Friday, June 17, 2016

"If they want to kill, they will find a way to do so."

In Defense of Self-Defense - "Most of the mass killings by gun in the United States in recent years—Columbine, Virginia Tech, Aurora, Newtown, Charleston, San Bernardino, and now Orlando—took place in venues where local or state law prohibited carrying guns, even by those lawfully licensed to do so. The government cheerfully calls these venues "gun-free zones." They should be called killing zones...

We know from reason, human nature, and history that the right to defend yourself is a natural instinct that is an extension of the right to self-preservation, which is itself derived from the right to live...

The Framers recognized this when they ratified the Second Amendment, which the Supreme Court recently held was written to codify—and thus prevent the government from infringing on—the pre-political right to own and use modern-day weapons for self-defense or to repel tyrants. The term "pre-political" derives from the language of the Second Amendment, which protects "the right of the people to keep and bear Arms."

The constitutional reference of "the" right to keep and bear arms makes clear that the Framers recognized that the right pre-existed the government because it stems from our humanity. That's why pre-political rights are known as fundamental or natural rights. Because the right to use modern weaponry for the defense of life, liberty, and property is natural, we should not need a government permission slip before exercising it, any more than we need one to exercise other natural rights, such as speech, press, assembly, travel and privacy...

In the Orlando tragedy, the man who killed 49 and wounded 53 used a handgun and a rifle. The handgun accepted magazines containing 17 bullets, and the rifle accepted magazines containing 30 bullets. The killer, using both weapons, fired more than 250 times last Sunday morning. That means he reloaded his weapons about a dozen times. Each time he reloaded, he stopped shooting, as it is impossible for any person to shoot and reload simultaneously...

It is likely that it took between three and seven seconds each time he reloaded the handgun and longer with the rifle. In those time periods, any trained person carrying a handgun in that Orlando nightclub could have wounded or killed him—and stopped the slaughter. Don't expect to hear that argument from the gun control crowd in the government. It is the same crowd that has given us the killing zones. It is the same crowd that does not trust you to protect yourself...

Hillary Clinton called the rifle the Orlando killer carried a "weapon of war." It is not. It is the same rifle that her Secret Service detail carries. Many of her acolytes have called it an assault rifle. It is not. It fires one round for each trigger pull. True assault rifles—not those that the politicians have renamed assault rifles because they have a collapsible stock and a bayonet holder (I know this sounds ridiculous, but it is true)—fire numerous rounds per trigger pull. They have been outlawed on U.S. soil since 1934.

What do we have here? We have a government here that is heedless of its obligation to protect our freedoms. We have a government that, in its lust to have us reliant upon it, has created areas in the U.S. where innocent folks living their lives in freedom are made defenseless prey to monsters—as vulnerable as fish in a barrel. And we have mass killings of defenseless innocents—over and over and over again. How dumb are these politicians who want to remove the right to self-defense? There are thousands of crazies in the U.S. who are filled with hate—whether motivated by politics, self-loathing, religion, or fear. If they want to kill, they will find a way to do so. The only way to stop them is by superior firepower. Disarming their law-abiding victims not only violates the natural law and the Constitution but also is contrary to all reason. All these mass killings have the same ending: The killer stops only when he is killed. But that requires someone else with a gun to be there. Shouldn't that be sooner rather than later?"

WaPo in 1994: Ban 'Assault Weapons' to Set the Stage for 'Broader Gun Control' - Hit & Run : "Never mind that so-called assault weapons are not, in fact, the "weapon of choice" for mass killers, who overwhelmingly favor ordinary handguns. The Post says "assault weapons" are nevertheless intolerable because they are "capable of firing dozens of rounds in seconds." Never mind that the same is true of any gun that accepts a detachable magazine. The Post notes that a lawyer who is suing the businesses that supplied the gun used in the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre calls military-style rifles "the gold standard for mass murder of innocent civilians." Never mind that the lawyer and his colleagues cannot explain what makes these guns uniquely suitable for mass murder and uniquely unsuitable for legal uses. The Post has been beating this drum for a long time. But when the federal "assault weapon" ban was enacted in 1994, the paper's editorial board was a little more honest about the point of it. While "it's ridiculous that the banning should even be an issue," the Post said then, "no one should have any illusions about what was accomplished. Assault weapons play a part in only a small percentage of crime. The provision is mainly symbolic; its virtue will be if it turns out to be, as hoped, a stepping stone to broader gun control." The mechanism for achieving "broader gun control" is the recognition that "assault weapons" account for a tiny share of gun homicides and that many other firearms are just as deadly—points that advocates of a ban are keen to obscure for the time being."

No-Fly List, No Guns: Trump Agrees with Obama, Clinton. He Thinks the NRA Should, Too. - Hit & Run : "On this issue—the issue of whether people should lose their rights because the government merely suspects them of doing something wrong—the NRA shows more respect for civil liberties than most Democrats. Denying guns to people on the no-fly list is an obvious violation of due process that, if allowed to stand, could easily imperil other rights. As Mark Joseph Stern writes at Slate: If the government can revoke your right to access firearms simply because it has decided to place you on a secret, notoriously inaccurate list, it could presumably restrict your other rights in a similar manner. You could be forbidden from advocating for causes you believe in, or associating with like-minded activists; your right against intrusive, unreasonable searches could be suspended. And you would have no recourse: The government could simply declare that, as a name on a covert list, you are owed no due process at all. President Obama and Hillary Clinton are wrong to think that arbitrary lists are a valid and legal means of stripping Americans of their gun rights. It would be nice if the Republican Party had chosen as its standard-bearer someone who could articulate the conservative case for the Second Amendment and due process. Instead, it chose Trump. Now gun rights will be in jeopardy, no matter which of the two charlatans currently seeking the presidency prevails."

