies until the scheme is revealed in full.

If the Congress won’t do this, they’re not serious about the matter.  It suggests strongly that they don’t want the truth revealed any more than the administration.  There are plenty of smart people on Capitol Hill, and they have plenty of contacts who understand such systems and could provide technical advice both in the formation of questions and in the manner by which to challenge the credibility of the answers.  Those behind this atrocious abuse of government power must be held accountable and jailed for their crimes.  Make no mistake about it: Grievous crimes were committed both as a part of the targeting, as well as during this extended cover-up.  If the Republicans now fail to uncover those crimes and see this investigatory process through to a just ending, you can be sure that they hadn’t wanted the truth to be discovered, because their fingerprints are all over this too.

 

 

 

House Leadership Plotting GOP Defeat

Sunday, April 27th, 2014

Welcome Aboard!

They intend to shove an immigration bill through the House this summer.  They’re aiming for August, with the intention of pushing this through while the nation is busy with summer vacations and the return of  its children to school. It’s diabolical to the degree that I now believe John Boehner and Eric Cantor are simply wolves wearing wool. Years ago, I asked my readers to consider whether Obama was merely incompetent, or instead a malevolent actor who was following a script of purposeful destruction.  Now I ask you to consider: Can this be coincidental?  Can the efforts of House Republican leadership to shove amnesty down our throats be the result of simple incompetence, or is it the result of a malevolent takeover of the Republican Party in Washington DC by people who are effectively in league with the Democrats and their nonstop neo-socio-fascist push?  Now, even a Washington Post article questions the foolishness of an immigration bill from a Republican perspective, so that we must ask ourselves: How do we defeat the Republican leadership without removing the majority conservative caucus from power?

According to the article, precisely what I have suspected is likely to come true: With a vast number of new citizens who will mostly be Democrats, Texas (and several others) may well turn from “red states” to “blue states. From the article:

“If many of the Hispanic non-citizens across the country became voting eligible citizens through immigration reform, some of those states become much more interesting politically. Take Texas, where only 22 percent of voters were Hispanic, but they make up 37 percent of the total population of the state. The pattern is similar in Arizona, where 17 percent of voters were Hispanic but they accounted for 29 percent of the total population. “

This shouldn’t be difficult to translate into political ramifications: Republicans won’t be able to win in Texas, Arizona, and any number of border states, no longer being Republican strongholds, and instead at best becoming slightly purple-tinted blue states.

Under that regime, it will be impossible to elect a Republican, never mind a conservative, to the presidency, and it will become increasingly impossible to elect a conservative House, much less a Senate.  This will be the end of any and all hope to stop the growth of the Federal Government, and it will mean diminishing liberty and prosperity for all Americans.

We’re taught by polite society not to question peoples’ motives, and to avoid guessing at them, but one can scarcely look at the current Republican leadership without asking this question repeatedly: “Why?”

It would be easy enough to believe that they’re merely incompetent simpletons, reacting precipitously to what they see as a demographic inevitability, but as the Washington Post article reveals, they will simply speed up the process, making no ground against the actual problem.  Indeed, they will almost certainly seal their own fate.  One thing we must acknowledge from the outset is that they are not conservatives.  Neither Boehner nor Cantor; McCarthy nor McMorris Rodgers; McConnell nor Cornyn; none of these Republicans in leadership in Congress are conservatives in any measurable sense.  They are all party hacks, and they are all leading actual conservatives to utter disaster.  I do not believe it is possible to conclude that they are accidental actors who simply don’t know any better.  Indeed, the coordination of their efforts on other matters, like the debt ceiling, and like the budget negotiations suggests to me that rather than being a “loyal opposition,” they are indeed colluding with Democrats to advance the neo-socio-fascist agenda.

After all, when Democrats in the house in 2010 “deemed the bill passed,” enacting Obama-care, a law with vast new taxing authority, who among the “Republican leadership” protested the fact that all bills levying taxes must originate in the House?  Where were they?  Boehner put on a show of choked-up, crying  but resolute resistance, yet that “resistance” has turned out to be all howl but no fangs, expressed in pointless show-votes of repeal, but never implemented in an actual showdown with the Senate and White House.  Is this leadership committed to turning aside rampant statism?

No, ladies and gentlemen, this leadership is worse than any Neville Chamberlain.  These are Quislings, all of them, and the singular question that falls to us is how to defeat them without yielding the republic.  How can we topple these sell-outs without discharging the actual conservatives from a functioning majority in the House?  We are at a crossroads, when we can neither suffer the treacherous leadership of this bunch any longer, nor can we permit ourselves to lose the House.  Both circumstances are disasters, and yet we know that left in charge, these people(and several others, including Ryan in the House and McCain in the Senate) will happily march the Republican Party off an electoral cliff, while simultaneously wrecking the country at large.

I do not hold with others who believe we can make a difference by quietly going about the job of voting.  I think the time is coming when we will need to be in their faces, all day, every day.  Whether it is driven by old-fashioned corruption, or instead by actual ideological concordance with the left, we can no longer tolerate a leadership that is clearly marching us over a cliff.  We can ask why it is that House chairmen, all Republicans, will not demand a select committee to investigate Benghazi, or the IRS scandal, or any other corrupt and criminal action of this administration, but I think the answer is clear: Those now in leadership in the House are captured-by-extortion, bought-and-paid, or deep-cover operatives for the progressive left. If we do not throw off the yoke they’re placing across our shoulders, and soon, we will be forced to bear it until the death of our once-thriving civilization.

