Sunday, April 19, 2015

Gun Rights and "Compromise"?

There's an oft repeated line that comes from the gun control camp....aside from the emotional framing and illogical narratives. The gun control camp asks "why won't the gun rights camp just 'compromise' on this issue?" This is typically accompanied by immeasurable euphemisms such as "reasonable" and "common sense", but those are designed to appeal to the uninformed.

My issue is with the core question of "compromise". Every time I have asked what is to follow below, I either haven't received any answer, or have received simply more of the same issued script.

The 2nd Amendment [to highlight the context, one of the enumerated Constitutional rights guaranteed to the People] is, and has historically been the most infringed upon, restricted and regulated Constitutional right of the bunch. The 2nd Amendment has had limitations imposed upon the People, to an extent unfathomable to the very same critics were they to be likewise imposed upon any other Constitutional right.

So, let's remember the purpose and intent on the 2nd Amendment, that the right of the People to Keep and Bear Arms, shall not be infringed. Yes, I know someone will invariably come along [again] and proffer the Militia = National Guard = collective right canard; they can't help it, its part of the script. But let's dispense for a moment with the history of such infringement to date and use the Amendment as it is realistically protected and restricted currently.

Now, let's consider the gun control position. It does vary, publicly. I have my doubts that anyone who employs the gun control narrative really supports the 2nd Amendment, though many make a point of saying so. It typically goes like this: "I support the 2nd Amendment, but.....". To be generous, let's presume that there are those who would disarm the citizen body wholly and completely; and there are those who would see the citizen able to own a fowling piece, or perhaps a target rifle locked at a State sanctioned shooting club. Perhaps there are even a few who merely think that licensing and taxing private transactions between citizens [again incompatible with any other right], and the registration of firearms is a good idea...though we've seen the result of that happening in other nations.

So...taking both positions into consideration...my question is two-part but simple: 1. What is the "compromise" sought by the gun control camp? Not the nickel and dime legislation designed to merely set precedence for further restriction, but the end state?

And 2. What "compromise has the gun control camp shown to date? Remember where the positions started and are currently, along the philosophical X Axis.

All rational and mature comments are welcome, but I've been waiting for so long, for anyone from the gun control camp to offer up a cogent answer.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

This week in the ongoing oppression of Christians

Yes, that was sarcasm. Todd Starnes, where are you?
Cochran City Manager Richard Newbern said the city council voted to wave the Christian Flag over city hall. 
Councilman Gary Ates said he made the motion for the flag to stay up. He said the council voted to keep it up 5 to 1. "The city manager took the flag down because an attorney said we could have a problem," said Ates. 
Ates said, "The people of Cochran came to a city council meeting and said 'let's put the flag back up'," said Ates. 
Ates said about 75 to 100 people requested it to be put up again. 
"It was the right thing to do," said Ates. 
We reached out to other Cochran city officials; none of them could be reached for comment.
Link

This flag has no more place above a government building than a rainbow flag or a Confederate battle flag. But it will be defending by those seeking victim status or claiming that we're a "Christian nation".

It takes two groups of fools to fight a 'culture war'.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Friday Follies.....Things my Recruiter never told me......

The Navy Chief I work with here sent me this.....just to rub it in a bit.


Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Justice and the Race Card

Justice is supposed to be blind, but throughout our history it has not always been so.
Gregory Wallace and another man burst into the Kentucky home of Jordan and Tommy Gray and robbed them and their three-year-old daughter at gunpoint. But at Wallace's sentencing hearing Judge Olu Stevens singled out the Grays, not Wallace, for criticism. Wallace and his partner are black, and the Grays noted in their impact statement their daughter still reacts in fear to black men. Stevens said those remarks offended him and accused the parents of fostering racist behavior in their daughter. He sentenced Wallace to five years probation.
Reason

The judge stated that his remarks regarding race played no role in his sentencing decision, but were the roles reversed, would that argument have traction in the public eye?

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Another week.....another laughable gun control proposal

Gun control proponents couldn't buy a clue if the NRA gave them a stipend to do so. The Hill reports that noted firearms and hunting expert*, Rep. Rosa DeLauro proposed the following legislation:
Gun owners would receive tax breaks for voluntarily turning in high-powered assault rifles under new legislation proposed Monday. 
The Support Assault Firearm Elimination and Education of our (SAFER) Streets Act expected to be reintroduced next week by Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) would provide gun owners with an incentive to turn in their firearms to local police departments. 
“Assault weapons are not about hunting, or even self-defense,” DeLauro said. “There is no reason on earth, other than to kill as many people as possible in as short a time as possible, that anyone needs a gun designed for a battlefield.” 
Though DeLauro is in favor of stronger guns laws that would completely ban assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition, she emphasized this bill would not force gun owners to turn in their firearms. 
The legislation would provide up to $2,000 in tax credits for gun owners who voluntarily hand over assault weapons to their local police departments.
* Obvious sarcasm at the expense of a rather clueless politician. 