"Mateen’s attitude is not fringe. It can be found everywhere from Mecca to my own mosque in New York City."

Individual Christians, Muslims and Jews can all be good people.  But to the extent any *culture* adheres to and abides by the teachings of the inerrant "holy" books dictated by an infallible god, it is a poorer culture and worthy of greater disregard.  The Torah, the Bible and the Koran are all based in primitive, ridiculous and often brutal and hateful superstitions.  The words and teachings of all those books condemn homosexuals to death for their "sin."  

Most, if they're not completely mental, in the 21st century have chosen to ignore the admonitions of punishment as set forth in their tomes while remaining steadfast in their belief that apparently some folks are simply born [or are choosing to be] extra-sinful, doomed to a life of suffering because "God only knows."  While they may not carry out the execution of sinners as commanded by their god,  those who would leave the judging up to their deity are actually few and far between.

Western society is, quite literally, bathed in the blood of Christianity.  But to the extent that the West has made progress is to the extent it has thrown off the teachings of the Church.  To the extent is has rationalized, "reinterpreted" and wholesale ignored the Bible is to the degree that the West has become a better place.  You can cherry pick any religious text to find the "good" but at this point shouldn't we be well past the notion that these books are magic?

Cultural relativism is a slippery slope.  Yes, there are certainly and often many things to learn from many cultures around the world.  And a myopic belief that the culture in which you were born is the best is exactly that, myopic.  But isn't it time we were well past this notion that all cultures are created equal?  This idea that religion, because it is religion, should have this exemption carved out for it?  The right to freedom of religion in the U.S. should work the same as all the other rights you have - the right to swing my fist ends at the tip of your nose.  Some cultures are simply better at some things than others.  

Western Civilization, for all its faults, when it's working right, works towards ideas like a universal concept of human rights, women's suffrage and rights, and LGBT rights and protections.  All of these things are antithetical to the books, texts and teachings Abrahamic faiths.  We'll all be better off when we discard these archaic relics.

Here's Everything I Wanted To Say About Islam Yesterday, But Couldn't - Breitbart: "Large scale Muslim immigration from Turkey and other Muslim countries will introduce more fundamentalist opinions to the country. Turkey, you’ll keep in mind, is the country whose reaction to the Orlando shooting included the newspaper headline “50 perverts killed in bar.”   In other words, the Muslims pouring into Europe and the UK, and America if your current government democrat AND republican has its way, are not kind easygoing Muslims, they are hardliners..

The Left won’t blame Islam. Alarmingly, prominent liberals and homosexuals have fallen right in line.  They are blaming rifles, the NRA, masculinity, video games — anything but Islam. Dan Savage blames toxic homophobia and toxic gun culture. Well Dan, I have news for you: toxic homophobia has a name, and the name is Islam. Many will say that what I just said is an Islamophobic statement. Islamophobia, the irrational fear of muslims, is a nonsense term. Fear of Islam is entirely rational. I can tell you specifically that for gay people, “Allahu Ackbar” is the scariest words we could ever hear. Gun Panic Liberals always wait to determine the race and sex of a shooter before deciding how they will attack gun rights.  Let me give you a clue,  liberals — Muslims don’t just use rifles, they use bombs, airplanes and knives, they like did in Paris Monday night. They will use anything to kill the hated “infidels.”  

Fewer than 300 people were murdered in 2013 with rifles. Nearly 1500 were murdered with knives to put that in perspective.  In fact more than double that number were murdered by hand and fist."

Here's Everything I Wanted To Say About Islam Yesterday, But Couldn't - Breitbart:  "There is one more thing. It is clear at this point that Omar was himself a gay man. The very latest information is that Omar himself was a regular at the club, some witnesses saw him there a dozen times. His own ex-wife, who as a good muslim he beat, has come out with the fact he was gay. This is what Islam does to its own gays. If they are clever enough to not be killed in a middle eastern country, they must develop the most intense self-loathing imaginable. It is beyond my powers to picture a lifestyle in which your religious leaders, your family, and your larger culture not only disapprove of your lifestyle which is normal for many gays, but actively call for the killing of those that share your lifestyle...

With all of this information implicating Islam, a reasonable question to ask is why the government and liberal media refuse to speak the plain truth.   Beyond all complicating factors, the root cause of this mysterious lack of assigning blame to Muslims is that they are now seen as the apex victims in our culture. Liberals consider everyone that is not a straight white male to be on a pyramid of victimhood. 

