Soft Targets

We’ve had the second active shooter episode in a couple of days on a Navy base – first Pearl Harbor, now Pensacola.

Which has prompted some of the usual suspects to mouth the usual jibberish:

For sake of argument? Perhaps.

What it does do is show that banning guns is no defense against violence. Navy, like all military bases, and indeed all federal offices and installations, are “gun-free zones”.

Like Fort Hood. And the Little Rock recruiting station. And the Chattanooga one…

…well, hang on a minute. There, an officer, Lieutenant Commander Tim White, had a sidearm – against the rules – and returned fire at the murderer this likely played a key part in the fact that the death toll at White’s Naval Reserve center was limited to one sailor (the murdered had killed four Marines at a “gun free” recruiting center shortly before). The Navy pondered charges before demurring under an avalanche of public condemnation (although I can find no word about how the Navy treated LtCdr White afterward; I’m going to guess his career ended not long after, although I’d be happy to find out otherwise).

Anyway – this is the logic and concern for fact a Harvard degree gets you these days

The Season!

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Heartwarming holiday story.
Joe doakes

In more ways than one.

Not sure if Democrats get it yet – whenever they threaten to take guns away (and it’s become pretty much the norm over this past few years), they create a wave of new owners.

Which means “gun culture” becomes more ingrained in our society – at least the parts of the society that take freedom seriously. And it’s already pretty ingrained – maybe irreversibly so.

When Out And About This Weekend

For my band, “Elephant in the Room”, it seems to be feast or famine.

This weekend is “feast” – or as I’m calling it, our “Winter Tour 2019”.

Friday night, we’re at “Neighbors”, in Albertville. It’s our first time out there, and we’re looking forward to our first gig in the Northwest exurbs! We’ll be playing, roughly, from 9PM-1AM.

Then – Saturday night, we’re back at the Stillwater Bowl and Lounge. Don’t let the name fool you – it’s a fun room, good crowd, and they have those edge-of-the-metro food and drink prices that make going out a *lot* more fun!

https://www.facebook.com/Stillwater-Bowl-and-Lounge-969003089810159/

Hope you can stop out!

The Plan

The Minnesota DFL – and of course, the likes of the “Reverend” Nancy North Benson – don’t dream of sugarplums and fairies.

They dream of making the US just like the UK.

“You must not defend yourself with something that can hurt someone”.

Apparently, all you need is love.

Choose Your Story

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Santa Clause: “Thanks for coming, Larry.  I understand you’re not happy being an ordinary elf, making toys and wiggling your ears and saying “hee hee” and “ho ho” and stuff like that.  Is it true?”
Larry the Elf: “Oh, no, Santa. I love making toys and singing in the elf choir.”
Santa: “Larry, this is me.  Santa.  I know who’s been naughty and who’s been nice.  Straight up, Larry, are you happy in your work?”
Larry: “Okay, yeah, it’s true.  I’m tired of manual labor and I hate singing.” 
Santa: “So what would you like to do, instead?”
Larry: “Well, Hermie got transferred to the dental clinic.”
Santa: “You want to be a dentist?”
Larry: “No, I want to be an accountant.”
Santa: “It’s worse than I thought.  Okay, tell you what.  I’m creating a new position for “Regulatory Compliance Officer.”  It’s a big responsibility but I’m sure you can handle it.  Want to give it a try?”
Larry: “Would I?  Oh, thank you, Santa, it’s Christmas come early for me.  I won’t let you down.” 