The Nullification Movement: Pursuit of a Phantasmal Constitutional Doctrine

Monday, January 27th, 2014

Ghosts of Confederates Past

There has long been a legal theory that the states have the right under our constitution to nullify such federal laws as they may unilaterally determine to be unconstitutional.  One of its earliest proponents was Vice President John C. Calhoun, who had hoped to employ the strategy in a dispute over tariffs.  His modern-day adherents wish to pursue this strategy anew.  The problem is that the idea has been roundly rejected by the federal judiciary, and one would have a difficult time demonstrating a successful historical precedent.  Most recently, in the 1950s, and 1960s, states in the South attempted to nullify federal law on the matter of desegregation.  In 1958, in Cooper v. Aaron, the state of Arkansas attempted to nullify the US Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v. Board of Education.  In another attempt at the related concept of interposition, the Supreme Court affirmed a lower court’s decision to reject Louisiana’s attempt to maintain segregation of the schools.  Repeatedly, the US courts have rejected attempts at nullification or interposition, and in that case, effectively derided such attempts as “no more than a protest, an escape valve through which legislators blew off steam to relieve their tensions…”  In short, while the proponents of these two strategies will continuously argue that theirs is the proper approach to our growing constitutional crisis, there is very little in the way of case-law or constitutional law to support their assertions.  Bluntly, the constitution says what it says, and we can no more imagine into it a nullification doctrine than we may assert any other ghostly doctrine into its text.  No apparitional legal doctrine is necessary while the constitution provides a solution within its text.

Some would claim that the states of Colorado and Washington, among others, are engaged in an act of nullification with respect to their legalization of marijuana.  The problem with this is that neither of these states have claimed to have the authority to indemnify citizens involved in the marijuana trade against federal law.  If federal law enforcement agencies decide to crack down in either of these states, or any other, you will quickly see that there is no nullification of any sort, and neither of the states have claimed a right to interpose between residents and the federal establishment.

With all of this in mind, it begs the question: Why do proponents of this particular, historically ineffectual legal doctrine continue to press forward?  The answer may lie in a sort of juvenile disregard for established authority and case-law.    Their claims rest on John C. Calhoun’s basic assertion of a state’s right to nullify federal law, and to interpose between the federal government and its residents.  As we have seen, such claims have never been upheld in any substantive manner by the federal judiciary, and Calhoun also asserted the right of secession.  In 1832, the theory of nullification had its first significant trial, in what would come to be termed the Nullification Crisis.  In this case, South Carolina’s legistlature declared the Tariffs of 1828 and 1832 to be unconstitutional.  The state claimed a sovereign authority to ignore the federal statute, and began military preparations to resist federal enforcement.  A compromise Tariff was enacted in 1833, and South Carolina repealed its nullification ordinance.  Both sides claimed victory, but the federal establishment had been preparing to enforce the 1832 Tariff by force if need be, and had enacted a statute for those purposes.

Naturally, the Civil War was in part about the authority of states to nullify, ignore, or otherwise refuse to comply with federal law, or to interpose between the federal government and states’ residents.  The entire Southern strategy during the 1950s and 1960s was to attempt various forms of nullification or interposition.  All such attempts failed in the face of federal use of force or the threat thereof.  One can scarcely imagine why it would be that contemporary proponents of these approaches would continue to advocate the unworkable.  It is as much a senseless, juvenile approach to the serious problems of federal overreach as any sort of serious movement.  The end of the nullification movement will come on the day the federal establishment decides it is time to dispense with it, and begins to strictly impose its will on those who would actually attempt it.  It begins to take on the character of a ranting, stomping toddler, who when deprived of his pacifier, throws a tantrum that has no force and no standing.

It is important to understand that what is in the constitution is in the constitution, and what isn’t there simply isn’t.  While one can point to this statement or that of some framers of the US Constitution for authority for nullification or interposition, where one cannot point with any credibility is the US Constitution itself.  More, one cannot show any successful case history upholding this approach.  It simply doesn’t exist, contrary to the bleating of the sheep who have been roped into this thinking.  They speak often of natural rights, and as a proponent of natural law, I am always willing to listen to such arguments, but I am also a realist in the sense that setting all of the flowery speech about natural rights aside, the problem always lies in the legal recognition of said rights.  Like some of nullification’s proponents, I long for the day when the full scope of natural rights of man are recognized and enforced at all levels of government, but I also understand that in order to see such a formal recognition, it will take explicit changes to our constitution to enforce the claims we might make to them. Rights must exist in the text of our laws, or risk doing without them.  As we have seen in administration after administration, and Congress after Congress, there exists no shortage of those who will extend federal law to every conceivable extent because there is no explicit warrant against it in the US Constitution.  The ninth and tenth amendments notwithstanding, it has ever been that an existing federal law seems in nearly all cases to trump a claimed right not explicitly guaranteed.

With all of this in mind, I wish the nullifiers well, and I hope when they’ve blown off some of the steam, they’ll come ’round to a more rational, proven approach.  We can amend our constitution, and we can do so by two explicit methods laid forth by Article V.  One need not search for the political writings of John C. Calhoun, Jefferson Davis, or even James Madison or Thomas Jefferson to affect change under our constitutional system.  Instead, one need observe only its text, applying the counsel provided by history to embark on a course already established.

Some of the “nullifiers” deride Mark Levin’s efforts toward an Article V amending convention of the states, writing in ominous tones about the potential for a “runaway convention.”  This sort of scare tactic is the sort of thing one might expect from people bent on their own agenda, and while caution is always merited when fiddling around with our supreme law, I think it’s also fair to suggest that we can do so without substantial danger.  Do I endorse all of Levin’s proposed amendments?  No.  Do I think many of them have merit?  Absolutely!  Do I believe we can afford to further obfuscate the matter by pursuing phantasms of nullification that have never availed a peaceable, workable solution?  No. I do not wish to pour energy and resources into the pursuit of a doctrine held to be little more than a temper-tantrum.  Let us admit that to restore our constitutional system, we must first resolve to live within its bounds as a matter of faithfulness to its principles.  That’s the whole point, after all, so that if Article V was good enough for our framers, then it shall likewise be good enough for me.

 

Three Courses Among Which None Wish to Choose

Saturday, January 25th, 2014

Easier not to choose?