...liberals have put Muslims at the very top of this pyramid. That is why Muslims can act and speak with impunity against others groups like gays, Jews, and women– they have been placed at the pinnacle of the victim pyramid. The major flaw of liberal logic, with apologies to the term logic, is that in this case the top of the victim pyramid is intent on murdering and abusing the entire rest of the pyramid! When we examine liberal thinking, we find that the already shaky logic doesn’t hold up when juxtaposed with other similar cases. Let me provide you with some examples: When supporters of Donald Trump are violently attacked and his rallies interfered with, the liberal response is that the Donald provoked these attacks. But when Muslims attack gays, there is no outcry that the gays provoked Islam by being Fabulous. Which is it liberals, were they asking for it, or weren’t they? When a christian bakery chooses not to bake a gay wedding cake due to religious beliefs, they are decried as religious bigots and driven out of business, the target of a national religious shaming. When Muslims call for the murder of homosexuals in the months leading up to the largest mass shooting in American history, they will receive absolutely no blowback whatsoever, as we are told this was due to assault rifles and toxic masculinity. When a single picture emerges of Dylann Roof, the Charleston church shooter, posing with a confederate flag, the media and the government attempted to erase the entire history of the South by removing flags, renaming buildings, and destroying monuments. 

When Omar Mateen shoots some 100 people in a gay nightclub, the initial reaction of the government and media was to stumble over each other trying to be the first ones to say Islam is a religion of peace and had nothing to do with the attack Despite the terrorist’s own cries of “Allahu Ackbar,” his call of allegiance to ISIS during a 911 call, and the fact he was acting within the murderous tenets of his religion as preached in the very city of Orlando. When Eliott Rodger killed six and wounded quite a few people in California, the media called it an act of misogyny and violence against women, despite the fact that he killed more men than women. Compare that with how they have handled the terror acts of Major Nidal Hassan and Omar Mateen. Nidal Hassan killed 13 unarmed soldiers and wounded 30 while screaming “Allahu Ackbar.” This case was called workplace violence, and in fact his victims have been denied special benefits due to the victims of a terror attack. Omar Mateen’s Muslim terror attack has already run the gamut from ‘the rifle did it’ to ‘video games’ and everything in between. Everything except his religion of death..."

America must not become a country in which people are afraid to kiss. It must not become a country in which artists and satirists are afraid a drawing might get them killed...

It is time for the LGBT community to take up arms in order to defend itself from further muslim attacks. Guns are not icky, gross, or scary. In the next Muslim terror attack on gays, a gun will save your life and those of the people around you. If you are uncomfortable with guns or associate them with the Christian right, find one of the many LGBT-friendly shooting instructors spread throughout the entire country.   If you think carrying a concealed pistol will ruin how cute you look in your new jeans, honey get over yourself you aren’t all that anyways. Remember, as the saying goes, “Armed Gays don’t get bashed” The Religious right are not your worst enemies. They don’t want to bake your cakes and will not fly rainbow flags, but they want you alive and free. In fact the religious right can now be seen as allies. While liberals were crying and hashtagging, the notoriously christian chick-fil-a, which is normally closed on Sunday, opened up to feed those donating blood to keep LGBT victims alive. The LGBT allies of the past might call you brave and like your social media posts, but the christian right are men and women that will fight for your rights, and more importantly, teach you how to fight and shoot on your own. Gays and Lesbians must have the mindset of the Jews that fought so many hard conflicts against muslim aggressors in the past. They realized they had sat and watched while Germany committed unspeakable atrocities against their people. They said Never Again and meant it. Today is the LGBT community’s chance to say Never Again. Never Again will we allow Muslims to slaughter us, and never again will we support politicians who enable despicable terrorists to commit these senseless crimes. "

Gay Muslim: Islam Is No Religion of Peace - The Daily Beast:  "The carnage in Orlando has shaken my very core, but after my experiences traveling throughout the Middle East as a gay man (open in some countries, fully closeted in others), I cannot say I am surprised. Any identity I have ever claimed now lies exposed as a wound that will never heal. Saying “gay Muslim” seems like a reason for damnation. I’ve spent the last decade of my life making two films. The first, A Jihad For Love, is about the lives of gay Muslims throughout the world. The second, A Sinner In Mecca, dealt with my own personal journey and my effort to reconcile my faith and my sexuality in Islam’s holiest places, surrounded by people who would sooner see me publicly beaten, thrown off a cliff or beheaded. These are strange times. It is a season of Islamophobia in America, where Donald Trump whips up xenophobia with a tweet. What he doesn’t realize is that he’s attacking a religion that’s already at war with itself. Muslims like me have fought hard not to become casualties. We have always had our Omar Mateens. In the U.S., they manifest as lone crazed gunmen. But in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere, they are on the royal payroll. A cursory look at the pages of ISIS’s glossy magazine, Dabiq, reveals the group’s ideology. They gloat—and show high-res photos—about throwing homosexuals off the tallest buildings that somehow remain standing in the wastelands they’ve created...
Mateen, the homophobic gay Muslim, is not a new phenomenon. The Muslim religious elite is directly responsible for inspiring the guilt and self-hatred that this man must have felt, needlessly struggling with his sexuality. And then he became a mass murderer, whose actions can never be condoned. What I do know is this. As a devout gay Muslim I am not going to make a claim that “Islam is a religion of peace.” Growing up in a small Indian town with a large Muslim population, I heard young men talking about jihad in Kashmir and Palestine. I have even heard such matters discussed in hushed whispers at Manhattan’s 96th St. mosque, where I sometimes go and pray on Fridays and where subjugation of women is discussed in the open without the blink of an eye. The mosque was built largely with Saudi money, and its Imams often come equipped with the perversions of Wahhabi ideology...