Three weeks later . . . 
Larry: “Thanks for seeing me, Santa.  I have a few things that need your decision.”
Santa: “Sure thing, Larry, fire away.”
Larry: “First off, I have letters from Norway, Greenland, Russia, and United States, all claiming jurisdiction over the North Pole and asserting we owe delinquent taxes.  How should I respond?”
Santa: “Tell them to pound snow.”
Larry: “Our no-fault insurer wants to know if you use your sleigh in business and how many miles per year.
Santa: “Refer them to Clement Moore, he documents all my travel arrangements.”
Larry: “The INS denied your application for a one-night visit.  Without a visa, we’ll have to cancel Christmas in America.  What are you going to do?”
Santa: “I aim to misbehave.” 
Larry: “Santa, I’ve got another hour’s worth of issues from liability waivers for walking on slippery roofs, to appeals from naughty children who didn’t get toys, to those animal-rights activists with the “Free Rudolph” signs. But I’m getting the impression that you don’t care about complying with regulations.  So what’s the point of my job?”
Santa: “You see, Larry . . . .”
***
Choose your own story.  What’s Santa’s reply?
Joe Doakes

It’s Good To Be King

As this is written, Saint Paul is getting around the plowing non-emergency streets. Sort of. Tonight and tomorrow will be the big nights for clearing Friday and Saturday’s fairly significant snowfall.

Guess who didn’t have to wait?

Mayor Carter.

And Public Works director and former City Council boss-lady Kathy Lantry:

But the city’s plows got everyone in the area – right?

Please. It’s Saint Paul – AKA “Animal Town”. And it appears some animals may just be a little more equal than others:

So that’s why property taxes are rising – to make sure our ruling class gets the level of service to which it’s accustomed.

Fair Is Fair

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Liberals insist Citizens United was wrongly decided and must be overturned.  Really?  The Supreme Court made a mistake?  A mistaken decision must be overturned? 
Okay, I’m good with that.  But Citizens United concerns a narrow area of free speech as it applies to political campaigns. Let’s start with cases that have broader societal impact, because the errors those cases cause are much greater.  
Miranda v. Arizona
Roe v. Wade
Obergefell v. Hodges
Each of these stole the power of self-government from the states, where it rightfully belongs.  Let’s reverse all of them, then we can discuss why Hillary should be exempt from criticism. 
Joe Doakes

You notice, over time, how “logical consistency” isn’t much of a prioriity to Big Left.

Victims

This is the Associated Press, over the weekend:

In a sense, they have a point: I’ve been gleefully urging Democrats to push impeachment without rest almost since Trump was elected, seeing it as at best a goldmine for Trump, and at worst a gateway to a candidate I’d have actually supported on my own in 2016, Mike Pence, to the Oval Office.

But it’s almost like they want citizens to think that impeachment was part of some GOP/NRA/Heritage-Foundation/Military Industrial Complex plan to make the Democrats look like idiots.

And the worst thing is, Democrat voters will probably believe it.

Men In England Now A-Bed…

The tale of the Brits who, despite their government’s best efforts to neuter them, dealt with the terrorist attack in London over the weekend:

Of course, the Brits are lucky it’s a story that’s gone ’round the world; if it were regular street crime, they’d be prosecuted more seriously than the thug.

It’s something to celebrate – and take as a warning. “Progressive” government – in this case, one that strips citizens of their means and right to self-defense, rendering a citizen a subject – is a bigger danger than terrorism.

End Traffic Violence!

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Nobody needs more than one car. Nobody needs to drive a car more than once a month. There should be psychological profiles and strict background checks for all vehicle transfers, including loans to friends and rent a cars. A 6 gallon gas tank limit is plenty.

No wonder the Democrats and media are pushing the “impeachment effort” so hard; Warren is insane, and she’s the sanest of the bunch (among those who have a snowball’s chance in hell of getting nominated – sorry, A-Klo and whoever that flavor of the month from Hawaii was…).

Poison, Picked

Who am I talking about?

  • A group with a political point of view gains control of the means not only of disseminating the nation’s history – its very story.
  • The official story is made to comport with that dominant group’s narrative – in schools, journalism, academia, even museums.
  • They even bring the apparatus of the state to bear to enforce that narrative, squashing freedom of speech.

Am I referring to America’s universities and public education system!

Well, yeah – but not just them. It’s not quite that simple.

