Sunday, June 30, 2013

We've finally reached the peak of Mt Dumbass

The City of Highland Park, IL voted to ban "assault weapons". We've been there before, and we'll be there again. But what doesn't get as much play, are the true intentions of the gun control cabal. It's not about "gun safety".....if it were, they would be proposing gun safety education. And it's not their tired canard of allegedly supporting 'hunters and sportsmen'.

It's about complete civilian disarmament, and the right of a citizen to defend oneself, irrespective of the State.

Speaking in favor of the ban on scary looking rifles, former Councilwoman and local columnist Sally Higginson publicized their true intentions:
"The argument that owning an assault weapon leads to greater security is specious. In fact, owning a weapon in order to use it for self-protection is not self-defense. It is vigilante law enforcement. That makes for entertaining movies and a terrifying reality."
Highland Park Patch

h/t TTAG

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Liberty v. Religion

The Supreme Court struck down a key part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act on Wednesday and declared that same-sex couples who are legally married deserve equal rights to the benefits under federal law that go to all other married couples.

The decision is a landmark win for the gay rights movement. It voids a section of the law known as DOMA, which was adopted with bipartisan support in Congress in 1996 to deny all benefits and recognition to same-sex couples.
- LA Times
And across this great land, one could hear the wailing and gnashing of teeth, from those who oppose the philosophy behind this ruling. Up front, I will admit to being a proponent of government dis-involving itself completely from the act of marriage, other than protecting the contractual rights as they would in any other case. All marriages [or whatever we would deem to label them] would be a contract entered into by two consenting adults. If those adults wished to have their contract consecrated by the clergy of their choice, then they can do so.

I've searched in vain for reasonable arguments in light of this ruling, and the best I can find are those that rightly proffer that the maze of bureaucracy is ill equipped to negotiate the byzantine path between state recognized marriages [or not] and federal recognition. A fair point.

But what we are treated to more often, is a cacophony of blather akin to the crazy guy with a sandwich board sign on the street corner, admonishing passers-by, that the world is ending. So let me back up a bit. I am a devout agnostic. I believe that there is quite possibly an intelligent creator of all that we survey; and given that I very much believe in ghosts, I am certain that our souls exist irrespective of our earthly forms. Whether or not what comes after takes the form of a biblical heaven, or we discover that we've all been residing in some sort of cosmic petri dish...I cannot say.

I also respect one's belief in a God, of the Bible, the Koran, the Talmud, etc. But I view that belief as a personal connection between an individual and that deity. So while what I continue to write may sound offensive to some, it is not my intention to be such. But it is hard to argue against the notion, I believe, that all religions [Christianity included] are a framework of man. Christianity has been categorically shown to have evolved in fundamental ways since even before the Councils of Nicaea. Man has witnessed the various debates over theological teachings in Christianity alone, and the violent repression of those who dared to practice faith in differing manners. We have witnessed the wanton borrowing of pagan holidays and rituals and the continuing addition of trappings and ritual, based on the decisions of man. So I am of the opinion that belief is supernatural, whereas religion is man-made.

The reactions to the DOMA and Prop 8 rulings, from those who oppose the outcome, is not new to anybody...but I'm genuinely interested at how a set of Americans who generally would consider themselves to be proponents of liberty and minimal government intrusion....can likewise oppose extending those same rights that they enjoy, to their fellow Americans for no other reason than they were born with a biological aberration to be disposed to the same gender, in the same way heterosexuals are disposed to the opposite. The general current is that if homosexual Americans are granted these same liberties, the marriages of the rest of us will either be cheapened or 'destroyed'. My wife and I joke that since the DOMA ruling, we may as well get divorced, if our marriage isn't supposed to mean as much to us now.

