No, lefties, it’s still not a wave. No, GOP, it’s not Trump, it’s you.

A special election took place in Pennsylvania yesterday to replace a Republican congressman.  At the moment, the Democratic candidate Conor Lamb is holding a razor-thin edge over the Republican replacement Rick Saccone, and once again we have a chorus of eager and gleeful Democratic cheerleaders out declaring that barely squeaking by in a district that leans Democrat 46 to 41% but that “Trump carried by 19 points” means the blue wave is coming.

I find it interesting that when the left does pull one of these elections out, it’s always by a nose.  Funny, that.  Moving on.

It does us no good to ignore PA-18 but likewise it does us no good to throw up our hands in defeat and phone it in for November like the fake news and the Democrats want us to.  So let’s look a little closer at this race.  This was a special standalone election to replace a Republican who resigned in disgrace after it was discovered he pressured his mistress to have an abortion (while it’s questionable whether she was ever actually pregnant, the takeaway here is we take out our trash).  So you have a district that is being redrawn out of existence before November, and people who are soured on the GOP and RINOs in particular, in a district that already leans Democratic in a traditionally blue (arguably purple but pretty bluish purple) state.  Once again you have a massive fundraising edge for the Democrat and a lackluster are-you-even-trying candidate on the Republican side.  In addition, you have a Democratic candidate who did NOT run as the “let’s piss off Donald Trump” candidate and actually ran hard to the right, selling himself as pro-business and anti-gun control, and more or less leaving President Trump out of it.  And it didn’t help matters that the Republican here seemed content to do the same.  Yes, I know that President Trump came out to stump for Rick Saccone but it’s one thing for the president to support you, and another entirely for you to support the president.  With all those advantages, it looks at the moment like the Democrats pulled off a win.  So RINO-ing it up apparently didn’t save Rick Saccone, it just meant Gloria Allred got to keep her powder dry for another day.

It should also be noted that this is only the second flip out of several for national seats that has taken place since President Trump was elected.  It should further be noted that, with the exception of this seat in particular, all these vacancies came up because the Republicans holding these seats in Congress got promoted to positions in the Trump administration.  Of course that puts the seat in play and makes it possible to flip.  Taking a seat out from under an actual incumbent is another matter entirely.  Otherwise, Democrats have made small gains on the state and local level in either elections that don’t matter (like in Wisconsin) or in hopelessly deep blue states (like Virginia).  In all of 2017, 98 special elections took place at the statehouse level.  17 of them resulted in a flip–and 3 of them resulted in Democrat seats going Republican.  Yes, that means there has been a net loss of 11 GOP seats, but it should also be noted that four of those are in the New Hampshire House of Representatives.  So what, you may ask?  Little known fact is that there are 400 members of the New Hampshire House.  That’s almost as many as are in the entire U.S. House, and it doesn’t take a lot of support to get in.  Considering that New Hampshire is a blue-leaning-purple state, Democrats “winning” these seats is about as significant as winning an election for dogcatcher.  Democrats also flipped 3 seats each in Oklahoma and Georgia, which didn’t even make a dent in the GOP majorities in either state–neither state is going blue anytime soon, children, which means nobody’s spending their money there on the GOP side.

For all these indicia that no, it’s really not a wave, there is a disturbing trend that the national GOP just does not seem to be able to wrap its head around.  Ironically the trolls and the fake news have nailed this far better than most Republicans appear to be able to (h/t to Salena Zito who appears to be comprehending it) by pointing out that PA-18 went Trump by 19 points over Dr. Pantsuit.  This election was not a referendum on President Trump.  It was a referendum on the GOP.  So far, the only loser on a national scale who came out in full-throated support of President Trump has been Roy Moore, and it took a nationwide scandal and the NeverTrumpers’ going all-in on a pathetically transparent lie just to get enough Alabama voters to say “screw this, I’m out” so Doug Jones could score a (wouldn’t you know it) narrow win.  Previously, vocal Trumpists like Greg Gianforte survived a nonsense last-minute scandal, while Karen Handel sailed to a win over Jon “I want to be President Trump’s worst nightmare” Ossoff, and despite the failure of the national Republican party to get a clue and wake up, the Democrats have clearly been taking notes.  Conor Lamb ran to the right and did not make President Trump his opponent.  Rick Saccone failed to make President Trump his ally.  It’s as simple as that.  Rick Saccone could have brought this one home if his campaign had been “I will go to Washington to help President Trump do exactly what you elected him to do,” but instead he went with mumbled support and standard Republican talking points rather than even try to hitch his wagon to the Trump train.  If there is a Democratic wave coming, it’s not coming because of President Trump.  It’ll be of the Republicans’ own making.

