Monday, July 21, 2014

The bankruptcy of political rhetoric

The bobble heads in the right wing media are still banging the drum that "Obama withdrew US forces from Iraq" and that this event foretold the rise of ISIS. They regurgitate this pablum for the masses even though the previous Administration agreed to the 2008 SOFA that not only stipulated US forces withdraw NLT 31 December 2011....but also decreed that any future SOFA agreements would have to be ratified by the Iraqi Council of Representatives [CoR]. As we well know.....the CoR was not about to ratify any renegotiation of the SOFA in 2011, at least not with legal immunity for US forces from the Iraqi judicial system. So either these bobble heads are stupid...or they think that their audience is stupid. Or, they would sacrifice the immunity of US forces to a corrupt and Iranian-backed regime in Baghdad.

These same bobble heads attempt to castigate the current Administration for announcing a withdrawal date for US forces in Afghanistan....when the previous Administration did exactly the same for US force in Iraq.

It makes me feel icky any time I have to speak up for the current regime at 1600 Penn....but when the opposition is just as shallow and bereft of reason.......I see any hope for our future dim.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

R.I.P. Rockford.....

Actor James Garner passed yesterday at the age of 86.

He joined the National Guard serving seven months in the United States. He then went to Korea for 14 months in the Regular Army, serving in the 5th Regimental Combat Team in the Korean War. He was wounded twice, first in the face and hand from shrapnel fire from a mortar round, and second on April 23, 1951 in the buttocks from friendly fire from U.S. fighter jets as he dove headfirst into a foxhole. Garner was awarded the Purple Heart in Korea for the first injury. For the second wound, he received a second Purple Heart (eligibility requirement: "As the result of friendly fire while actively engaging the enemy"), although Garner received the medal in 1983, 32 years after his injury. Garner was a self-described "scrounger" for his company in Korea, a role he later played in The Great Escape and The Americanization of Emily. Wiki

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Rights v. Feelings....and how sheep confuse the two

A blunt yet eloquent post at New Jovian Thunderbolt:
"Your right to self defense?!  You right to keep and bear arms?!  What about my right to feel safe?!" 
You don't have a right to that feeling.  It's a feeling.   That's on you.  It's not the government's job to make you feel feelings or protect your feelings or check to see what stimuli makes you feel certain feelings and then make policy to increase or decrease such stimuli. 
The gov't is only supposed to not interfere with your pursuit of happiness.  It's not some bureaucrat's job to stalk, run to ground, dispatch happiness, then field strip and quarter happiness and wrap it in butcher paper and deliver happiness to your chest freezer.  
But lets say we are on the hook for each other's feelings, through the filter of government.  Why do YOUR feeling to feel safe trump MY feelings to feel safe?  A firearm in the home is what I use to keep the zombies, flash mobs, rogue SWAT teams, King George III, and home invaders away.  It makes me feel safe.  Oh you think my worries of undead monarchist ERT cops is silly?  How DARE you question the validity of my feelings.  That's a HATE crime.  Two can play at that game.  Well I think YOUR feelings are silly, too.  
So we are at an impasse.  No wait, we aren't.  Because there is no such thing as a right to feel some way, but there is a natural right to defense yourself.  Game, Set, Match.  Checkmate.  Stragego!  Yahtzee!  Pente.  Boo yah.  GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAL! 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Great Government Scam

"The American people have to demand that folks in Washington do their job. Do something. That's my big motto for Congress right now: Just do something.” - President Obama
This is the problem with our society and our perception of government. The perception that it exists not to safeguard our natural rights and protect the individual liberty of Americans..….but to “do something”.

With scant exception, the legislation passed from the City Council to the halls of Congress….regulates, restricts and taxes the citizen. Yet we allow an enlarging paradigm where our various instruments of governance are seen as weak, ineffectual or downright obstructionist, when they fail to maintain a steady pace of the regulating, restricting and taxing of all facets of our daily lives. Our media decries a “lame duck Congress”….even as they enable the two party duopoly that exists only to perpetuate itself.

For eons upon eons, mankind has built their own homes, birthed their children at home, schooled their children at home, drank unpasteurized milk, buried their kin in the back field….and generally gotten on quite well without the oppressive amount of licensing, code, regulation and taxation that we endure today.