A thought provoking [for me at least] article at Religion Dispatches, speaks to how Christians could be in part, responsbile for their own predicament:
Christians have alienated gays and lesbians and their families, friends, and sympathetic allies, driving many away from the love of Jesus Christ and contributing to the secularization of American culture. They have done a great deal to create hostility to the church and closed ears to the Gospel. The saddest cases are the church’s own rejected gay and lesbian adolescents and twentysomethings. They are legion.
I'm not even terribly concerned with someone's private point of view on this issue [keenly interested, but not what I find to be anti-liberty]. I'm concerned with the public statements of political leaders who have sworn an oath to uphold the Constitution, not a religious tome.....and a bit entertained by the 'woe is us' reaction from religious leaders. A few examples of the reactions that have me perplexed.
State Rep. Brian Sims (D-Philadelphia) was silenced on the House floor by a colleague, who later explained his actions: "I did not believe that as a member of that body that I should allow someone to make comments such as he was preparing to make that ultimately were just open rebellion against what the word of God has said, what God has said, and just open rebellion against God's law." Rep. Daryl Metcalfe (R-Butler).
Perfectly acceptable if the two distinguished gentlemen were in a house of worship, rather than the Pennsylvania people's house. Perhaps Rep. Metcalfe is confused as to where the loyalties of his oath lie.
Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-KS) accused the justices of trying to “rewrite the Constitution” and of attacking Jesus Christ himself. “The idea that Jesus Christ himself was degrading and demeaning is what they’ve come down to,” he said.

He added, “the left has every intention of turning government against the church.” He added that progressive are bent on “ramming their views down the throats of Americans.
Perhaps the good Representative has forgotten that his religious point of view has kept some of his fellow citizens from enjoying the same right, privileges and protections that he and his like-minded compatriots have enjoyed.
Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) claims that gay marriage always emerges “at the end of a great civilization.” He said the “'holy quintet'” of the Supreme Court has gone against the laws of nature and nature’s God, and now America will suffer the consequences."
He of course, did not provide any examples of his claim. But the theme appears to be common. Somehow, a God that we can't prove exists, will take catastrophic umbrage, not at the perceived sinner, but on the nation as a whole. And somehow, as such, in a nation of many faiths and none, we should mold our laws [and more importantly, our liberties] to comport with a religious faith...when our founding documents and the intentions behind them, quite clearly proscribe such an action of state.

I won't even bother with the wild rantings of various religious leaders and pundits, because quite frankly, their offensive and insulting to the tenets of our Republic [and this post is probably long and ranting enough].

So how do some political leaders come to the notion that we should restrict the individual and collective liberties of our fellow Americans based on their personal belief system? One can quite easily make a biblical case against homosexuality and the exercising of liberty by that demographic set. But the defendants in the SCOTUS case were asked to provide evidence of direct and tangible injury to their litigants, to anybody, by allowing gays to exercies these same liberties that they enjoy themselves.

They did not....because they could not.

That won't stop these politicians from using your tax dollars to continue to push laws [and a proposed Federal Amendment!] to fight against the individual liberty of your fellow citizens, over an issue that does not harm or have any tangible effect on fellow citizens.

Limited government indeed.

Intemperate thought of the day

I abhor the non-stop media coverage of the Zimmerman trial........but Rachel Jeantel just about represents everything that is wrong with America today.

All this has happened before. All this will happen again.

We've allowed civilian law enforcement to militarize. Shame on us. Don't think it can happen here? It already has.
RCMP revealed Thursday that officers have seized a “substantial amount” of firearms from homes in the evacuated town of High River.

“We just want to make sure that all of those things are in a spot that we control, simply because of what they are,” said Sgt. Brian Topham.

“People have a significant amount of money invested in firearms ... so we put them in a place that we control and that they’re safe.”

That news didn’t sit well with a crowd of frustrated residents who had planned to breach a police checkpoint northwest of the town as an evacuation order stretched into its eighth day.

“I find that absolutely incredible that they have the right to go into a person’s belongings out of their home,” said resident Brenda Lackey, after learning Mounties have been taking residents’ guns. “When people find out about this there’s going to be untold hell to pay.”

See photos from the scene.

About 30 RCMP officers set up a blockade at the checkpoint, preventing 50 residents from walking into the town. Dozens more police cars, lights on, could be seen lining streets in the town on standby.

Officers laid down a spike belt to stop anyone from attempting to drive past the blockade. That action sent the crowd of residents into a rage.

“What’s next? Tear gas?” shouted one resident.

“It’s just like Nazi Germany, just taking orders,” shouted another.

“This is the reason the U.S. has the right to bear arms,” said Charles Timpano, pointing to the group of Mounties.

Officers were ordered to fall back about an hour into the standoff in order to diffuse the situation and listen to residents’ concerns.