Mateen’s attitude is not fringe. It can be found everywhere from Mecca to my own mosque in New York City. The vast canon of Islam that emerged after the Prophet Muhammad’s life has enough sanction for violence, if you know what you are looking for. And there is no lack of homophobic condemnation either. The Quran itself remains vague on the matter, lazily regurgitating the Old and New Testament’s story of the Nation of Lot. And for the majority of 1.6 billion Muslims, many of them plagued by poverty and illiteracy, the debates going on amongst the Western Muslim pundits, will make no sense. What they listen to is Khutba (Friday sermon) after Khutba that talks about homosexuality as a sin amongst other matters of religious import. Yes, most Muslims are muddling through life, putting food on their families’ tables just like everyone else. There are countless sectarian divisions within the vast faith. But if even a fraction of a percentage of this population believes gays should be put to death, we have a problem that cannot be dismissed so easily. I, too, fear backlash from a fearful conservative America. I finally won an American passport last year and am officially an American citizen. Will I be singled out at the airport with increasing frequency? Will Muslims like me, desperate to get into the United States, be able to taste freedom here? I went to my first gay bar almost 20 years ago in New York City. I had just landed in the United States. My cousin who hosted me on my visit swears that I kissed the ground (though I suspect he’s embellishing). I lost myself in the music, the dance, and most importantly the love. There are millions of other gay Muslims in the world, desperate to experience such love..."

That is, indeed, how equality works.

"Science" + Government = Fuckuppery

Fat Head » Our Government’s Continuing A-Salt On Science: "In one of the big salt studies, researchers tested the results of lowering sodium by 75% in both a junk diet and a pretty good diet. Blood pressure only dropped by about 3 points in both cases. So to make it look as if reducing salt was meaningful, they compared the blood-pressure readings in the high-salt/junk diet with the low-salt/good diet and talked up that difference, which was 11 points."

Down the rabbit hole. See also James Medina, Harlem Suarez & Rezwan Ferdaus.

FBI Introduced Florida Shooter to ‘Informants’: "New York Daily News in their article, “FBI spied on Orlando gay club terrorist Omar Mateen for 10 months in 2013: FBI Director James Comey,” would admit Mateen first appeared on authorities’ radar in 2013 after the security guard’s colleagues alerted the FBI to inflammatory statements he made to colleagues claiming “family connections to Al Qaeda,” according to Comey.  Mateen also told coworkers he had a family member who belonged to Hezbollah, a Shia network that is a bitter enemy of ISIS — the network he pledged allegiance to the night of the carnage, Comey noted. The FBI’s Miami office opened an inquiry into Mateen.  “He said he hoped that law enforcement would raid his apartment and assault his wife and child so he could martyr himself,” Comey said.  Nevertheless, FBI investigators investigated Mateen, who was born in New York, for 10 months. They introduced him to confidential informants, spied on his communications and followed him. They also interviewed him twice. 

The significance of this cannot be understated. “Informants” in this context, according to FBI affidavits regarding similar counterterrorism investigations, refers to individuals posing as members of terrorist organizations who approach suspects, coerce them into planning and preparing for terrorist attacks, before finally aiding the FBI in the suspect’s arrest before the attack is finally carried out. Among the activities these informants carry out includes providing and training suspects in the use of real explosives, providing suspects with arsenals of weapons precisely like those used in the recent shooting in Orlando Florida, and encouraging suspects to adopt “radical ideology” over the course of the investigation. Suspects are given the false impression that they are working on behalf of terrorist organizations like Al Qaeda or the self-proclaimed “Islamic State,” often cultivating delusions of grandeur among otherwise mentally ill suspects. 

The Intercept in its recent article, “Before Nightclub Shooting, FBI Pursued Questionable Florida “Terror” Suspects,” would note that the FBI’s Miami office who investigated Mateen, has been “among the bureau’s most active and aggressive counterterrorism units.” It would also report on the specifics of this unit’s activities: For more than a year ending in April — a time during which investigators will now be looking for any clues from Mateen that might have been missed — the FBI in Miami focused on a counterterrorism sting that targeted James Medina, a homeless man with mental problems. The Intercept would reveal that the FBI informant, not Medina, came up with the idea of crediting the planned attack to the “Islamic State.” In fact, upon reading the FBI’s affidavit, it is clear the FBI’s informant encouraged and walked Medina through every aspect of the planned attack, including providing him with what he thought was an explosive device.  Upon reading Medina’s incoherent conversations with various FBI informants, it is clear he possessed neither the mental or technical capacity on his own to perpetrate the attacks he was arrested for. 

The Intercept would continue: Nearly a year before Medina’s arrest, the FBI’s Miami office arrested another supposed terrorist, 23-year-old Cuban-American Harlem Suarez, also known as Almlak Benitez, whom former co-workers described as “a little slow.” The government alleged that Suarez conspired with an FBI informant to bomb a beach in Key West in support of the Islamic State. The FBI provided a fake backpack bomb. 

