Wednesday, December 24, 2014

A fleeting truce among gentlemen.......


Could it ever happen again?
Brigade HQ cabled him: "It is thought possible that enemy may be contemplating an attack during Xmas or New Year. Special vigilance will be maintained during this period. 
Nonetheless, Col Laurie...gave orders not to fire on the enemy the following day, unless they fired first. At 8.30pm on Christmas Eve, he signalled brigade HQ: "Germans have illuminated their trenches, are singing songs and are wishing us a Happy Xmas" 
Compliments are being exchanged but am nevertheless taking all military precautions." No shots had been fired since 8pm, he added. 
Col Laurie went on to describe how soldiers from both sides were mingling. The Germans, he wrote, were "fine men, clean and well clothed. They gave us a cap and helmet badge and a box of cigars. One of them states the war would be over in three weeks as they had defeated Russia!"
Brigade HQ replied at 12.35am – Christmas Day – saying: "No communication of any sort is to be held with the enemy, nor is he to be allowed to approach our trenches under penalty of fire being opened."
Irish Times

Friday, December 19, 2014

Godwin's Law for Gun Control - UPDATED -

After reading the entire [and asinine] complaint against Bushmaster, regarding the Sandy Hook shootings....I think it's high time we develop a companion to Godwin's Law [if you mention Adolf Hitler or Nazis within a discussion, you’ve automatically lost, and ended whatever discussion you were taking part in] for the debate over gun control v. gun rights.


"If you mention the NRA-as-a-boogeyman within a discussion thread, you’ve automatically ended whatever discussion you were taking part in"


Just need a catchy name now.....

- UPDATED -

I had to share the absurd asininity [yes, that's a bit repetitive, but remember who we're dealing with...] that the gun control cabal is capable of:

video

Gun control advocate and independent filmmaker Rejina Sincic has created what she calls a PSA aimed at “reducing gun violence in schools and communities.” 
The video depicts a teenage boy sneaking into his mother’s room, taking a gun out of her dresser drawer (who knows if it’s loaded or unloaded), putting it in his backpack and then taking it to school. After class, he waits for the other students to leave then puts the gun on the teacher’s desk and says, “Can you take this away? I don’t feel safe with a gun in my house.” 
Certainly nothing could go wrong in that scenario, right? 
Bearing Arms points out: 
In the real world, such an act would result in the boy facing numerous felony charges (exact charges depend on state laws) possibly including weapons theft, unlawful possession of a weapon by a minor, illegal concealed carry of a weapon, carrying a weapon onto school property, assault, and brandishing. 
There’s also the very real chance that someone could be hurt or killed by an accidental discharge of the gun. 
Imagine if teenagers really did follow Sincic’s advice en masse? We would have hundreds of guns showing up, potentially loaded, on school property. The students would face expulsion from school. 
If your goal as an activist is to create a cultural shift, encouraging children to steal their parents’ property, endanger themselves and others, and break multiple laws is not the way to do it.
Suddenly, since gun control loons are encouraging SS and STASI like behavior....Godwin's Law seems appropriate.

QOTD - Santa's Suveillance State?

My family never practiced the "Elf on the Shelf" thing...and frankly, I don't really understand the appeal...but a Washington Post article tackled an aspect of this recent tradition, that makes no small amount of sense, subversively.


For some, the Elf on the Shelf doll, with its doe-eyed gaze and cherubic face, has become a whimsical holiday tradition — one that helpfully reminds children to stay out of trouble in the lead-up to Christmas.


For others — like, say, digital technology professor Laura Pinto — the Elf on the Shelf is “a capillary form of power that normalizes the voluntary surrender of privacy, teaching young people to blindly accept panoptic surveillance and” [deep breath] “reify hegemonic power.”


If she’s right, in all likelihood she’s fighting a losing battle. The Elf on the Shelf book sold over 6 million copies and joined the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade last year, according to the Daily Mail.


“I don’t think the elf is a conspiracy and I realize we’re talking about a toy,” Pinto told The Post. “It sounds humorous, but we argue that if a kid is okay with this bureaucratic elf spying on them in their home, it normalizes the idea of surveillance and in the future restrictions on our privacy might be more easily accepted.”


And more thought provoking [for me anyway]:


Elf on the Shelf presents a unique (and prescriptive) form of play that blurs the distinction between play time and real life. Children who participate in play with The Elf on the Shelf doll have to contend with rules at all times during the day: they may not touch the doll, and they must accept that the doll watches them at all times with the purpose of reporting to Santa Claus. This is different from more conventional play with dolls, where children create play-worlds born of their imagination, moving dolls and determining interactions with other people and other dolls. Rather, the hands-off “play” demanded by the elf is limited to finding (but not touching!) The Elf on the Shelf every morning, and acquiescing to surveillance during waking hours under the elf’s watchful eye. The Elf on the Shelf controls all parameters of play, who can do and touch what, and ultimately attempts to dictate the child’s behavior outside of time used for play.


Does this Christmas gimmick dovetail with the enormous catalog of State intrusions that we've generally come to accept, if we even acknowledge them at all? Does this in any way help a larger effort to shape society in accepting constant surveillance, tracking and monitoring...or is the 'Elf' just good holiday fun?