I’ve remained still these last weeks waiting to see the outcome of things in my own world.  My wife suffered a heart attack in early December, and while she survived and is on the mend, it put me into a pensive mood during which I’ve said little while simply absorbing what’s going on in the world around us.  I don’t have all of the answers, but what I do know is that we have a choice to make.  It struck me with a certain clarity when I realized that for all the efforts of good and conscientious conservatives, we’re barely making a dent.  The American people are thoroughly dispirited in a way not seen since Carter, and maybe even the pre-war era of FDR’s long and loathsome administration.  Nothing is improving.  Jobs are scarce.  The printed currency is piling up, and with it a stack of IOUs that would reach from Earth to the no-longer-planet Pluto.  What strikes me most is the unwillingness to choose, perhaps because all of the options seem so depressingly bad.  We are now at a stage in our civilization’s collapse that we must fight, reform, or surrender.  Make no mistake about it, as while we defer the choice, the available options only become more severe in their fullest meanings.  In time, the choice will be taken from us, and surrender will be replaced by slavery, whether we’d choose it or not. Even now, the embrace of the police state is transforming from a gentle, confidence-instilling hug into a death-grip from which it seems there may be no escape.

Maybe it’s time you had that blunt bit of talk with loved-ones who may not realize what’s afoot.    I know I’ve tried.  Some never listen because it’s too painful.  More often, because it is a complicated problem with implications that will reach into every life, most refuse to consider it.  Our nation is well on its way to becoming Rome.  We witness now the harbingers of our moral collapse, with an unconscionable display of motherly pride in a son who literally prostituted himself to homosexual pornography to support her household.  Lot’s wife had at least the advantage of a husband who would tell her to avert her eyes.  This scandalous decline in our cultural moral standards has left us with a nation that is rudderless not only in Washington DC, but in Everytown, USA, where plain, ordinary citizens no longer seem to muster much moral indignation about anything of consequence, while others rush to uphold the vile, the obnoxious, and the nonsensical.

Don’t misunderstand me: There are still many Americans who feel as I do, and you may well be among them, yet we are a declining proportion of a population overwhelmingly beset with endless distractions that will mean nothing when they find themselves at some future date languishing in the gutter.  I don’t believe it must end this way, but if we don’t choose another course, and soon, it will end this way.  As one friend constantly reminds me, “nothing ends well or it would never end.”  There’s a certain pragmatism to that view against which I would like to rebel, but like most of my readers, I feel the crushing weight of history pressing down upon us.

Will we fight?  Will a beleaguered people take up arms?  Many an American has made oaths, not all of them idle, about the nature of how they will go down, but I wonder if when faced with it, how many will simply fold.  More, one could wonder if this is not precisely what certain statist elements are attempting to provoke.  Against the combined forces of the modern government, who could long endure?  Who would desire this sort of outcome?  Who would want a fractured nation consumed by civil war?  Still, if it became the only viable option for our survival, I wonder how many would stand and fight, and for what they’d be fighting.

Will we surrender?  Will we yield to the historic march of statism, giving up first the last measures of our personal sovereignty; our property, such slim wealth as we may have managed to preserve, and all personal discretion to a police state that will command our every action, and make our every choice?   The evidence today would suggest that this shall be our path.  Despite its clear predatory aims against our liberties, observe the fact that at least one-third of Americans still believe the failed roll-out of the monstrous “Obama-care” should continue.  Such people do not deserve freedom, and will not long cling to it, precisely because such measures of freedom they tend to demand are merely vestiges of the concept.

Will we reform?  Here lies the last option for salvaging the nation, yet it is also the historically slimmest probability. The singular advantage we may possess when compared to all the collapsing civilizations that have before us descended into ash is that our basic law has been so difficult to amend that it has succeeded only twenty-seven times in more than two-hundred years.  What this means is that some vital portions have been left intact, leaving to us an escape-clause of sorts, and a method by which to reach from the grave’s brink at the last moment to reform our dying civilization.  This makes us undeniably unique with respect to opportunity, but the question remains as to whether we can summon the character in sufficient numbers to reach for that constitutional kill-switch.

I have become convinced that while we may tinker around with this office or that, and while we may occasionally elect a competent, sincere conservative, the federal authorities in Washington rule almost without respect to our laws, never mind our wishes.  Mark Levin has stated often and with growing impatience that we will almost certainly fail to reform by focusing on the federal government and its elected office-holders.  We must reach into the constitutional tool-kit and utilize its most powerful weapon against the centralization of power in Washington DC: Article V. holds the entire mechanism for reforms we seek.  It is not an easy road, and there will be no instant gratification, but if we are to overcome the gaping maw of the all-powerful government now consuming us, it is upon the authority of Article V that our salvation may rest. If you’ve not yet read The Liberty Amendments, I would urge you to consider picking up a copy soon.

Even now, we can observe the Obama administration’s predatory, despotic intentions.  While a review board declared that the NSA’s spying on US citizens should cease, the Obama administration rejected the board’s conclusions.  While we watch, the Obama administration makes it plain that they are checking their enemies list and checking it twice, and the only way to escape it is to be perpetually nice to the administration and its aims.  No dissent of any sort will be tolerated, whether you’re Dinesh D’Souza or a Tea Party activist.  Worse, the Republicans on Capitol Hill are joining in, with Mitch McConnell saying the Tea Party needs a punch in the nose.  There is really no longer any question about it: The war on the American people, their culture, their traditions, and their dreams is in full force, never mind the complete destruction of any prosperity they had once known.  There is no accident in it, and it’s all going according to plan.  My question for you remains: Will we submit to this historic script, with our part as helpless victims played to the hilt?

It’s time for us to consider whether we will be led down that same old path.  We’re barely more than nine months from the mid-terms, and the evidence is that we are yielding momentum as the Republicans in Washington DC continue to throttle our efforts. One might wonder how this can be, but I understand it: We are exhausted, our morale has taken a beating, and more and more of us find we’re under an economic strain that makes other efforts seem too tiring.  Some of us have noticed the expanding police state, deciding it best to lie low and to refrain from open activism.  Myself, I feel as though I must now get all of my personal effects in order, in the manner of a soldier preparing for a deployment to war.  Sometimes, I wonder if that’s merely my perception, but something tells me I’m not alone.