President Trump’s support isn’t waning.  He’s more popular at this point in his presidency than Whatshisname was, despite being under constant attack from the fake news.  The Republicans, on the other hand, seem determined to find a way to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, and if they continue to run and hide from the exact things they have claimed to want and support all these years just because it’s dressed up in a business suit and a MAGA hat, then they’ll deserve to lose.



A pawn or a player


As the Astroturf Planeteers’ fifteen minute clock runs well into overtime and more sensible voices like Kyle Kashuv push them from the spotlight, we’re moving into the final phase of the usual gun control narrative song and dance–the audience participation segment.  I understand there’s a march of some kind scheduled for March 24 while there are walkouts planned by for students to take place at various times between now and then.  Around here, it’s supposed to take place this coming Wednesday, the 14th.  Way to ruin Pi Day, gun grabbers.

I have noted previously that I have two stepchildren.  A couple weeks ago this subject came up at the dinner table, and I told them that if they want to go out with all their friends and stand around the flagpole, I would not stop them or even tell them they should not, but that we should talk about what went on and what they think about the Parkland shooting and guns in general.  I told them they ought to know what the walkout stands for before they participate in it.  I won’t say what they decided to do, but I will say we had a very long and very calm discussion about a lot of things.  I’m proud of both of them and I completely support what they decided to do.  I’ll also admit that I intend to reward them because I approve of what their decisions were, but hey, it’s Pi(e) Day, so pie was in the offing anyway.

I’m bringing this up because if you’re reading this, if you have kids or know people who do, talk to them.  Talk to them before they get swept up and used as pawns for something they don’t understand, before they get given the choice between “you can sit in here and do fifty algebra problems or you can go out on this nice warm spring day and protest school shootings” or find themselves just drifting along with the rest of their peers.  I did not push or bribe my stepkids but in all candor I fully believe in and support the right of a parent to do either.  If they want to go out and stand up for fascism and gun restrictions, they at least ought to know that’s what they’re being trotted out to do.  They ought to give it more consideration than just “everyone else was walking out and I don’t like algebra class,” even if they arrive at the wrong conclusion.

Frankly, the kids who will actually remember what this event is and what they did, are the ones who give it some thought rather than just going along.  Never underestimate the power of one person going his own way.  The kids who trudge out to the flagpole to listen to an aging hippie yell into a bullhorn about how they need to feel bad about guns will go home and tune out what happens on Wednesday, or whenever it happens in your area, but the one who stays at her desk and refuses to be a pawn, she’ll remember the day she stood up for herself and what she believed in for the rest of her life.  The opportunity to decide whether you’re a pawn or a player is incredibly rare.  Don’t let any kid you care about miss it.

one man with courage

A less-than-perfect Storm(y)

By now La Resistance and their guaranteed sure-fire plans to get rid of President Trump (for real this time you guys) are well past the point where any of them are allowed to laugh at Wile E. Coyote cartoons ever again.  The latest thing that they’re all salivating over is this news about former adult film star Stormy Daniels (I don’t care about her real name any more than her real bust size) offering to return the $130,000 in “go away” money she supposedly took from someone working for President Trump to not say anything about whatever allegedly went on between her and then-candidate Trump in the home stretch of the 2016 election.  Doubtless this will be hailed as “it’s not about the money,” except, you know, it kind of is.  Ms. Daniels has already made several TV appearances where she made it clear she’s not blinking and she’s not talking because she has a non-disclosure agreement that she doesn’t want to violate.  It does not take much analysis from here to figure out that if she’s willing to talk now and send the money back, either someone is making it up to her or she expects to profit in some other manner.  Considering how much La Resistance was able to front for other crazy efforts like Jill Stein’s recount, I have to give Ms. Daniels proper credit for holding out until the check cleared.  If nothing else she’s a shrewd businesswoman.