Freedom to Talk Freedom: If you’ve read this blog any length of time, you know I’ve had a longstanding fascination with the history of underdog nations and peoples – the land of most of my forefathers, Norway, as well as Israel, Finland, the Baltics (particularly Estonia), Denmark, Taiwan, and of course Poland.

Now, in Poland’s case, it’s not a story of absolutely unalloyed heroism; the Communist reign in Poland was administered and run by Poles – and there were wartime observations that some of the rural Poles living around the extermination camps were every bit as antisemitic as the Nazis themselves. And antisemitism didn’t end there; after the war, waves of antisemitic violence killed many of those who’d survived (including the leader of a heroic extermination camp breakout); in 1968, the Communist government of Władysław Gomulka expelled many of the remainder. While many Poles are represented among the “Righteous Among Nations”, they truly did face an uphill battle in large, rural swathes of the country.

Like all collections of humans, there are good ones and evil ones, and a whole lot in the middle that just wanted to survive, let along prosper, under atrocious circumstances.

That being said, Poles have for for freedom – theirs and others – since the 1700s. Poles were among the first Europeans to fight for what we now call liberal democracy, in their own homeland and ours (the American Revolution owed a debt to Kosciuszko and Pulaski). And the first tangible cracks in the Iron Curtain happened in Gdansk – in 1956 as well as 1980. There is much in the Polish heritage to balance the evil that popped up, here and there.

Poland is currently ruled by an electoral majority for the “Law and Justice” party – a party the media call “right wing”, although along with their rather fervid nationalism they have established one of the most expensive social welfare states in the European Union – which doesn’t protect them from the hatred of the Big Media, who links them, not completely inaptly, to Orange Literal Hitler Man.

And, as befits a nationalist party, they’re leading with the things that make their nation proud, and de-emphasizing the parts that don’t. Law and Justice is exerting political clout on controlling the narrative about Polish history that gets presented – via some means that should give First Amendment supporters critical pause. They’re not above a little Polish jingoism.

“On the Media” – which is to New York’s “elite” media what Pravda was to the Politburo – “tackled” the story over the weekend, with a series by reporter Laura Feder on the rise of Law and Justice, and the way they’ve exerted their control over the official history.

And it’s not all bad – it certainly helps that it’s not produced by the show’s usual hive enforcers, Bob Garfield and Brooke Gladstone. There are certainly some questions worth asking of Law and Justice, if one is a Polish voter (as I definitely am not). And a few that could be asked of “On the Media” and Ms Feder; while she covers Gomulka’s forced expulsions, she softpedals the notion that that was as much Communist policy as Polish nativist bigotry.

I actually recommend giving the pieces, above, a listen, albeit a critical one; the progsplaining and the “liberals wear the white hats” schtick gets a little galling at times.

But here’s my real question: It’s a bad thing that Law and Justice is blocking free speech to spread their preferred narrative, squeezing out the honest, complete telling of the story.

So when will “On the Media” report on the very similar effort on the part of the American Big Left in media, academia and politics to similarly control, and dishonestly skew, their own narrative?

The mainstream media – specifically, the New York Times’ – coddling Joseph Stalin, including the genocide in Ukraine? The Times’ embrace of Hitler, and the burying of the origins of the Holocaust? Their extended french kiss of the Soviets during the Cold War? The modern left’s strong-arm take-over of the American narrative in academia?

It’s a rhetorical question, I know.

Review

The Supreme Court, for the first time in nearly a decade, is hearing a significant Second Amendment case:

Faced with a defunct ban on transporting guns outside city limits, the increasingly conservative court majority could render a decision making clear what some justices believe: that the Second Amendment extends beyond the home, and that lower courts should view state and local limits on carrying guns in public with skepticism.
“This would be a strange case in which to go big,” says Joseph Blocher, a professor at Duke University School of Law and co-director of the Duke Center for Firearms Law. “Yet the stakes going forward are potentially huge.”

I heard Prof. Blocher in NPR yesterday. He seems to believe that the SCOTUS will find some excuse to turn this case toward expanding limits on gun rights.