Like any other movement, it’s time to assess our position, our options, and our next move.  Waiting for the “Republicans” to save us clearly won’t yield any fruit, so we must ask whether we now huddle in darkness waiting for the end, or instead rise in some fashion. I credit Mark Levin for reminding us of the one way out of all of this that remains, but now the challenge is before us:  We have a choice, and we’d best make it before it’s made for us.

Independence Party Makes Inroads in UK

Sunday, January 5th, 2014

Same thing, only different…

It’s been nearly two decades since it was established, but the U.K.’s Independence Party(UKIP) isn’t going away, and indeed, it has begun to make inroads, particularly at the local level.  The larger reason for this opportunity may be that the establishment Tory party, long considered the UK’s “conservatives,” have abandoned conservative policies in favor of progressive ideas.  If that sounds familiar to you, it should, because in many respects, our own Republican party, long-portrayed in media as virtually synonymous with “conservative” has been behaving like liberals.  Of course, the Tories in the UK have always been more slanted to the left than had been our Republicans, but lately, they’ve all but abandoned any pretense to conservative thought.  As this has happened, it has had a curious effect on the Independence Party, swelling its ranks lately and giving it a real foothold in local elections.  UKIP seems to understand this is a fight over the long run, and not a battle to be won in an election cycle or two.  Their leader, Nigel Farage, made clear in an interview with Foxnews what is the UKIP’s aim:

“We want to take back our country, we want to take back our government, and we want to take back our birthright,”

If this sounds familiar to Tea Party activists, it should.  Just like the Republicans here, the Tories have begun to fully embrace National Healthcare, and all sorts of left-wing ideals, including liberal immigration policies, and the whole slate of liberal policy preferences advocated and advanced by their Labor Party. the U.K.’s equivalent to our own Democrats.  The largest strategic difference between the Tea Party and the UKIP is that rather than seeking to influence the Tories, the Independence Party is in direct competition with them.  They are not trying to work on the party from within, but instead making a full frontal assault on the establishment “Conservatives.” While not precisely like the Tea Party in all respects, in terms of a movement, it is quite similar in its grass-roots orientation.

Naturally, they are dismissed as “racists” and “kooks” and all sorts of demeaning labels by both the traditional parties, but that isn’t stopping them from moving ahead.  Dishonest labels only work so long, as does the attempt to define the whole of the party by the bombastic or outrageous statements of a few individuals within it. More, the UKIP has focused on an issue that seems to a majority of voters across party lines: Membership in the EU.  UKIP opposes it while both Labor and the Tories favor it, despite the fact that a clear majority of the populace stands in favor of withdrawing from the EU.  With this on the table in 2014, UKIP stands to make further inroads as the only party pushing in the same direction as the populace.

This is in many respects like the arguments on two issues we face domestically. The first is Obama-care, and the second is immigration.  In both cases, the US population is opposed by strong majorities to any sort of amnesty and continuance of the health-care law.  While there are still some Republicans who are opposed to amnesty, and a few more in favor of repeal of Obama-care, the fact remains that a large number of Republicans in both houses of Congress are in favor of an amnesty deal, and distinguishing by their votes, have been only too willing to fund and thereby continue Obama-care.

If UKIP manages to pull off some electoral victories, it may offer a hint to Tea Party activists in the US: It may be time to put up its own slate of candidates, completely independent of the Republicans, and it may be time to formally register as a political party.  The sorts of clear issues in which the American people are at odds with both major political parties may be reaching a climax, at which one party or the other must disappear.  This is what happened to the Whigs one and one-half centuries ago, and it may be the end in store for the Republicans if Tea Party activists can get their act together.  Like more and more voters in Britain, Americans may discover that they have no need of both a conservative party and a fake conservative party. If this comes to be the case in the U.K., it  may evince hope for a resurgence of the Tea Party, perhaps under a new banner independent in all respects of the Republican Party.

It may be time for the Tea Party to take that leap.

Texas Liberty: Lost to History?

Sunday, December 22nd, 2013

As readers will remember, I’ve covered the case of Army Master Sergeant Christopher “CJ” Grisham, who was arrested, tried, re-tried, and finally convicted of a misdemeanor charge of “interfering with a public servant,” in Bell County, Texas.  The case arose out of a ridiculous case of officer over-reaction in a rural area of Temple, Texas, where Grisham and his son were on a hike for a merit badge for the boy’s scouting pursuits.  What bothers me most about this case is a circumstance that should cause every American to recoil in anger: Here was a man committing no crime, threatening no person, but an officer showed up and made a criminal of him by acting in outrageous fashion.  I’m not going to re-argue the case, as it is currently under appeal, but there is a subtext to this story that makes me ill.  Persons in the community claiming to be conservative, yet taking the side of the law enforcement officer in this case are cowardly fools.  There should have been no case.  There should have been no arrest.  There should have been no initial call from a passerby who observed the “armed subject.”  We live in a nation of cowards, and some of them claim to be “conservatives.” This wretched, skulking view of liberty sickens me. We have now supposed “conservatives” who pose as advocates of liberties they would rather you not exercise, and of all places, in Texas.

Let me assert from the outset that an armed person hiking along the rural roadways of Texas really ought not be a matter for law enforcement.  There is no law in Texas against openly carrying a long gun, whether rifle or shotgun, and Grisham was not threatening any person.  He wasn’t brandishing the firearm, or waving it around, or otherwise doing anything that would indicate any aggressive action.  Sadly, the mere presence of the firearm suggests to some very dim-witted persons a threat that does not exist.  These same nit-wits do not flinch at the presence of firearms on the persons of law enforcement officers, but slung from the neck of a citizen, it’s another matter.  It is either cowardice or malice that leads to such calls to law enforcement.

On the side of malice, there are those in every community who hate firearms, largely because they live in fear.  They are participants in a nonsensical agenda aimed at disarming the country, believing that some Utopia is possible absent guns.  These are the same dolts who supported the enactment of Obama-care, or who are happy to vote for every statist that promises them a paradise on Earth, free of want and fear.  These are the overt enemies of liberty, and Texans, of all the people in America, should shun them as reprobates.  They fear liberty as they fear life itself.  They are not fit to live among civilized people, and therefore seek to reduce civilization to a world of mandates and dicta from on high.