Of course the left loves the very idea of the President being caught in flagrante delicto with this woman, because they think that this “gotcha” undermines the President’s support among his evangelical base OR demonstrates the hypocrisy of said base.  Um…I’d say I hate to break this to you, but I really don’t: it won’t do either.  I’ll sum up the reaction pretty much every Trump supporter will have if this ends up being every bit as salacious as the left imagines it will:

CB don't care

The plain fact is no one voted for President Trump thinking he was some kind of saint.  We all knew and accepted that he was a former Democrat and a billionaire playboy on gorgeous model wife #3.  Nobody cares that he may have had a fling with a consenting adult, and nobody cares that he or his underlings might have paid her some going-away money to just shut up about it.  For those leftists who think this undercuts any positions we have as the “family values” or “Bible-believing Christian” party, you might want to go back and reread your Bible, children.  If having an affair meant you were condemned for life and could never be any kind of leader, religious or otherwise, then the Bible would be a lot shorter.  And more boring.  Also, I’m really not listening to any lectures on “family values” from the party that supports transition therapy for pre-adolescents and no-fault divorce.

You see folks, once upon a time these kind of accusations would bring a politician down.  But then, we had a president who we elected despite knowing about his marital infidelity and whom the left still reveres despite knowing that he was a serial philanderer (including taking advantage of starry-eyed young interns), and then we had a president who was an admitted user of marijuana and cocaine.  The Democratic party knew all about this and still nominated both men, and both times the electorate said “we know about all this, we just don’t care.”  And they were ready to do the same thing again when they nominated the evil Dr. Pantsuit–they knew all about her corruption, her incompetence, her lying, and they just did not care.

Well, we were paying attention.  Somewhere between January 20, 1989, and November 8, 2016, folks on the right side of the spectrum came to the realization that sometimes we need a King David, and sometimes we need a Samson.  After years of being derided and mocked as “behind the times” and “uncool” and all such pejoratives because we held to standards the rest of society rejected, we finally wrapped our heads around what’s important and what’s not.  Well, enough of us did anyway.

The plain fact is Stormy Daniels is a performer and she’s putting on a show right now.  I don’t know how much of it is real and how much of it is fake because I can’t be bothered to analyze it that far, but seriously, you have to go through a lot of makeup and silicone to get to anything real about her.  Even if every word she says is true, the plain and simple truth is, nobody cares.  Really.  The people who are excited and think this is just a devastating bombshell, they already hate President Trump.  Those of us who are behind him, we’re not bothered.  We didn’t hire him to be a role model for married men, not on his third marriage (and as much as I like Melania I don’t think it’s unfair to call her a trophy wife).  We hired him to get things done and because ultimately the other option was the bimbo-silencing wife of the guy whose accusers are still at it twenty years later.  We didn’t expect Superman, we didn’t expect Jesus Christ.  We expected results.  And we’re getting them.

In the meantime, any future accusers of the President might want to take some notes from Ms. Daniels’ performance here.  La Resistance will pay for practically anything as long as you get them worked up enough.  All double entendres intended.


Words that leftists should not use, chapter 30: omnibus series finale

I’m pretty sure this series could go on for a very long time.  As I have stated several times before, the objective of this series was not to suggest that any of these words ought to be “banned” for Democrats and other lefties, but rather, that the left really should learn what these words actually mean and start using them properly if they want to ever be taken seriously.  Of course, they won’t.  They’re not using any of these words incorrectly by accident.  They know very well that if you control the words people use you control how they think.


Things like spelling and grammar (which the left takes special pleasure in pooh-poohing as their legions of badly-educated public school graduates can’t compose a 280-character tweet without half a dozen glaring errors) are themselves more vital than many people realize to the flow and feel of language and ultimately the message that a word conveys, but even that effect is minimal compared to completely misusing a word in the first place.  So no, I don’t expect that any leftist will stop using any of these words, terms, or phrases incorrectly.  But maybe with a little foreknowledge we can know what to listen for and when to tune the left out because they’re just speaking deliberately misleading gibberish.

As promised last week, I’m going to close out the series with a short list of compare-and-contrasts between actual meanings of words and how leftists define them.  I’m not saying there will never be special addendums to this list and in fact I could probably write a whole dictionary of words the left should stop saying.  For now, however, there are just a few more highlights I’d like to hit.