Finally, the Intercept would reveal (emphasis added): The Orlando shooting isn’t the first case to raise this question. In 2011, when the FBI investigated Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev, agents did not deem him a threat. Instead, at about the same time, the Boston FBI started a nine-month sting operation against Rezwan Ferdaus, who had no weapons and no connections to international terrorists, and whose mental wellness had deteriorated so much that he was wearing adult diapers at the time of his arrest on terrorism charges. Rezwan Ferdaus, like Medina, was provided assistance by the FBI every step of the way, including being provided 24 lbs of C4 explosives, 6 fully automatic AK47 rifles, and 3 grenades – the FBI’s own affidavit reveals . He was brought deep into a fictional world where he believed he was working directly with Al Qaeda for nearly a year – told that “detonation devices” he constructed and passed on to FBI informants were “used” in Iraq to “kill” American soldiers."

"All the guys who won WWII for us were smokers. So you really wanna get rid of cigarettes?"

"What if another war breaks out?" 

"The problem is that idiots like Karen here make shitty choices about what to do with their money."

"Freedom is in the long run inconsistent with freedom..."

Can't quite put your finger on the tipping point, can you?  Fred On Everything: "...a sunset picture of former times when America was free, farmers could fill in swamps without violating wetland laws, and guns were just guns. People were independent and had character, and made their own economic decisions. The market ruled as it ought, and governmental intrusion was minimal. The picture is accurate. I lived it. I wish it would come back, which it won't. It was a world certain to kill itself. 

What happens is that, in an independent-minded rural county full of hardy yeomen, the density of population grows, either nearby or at distant points on each side. A highway comes through because the truckers lobby in Washington wants it. Building a highway is A Good Thing, because it represents Progress, and provides jobs for a year. It also makes the country accessible to the big city fifty miles away. A real-estate developer buys 500 acres along the river from the self-reliant character-filled owner. He does this by offering sums of money that water the farmer's eyes. First, 500 houses go up in a bedroom suburb called Brook Dale Manor. A year later, 500 more go up at Dale View Estates. This is A Good Thing, because the character-filled independent now-former farmer is exercising his property rights, and because building the suburb creates jobs. The river now looks ugly as the devil, but this is a wacko issue. 

At Safeway corporate headquarters, way off God knows where, the new population shows up as a denser shade of green on a computer screen. A new Safeway goes in along the highway. This is A Good Thing, exemplifying free enterprise in action and creating jobs in construction. Further, Safeway sells cheaper, more varied and, truth be known, better food than the half-dozen mom-and-pop stores in the county, which go out of business. Soon the mall men in the big city hear of the county. A billion-dollar company has no difficulty in buying out a character-filled, self-reliant farmer who makes less than forty thousand dollars a year. A shopping center arrives with a Wal-Mart. This is A Good Thing, etc. 

Wal-Mart sells almost everything cheaply. It also puts most of the stores in the country seat out of business. With them go the restaurants, which no longer have the walk-by traffic previously generated by the stores. With the restaurants goes the sense of community that flourishes in a town with eateries and stores and a town square. But this is granola philosophy, appealing only to meddlesome lefties. K-Mart arrives, along with, beside the highway, McDonald's, Arby's, Roy Rogers, and the other way stations on route to coronary occlusion. Strip development is A Good Thing because it represents the exercise of economic freedom. 

The county's commerce is now controlled by distant behemoths to whom the place is the equivalent of a pin on a map. This is A Good Thing. The jobs in these outlets are secure and comfortable. The independent, character-filled frontiersmen are now low-level chain employees, no longer independent because they can be fired. A third suburb, Brook Manor View Downs, appears. The displaced urbanites in these eyesores now outnumber the character-filled etcs. They are also smarter, have lawyers among their ranks, and co-operate. They quickly come to control the government of the county. They want city sewerage, more roads, schools, and zoning. The latter isn't unreasonable. 

In a sparsely settled county, a few hogs penned out back and a crumbling Merc on blocks don't matter. In a quarter-acre yuppie ghetto, they do. Next come leash laws and dog licenses. The boisterous clouds of floppy-eared hounds turn illegal. Prices go up, as do taxes. The profits of farming and commercial crabbing in the river do not go up. The farmers and fishermen are gradually forced to sell their land to developers, and to go into eight-to-fiving. Unfortunately you cannot simultaneously be character-filled and independent and be afraid of your boss. A hardy self-reliant farmer, when he becomes a security guard at the Gap, is a rented peon. The difference between an independent yeoman and a second-rate handyman is independence. 

People make more money, and buy houses in Manor Dale Mews, but have less control over their time, and so no longer build their own barns, wire their houses, and change their own clutch-plates. Prosperity is A Good Thing. Its effect is that the children of the hardy yeoman become dependent on others to change their oil, fix their furnaces, and repair their boats. 

The new urban majority are frightened by guns. They don't hunt, knowing that food comes from Safeway and its newly-arrived competitor, Giant. They do not like independent countrymen, whom they refer to as rednecks, grits, and hillbillies. Hunting makes no sense to them anyway, since the migratory flocks are vanishing with the wetlands. Truth be told, it isn't safe to have people firing rifles and shotguns in what is increasingly an appendage of the city. The clout of the newcomers makes it harder for the independent whatevers to let their weapons even be seen in public. The dump is closed to rat-shooting. 