This proposal is so rife with absurdity, I'm not really sure where to begin. Why is the gun control camp comprised of not a single member who has a clue about firearms? Sadly, every politician should be an expert on the Constitution, but we know that few of them are.

Aside from the obvious and enduring fact, that the gun control camp cannot define what they feel an "assault weapon" is....at least beyond some apparently scary looking cosmetic features.....the rifles that they refer to are commonly used in both hunting and self defense. She lies. Worse, she knows she lies.

She then claims that these rifles in question were "designed for the battlefield", and that nobody needs this type of rifle. Again, aside from the fact that the 2nd Amendment resides within the Bill of Rights, not a 'Bill of Needs', she is either perfidious or ignorant that every class of firearm was 'designed for the battlefield' [that is where firearm innovation occurs] - and - that our law enforcement officers at all levels [who are NOT military nor on a battlefield] are routinely equipped with this class of rifles.

I really have no idea what "high capacity ammunition" is, beyond a string of words she relied on as an appeal to emotion.

As for the tax credit scheme, she is apparently unaware of dismal track record of "gun buy-backs", where law enforcement usually nets a crateful of inoperable or low grade 'junk guns', at a rather hefty bill for the taxpayer - and - the fact that she is again setting up LEO's to be taken advantage of, at the expense of tax payers. I'd seriously consider trading in a low end Colt or DPMS in return for the $2000 tax credit. It would allow me to obtain the items needed to build my own, or purchase a better quality rifle [or optics and furniture for my current.]

As usual, I'm left believing that there are only two viable options here.....either Rep DeLauro is stupid, or she thinks that gun control proponents are. I'd actually have more respect for them if they simply came out publicly and proposed a repeal of the 2nd Amendment. That's what they really want; but they haven't the courage nor the integrity to do so.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Gun Safety and children.....OMG think of the children!


It's been a long week, and this made me laugh. So I'll just leave this right here.

Monday, April 6, 2015

This man, wants to be the President of all Americans

“We have long had a tradition from the beginning of this country of respecting religious liberty and accommodating and respecting the good-faith religious views of our citizens [....] it is only the intolerance of the current day of the far-left that views with which they disagree — the far-left is such a radical proponent of gay marriage that anyone whose faith teaches to the contrary, anyone whose faith teaches that marriage is a sacrament of one man and one woman, a holy union before God, the far-left views that religious view as unacceptable and they’re trying to use the machinery of the law to crush those religious views. And I think it is wrong, I think it is intolerant, and I think it is entirely inconsistent with who we are as a people.”
Ted Cruz, on the Dana Loesch Show 

So.....because the dominant religious faith says that something is wrong...based on something they believe in, intolerance only exists on one side of the argument. And while proclaiming that 'special rights' must be avoided at all costs, we should carve out 'special rights' for a privileged segment of society...based on something they believe. Yep....sounds like religious liberty to me. /sarc

This calls for a compromise. Those opposed to gay marriage can refuse service to anyone they deem participating in such a civil ceremony....and those who engage in such can themselves be refused service by others. In return, the civil right that the party of the first part are privileged to engage in.....is extended without opposition to all American citizens.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

A Dad doing what good Dad's do.......

Our children shouldn't be collateral damage. Props to 1SG Kastle for going the extra mile, as any good father should. Video at link.
Tonight, Seth will read his daughters "Why Is Dad So Mad?" — a book he wrote about himself. 
Kastle served for 16 years in the Army Reserve, and was deployed to Qatar, Afghanistan, and Iraq. When he returned home to his wife and kids in Wakeeney, Kansas, he struggled with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and had a hard time explaining it to his kids. 
"I struggle with anger. That's probably my main symptom. I also have some issues that go with my memory," Kastle said. "There's mornings that you go into the bathroom and you look at the cup that holds your toothbrushes, and you just stare at it because you don't know which one is yours." 
Kastle searched for resources to explain his PTSD to his children, but found the options lacking. So, he wrote a book and started a Kickstarter campaign to raise the funds to hire an illustrator and get the book published. The campaign met its $3,000 goal in just eight hours, and eventually swelled to more than $6,000. 
"In my book I talk about the fire inside dad's chest. To me, that's what it feels like," Kastle said.
Kastle is already working on his next book for military mothers with PTSD, and is using the extra funds from his Kickstarter campaign to finance it. 
As Kastle turned the final page of his bedtime story book, his daughter Raegan wrapped her arm around her father and kissed him on the cheek. "I like this book. I'm really proud you did it," she said. 
The book is available now at www.kastlebooks.com.
NBC News

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Salvete! Roman Trier

Good Friday is a day off for almost every German, and DoD here follows suit. So, with a three day weekend and a little French car...what to do? I'm a huge Roman history nerd, so the nearest place to get my fix is Trier [Treves in English]. I took scads of photos, but to not break the internet, I'll only be posting one for each location I visited.