Socialism: What it means to the left: “sharing.” Also, it produces great art for some reason.

What it really means: an economic system of redistribution that ignores human nature and inevitably fails in direct proportion to the level of its implementation–see the American welfare system for an example of soft socialism versus Venezuela as hard socialism.  Seriously, not even the most virtuous and hardworking folks ever could make socialism fly.  You just end up with equal misery.


Capitalism: What it means to the left: the source of all the evil in the world (next to Christianity of course).  A horrible system in which rich people make money by stealing from poor people, which completely makes sense in the minds of the left.

What it really means: private ownership of production and limited or nonexistent government interference in the market.  Freedom of contract and freedom of association.  You want to tell me how that’s evil, be my guest.  Oh, and it’s also responsible for the world we live in today, so if you like things like the internet, indoor plumbing, solar power, or not dying of polio, thank capitalism.


Corporation: What it means to the left: a faceless, titanic monolith spawned by capitalism (which as we have discussed is the root of all evil) with the purpose of destroying the environment and stealing money from poor people.  Also, “not people.”

What it really means: a group of PEOPLE who pool their resources for a common goal, whether that’s business or nonprofit, in the same way a church or a political party does.  Corporations by definition are people.

Democracy: What it means to the left: the form of government we have in the United States in which the people vote and vote and vote again until the left gets what it wants, and then we never ever vote on it again.

What it really means: a system of majority rule that constantly teeters on the edge of falling into mob rule.  Often summarized as “two wolves and a sheep voting on what’s for dinner.”  Thankfully, we’re not a democracy.  As I have said often, the fatal flaw of monarchy is assuming a man is both capable to and entitled to govern based solely upon who he is, but the much graver flaw of democracy is that a man is both capable to and entitled to govern based solely upon the fact that he exists.

Hack/hacking: What it means to the left: the use of any kind of computer or information technology or social media platform to stop Dr. Pantsuit from becoming President.

What it really means: not phishing links in John Podesta’s emails or memes posted on a couple dozen Facebook accounts, that’s for damned sure.

Accomplished: What it means to the left: An adjective used to describe a person who we like and recognize for being famous despite having done nothing but have famous parents or family members.  See Clinton, Chelsea.

What it really means: An adjective used to describe a person who has actually achieved noteworthy things that have nothing to do with his background or family name, such as Dr. Ben Carson.

Fetus: What it means to the left: sterile, science-y sounding word that we can feel indifferent about tearing apart like a boiled lobster and use to mock people who have actual knowledge of human biology.

What it really means:  Baby.  Literally, it’s Latin for “offspring.”  It no more implies “not human” than do the terms newborn, toddler, preteen, adolescent, adult, or septuagenarian.


Choice: What it means to the left: when you decide to do what the left wants you to do.

What it really means: When you decide to do what you want to do.  Generally a good thing to have in a decision that substantially impacts you, such as whether you or your unborn child should be horribly dismembered.

Greed: What it means to the left: the sin at the core of capitalism’s evil that makes people do things that don’t make any sense, like steal money from poor people or create work conditions that will drive workers away in a free market or wantonly blow through renewable resources without renewing them.

What it really means: it’s synonymous with ambition.  It’s the human drive to improve and acquire, it’s an instinct, and it’s not a bad thing when the market is allowed to operate.  And yes, lefties have it too.  Loads of it.  Maybe next Christmas I’ll revisit this word to talk about how Ebenezer Scrooge really isn’t an example of “greed,” but that’s a long post in itself.

Tolerance: What it means to the left: embracing and celebrating stuff the left likes.  Especially if that stuff pisses Christians off.  Tolerant people hate Christians.  Also, not enough to just let it go on–you have to cheer and applaud and approve and participate if the left demands that you do so, otherwise you’re a bigot and probably guilty of hate crimes.

What it really means: live and let live.  You can even say you don’t approve.  As Mr. Garrison so eloquently put it, “it can still piss you off.”  You don’t have to applaud, you don’t even have to watch, and you sure the hell don’t have to participate, but as long as it’s not hurting you, you leave it alone.  Note that I am saying this is the definition of “tolerance,” nothing more.