“We don’t want our town to turn into another New Orleans,” said resident Jeff Langford. “The longer that the water stays in our houses the worse it’s going to be. We’ll either
h/t Son of Liberty

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

DOMA is Dead - Liberty Wins

That is all.

Family Dynamics

h/t Gun Free Zone

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Are we Sheepdogs or Wolfhounds?

Mad Ogre raises an interesting question, and one that I had not given thought to before.....but it makes perfect sense.
The term Sheepdog is often used by people in the Gun Community and has been for some years.  However I am not sure its accurate.  Sheepdogs may fight off wolves and coyotes, but they also help herd them… At least the working dog types do.  Some live their lives as Sheep.  Raised with them.  Stay with them.  Generally act and even look like them.  There is no one breed of Sheepdog, as its a generic term.  But over all, the term lacks accuracy for our purposes here.
Wolfhounds on the other hand…
Few breeds can be called Wolfhounds and all have the same traits.  They were all bred specifically to act as Protectors, Guardians, and some were even bred specifically to hunt Wolves.  Such as the Irish Wolfhound.  Originally called a Warhound by the early Irish, the struck fear in the Romans who encountered them. After the Romans were sent packing, the breed was refund to the Wolf Hunter we know of today.
Wolfhounds don’t try to herd sheep.  In today’s country, such a task is useless.  Over half of this nation doesn’t want to watch out for Wolves.  They think the Wolves will be nice if they are nice to them.  They are truly Sheep.  They can’t read and comprehend History.  History shows us that when Wolves have an easy meal, they well come back.  Wolfhounds naturally understand this.  We are a breed apart.  We can’t educate the Sheep.  We can’t be responsible for them.  We can only be responsible for our own families, and ignore the rest, let them live their lives as they wish.
The Wolfhounds don’t expect anyone else to fight the Wolves for them.  We train ourselves to protect those we love.  We may train together, may fight together, but we will fight on our own if needs be.
The Wolfhound can’t help but to be this way as its his nature. Its our nature.
We are Wolfhounds.
We were born Wolfhounds, and we will die Wolfhounds.  We can’t think like Sheep.  And we can’t tolerate Wolves.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Diogenes just surfs for porn now

It was contrary to Athenian customs to eat within the marketplace, and still he would eat, for, as he explained when rebuked, it was during the time he was in the marketplace that he felt hungry. He used to stroll about in full daylight with a lamp; when asked what he was doing, he would answer, "I am just looking for an honest man." Diogenes looked for a human being but reputedly found nothing but rascals and scoundrels.
This is not a new phenomenon, but rather one that has perplexed me for years now. Bias.

Bias isn't inherently bad, but most people seem to use it like Linus's security blanket, to avoid having to challenge their preconceived notions about politics, and everything that they view through a political lens [which seems to be nearly everything]. Perhaps I've become more sensitive to it because I try to avoid using it as a crutch. Bias is natural and normal. Using one's bias to filter relevant facts from contentious issues and insert falsehoods, isn't. The manner in which many people will defend their chosen political party would make one wonder if they were on the payroll as a PR consultant.

This occurs in two distinct but inextricable approaches.

- The first involves substituting emotional reaction for facts....but framing that reaction as if it were factual. People's Exhibit A: "Obama hates America and wants to destroy it." . In the past, we would call a disagreement in public policy for what it was...a disagreement. In today's culture of sensationalism and contrived drama [ironically the "reality show" culture that this society has become], simple political disagreement isn't enough for the attention deficit, intellectual midgets among us. It simply has to be a paradigm changing, anti-American [and often anti-Christian] foreboding trait that separates "US" [the good political party] and "THEM" [the bad political party]. This is but one example of a stock, yet throwaway, remark towards one's political impugn their character in such a manner as to explicitly proffer that only your political party is the true defender of patriotism and  the American way.