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Sandy Hook families sue Bushmaster - Updated -

The families of nine people murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December 2012, plus a survivor of the massacre, are  suing Bushmaster, the North Carolina company that made the semiautomatic rifle Adam Lanza used in the attack. The lawsuit also names as defendants the weapon's distributor and the East Windsor, Connecticut, gun store that sold it to Nancy Lanza, the killer's mother. Although none of these businesses broke any laws, the plaintiffs argue that they are guilty of "negligent entrustment" because they made a gun with no legitimate civilian uses available to the general public. Joshua Koskoff, an attorney representing the plaintiffs, told The Wall Street Journal "there is so much ample evidence of the inability of the civilian world to control these weapons that [it] is no longer reasonable to entrust them to [civilians]."
Reason


And here we go. Demonization of the firearm. Never mind that this firearm in question was legal to purchase and own at the time of the shooting......never mind that this firearm in question functions no differently than any [generally speaking] other semi-automatic rifle. It looks scary so it must be banned. I don't blame the lawyers here...they're just looking to make money off of tragedy...it's what they do. I don't even blame the victims families, because they are seemingly simply ignorant of the basic functions of firearms and the lawful nature of the product.


I blame the gun control cabal, who instead of focusing their attention on the root causes of why one resorts to violence.....they pursue the lazy avenue of trying to demonize the tool used in said violence. They do this fully knowledgeable to the lawful nature of these tools and the Constitutional protections guaranteed for their ownership by the citizen. They rely on invented labels and rhetoric and the relative ignorance of the public at large. They preach "gun safety" only because the truthful term of "gun control" has not panned out in their favor...but don't actually support teaching gun safety. Education is not their goal, but rather a utopian vision that will ultimately leave more victims in it's wake...as well as the fundamental and Constitutional right to defend oneself with a tool commensurate with the median threat.


- Updated - Eugene Volokhs astute summation of the merits of this case here.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Mahalo Marcus

video

Vimeo

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Apparently, only SOME lives matter.....

The president of prestigious Smith College is red-faced and apologetic Tuesday for telling students on the Northampton, Mass., campus that "all lives matter."

Kathleen McCartney wrote the phrase in the subject line of an e-mail to students at the school, whose alumni include feminists Gloria Steinem and Betty Friedan, former First Lady Nancy Reagan and celebrity chef Julia Child. McCartney was attempting to show support for students protesting racially charged grand jury decisions in which police in Missouri and New York were not charged in the deaths of unarmed black men.


Protesters have adopted several slogans in connection with the cases of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, including "Black Lives Matter." McCartney's more inclusive version of the refrain was seen as an affront that diminished the focus on black lives and racism, according to emails obtained by FoxNews.com.


“We are united in our insistence that all lives matter,” read the e-mail,in which she made clear she was strongly behind the protests, writing that the grand jury decisions had “led to a shared fury… We gather in vigil, we raise our voices in protest.”


But she soon received backlash from students for her phrasing. They were offended that she did not stick with the slogan “black lives matter.”


The Daily Hampshire Gazette, which first covered the story, quoted one Smith sophomore, Cecelia Lim, as saying, “it felt like she was invalidating the experience of black lives.”

FNC


I suppose we should be grateful that these special little snowflakes weren't so traumatized by a Grand Jury verdict they weren't a party to, that they petitioned to delay law examinations.


Prissy fricken pajama boys [and girls].......

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Pearl Harbor Day


Remember the fallen.......

Friday, December 5, 2014

That time of year again....the invented "war on Christmas"

Earlier this week, Finntann, one of the astute bloggers at Western Hero, penned a piece based on an American Atheists billboard going up in several cities. The resulting discussion was constructive and civil.



On the other end of the pendulum swing, the Catholic League is apparently countering with a billboard of their own in Los Angeles.




I would proffer that calling religion a fairy tale isn't terribly productive....nor is labeling those who don't share your belief [and your quest for preferential treatment] 'haters'.

In the spirit of the holidays....or Christmas if you prefer.....it's important to remember the actual definitions of religious liberty and religious persecution. Rachel Held Evans, author, skeptic and Christian....offers a handy flowchart for the season, along with some sage words:


There is a pernicious rumor that resurfaces every Advent season and spreads across social media faster than a cold in a kindergarten class. 
It’s the rumor that God can be “kept out” of Christmas. 
You may have heard it from Kirk Cameron or an anchor at Fox News or an army of culture warriors who have once again worked themselves into a frenzy over the “War on Christmas.” Galvanized by fear, they storm checkout counters to demand that clerks issue them a “Merry Christmas” instead of “Happy Holidays” and cry persecution when inflatable manger scenes are moved from public courthouses to private property. They pine after the good-old-days when Christians could force Jewish kids to sing Christmas carols at school and they demand that every gift purchased, every mall opened late, every credit card maxed out must be done so in Jesus’ name or else Christ will be “kept out” of Christmas. They do it because someone told them that God needs a nod from the Empire to show up, forgetting somehow that the story of Advent is the story of how God showed up as a Jew in the Roman Empire.
In a barn.  
As an oppressed minority. 
To the applause of a few poor shepherds.
The whole story of Advent is the story of how God can’t be kept out. God is present. God is with us. God shows up—not with a parade but with the whimper of a baby, not among the powerful but among the marginalized, not to the demanding but to the humble. From Advent to Easter, the story of Jesus should teach us that God doesn’t need a mention in our pledge or on our money or over the loudspeaker at the mall to be present, and when we fight like spoiled children to “keep” God in those things, we are fighting for idols. We’re chasing wind. 
Religious persecution is real. Suffering is real. But sharing the public square is not persecution and being wished “happy holidays” causes no one to suffer. 
Merry Christmas, Chanukah Sameach (Happy Chanukah) and Happy Holidays

Thursday, December 4, 2014