I’m not sure if it was Pauline Kael syndrome, or playing to the NPR audience’s echo chamber, or if he knows something I don’t. I wasn’t impressed.

Gun rights groups were surprised in January when the high court agreed to hear the case. Gun control groups were surprised in October when the justices refused to jettison it, even after the city and state erased restrictions that were likely unconstitutional.
Both actions went against the court’s recent modus operandi when it comes to guns: avoidance. Since its 2008 and 2010 rulings striking down gun restrictions in the District of Columbia and Chicago, the court has refused to hear dozens of cases challenging lesser limits on who can own what types of guns, where they can be taken, what requirements must be met and more.

Expect a ruling in June.

And To Think Conservatives Believe Big Media Writes Stories About Conservative / Republican People And Events Long Beforehand, Because They’re All Writing To A Narrative

Jessica Kwong, progressive stenographer at former magazine “Newsweek”, on Donald Trump’s thanksgiving:

“it was written before knowing about the president’s surprise visit to Afghanistan-an honest mistake”

In other words, pre-written.

The Big Media aren’t “the enemy of the people”. They’re worse; after assuming the mantle of “guardian of democracy” (which, we are told, without their ministrations would “die in darkness”), they are doing something very, very different. They’re worse than an enemy; they are betraying a trust – however misbegotten.

They are swindling the people.

UPDATE: And apparently the once-mighty Newsweek can be shamed into decency; Kwong has been fired.

I’m sure she’ll be off the beach soon.

Calling BS On BS

A friend of the blog emails:

Here we continue the liberal saga perpetuated by white men that women and people of color do not have any power. I haven’t looked back far enough in history to see if Andy Richter was happy that Clarence Thomas was appointed and sharing power with white Supreme Court justices. 

Of course, more recently, liberals still aren’t accepting that there actually has been a demographic and ideological shift going on. Women and people of color may not have admitted to pollsters that they were supporting Trump, but they did. 
So, I am curious, what does “sharing power” with people of color mean? Does it mean we only accept those people of color who share the liberal ideas as people who are worthy to share our power? Or does it mean we actually look around and see we already have a pretty diverse country with lots of men, women, of all races, who hold vastly diverse opinions on the political spectrum and who already hold various levels of power, including independently minded voting? I think we are already there, and I think that’s what bothers white men like Richter. 

My two cents – since “progressives”, especially flappy jaws like RIchter, don’t recognize the legitimacy of any power from outside the “progressive” orbit, I think this sort of outburst is mostly self-purging – progressive honkies “sharing” meaningless “power” with the people to whom they’ve denied it.

The opinions of people outside the “progressive” sphere, white or black, male or female, are irrelevant at best, apostatic at worst.

It Could Happen Is Happening Here

Tyrants, like abusive spouses and sociopathic gaslighters of all kinds, are fond of making their victims believe that their travails are their fault.

Westerners – those who still bother to criticize Red China, anyway – learn with some muted horror that when the Chinese government executes a convict via their preferred method, a bullet to the back of the head, the officials follow up by sending a bill for the bullet to the family of the deceased.

Seems barbaric?

Compare it with the behavior of the authorities in Berkeley – not just students, but the authorities themselves – after protests and violence broke out at an Ann Coulter appearance last week.

However, [UC Berkeley Police Chief Margo] Bennett said she was “sympathetic” to students concerned about the heavy presence of police in riot gear around Wheeler.
“I totally understand that,” she said. “We did messaging to impacted groups that felt the presence of police caused them anxiety.” [UC Berkeley spokesman Dan] Mogulof echoed Bennett. The concerns were “understandable on a lot of different levels,” he said. “We have work to do to continue to find ways we can accommodate profound differences of opinion. We believe we have met our obligations to both free speech and the rule of law, and to provide for the safety and well-being of students and campus guests,” he said. “Having said that, I understand that students are deeply disturbed and unsettled by someone whose views they deeply disagree with.” He said counseling and other services are always available to students.
Unbelievable. The authorities here — the police chief and the university spokesman — sympathize with the mobbed-up students whose fanaticism and violence required police presence so that a conservative speaker could address those who wanted to hear her. No wonder the First Amendment is losing. The authorities pity the tyrannical mob.