The children of the hardy rustics do not do as well in school as the offspring of the commuting infestation, and are slowly marginalized. Crime goes up as social bonds break down. Before, everyone pretty much knew everyone and what his car looked like. Strangers stood out. Teenagers raised hell, but there were limits. Now the anonymity of numbers sets in and, anyway, there's no community any longer. And so the rural character-filled county becomes another squishy suburb of pallid yups who can't put air in their own tires. The rugged rural individualists become cogs in somebody else's wheel. Their children grow up as libidinous mall monkeys drugging themselves to escape boredom. The county itself is a hideous expanse of garish low-end development . People's lives are run from afar. 

What it comes to is that the self-reliant yeoman's inalienable right to dispose of his property as he sees fit (which I do not dispute) will generally lead to a developer's possession of it. The inalienable right to reproduce will result in crowding, which leads to dependency, intrusive government, and loss of local control...

Freedom is in the long run inconsistent with freedom, because it is inevitable exercised in ways that engender control. As a species, we just can't keep our pants up. But it was nice for a while."

"There is the seductive belief that if only we go "over there" to destroy ISIS, that the threat of homegrown radicalism will be solved."

"It will not."

How Not to Fight Islamic Terrorism - "If we make this attempt with renewed vigor as both candidates are calling for, the result will almost certainly be the increase in the threat of domestic terrorism, not its diminution. It's not hard to understand why. I have spent considerable time on the ground in Afghanistan and Iraq over a 25-year period in both a military and civilian capacity. 

I can categorically state that short of a Nazi-like genocidal wiping out of entire populations, it is militarily impossible to go to these overseas locations and destroy the ideology of violent jihadism. 

Our attempts to do so since 2001 in Afghanistan, 2003 in Iraq, and the numerous places we've used special forces and drone strikes to kill Islamic radicals of various stripes since then has succeeded only in expanding the threat. Our efforts have been much like trying to put out an oil fire with water. It only makes the flames bigger. Longtime diplomat and Middle East expert, Chas Freeman, recently explanied that using military power in this way "radicalizes and creates volunteer recruits for our worst enemies. We need to halt this, not double down on it." 
You put out an oil fire by suffocating it. As painfully demonstrated by the San Bernardino attacks last December and the Orlando attacks last week, the threat of radicalized, domestic Islamic jihadism is real and growing. Instead of fighting the threat with means that will only spread its flames, we need to change course and deprive it of oxygen instead. 

First is to stop the bleeding and suspend policies based on the belief that the United States can impose a set of values and a political system of our preference on others alien to it. 

Second, we must do all we can diplomatically, politically, and economically to contain the fire of Islamic radicalism to where it currently burns. Working with allies, friends, and even competitors on areas of mutual benefit can help stop the spread by choking off funds, interdicting resupply chains, and blocking routes by which new radicals join the fight. 

Third, we need to stop making far more enemies than we ever eliminate by suspending the use of targeted killing and bombing terrorist targets from the air. This is the most controversial step because it seems counterintuitive to suggest that we can best battle terrorists by ceasing to bomb them. But overwhelming evidence confirms that such tactics are counterproductive and work against our interests. Instead of bombing, we would use the military to help contain terrorist organizations like ISIS where they currently exist, and then employ new, diplomatic measures that have a chance to undermine the terrorists..."

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

"The danger to constitutional republics from sudden crises comes from the very human impulse to restore order by any means necessary."

The misguided ferocity of the anti-gun left: "The American system of justice relies on core principles based on a fundamental understanding of natural law. First, the Constitution exists to restrain government from encroaching on the rights of its sovereign citizens. Second, each citizen retains those civil rights unless a jury of their peers convicts them of violating the law. Third, each citizen is entitled to due process and a presumption of innocence from the government until conviction...

The danger to constitutional republics from sudden crises comes from the very human impulse to restore order by any means necessary. In almost every instance, it results in the erosion of the balance between government power and personal liberty. In some instances, the intent becomes specific and limited for a period of time, such as Abraham Lincoln's suspension of habeas corpus during the Civil War. Most often, it comes as a result of a knee-jerk response to a tragedy or atrocity for which politicians feel they must offer sweeping action — even if the action bears little connection to the actual event. Such is the case with the ISIS-inspired attack on an LGBTQ nightclub in Orlando and the deaths of 49 Americans, and the rerun of a gun-control proposal that flopped the first time because of its inherently dangerous qualities..."

"If the concern is radical Islamist terrorism, gun control appears more ineffective than usual."

The cognitive dissonance is astounding.  Has Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson Forgotten About Paris or Kenya or the Second Amendment? - Hit & Run : "...countries with stricter gun control laws than in the U.S. are struggling to find something to do to keep guns out of the hands of terrorists too. In Europe, while it may be far harder for law-abiding residents to acquire legal firearms, terrorists are able to acquire actual "weapons of war," automatic weapons, that have are largely banned in the U.S. despite the misleading rhetoric used by the anti-gun left. Neither were tough gun laws able to stop the 2013 radical Islamist attack on the Westgate shopping mall in Kenya or the 2015 attack on Garissa University in Kenya or numerous other terrorist attacks around the world. 