Truths and factual foundations can stand on their own, can stand scrutiny, and stand for principle. So many recent political arguments are defined by one's emotional reaction that is immeasurable to any but the beholder of the bias. We are treated to lists of why the current Administration is so dangerous to the tenets of liberty......but these lists contain these emotional reactions that often outnumber the facts presented. There is no shortage of factual arguments to make, to present this Administration as detrimental to liberty. Is this because the promulgator is simply lazy.....or is it because there would have to be an acknowledgment that one's own party engages in a similar vein of policies oppressive to liberty? Add to this mix, the inherent hypocrisy given that the roles reverse when each party rotates in an out of Congress and the White House. Those who squealed loudest about the paradigm of "Bush Derangement Syndrome" a few years ago....are ignorant [willing or otherwise] that an "Obama Derangement Syndrome" now exists.

If you're argument is sound in principle, it will stand on it's own. There is simply no need to invent realities, utilize pejoratives, or discard logic and make your point.

- The second approach is to label and frame one's political opponent. This is my favorite, since as a Libertarian, I get accused by both major parties, of belonging to the other major party, dependent on the issue at hand. It's both entertaining and frustrating at once. This approach is fratricidal as well. If one of your own party fails to toe the line, they become a RINO or DINO. I suppose their could be a LINO as well.....Glenn Beck and the tea party would be my personal applications of such a label.

Again bias comes into play, but unlike snowflakes, they tend to follow two distinct streams of thought. If we ever did, we no longer base an assessment on what somebody actual states their position to be on the merits, we base the assessment on what left/right ideology they belong to....or worse we simply assign an ideology to them. Because I consider civil liberties to be fundamentally Conservative, I don't view most Republicans or the platforms as Conservative....hence....I become a Democrat to many on the right. Because I consider the right to own firearms and take the responsibility to defend myself to be a fundamental civil liberty, I become a Republican to many on the left.

People, by and large, have assigned a political ideology or party affiliation to nearly every issue facing society, even those that have virtually no tie in with political theory. They then argue these issues, not on the facts or the merits of the issue, but on the affiliation of ideology that they have assigned to it.

It's lazy....and it's a distraction.

And for the icing on this flat, sour cake, is the media. The "news" media that has decided to frame nearly every issue as residing in a Left/Right paradigm. The "news" media that profits from this contrived and rhetorical divide....and spawns yet another arena of useless bias.

In the end, it all comes down to what team you root for. Logic is lost in the crowd....if it ever even makes it to the game. Reason is discarded like a sweaty jock strap, in favor of colorful pom-poms. It doesn't even matter how well these teams play the game [though there are clearly no winners here...only], all that matters is the cheerleading.

If poor Diogenes were around today, he would give up his fruitless search, and download porn....since ironically, it contains more honesty in it's scripted fantasy, than our political landscape does.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Intemperate thought of the day

Can we PLEASE stop getting play-by-play updates every time Nelson Mandela gets a chest cold?

Sunday, June 16, 2013

I can't help but like the new Pope

Pope Francis has made some decision in his short tenure that I can only applaud; not being a Catholic, I nonetheless can see his ability to possibly reform the church in such a way, to balance faith and liberty...without the previous ostentatiousness.

And the latest reason I'm liking him more......

Biker culture came to the Vatican on Sunday as Pope Francis blessed thousands of Harley-Davidsons and their riders celebrating the manufacturer's 110th anniversary with a loud parade and plenty of leather.

Thundering Harley engines nearly drowned out the Latin recitation of the "Our Father" prayer that accompanied Francis as he greeted the crowd before Mass. Standing in his open-top jeep, Francis drove up the main boulevard leading to St. Peter's Square, blessing the thousands of people in what was a giant Harley parking lot.

Once the service got under way, bikers in their trademark leather Harley vests sat in the square alongside nuns and tens of thousands of faithful Catholics taking part in an unrelated, two-day pro-life rally.

Francis addressed them both afterward, giving a blessing to the "numerous participants" of the Harley gathering.

A Father's Day Classic

Ten Simple Rules for Dating my Daughter

* Updated to reflect my generation

Rule One :

If you pull into my driveway and honk you'd better be delivering a package, because you're sure not picking anything up.

Rule Two :

You do not touch my daughter in front of me. You may glance at her, so long as you do not peer at anything below her neck. If you cannot keep your eyes or hands off of my daughter's body, I will remove them.