Sadly, most citizens meekly accept the ever-increasing scope of intrusion and restriction of our daily activities and pursuits….because we are fed a happy meal of government endorsed pablum that reminds us that government is good. Always. And more government is by default…better. Now, I’m not an anarchist by any stretch [though no doubt many Democrats and Republicans would tar me with such a label], but this perception will be the downfall of any semblance of liberty we still have. Not liberal ideology….not conservative ideology….government ideology. And both major parties bow to this.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Patrons of liquor stores are 'drunks'

That's the logical conclusion when customers of marijuana retailers in Washington state are 'potheads'.....right?

So says an on-scene reporter during Martha MacCallums "America's Newsroom" on Fox, complete with a snarky comment about how since there wasn't a rush of customers at the time of opening, they must have all been 'sleeping in'.

There's your 'fair and balanced' reporting...

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Liberating "Common Sense" from the custody of the Gun Control Cabal

It is no surprise to anyone engaging in critical thinking on the debate over firearms and the 2nd Amendment, that the gun control lobby consistently fails anytime they attempt to promulgate their anti-liberty agenda. This is why their predominate strategy consists of appeals to emotion. While we're winning the factual and logical aspect of the debate hands down.....we now need to decrease their ability to appeal to the undereducated.....their proffering of meme's that Americans not only have some mythical "right to feel safe"....but that this imaginary right would somehow trump our Constitutional rights. This fantasy doesn't exist regarding actual criminal threats to their person or property, much less law abiding citizens. We need to remind our fellow citizens what gun safety really means...instead of allowing the gun control cable to use the term as a threadbare camouflage for the less palatable gun control.