It’s not the Coulter spectators, who needed to be escorted into the venue past a mob of slobbering droogs, to whom the administration is apologizing.

No.

It’s the droogs. For being “triggered” by the presence of the police. Who needed to be there because of them.

But it’s not just Berkeley. It’s right here.

Mayor Jacob “McDreamy” Frey, after all but literally inviting thugs to attack attendees at last month’s Trump rally in Minneapolis, and allegedly ordering the police to not intervene as the droogs and their boyfriends chased down old men and sucker-punched 5’2 women, is blaming…

…well, who do you think?

One noxious facet of Urban Progressive Prvilege is that its beneficiaries never have to feel guilty for even their most depraved acts, because “progressive” ends justify all means.

Tear Down This Wall

This week is one of those time when one hopes that the people of Hong Kong know what Lech Wałęsa knew, and our “elites”, then as now, didn’t:

he Hong Kong pro-democracy movement achieved a stunning victory in Sunday’s district-council elections. With turnout exceeding 70 percent, close to 90 percent of the seats went to pro-democracy candidates, who took 17 of the 18 district councils. As the first electoral barometer of public sentiment since protests began in June, the results are a turning point in the conflict that has wracked Hong Kong for the last six months.
Though the district councils’ authority is mostly local, they appoint 117 of the 1,200 members of Hong Kong’s Election Committee. Coupled with the roughly 400 opposition members already sitting on the election committee, the additional seats will give the pro-democracy camp much greater sway when the next chief executive of Hong Kong is selected in 2022. The current chief executive, Carrie Lam, has denounced this year’s protests and remained staunchly on the side of Beijing.

Watching how squarely our “elites” have come down , not so much “on Beijing’s side” as “trying not to cheese off the benevolent dictors” reminds me of life in the late seventies, when “detente” so frequently overrode any desire to call out the Soviets for what they actually were. It remained up to the locals – the Poles, Estonians, Czechs – and dissidents here at home, the “crazies” and “McCarthyite Cold Warriors”, to remind the world.

And the idea that the world would go from the squashing of Solidarity in 1980 to the fall of the Wall within ten years was almost as unthinkable as the idea of calling for a landing on the moon by 1970 in 1960.

As it seems today.

Keep your fingers crossed.

Premonition

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Oh, so NOW they’re starting to talk about it?  I’ve been pointing out this looming problem for years.
Look, people can afford about $1,500 per month for housing.  If interest rates are 7%, then most of the payment goes to interest so principal must be lower – home prices fall. But if home prices fall, Baby Boomer home owners lose equity.   
The Fed has kept interest rates low to preserve the equity in Baby Boomers’ homes; but that also meant low interest rates on savings.  Boomers have money tied up in their houses because there’s nowhere else to invest. 
Most Boomers are sheep, they follow the herd.  When they decide to sell their existing homes and move to retirement homes, the competition for buyers will lead to reduced home prices.  The race to the bottom, coupled with low interest rates on savings, will wipe out the wealth of an entire generation.
Since they have no savings, and no equity, Boomers will be dependent Social Security and Medicare.  But those programs already are incapable of self-support and young people carrying college debt and new homes can’t afford to pay higher taxes.  The entire thing is an actuarial nightmare.  Or more accurately, a house of cards awaiting the slightest puff of breeze to bring it down.
When the US economy collapses in a mountain of unsustainable debt, the world economy goes with it.  
Our military preparedness is low, our economy is suspect, our enemies are gaining strength, our borders are undefended.  It’s beginning to feel as if I’m sitting in Rome in 450 AD.  What lies ahead is a thousand years of darkness.
Luckily, Democrats are focused like a laser on what’s important – making sure Americans cannot defend themselves after the crash
Joe Doakes

Best case, that collapse leads to forced privatization of…well, most everything. It’s not implausible.