If the concern is radical Islamist terrorism, gun control appears more ineffective than usual. It would also be interesting to know why the Obama administration didn't deploy this argument after the 2009 Fort Hood shooting or the 2015 San Bernardino shooting. The Fort Hood shooter was a member of the U.S. military, so could access legal firearms even if guns were otherwise banned in the U.S., while the San Bernardino shooter, also a government employee, acquired his weapons legally in a state, California, with some of the strictest anti-gun laws in the country. They make imperfect pretexts.

This too cute by half approach to categorizations of shootings for the purpose of specific agendas is fairly popular, and so the political arguments surrounding gun control can be frustrating. Definitions are constantly changing to fit narratives. The term "assault rifle," for example, which according to the U.S. Army and Oxford's English Dictionary is a rifle that has an automatic and semi-automatic setting, is used to refer to semi-automatic rifles like the AR-15, itself a brand that's become a metonym for a wide range of rifles. Automatic weapons have largely been banned in the U.S. since the 1930s. That doesn't stop even members of Congress with military backgrounds from lying about what kind of weapons are available legally in the U.S. There's also the rush to identify the shooter in order to deploy an appropriate narrative...

The definition of mass shootings also depends on the political agenda. If the target is rifles, then a narrower definition is used so that the rifle is overrepresented as the weapon of choice. If the target is guns generally, a broader definition is used to juice the mass shootings number...

As J.D. Tuccille noted in his column yesterday, law enforcement officials are starting to acknowledge the usefulness of gun rights in fighting terrorism aimed at "soft targets." Interpol's secretary general at the time the Nairobi terrorist attack happened, for example, said such attacks made "police around the world question their views on gun control." "You have to ask yourself, 'Is an armed citizenry more necessary now than it was in the past with an evolving threat of terrorism?' This is something that has to be discussed," he continued. That's the exact opposite tack the Homeland Security secretary is taking. The U.S. destabilized Iraq, helping to form ISIS, it has demanded more and more power for the federal government to snoop on us and people around the world, has dropped bombs in countless countries, helping to radicalize people abroad and at home. Now, after aggravating the terror threat they want to disarm the population they've put at risk."

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." - Mencken

The perfect storm of bad governance - patronizing paternalism, faux moralistic 'solutions' and a total misunderstanding of human nature, incentives and markets. "The theory was simple: poor people simply lacked easy access to healthy food options. If you put fruits, vegetables, and whole grains in front of them, they would soon be singing the praises of Michael Pollan, too. And voila: no more obesity epidemic in these neighborhoods.  But of course things didn't work out that way. As many business owners in these neighborhoods and other food-desert skeptics have pointed out, the problem wasn't that they simply hadn't thought to offer more wholesome items. The problem was that these items just didn't sell. You can lead human beings to Whole Foods, but you can't make them buy organic kale there. The USDA just admitted as much, with a new report on food deserts published in its magazine, Amber Waves. Highlights from the article note that proximity to supermarkets "has a limited impact on food choices" and "household and neighborhood resources, education, and taste preferences may be more important determinants of food choice than store proximity.""

"... for some reason, as a religion, this set of ideas gets a pass."

"Narrated by Raheel Raza, president of Muslims Facing Tomorrow, this short film is about the acceptance that radical Islam is a bigger problem than most politically correct governments and individuals are ready to admit."


Orlando Terror Attack is a Wake Up Call to Gays, Women, and You: "If you are gay or or Jewish or female or a non-believer, there is nothing irrational about fearing Islam. This is a set of ideas which would have you killed or subjugated in a myriad of ways if interpreted literally, which is exactly what's being done in many places throughout the world. Imagine if there was a political party that believed in forcing women to dress head to toe, endorsed throwing gays off roofs, and killing apostates who left the party. Every sane person, both left and right in America, would be rightfully against this backwards ideology. Yet for some reason, as a religion, this set of ideas gets a pass. And not only does it get a pass, it gets handled with kid gloves, tacitly endorsed or intentionally obfuscated by Western intellectuals. Of course, irony being what it is, Radical Islam will come for these apologists right after they're done with the gays, the women, and the other assorted infidels."

Monday, June 13, 2016


6/13 - bench, chins, dips, seated row, pushups, back xt, stretch
6/12 - mud run
6/11 - stretch

'Hate Speech Is the Secular Equivalent of Blasphemy.'

And just as stupid a concept. ""The internet is a place for free speech," says the European Union's commissioner for justice, consumers and gender equality, Vera Jourová, "not hate speech." To which, I literally reply: "What the fuck is hate speech, exactly? Like another phony, malleable concept — obscenity — it is simply a political category that gives power to the powerful to pick and choose what lesser mortals are allowed to read, think, and discuss"

...The EU has released a new code of conduct for social media and the Internet and Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Microsoft have all signed up to help police "hate speech," with a particularly sharp eye on "racism and xenophobia." The great good people at Britain's Spiked are hosting a debate about this in London on June 15 (attend!) and they asked a bunch of folks, including me, to comment on the EU restrictions and whether any sort of speech should be restricted. are some highlights from other participants who are better known in the United Kingdom: 

"Hate speech is the secular equivalent of blasphemy."—Frank Furedi, sociologist 

"Everybody must be free to hate what or who they choose. That means being free to hate, not just fascists or Nigel Farage, but Muslims or Christians, transsexuals or Scousers, bankers or Bono."—Mick Hume, editor at large, Spiked 

"Writing off opponents as haters, so that you can then just ignore them, is usually a precursor to dishing out today's acceptable form of hate speech: labelling those you disagree with as bigots."—Claire Fox, director of the Institute of Ideas 

Hate speech is free speech | Free speech | spiked: "Speech bans are like poison gas: seems like a good idea when you have your target in sight — but the wind shifts, and blows it back on us...