As bad as the open enemies of liberty may be, there is another group I estimate to be perhaps worse.  There are those who proclaim themselves “conservative,” but who are no less fearful or debauched in their thinking.  Actual conservatives do not live in fear of bogey-men.  They do not live in fear of inanimate objects or tools. They do not pretend to themselves that a society in which guns are forbidden from public view, or forbidden altogether will be somehow safe from harm.  All the evidence gathered about crime and guns over the last half-century demonstrates convincingly that the more citizens are armed, the safer their communities will be.  In stark contrast, the fewer citizens who are armed, the more common it will be for people to fall prey to monsters and madmen.  Those claiming “conservatism” as their general ideology should know better, and reason should be their guide, but what we really have is a number of people who don’t really believe anything except that “liberals are bad.”  They don’t adhere to principles, and they don’t really know why they’re “conservatives.”

One of the arguments you hear from this crowd is that “Grisham was only carrying to prove a point.” This bizarre logic would have you believe that somehow, if only for the sake of doing what the law permits, Grisham would be guilty of some crime.  What they are too cowardly to understand is that to retain our freedoms, we ought to exercise them openly and in full light of day as the means by which to reinforce their validity.  What they mistakenly believe is that we ought to have rights, but never to exercise them.  This bastardized view of liberty has led nation after nation, and civilizations from time immemorial to utter collapse and tyranny.  A right not exercised out of a fear of persecution is no right at all.  What one can learn from the Grisham case is that while many politicians and persons in Bell County Texas may claim to support liberty and gun rights, the truth is that they don’t support their exercise. In much the same fashion, Phil Robertson is being persecuted for his beliefs. None will dare say that he isn’t entitled to them, but too many will shrink from his right to state them.  So goes “free speech” or “free exercise of religion” in modern America.

There exists also some abiding but misplaced sense of fealty to local law enforcement.  I love the people who earnestly take up the defense of our lives and liberties, but I strenuously oppose any who would abuse citizens under color of law.  More, those who speak out about this subject are often ostracized for what boils down to simple boat-rocking.  Speaking out in a Texas community against the actions of law enforcement officers in some particular cases is tantamount to becoming a leper in the community.  It is the preposterous proclamation of the idea that “we have rights, but we ought never exercise them” that emboldens those with tyrannical mindsets to such actions.  Why did the officer in this case seek to disarm Grisham, who was doing nothing illegal, threatening no one, and harming not a soul?  Why did he do so without warning?  Why did he take on the power of the state as an aggressor?  The reason is simple: He believed he would be safe in so doing.  He believed he would get away with it, and thus far, the legal farce in Bell County courtrooms stage-managed by visiting judge Neal Richardson have borne out his belief.

What we really have here is a simpler question, truth be told: Was Grisham out to “interfere with a public servant,” or was a public servant out to interfere with a citizen’s free exercise of liberty?  I would conclude in this case that it had been the latter, but so many of my fellow citizens seem to fear such a “revolutionary” idea. Each year, Texans celebrate their own independence, and remember the Alamo, but then quietly and meekly ignore the meaning of those things they claim to hold dear.  Each and every time they participate in one of these sham trials against a citizen who had really done nothing but exercise the liberties they claim to support, they mark themselves as frauds and pretenders. “Don’t mess with Texas,” they’ll say in imitation of the state’s anti-littering campaign, but “go ahead and mess with Texans,” they’ll meekly admit.

When I decided with my family to remain in Texas after my military service, it was based on the idea that we would become Texans.  We wouldn’t try to re-shape the state or its people into the form or image of what we had escaped, but instead adopt to ourselves the history and culture of a freedom-loving place.  I believed that meant something special, which is to say that I believed at the time that Texans were fiercely protective of their freedoms.  Nowadays, seeing what passes for “conservatism” in so much of the Lone Star State, I’m no longer certain my assessment had been correct.  Texans may like the imagery of prideful independence, but slowly and surely, they are joining many of their fellow Americans in the slide into servitude.  I know there are still a number of Texans of the sort I had hoped to become, but their number is dwindling fast, much too fast, as it becomes increasingly fashionable to spout about liberty but never to exercise it.  It is this sort of cowardice that is uncharacteristically un-Texan, and yet it seems to grow like a cancer, metastasizing through the entire body of the state, undermining the appearance of independence still claimed by its residents.

Supposed “conservatives” in Texas who enable this decline are the more objectionable to me.  On the federal level, we have one conservative Senator, Ted Cruz, and one cowardly Senator, John Cornyn.  Cruz actually fights to the limits of his ability. Cornyn pretends to fight for us, but all too often fights against conservatism, joining with the left in their various plots and plans.  At the state level, it’s much the same. We have a number of crony capitalists who claim conservatism, but only a few hands-full of actual conservatives.  You might wonder how this could be the case in Texas, of all places, but the answer is clear: Too many supposed conservatives among the voting populace are similarly opposed to boat-rocking because too few really want freedom complete with its ups and downs; its rewards and risks.  We’re losing our culture, and it’s sad that having discovered the freedoms of Texas at twenty-five years of age, and having the courage to make of it our new home, I now find that the courage that had attracted me to the people and places of Texas is slowly bleeding away.  When I see shoddy argumentation demanding a surrender of rights while claiming to possess them, I know that this is not the Texas with which I had become so enamored in my youth.

Texas needs new leaders, and it needs them soon, but to get the sort of men and women who can save the state, we will need citizens with the courage and will to do so.  Texans invest a lot of time proclaiming their pride in this state, and what it purports to be, but the truth is that nowadays, that’s more boast than fact.  From the statehouse to the local governments, Texans are yielding liberty at an astonishing pace, as our “independent school districts” run wild, spending outrageous sums on unnecessary things, our local governments grow and become more reliant on the state, that in its turn becomes merely a localized, branch establishment of the federal leviathan.  CJ Grisham’s case is just one among many, as the cowardice of too many alleged conservatives comes to dominate our polity.   Everywhere, government entities are clamping down on liberties long-enjoyed but less and less frequently exercised.  We’re told by our neighbors and friends that we should not exercise them, for fear of retribution or rocking the boat, but one must ask what sort of sinking ship of freedom we’re aboard, that we no longer dare evince these rights by carrying them into execution.  Don’t speak out, or you will be ostracized.  Don’t walk in public with a firearm lest you be arrested for contrived causes.  Don’t be a Texan, whatever you may claim, because real Texans are going extinct, like the dinosaurs, and good riddance, it seems.