But given the sheep-like nature and entitlement of the “elites” of the Millennial generation, I’m not too bullish on best-case solutions.

More on that, probably, later this week or next.

Addicted To Envy

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Elizabeth Warren is tired of freeloading billionaires.  They should pay their fair share.
She’s got a point.  Nobody needs a billion dollars.  At some point, you’ve got enough money, right? 
But what is that point?  A billion?  A million?  A hundred thousand?  The underlying motivation is not economics but envy, which judges the rich to be “anyone who has more than I do.”
Joe Doakes

Modern progressivism is entirely about catering to humanity’s basest instincts.

Kamala Harris: Going For The Banana Republican Nomination

Alleged presidential candidate Kamala Harris on how she’ll solve the “crisis” in pharmaceutical prices:

Wait.

Wasn’t Trump supposed to be the wannabe dictator?

Some Pathological Liars Are More Equal Than Others

Famous not-actual-Native American Elizabeth Warren, who was not fired from a job for being pregnant, didn’t actually send her kid to public school.

But it took other people, in every case, to make that info public.

The school thing? Oh, yeah:

Sarah Carpenter, a pro-school choice activist who organized a protest of Warren’s Thursday speech in Atlanta, told Warren that she had read news reports indicating the candidate had sent her kids to private school. Though Warren once favored school choice and was an advocate for charter schools, she changed her views while seeking the Democratic presidential nomination.
“We are going to have the same choice that you had for your kids because I read that your children went to private schools,” Carpenter told Warren when the two met, according to video posted to social media, which was first identified by Corey DeAngelis, director of school choice at Reason Foundation.
Warren denied the claim, telling Carpenter, “My children went to public schools.”
A school yearbook obtained by the Washington Free Beacon indicates, however, that Warren’s son, Alex Warren, attended the Kirby Hall School for at least the 1986-1987 school year, Warren’s final year as a professor at the University of Texas at Austin. The college preparatory school is known for its “academically advanced curriculum” and offers small class sizes for students in grades K-12. The yearbook indicates that Alex Warren attended as a fifth grader.

Running as she is for the nomination by party for which an outsized share of delegates work for the Teachers Unions, it makes good sense to throw black families under the bus (and promising “historic investments” is exactly that).

Except within the Democrat party.

Opening Shots

The newly Democrat-clogged Virginia Assembly is hearing a number of California-style gun grab bills in coming weeks.

In response, a number of Virginia counties are declaring themselves “Second Amendment Sanctuaries:

So far we have at least 7 brand new Sanctuary Counties in Virginia that we are aware of: Charlotte County, Campbell County, Carroll County, Appomattox County, Patrick County, Pittsylvania County, and Dinwiddie County. All so far have passed unanimously!

And more counties are on the way.

I attended the Board of Supervisors meeting in Amherst County last night. The turnout by gun owners was HUGE! The good-sized meeting room was full, standing room only, the crowd spilled out into the hallway, stairs, entrance, went out the front door and wrapped around the parking lot!
I was afraid I made the two-hour trip for nothing, as I didn’t think I could even get in the meeting room to speak. Many thanks to Speaker Vance Wilkins for his help on that. I did get to speak, emphasizing the importance of the resolution.
Apparently, it was a similar situation in Franklin County yesterday, too.
Both counties postponed the vote until they have their next Board of Supervisors meeting. In Amherst, the delay was to incorporate some of the wording from the VCDL model resolution. Franklin wanted more time to review the overall wording with their lawyers.
I believe both counties are going to pass the resolution.

In the event – heaven forefend – that the DFL takes the Senate and holds the House next fall, Minnesotans are going to need to start doing the same kind of work. The Virginia Citizens Defense League has published a bit of a guide on the subject:

VCDL 2A Second Amendment Sa… by AmmoLand Shooting Sports News on Scribd

Worth a read.