Rule Three :

I am aware that it is considered fashionable for boys your age to wear their trousers so loose that they appear to be falling off. Please don't take this as an insult, but you and all of your friends are complete idiots. Still, I want to be fair and open minded about this issue, so I propose this compromise: You may come to the door with your underwear showing and your pants ten sizes too big, and I will not object. However, to ensure that your clothes do not, in fact, come off during your date with my daughter, I will use my electric nail gun and fasten your trousers securely to your waist.

Rule Four :

I'm sure you've been told that in today's world, sex without utilizing a "barrier method" of some kind can kill you. Let me elaborate, when it comes to sex, I am the barrier, and I will kill you.

Rule Five :

In order for us to get to know each other, we could talk about sports, politics, and other issues of the day. Please do not do this. The only information I require from you is an indication of when you expect to have my daughter safely back at my house, and the only word I need from you on this subject is "early."

Rule Six :

I have no doubt you are a popular fellow, with many opportunities to date other girls. This is fine with me as long as it is okay with my daughter. Otherwise, once you have gone out with my little girl, you will continue to date no one but her until she is finished with you. If you make her cry, I will make you cry.

Rule Seven :

As you stand in my front hallway, waiting for my daughter to appear, and more than an hour goes by, do not sigh and fidget. If you want to be on time for the movie, you should not be dating. My daughter is putting on her makeup, a process that can take longer than painting the Golden Gate Bridge. Instead of just standing there, why don't you do something useful, like changing the oil in my car?

Rule Eight :

The following places are not appropriate for a date with my daughter: Places where there are beds, sofas, or anything softer than a wooden stool. Places where there are no parents, policemen, or nuns within eyesight. Places where there is darkness. Places where there is dancing, holding hands, or happiness. Places where the ambient temperature is warm enough for my daughter to wear shorts, tank tops, midriff T-shirts, or anything other than overalls, a sweater, and a goose down parka zipped up to her throat. Movies with a strong romantic or sexual theme are to be avoided; movies which features chain saws are okay. Hockey games are okay. Old folks homes are better.

Rule Nine :

Do not lie to me. I may appear to be a crusty, gray-haired, middle-aged, dimwitted has-been. But on issues relating to my daughter, I am the all-knowing, merciless god of your universe. If I ask you where you are going and with whom, you have one chance to tell me the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. I have a shotgun, a shovel, and five acres behind the house. Do not trifle with me.

Rule Ten :

Be afraid. Be very afraid. It takes very little for me to mistake the sound of your car in the driveway for a chopper coming in over a wadi outside of Baghdad. When my PTSD starts acting up, the voices in my head frequently tell me to clean the guns as I wait for you to bring my daughter home. As soon as you pull into the driveway you should exit your car with both hands in plain sight. Speak the perimeter password, announce in a clear voice that you have brought my daughter home safely and early, then return to your car--there is no need for you to come inside. The camouflaged face watching you from the window is mine.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

This is for my erudite readers.....and my fellow Gun Nuts

Instead of a cat, Schrodinger could have explained his theory better with how the ATF defines "machine gun".

Tweet by Robb Allen

Monday, June 10, 2013

Two easy NSA predictions

- DNI Clapper and NSA Chief Keith Alexander will NOT be charged for perjury, when they willfully lied to Congress and the American people.

- Partisans of both major parties will continue to bitch and howl at the moon, at how this scandal is solely to work of the opposite party.

That is all.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Disarm them while they're young....

An elementary school will hold a toy gun exchange Saturday, offering students a book and a chance to win a bicycle if they turn in their play weapons.

Strobridge Elementary Principal Charles Hill maintains that children who play with toy guns may not take real guns seriously.

"Playing with toys guns, saying 'I'm going to shoot you,' desensitizes them, so as they get older, it's easier for them to use a real gun," Hill said.

At Saturday's event, called Strobridge Elementary Safety Day, a Hayward police officer will demonstrate bicycle and gun safety, and the Alameda County Fire Department is sending a rig and crew to talk about fire safety.

Fingerprinting and photographing of children will be offered, with the information put on CDs for parents to use, if needed, in a missing child case. All youngsters attending will be given a ticket to exchange for a book, Hill said.

Every child who brings a toy gun will get a raffle ticket to win one of four bicycles, Hill said.

Having a group of children playing cops and robbers or cowboys and Indians is a normal part of growing up," said Yih-Chau Chang, spokesman for Responsible Citizens of California, a group whose goal is to educate the public about the facts behind gun rights.