In our era of identity politics, criticism of a cultural practice can now be interpreted as an instance of ‘hatred’ towards a group. Criticise multi-sex toilets, for example, and you can be accused of hate speech: ‘transphobia’. The focus on bias is important. Since all human beings are biased at some level, hate speech must discriminate between sanctioned bias and prohibited bias; effectively between acceptable hate and unacceptable hate. This is why it is okay to mock Christians but not to ridicule Islam. The prohibition of comments that are considered biased or hateful is an explicit denial of freedom of speech. A tolerant society does not censor speech; it allows its citizens to express their biases and hatred. From the standpoint of an enlightened democracy, the censoring of hate is a far worse evil than the expression of hate. Why? Because it prevents people from judging and evaluating for themselves how to respond to the views — however prejudiced — of their fellow citizens."

"...he saw two men kissing each other in front of his wife and kid and he got very angry."

But it has nothing to do with religion, according to the killer's father.  Who supports the Taliban and thinks god will punish the gays.  

Religion, making everything worse since always.

Prescient, in hindsight.  From a March interview.  "Milo: 'For gays, what distinction between Islam and terrorism?'"

LGBT in Islam - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: "Extreme prejudice remains, both socially and legally, in much of the Islamic world against people who engage in homosexual acts. In Afghanistan, Brunei, Iran, Mauritania, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, United Arab Emirates and Yemen, homosexual activity carries the death penalty. In others, such as Algeria, Maldives, Malaysia, Qatar, Somalia and Syria, it is illegal...  

In 2013, the Pew Research Center conducted a study on the global acceptance of homosexuality and found a widespread rejection of homosexuality in many nations that are predominantly Muslim. In some countries, views were actually becoming more conservative among younger people...  A 2007 survey of British Muslims showed that 61% believe homosexuality should be illegal, with up to 71% of young British Muslims holding this belief. A later Gallup poll in 2009 showed that none of the 500 British Muslims polled believed homosexuality to be "morally acceptable". 

What Does Islam Say About Gay Marriage? Muslim Scholar Explains | Variety: "The issue of gay marriage in America is a tough one for Muslims. On one hand, it’s nigh impossible to construct an argument by which sexual contact between men, let alone anal sex, is considered permissible in God’s eyes."

The Left Chose Islam Over Gays. Now 100 People Are Dead Or Maimed In Orlando - Breitbart: "According to the murderer’s father, his son became angry after he saw two men kissing in the street. “This had nothing to do with religion,” said the father, Seddique Mateen. “He saw two men kissing each other in front of his wife and kid and he got very angry” — as if that was some kind of excuse. That same father is on record defending the Taliban."

Omar Mateen got 'very angry' seeing two men kissing, father tells NBC - LA Times: "Omar Mateen's father, Mir Seddique, spoke to NBC News about the shooting . "This had nothing to do with religion," he told the network. "We were in downtown Miami, Bayside, people were playing music. And he saw two men kissing each other in front of his wife and kid and he got very angry," Seddique told NBC. "They were kissing each other and touching each other and he said, 'Look at that. In front of my son they are doing that.' And then we were in the men's bathroom and men were kissing each other.""

Orlando shooting gunman Omar Mateen father Seddique Mateen a Taliban supporter says God will punish gays - CBS News: "The Orland gay club gunman's father has well-known anti-American views and is an ideological supporter of the Afghan Taliban. A new message posted by the father on Facebook early Monday morning also makes it clear he could have passed anti-homosexual views onto his son. Seddique Mir Mateen, father of Orlando gunman Omar Mateen, who died in a shootout with police after killing at least 49 people early Sunday morning, regularly attended Friday prayers at a Florida mosque with his son... The elder Mateen says he was saddened by his son's actions during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. He then adds: "God will punish those involved in homosexuality..."

The Left Chose Islam Over Gays. Now 100 People Are Dead Or Maimed In Orlando - Breitbart: "Omar Mateen wasn’t just a homophobe, by the way. He was also a misogynist – a real one, not someone who offends feminists on Twitter – who repeatedly beat his ex-wife while they were married. Of course, as we saw in Cologne six months ago, this sort of behaviour is also the norm in Muslim cultures. Needless to say, the Left is silent on the subject."

On the other hand...
LGBT in Islam - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: "However, in 20 out of 57 Muslim-majority nations same-sex intercourse is not forbidden by law."

Which means in about 1/3 being gay isn't illegal.  That's something, I guess.

"That is completely an ideology thing. She's on your 'team.' You're gonna go along with it."

"Flying Toasters."