All hope is not lost, but it’s time to re-evaluate our position.  Christians now hide their faith lest they be publicly pilloried for it.  Conservatives refuse to be conservative, lest their noncommittal acquaintances think the less of them.  Men and women are now chastised for speaking of freedom, never mind exercising it.  Over the last several years, there has been talk of “the wussification of America,” but no place in the country has it become more evident of late than in Texas, perhaps precisely because of the contrast provided by its peoples’ former strengths. Where once dwelt a vast majority of rugged individuals among the blue-bonnets, we now find a population increasingly composed of shrinking violets who dare not stand for the right.  Any right.  We must endeavor to fight this slide, and we must do so in the city council meetings, the counties’ commissioners courts, and in the legislature.  Time for a resurgence of liberty in Texas is growing short.  The most important places in which we must make a stand are among our friends, families, and neighbors, among whom the number of gone-wobbly seems to increase daily.  It’s time for the voices of freeborn men and women to be heard, and if not in Texas, one must wonder where those voices will resound again.  It’s a damnable shame that as Texas begins the approach to its bicentennial, we may find ourselves in a state where our claims to liberty are all hat but no cattle.  Stand up Texans!  You have a famous heritage based on the bold and courageous, but so must your children and their progeny beyond.  We must exercise our rights, or yield them, surrendering them forever more.  One new Texan’s final diary entry must be our guide:

“No time for memorandums now. Go ahead! Liberty and Independence forever. “– David Crockett, March 5th, 1836

Lesson Christians, Conservatives Can Learn from A&E Network’s Intolerance

Thursday, December 19th, 2013

Dynastic Decline?

I’m not among the millions who regularly watch Duck Dynasty on A&E network, but I am among the many millions who will avoid the network in my future viewing choices.  The network’s #1 smash hit is headed by patriarch Phil Robertson.  Robertson was asked during an interview for GQ magazine about morality.  He cited the Bible, and when asked to explain or expound upon his stance on homosexuality, he explained in graphic, somewhat crude language why he couldn’t understand the desires of homosexuals.  The network then suspended him.  What’s now clear is that A&E has managed to incite a backlash against the network, and it’s obvious that the network is responding to political rather than market-based concerns.  In the free market, a network wouldn’t suspend the star of its top-rated show for simply stating his religious beliefs.  No, this case isn’t about the intolerance of Phil Robertson, but the intractable, unflinching orthodoxy of the rabid left.  The intolerance is all theirs, but there exists a dirty little secret: They’re only willing to shut down conservatives, Christians, and capitalists, while they cringe in fear of Muslims, feminists, leftist groups, and the homosexual lobby.  There’s an important lesson in all of this for conservatives generally, but Christians particularly: They don’t fear you, and you’ve given them no reason to think otherwise.

Consider the lead-in to Drew Magary’s GQ article:

“How in the world did a family of squirrel-eating, Bible-thumping, catchphrase-spouting duck hunters become the biggest TV stars in America? And what will they do now that they have 14 million fervent disciples?”

Could a news outlet or magazine make such a remark about any group if they happened to be other than Christian?  This lead-in typifies the mindset not merely of those in leadership at A&E, but of the entire media establishment.  “Bible-thumping?”  Who does Magary think he is? Bill O’Reilly?  This should set the tone for you quite aptly. With a lead-in like that, you can guess that it won’t be long before the GQ writer seeks to create a controversy.  The term “Bible-Thumper” has become so widely used in the media that Christians are now adopting it to describe themselves as a way of scorning the elites who look down their noses at Christians generally.

Before pointing this out, Magary mocks Robertson this way:

“Even though he’s in the far corner of the room, Phil dominates the house. There are times when he doesn’t look you in the eye while he’s speaking—he looks just off to the side of you, as if Jesus were standing nearby, holding a stack of cue cards. Everyone else in the room just stares at his phone, or at the TV, or holds side conversations as Phil preaches.”

As disgusted as Christians, conservatives, and Duck Dynasty fans may be with A&E’s treatment of Robertson, let’s consider this jewel of mockery by Magary on behalf of GQ magazine. This isn’t merely an attack on Robertson, but on every Christian who is guided by faith.  Magary’s scornful, scowling article shows Robertson in the very light that his magazine’s readers have come to expect.  Later in the article, however, Magary provides the Robertson quote that will rile the left endlessly:

“For the sake of the Gospel, it was worth it,” Phil tells me. “All you have to do is look at any society where there is no Jesus. I’ll give you four: Nazis, no Jesus. Look at their record. Uh, Shintos? They started this thing in Pearl Harbor. Any Jesus among them? None. Communists? None. Islamists? Zero. That’s eighty years of ideologies that have popped up where no Jesus was allowed among those four groups. Just look at the records as far as murder goes among those four groups.”

All of this was far too much for the leftists at A&E.  They’re a politically correct outlet, and Robertson’s off-show remarks are far too insensitive in their view, and attacked their general philosophical slant. If only he were a Muslim…

Fans aren’t happy with this suspension either, and the backlash is growing, as a new Facebook page that has already garnered nearly seven-hundred-thousand likes, and there are other pages on the social networking site having similar results.  While there can be no expectation of “free speech” on a network one doesn’t own, this sort of cultural brow-beating is standard fare in leftist circles.  In his contract, there may be language prohibiting him from making such statements publicly, in which case he is bound by the terms of the contract, but here’s the real problem for A&E: While they are free to suspend him if his contract allows it, they are also bound to bear the consequences in the marketplace.  If the market recoils against them, and if they find even more people joining the fray of public discourse against them, it’s all their problem.  If the move gains the network market-share, then it’s all their benefit.