Finally, we need to reclaim the phrase "common sense". Many are working towards this end, but not many as well as Nicki at The Liberty Zone. Reposted in its entirety with her permission.
I know you’ll be shocked to know this…But apparently the leftist gun-grabbing assgobblers in the media twist facts. The latest evidence of this comes in the form of a sniveling Washington Post editorial from a Philip Bump. Now, I don’t expect much from the Post as a general rule as far as objectivity goes, and no their token pet “conservative” Jennifer Rubin hardly counts. But this guy Lump Bump is amusingly biased. Hell, you could tell that just by his impressive resume of progtarded publications. 
"Philip Bump writes about politics for The Fix. He previously wrote for The Wire, the news blog of The Atlantic magazine. He has contributed to The Daily Beast, The Atlantic, The Daily, and the Huffington Post. Philip is based in New York City. "
Well, gosh! We can certainly expect a balanced opinion from this drooling Lump Bump.
But I figured I’d take a minute and quickly show you just how Lump Bump uses mental acrobatics to achieve his goal, which is to somehow shame Congress into implementing more gun control. 
His first few sentences alone should be instructive, and for the ignorant and those who have a clear political agenda, the gymnastics are par for the course. 
A new poll from Quinnipiac University sheds more light on one of the more remarkable aspects of U.S. politics: Americans overwhelmingly support expanding background checks for gun purchases. Yet when the issue came up for a vote in the Senate last year, enough senators opposed a compromise proposal to expand background checks that supporters couldn’t overcome a filibuster. But why not? In the latest survey, 92 percent of respondents favored “background checks for all buyers.” 
Here’s the problem with the way the poll question is phrased and the way Lump Bump portrays it: we already have background checks for all gun buyers. Anytime you go into any store that sells firearms, the store is required by federal law to run a background check. Any licensed firearms dealer must run the check, which also can deny an individual a gun purchase on the recommendation of psychiatrists, mental health institutions and family members. 
That is the current law. Any person wishing to purchase a gun will undergo a background check. 
What we DON’T have is background checks for private transactions, which the hysterical gun grabbers will tell you comprise 40 percent of all gun purchases. That particular statistic, even though it is continuously trotted out by hoplophobes in an effort to push their agenda of basically outlawing private firearms transfers, has been discredited many times over
First – it is already a felony for private sellers to sell a firearm to a person who they reasonably believe could not pass a background check. In other words, I’m not going to sell one of my pistols to a dude sporting gang colors and tattoos, who smells like weed, and has several bags of what appears to be coke strewn about the trunk of his car, OK?
And second – the “survey” on which this “40 percent” figure is based was conducted about a year after mandatory background checks became law. In other words, the vast majority of respondents likely purchased firearms before the Brady background checks became law. Additionally, this survey asked only 2500 people where they purchased guns. Talk about your tiny little samples! 
Fact is we just don’t know how many firearms are purchased without a background check.  But we do know how criminals purchase their firearms – by their own admissions. 
In 2001, the Bureau of Justice Statistics conducted a survey of state and federal prisoners in an effort to find out how criminals get firearms that they use in their crimes. Do you know what it found? 
Only 18.4 percent of criminals purchased firearms from a retail store or pawn shop.
1.7 percent got guns from a flea market or gun show, blowing that “gun show loophole” theory right out of the water. 
The vast majority – 40.5 percent – got their guns from family and friends – whether paid for, borrowed, stolen or traded. 
And another 30.9 percent got guns through the black market or other illegal means – theft, off the street, their drug dealer, etc. 
For gun grabbers who are too stupid to understand what that means, let me put it simply: no existing background check, and no expanded background check will stop criminals from obtaining guns. Last year, Illinois governor Pat Quinn signed an ineffective and stunningly stupid law requiring expanded background checks be conducted for all gun purchases. I’m sure you’ve seen how well that law has worked in the warzone of Chicago, right? 
And this brings me to the real point of this post. 
Lump Bump claims in his steaming heap of bovine leavings that 92 percent of Americans support EXPANDING background checks, according to the latest Quinnipiac poll, but that’s just not true. 
The poll asked a very general question: Do you support or oppose requiring background checks for all gun buyers? 
And the total reply was 92 percent in the affirmative. It asked nothing about EXPANDED background checks. The interesting part is the phraseology of the question, because it leaves the interpretation up to the respondent. Does the question ask about expanding background checks, or does it mean the already-existing background check system in which anyone who purchases a firearm must undergo a background check? It’s pretty convenient for Lump Bump to interpret the responses to suit his agenda when the question asked was vague enough to allow it. 
Additionally, according to the poll, the nation is evenly split on the question of increased gun control. Expanding background checks does mean increased gun control, and exactly 50 percent of respondents want to see increased gun control. So it’s hard for me to believe that expanded background checks do not equal increased gun control in most people’s minds. And it’s hard for me to believe that at least 50 percent of the respondents weren’t voicing support for already existing background checks
But Lump Bump wouldn’t let little things like facts stand in his way. The majority of Americans support expanded background checks, he whines, when thee research indicates no such thing. Why doesn’t Congress? 
Perhaps because as power-hungry and disgustingly morally corrupt as most politicians are, they understand that alienating gun owners, who actually… you know… vote, might not be the best idea to further their careers.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Hunkering down tonight, as I do this day every year since returning home

Another Independence Day.....another day dreading the fireworks displays. The local news where I currently find myself, says that this years display will be "the largest and loudest yet"......the onlookers will be "able to feel the explosions reverberate in their bodies". These will be taking place less than a half a mile from where I'm staying. Yay.

At The Swash Zone, somebody puts to words what I haven't yet.
For many years, our country has proudly embraced our heritage of blowing shit up by scheduling an annual celebration of gunpowder and explosions. 
However, as more veterans return from the battlefield scarred with wounds they may never recover from, both physical and psychic, the media is finally noting something that some of us noted some years ago: perhaps some of our veterans don't appreciate random explosions in their neighborhood. 
It's a fairly simple equation, one that I can attest to myself, but only to an extremely limited extent. (My older son, returned from far too many tours in Afghanistan, struggles with PTSD every day.) 
There is something about being in a high-stress environment, and having no warning as to when a loud noise might mean the death of a friend or a companion. Or worse, the knowledge that you, yourself, might never hear the last echo dying away, as you do the same yourself. 
There are many reasons to oppose fireworks, especially here in New Mexico. Hundreds and thousands of acres of land are destroyed every year, homes are destroyed and people are killed, because of wildfires here in the Southwest, many of them caused by unregulated use of fireworks. But there's another fact that the American people are finally realizing. 
In honoring our nation's history, you are, perhaps inadvertently, harming our nation's veterans. 
Way to support the troops, America.