"While the intentions are obviously good on the part of the school administration, this doesn't really educate children about guns or gun safety," he said. "Guns are used in crimes, but they are more often used in defensive ways which prevent violent crime from occurring in the first place."

So the indoctrination continues. We're teaching an entire generation to be scared and ignorant of firearms...thus ensuring that gun safety becomes a relic of the past....and instilling a deeper sense of dependency on the State instead of accounting for your own safety, and that of your loved ones.

The meek shall indeed inherit the earth...right up until bullies take it away from them with incredible ease.

No word apparently, on whether lego guns, drawings of guns, pop tarts shaped like guns, or a verbal uttering of the word 'gun' will result in a free book.

Monday, June 3, 2013

The Passivity of Sheep, Part II - The Education Edition

The following article may shed some light on why large swaths of our society are prone to retreat from, or casually disregard events where their fellow citizens are in need.

Instead of acknowledging when a citizen displays valor or courage, they are reprimanded for not relying on the State.
Briar MacLean was sitting in class during a study period Tuesday, the teacher was on the other side of the room and, as Grade 7 bullies are wont to do, one kid started harassing another.
"I was in between two desks and he was poking and prodding the guy,” Briar, 13, said at the kitchen table of his Calgary home Friday.

“He put him in a headlock, and I saw that.”
He added he didn’t see the knife, but “I heard the flick, and I heard them say there was a knife.”
The rest was just instinct. Briar stepped up to defend his classmate, pushing the knife-wielding bully away.
The teacher took notice, the principal was summoned and Briar went about his day. It wasn’t until fourth period everything went haywire.

“I got called to the office and I wasn’t able to leave until the end of the day,” he said.
That’s when Leah O’Donnell, Briar’s mother, received a call from the vice-principal.

Mike Ridewood for National PostLeah O'Donnell and her son Briar MacLean, 13, in Calgary, Friday, May 31, 2013. .“They phoned me and said, ‘Briar was involved in an incident today,’” she said. “That he decided to ‘play hero’ and jump in.”
Ms. O’Donnell was politely informed the school did not “condone heroics,” she said. Instead, Briar should have found a teacher to handle the situation.

“I asked: ‘In the time it would have taken him to go get a teacher, could that kid’s throat have been slit?’ She said yes, but that’s beside the point. That we ‘don’t condone heroics in this school.’ ”
Instead of getting a pat on the back for his bravery, Briar was made to feel as if he had done something terribly wrong. The police were called, the teen filed a statement and his locker was searched.

Sitting in their northwest Calgary home as Briar’s younger brother played with Buzz Lightyear action figures, Ms. O’Donnell said this isn’t the first time her child had been in trouble for confronting bullies, either.
She teaches her son to stand up for others, and for himself. His heroics were featured on the front page of Friday’s Calgary Sun. His mother had obtained several copies she stacked on her coffee table.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Chicks dig Muddy Ruckers

Crunchy chicks* that is.

Hiked the Aiea Loop again. It's been raining Ppoki's and `Ilio's [cats and dogs] for the last week, so I knew my ridgeline hiking was going to be limited. I was going to attempt the Aiea Ridge Trail, but after taking the Loop trail to the branch, and on to the Ridge was simply to slippery, with high winds and driving rain. So, since the Loop trail is you know....a loop, I decided to go around once, the turn around at the end point and go back around counter-clockwise.

I reaffirmed my trail snobbery, by inwardly chuckling at the 'pedestrians' slipping and sliding along the loop trail in all manner of street shoes. I rocked the History of Britain podcast the entire way. Yep, I'm just that kind of dork.

Not a hard trail, but challenging today. It was a right muddy mess, as evidenced below.

* Crunchy chicks - Women who fear neither mud nor sweat; them that can tackle terrain like the hardiest of men; women who are naturally beautiful without the need for mani/pedi's and makeup; adventurous in spirit, but well grounded and laid back. I like 'em so much, I married one.

Shooter's Envy

My only claim to fame was hitting the Iron Maiden at 1000 yds with my M21 and iron sights, on my last day of range week at Sniper School. But that was with a spotter, in the prone, a warm gun and several adjusting rounds.

Probably no small amount of luck either.

This guy rocks.