With that said, let’s consider what had been Robertson’s “infraction,” according to A&E.  Robertson dared to state publicly in an interview that he held as sins those things set forth in 1 Corinthians 6:9-11. Indeed, he then explained his own orientation. From the Chicago Tribune:

“Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men,” he told reporter Drew Magary. “Don’t be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers—they won’t inherit the kingdom of God. Don’t deceive yourself. It’s not right.”

“It seems like, to me, a vagina—as a man—would be more desirable than a man’s anus. That’s just me. I’m just thinking: There’s more there! She’s got more to offer. I mean, come on, dudes! You know what I’m saying? But hey, sin: It’s not logical, my man. It’s just not logical.”

Now that the homosexual lobby is descending upon Robertson, one might wonder why leftist groups and others sympathetic to the homosexual lobby have all the courage in the world to take on Christians at every turn, but never seem to muster the same courage when dealing with Muslims.  If, rather than a show titled “Duck Dynasty,” and being a Christian man named Phil Robertson, this had instead been a show named “Kamel Kingdom,” centered around a Wahhabist family headed by a man named Muhammed Atta on the Arabian peninsula, the whining cowards at the A&E network wouldn’t have dared to suspend the patriarch.  Not a chance.  Christians are easy targets, after all.  They’ve become accustomed to being culturally attacked, and desensitized to being harangued publicly for their views. They do not fight back, generally speaking.  Muslims are another story.  In fact, A&E may have actually blocked the mention of Jesus on Duck Dynasty in order to avoid offending Muslims. Watch this video with Phil Robertson:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y_0XS1vaX-M]

There’s a lesson in all of this for those who happen to pay attention: Christians may temporarily blow up your phone lines, but they won’t blow up your building, and executives at the A&E network know that too well.  They can stand to tolerate a few days of melted phone lines, but once the issue fades in prominence, they’ll go on as before.  The leftist media culture is rife with bullies who are willing to pick on faithful Christians, but won’t say the first word in opposition to radical Islam, or even acknowledge its existence, lest they find themselves the target of a fatwa. I’m not suggesting that Christians should strap suicide vests on their bodies and run into the A&E Network’s headquarters, but I think this helps to demonstrate that Christians, who mistakenly turn the other cheek until they’re beaten into submission.  Christians don’t fight back.  They have been taught that only the “meek” shall inherit the Earth, not understanding the real meaning of Matthew 5:5.  It was an admonition to submit to God.  It was not a demand to lay supinely in acceptance of any torment in the offing from all comers.

Christians and conservatives must begin to understand the affliction that they too readily bear. Consisting in part of the radical left’s tireless war against American culture, this is a real campaign being fought daily.  The left,  radical Islam, the associated and cohort groups all bear ill will against traditional Christian values, and American ideals and traditions in general, either to subvert them or erase them from our nation.  A&E’s fault in all of this lies in the fact that they are more afraid of people who do not regularly watch their network than of those who routinely tune to see Phil Robertson and his family.  A&E is more interested in portraying the Robertson clan as backwoods bayou bumpkins than in showing a God-fearing family that accepts the teachings of their Bible.  They don’t want to offend  Muslims, homosexuals, or anyone else in the process, unless they happen to be capitalists, Christians, and/or conservatives, in which case it is not merely acceptable but entirely intentional. Christians and conservatives must begin to make their voices heard in unison, because it’s their culture that is under fire. The time for cheek-turning should have passed, and it’s high time conservative leaders step forward to say as much.

Thankfully, some already have. (Sarah Palin here, Ted Cruz here, and Bobby Jindal here.) Now it’s your turn. As the rabid left seeks to turn the GQ Robertson interview into the 2013 version of Rush Limbaugh’s Sandra Fluke remarks, conveniently taking the focus away from Obama-care, it’s time for conservatives, particularly Christians, to understand all of these things as a coordinated attack against them.  While A&E is a shameless trollop acting on behalf of the general leftist ideology, they are performing a service to Barack Obama that money could scarcely buy. Obama-care’s massive failures are sliding from the headlines, and this changing of the subject over a TV show will permit them to carry on.  The truth for conservatives in general and Christians in particular is that the left doesn’t fear you.  They see you as having been de-fanged by your own ethos, and they use your most generous virtues against you.  It’s time to see them for the monsters they are, speak out at will, and make all of your purchasing decisions accordingly.  It’s time for them to fear your market power if they will fear nothing else.  It’s time for them to fear you at the polls if they will see no other threat from your number.  It’s long past the time for all real Americans to roar and I don’t care if the statist left sneers at that description.  The time for silence on all fronts is over. They need to fear the continuance of their Jihad against us.

Editors Note: The truth about A&E and its show is that it was never intended to capture the audience it now enjoys, but was instead meant as a vehicle by which to mock Christians and conservatives.  Once it backfired and became a wildly successful show, they had to find a way to bury it culturally. For what other possible reason would they place beeps and bleeps in the audio track to cover profanity that never occurred, as per Robertson’s testimony in the video above?  They wanted to reinforce a stereotype.

Update: As of this hour, the boycott A&E page on Facebook now has over 1.1 Million likes.

The Right to Live Without Fear?

Sunday, October 20th, 2013

MSGT CJ Grisham

In my area, I’ve been monitoring a case involving Army Master Sergeant Christopher “CJ” Grisham, who was unnecessarily assaulted, disarmed, and arrested by Temple policeman Steve Ermis while out on a hike with his son.  The case went to trial this week, and at its end, there was a hung jury with five of six jurors finding Grisham “guilty” on the class B misdemeanor charge of “interfering with a police officer in the performance of his duties.”  Prosecutors will indeed try the case again.  Apart from the preposterous expense of re-trying the case, and ignoring the biased manner in which the court trial was carried out by visiting judge Neal Richardson, there remains the simple relevant fact that at least five of the jurors were able to discern: CJ committed no crime.  He and his son were walking along a roadside in a rural part of Temple, the elder Grisham with an AR-15 slung from his neck, as well as his concealed handgun. There is no law against openly carrying a long-gun in Texas, and Grisham has a concealed handgun license, but as usual, there’s always somebody in a hurry to claim offense or that they had been in fear.