Independence Day

“This was the object of the Declaration of Independence. Not to find out new principles, or new arguments, never before thought of, not merely to say things which had never been said before; but to place before mankind the common sense of the subject, in terms so plain and firm as to command their assent, and to justify ourselves in the independent stand we are compelled to take.” - Thomas Jefferson

Fast forward to an astute commentary on the state of our nation today.

I am still amazed that we have come to this point of rapidly declining feelings of freedom and widespread dissociation with our political system. It is not the failure of our constitutional system and only partially the failure of our leaders. It is largely a failure in ourselves that we have become such grumbling drones — powerless, passive, and frankly a bit pathetic. Our government is openly trying to strip away core privacy protections and increase police powers at every level. Yet, we have fallen victim to the “blue state” and “red state” mentality — allowing politicians to constantly deflect criticism by referring to the other side as the greater evil. The result is predictable and, as with this poll, incredibly depressing. - Jonathan Turley

Monday, June 30, 2014

So much for no 'boots on the ground'.....

The U.S. is sending another 300 troops to Iraq to beef up security at the U.S. Embassy and elsewhere in the Baghdad area to protect U.S. citizens and property, officials said Monday. 
That raises the total U.S. troop presence in Iraq to approximately 750, the Pentagon said.

I'm fully behind sending in the FAST [Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team] and the CRE [Contingency Response Element]...this is exactly what we have stood the units up for. But we've already exceeded that mission. Now, when the first attack comes against these guys, either at static sites or in transit, we'll have justification to further expand the footprint and the scope.

This is how it begins. Again.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

When the Right is just as farcical as the Left

The latest ignorant tripe going around the Christian Right blogs, is from a Stars & Stripes article speaking to the start of Ramadan and it's effect on sercive-members stained in Bahrain.
U.S. personnel accustomed to drinking their coffee on the drive to work will have to put that habit on hold for about a month. It’s one of a few lifestyle changes Americans will have to make during the holy month of Ramadan. 
For the 8,200 U.S. personnel living here, and those serving throughout the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility — including servicemembers, civilian personnel, contractors and family members — the month may require changing some daily routines. 
Businesses and government offices will reduce hours and most restaurants will be closed during daylight hours. 
While not required to fast during Ramadan, in Bahrain, Americans can be fined or detained by local authorities for eating, drinking or smoking in public when off-base during daylight hours.

The headline and comments at these blogs illustrate a cognitive dissonance between the hyperbolic charges being leveled by the Islamophobia industry and their enablers....and the primary source being used for the charge. Statements such "US military begin forced to submit to Shari'a", and "our troops being forced to pray to the Muslim god" are rampant. It's really saddening that otherwise seemingly intelligent people show such obtuse ignorance. Further, is it their own lack of education on this subject that prevents them from knowing that this has been the case in Islamic nations where we are stationed, for years....or is it merely convenient feigned outrage, and another chance to use POTUS's middle name...because you know...wink, wink...he's one of them.

The Ramadan rules being enforced in Bahrain [as referenced in the primary source], are part of Bahraini Penal Code 309. This means that businesses will be closed during the daylight hours, so service members used to stopping by one of the few Starbucks in Manama on their way to base [if they live off base], won't be able to do so between dawn and of the *gasp* charges made in the source.

Apparently, we're so haughty that we should expect a sovereign nations laws to bend to our convenience...and when they do not, we cry 'forcible submission to another religion!'

Ironically, the mouth breathers have shot themselves in the proverbial foot. Because if adhering to a host nations laws [fully comporting with the SOFA] equates to submission to a religion, then anytime I'm forced to listen to an invocation or benediction at a ceremony or government function....or am prohibited from buying alcohol or other shopping on Sundays.....I'm now being forced to submit to another religion.

But wait! I'm always hearing that simply being exposed to and inconvenienced by  religious pomp and ceremony, doesn't mean I'm being forced to abide by said faith. So are these who are seeking to be offended merely hypocrites...or is the Abrahamic god of Christians inferior to the Abrahamic god of Muslims?

I'm going with hypocrites.