Most write-ups are from Trier Tourismus und Marketing GmbH




The Trier Roman Amphitheatre may have been constructed as early as the first century AD, but was certainly in use by the second century.

Able to hold around 20,000 spectators, Trier Roman Amphitheatre would have been the site of fierce gladiatorial battles, also involving animals. In fact, tunnels have been found under Trier Roman Amphitheatre which would have been used to house these animals together with unfortunate prisoners of the Roman Empire.


The Imperial Baths of Trier, known in German as Kaiserthermen, are the beautifully preserved ruins of a Roman public bath complex constructed in the fourth century AD.

Considered to be the largest Roman baths outside of Rome, the remains of the Imperial Baths of Trier are centrally located within the city and are a fantastic site, with many of their walls standing and even the option to explore their underground tunnels. 


Trier old city wall - I didn't bring my running gear, this would have made for a great route.


The Electoral Palace directly next to the Basilika is considered one of the most beautiful rococo palaces in the world. 

In 1615, Elector Lothar von Metternich had the present north and east wings built; the west and south wings were constructed under Philipp Christoph von Soetern. The structure was finally finished by Carl Caspar von der Leyen. 


The Porta Nigra gate dates back to a time (about A.D. 180) when the Romans often erected public buildings of huge stone blocks (here, the biggest weigh up to six metric tons).

The stone blocks were spared a recycling because of the Greek monk Simeon, who had himself walled up in the eastern tower as a hermit after 1028. After his death in 1034/5, he was buried inside the gate and made a saint. In his honor, two churches were built into the gate (torn down 1804-1819). The upper story of the eastern tower was razed - the only real damage to the stone gate, whose name, »Black Gate,« is medieval and goes back to the black pollution patina on the gray sandstone.


A view of old Trier next to the Porta Nigra


Trier Cathedral [Dom], the oldest bishop’s church in Germany, stands today in Trier’s center above a former palace from the era of the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great. The palace complex was supplanted in the 4th century by the largest Christian church complex from ancient times. It consisted of four basilicas joined by a large baptistry; the complex covered an area extending to the present Main Market. Tours under the building of the Cathedral Information show the remains of the first Early Christian assembly room north of the Alps from the late 3rd century and the remains of the first basilica.

Today's Cathedral still contains a Roman central section with the original walls rising up to a height of 26 m (86 ft). The huge fragment of a granite column next to the entrance to the Cathedral is another indication of the Roman origin of the building. After destructions in the 5th and 9th centuries, the remaining nucleus was enlarged by Romanesque additions - today, the Cathedral, with its three crypts, its cloister, Cathedral Treasury, and Holy Robe Chapel, displays architecture and artwork from more than 1650 years. - The Dom was holding Good Friday services, so I couldn't go inside. It's so large, that this is the only photo [from the top of the Porta Nigra] where I could get all of it.


The so-called Basilika, Constantine's throne room, is the largest surviving single-room structure from Roman times. The Romans wanted the architecture to express the magnificence and might of the emperor.

This depth is magnified by an optical illusion - both the windows of the apse as well as the niches underneath become progressively smaller towards the middle, thus enhancing the impression of length.

Later on, the archbishop used it as his administrative center and it was enlarged by three palace wings after 1614. Since the middle of the 19th century, it has been used as the first and oldest Protestant church in Catholic Trier with a splendid organ answered by a seven-second echo.


I'm also a WWII nerd - The Hochbunker [air raid shelter], built in 1942. Like others of it's species, these have proven too costly to demolish after the war, and many have found other uses. This one is not open to the public and serves mainly as storage for the city.


The Barbara Baths (fee) were built in the second century as the then largest Roman baths. Although only one third of the original facility has been excavated, a tour of the passageways takes a surprisingly long time.

The extensive ruins were used as a castle in the Middle Ages, then torn down and recycled as building material until the remains were used for constructing the Jesuit College in 1610.

Only the foundations and the subterranean service tunnels have survived, but the technical details of the sewer systems, the furnaces, the pools, and the heating system can be studied better than in the other two baths. - Currently closed to the public.


The Roman Bridge in Trier is the oldest bridge in Germany. The stone pilings of the Roman Bridge date from A.D. 144-152.

The pilings of the Roman Bridge from A.D. 144-152 (the arches and roadway are from the 18th century) are deeply embedded in the bedrock underneath the river gravel. 

On March 2, 1945, General Patton's tanks captured the bridge so quickly that it was not blown up - the (empty) charge chambers are still visible from the up-river side of the bridge.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Letting no tragedy go to waste


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Apologies for the Deutsch, but when in Germany....every site comes up as .de.

This post is labeled under "Assclowns". No further commentary needed.