It was such a caller to Temple PD who initiated this case.  I want to address this post particularly to such people, as perhaps best represented by a person who wrote a letter to the Temple Daily Telegram, or who otherwise claim some offense against their psychological state: Get over it.  Your fears do not invalidate the rights of your fellow citizens.

Let us first stipulate that we have an obnoxiously large proportion of our society that no longer understands what constitutes a “right.”  I place the blame for this at the feet of a failed education system and failed parenting, as well as an ever-growing statist regime.  Examples of rights are things like free speech, free exercise of religion, freedom from wanton search and seizure, and freedom to self-defense and its implements(the right to keep and bear arms, for instance.) Things for which there can be no right would include “a right to food,” or “a right to health-care,” or a “right to education,” among many others.  Added to these material things provided by others to which one can have no legitimate right, there are also intangible things to which one can have no right.  For instance, our founding documents specify a “right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”  Neither does it demand simply “happiness,” nor does it suggest that such happiness as one may pursue ought to be provided by others.  This is because it is preposterous to suggest that if you’re unhappy, somehow, somebody will compelled to make you happy.  This is because your emotional or psychological state is entirely your affair.  Knowing this, let us examine the preposterous, childlike, almost infantile claim of those who wish government to protect them from “fear.”

One of the letter-writers to the Temple Daily Telegram attempted to make this case:  CJ Grisham may have a right to carry a gun, but in public spaces,  her fear should trump this.  Because the writer is afraid of guns, all who own guns must therefore yield the right to possess them.  Consider the following from the Temple Daily Telegram, under the title My Rights vs. his:

“I would like to say “thank you” to Temple Council members for not allowing Sgt. Christopher J. Grisham to dictate how they address the issue of carrying guns wherever someone chooses. The Second Amendment gives him or anyone the right to “own” a gun, when legal. However, it does not give them the right to impose their rights on everyone else. His rights end when they infringe upon my right to feel safe and free of fear when I go outside of my home and see people carrying guns.”

“Impose?”  This is the sort of inverted logic I expect from a third-grader.  It evinces a complete misunderstanding of the entire concept of rights.  If we are to subject the rights of citizens to the random, irrational and entirely variable fears of all other citizens, we must immediately embark upon a program to build a vast prison able to contain all seven billion humans, who once imprisoned must never be let out.  I might claim, and it would be true, that I am afraid for my life due to idiotic letter-writers who demand the disarming of their fellow citizens.  Let us now hold such letter-writers in prison, or at least prevent them from writing further correspondence lest I or others of a similar mindset be unnecessarily fearful.  We can extend this putrid argument of the timid to virtually any and every issue.  Once one has embarked down this path, there is no turning back.  CJ Grisham did not impose anything on any person.  He was minding his own business, on a hike with his son, when a police officer arrived to impose sanctions on him for the sake of some caller’s irrational fear, due to their ignorance of both the law and the concept of rights, or simply to malice.  No, we must not permit such folly to determine when rights end, or there will be no rights of any sort: No cars, no trucks, no airplanes, and no houses. No people.  Some one is fearful of virtually any thing, any one, or any action possible to imagine.

A sane adults’ emotional or psychological state is entirely under his or her control.  I am not responsible for how you feel.  CJ Grisham  was not responsible for the dubious emotional state of the caller who observed him walking alongside a rural road armed with a rifle.  I walk my property frequently with firearms in-hand.  Thankfully, I live far enough outside city limits that most passersby seem to recognize nothing particularly threatening or untoward about an armed man in the country.  Sadly, this is not always the case, and despite the fact that Grisham was breaking no laws, violating no rights, and frankly “imposing” nothing whatsoever on any other person, he was unnecessarily disarmed, assaulted, and arrested by a Temple police officer responding to that call.  If you want to know how tyranny grows, it is due in large measure to the sort of numb-skulls  who profess to be frightened of this or that.  What they seek is a peace of mind absent any other humans, and far too many public officials are willing to seek power by claiming to serve that need. Only in death can any person rightly expect to obtain a “freedom from fear,” but ultimately, death, its threat, and its implements are the sole tools available to politicians who promise it.

Consider Franklin Roosevelt’s so-called “Second Bill of Rights,” a litany of things to be provided, including mental or emotional states.  It would have been better to have termed it a “Bill of Violations of Rights,” would we have been honest.  Obama-care is a response to the very same thing: Some people must have their rights to life, liberty, and property denied due to the wants, wishes, and fantasies of others.  This practice of tyrants creating conflicts between the actual rights of some people and the wishes of some others is not new.  What is new has been the rapid advance of this bankrupt theory into our American culture.  Due to faulty education, negligent parenting, and a vast political engine based on exploiting human weakness, America has arrived at the point in history where it must now fail for the lack of individual rights and the courage that had maintained them.  “Rights” as conceived by our founders are disappearing under the crush of timid, slothful, morally-confused people with the ethics and standards of our lowest common denominator.  The hopeful aspect of Grisham’s mistrial is that one of the six jurors ultimately understood what had been at stake.  When CJ Grisham is re-tried, I earnestly hope that more who have understood the concept of rights will be on his jury.

At least five more.

You may remember the viral video of the event:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A8r4MK3R4PI]

Editor’s Note: The Temple Daily Telegram is a paid subscription site for much of its content.  The letter posted is part of that content, and therefore not all of it is available without subscription.  I wouldn’t recommend the Temple Daily Telegram to any person, even were its articles available at no cost.  It is one of several regional newspapers of the local establishment, pandering primarily to cronies.  While there are occasionally stories or columns that contradict the party line, it remains our local version of Pravda, of former Soviet Union character. Update: The juror verdict count was earlier reported as 5 not guilty, and 1 guilty. Subsequent information provided to this blog substantiates the notion that this was actually backwards.