Fair/fairness: What it means to the left: the capstone of existence.  Fairness to the left means they get what they want because they’re entitled to it, it’s owed to them by virtue of existing.  It is their highest goal and their purest virtue, and means that everyone will be equal and therefore happy.

What it really means: To quote Dogbert, “fairness is a concept created so idiots and small children could participate in debates.”  In abstract form “fairness” would mean getting what you deserve for your work, effort, virtue, and other qualifications, which ironically makes capitalism the most “fair” system in existence since you determine what you do and do not want to contract for, and in reality a truly “fair” system is substantially UN-equal because everyone’s effort and contributions are substantially different.  However, since it is entirely subjective, “fairness” only exists in an abstract form.  It is hardly the most virtuous of virtues.

Eleven words in one entry.  That brings the total list to 40, with more than a few others that could have either been part of this omnibus or even had their own chapters, and I’m sure more to come.  Oh, and don’t forget the one in the preview post.  I’m not sure when or if I will start a new weekly series, as for now I’m obviously having a little trouble keeping up with regular posts, but as always my readers are welcome to leave feedback, add their own suggestions for words to do addendum posts on, or even leave their own entries to the WTLSNU lexicon in comments.  Thanks for reading.


The Leftists’ Bill of Rights

First Amendment: Congress shall make no law respecting Christianity.  It and any other government agency must not allow the free exercise of the Christian religion any time and any way that could remotely be interpreted as support, tolerance, or recognition of the Christian faith or any tenets thereof.  Also, the same goes for Judaism but we have to be a little quieter about that.  Congress shall make no law prohibiting the free exercise of any other religion, and just to be safe we’re not even going to acknowledge that secular humanism, militant atheism, Gaia worship, or any other belief system spawned by the progressive left is a religion at all.  That’s all straight fact, and you’re crazy or a denier if you don’t get that.  Congress shall make no law abridging freedom of speech we like, but speech we don’t like is hate speech even and especially if it is true, and therefore it is bad, and therefore it is illegal.  Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of the press, and the president is not allowed to call the news “fake” no matter how many times the press lies, unless of course they’re Fox News or alternative media engaging in wrongthink, in which case they are probably Russian bots and in any event we can just make them shut up.  Congress shall make no law abridging the right of the people peaceably to assemble and to petition the government for a redress of grievances, and seeking peace through violence totally counts.  The youthocracy needs space to destroy, you know.

Second Amendment: A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state is clearly an imperialist excuse to produce weapons of war.  We don’t even really want the army to have better guns than our adversaries do, and we sure as hell don’t think any private person has a right to have them either.  We really don’t give a good damn that you want to go hunting either.  Turn ’em all in.

Third Amendment: No soldier shall be quartered in any house without the consent of the owner, unless that owner needs to be watched for any reason to make sure he is not hiding guns or teaching his children wrongthink.  Anyone else we determine “needs” housing may also be quartered in any house without the owner’s consent.

Fourth Amendment: The right of the People to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.  Unless you are an outspoken wrongthinker, in which case it is completely okay to raid your house any old time.  Or unless you are a man and you’ve been accused by a woman of pretty much anything.  But if you’re a minority, it is of course outrageous to suggest that you are acting suspiciously merely because you are, in fact, acting suspiciously, so pretty much any warrant against you is oppression.

Fifth Amendment: No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger, or when accused of collusion with Russia to steal an election that the greatest president ever stole fair and square; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb, unless an ethnically-appropriate mob does not like the outcome in which case there can be a total do-over; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law, unless he is accused by a woman whose feelings will be hurt by giving him due process, in which case tough nuts for him; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation, unless Mother Gaia needs it for any or no reason like a snail darter once swam through a puddle there, in which case you’re just out of luck, science denier.

Sixth Amendment: In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial following trial in the court of public opinion by a biased (this description is banned by the First Amendment) free press, by an impartial jury comprised of right-thinking and correct-minded citizens of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation, unless the accused has been accused of bad bad awful crimes by women or is suspected of wrongthink; to be confronted with the witnesses against him, unless those witnesses’ feelings would be hurt if it they were proven to be lying; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.  Which the government will pay for, but usually not much.

Seventh Amendment: In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by Jury shall be preserved, following a thorough trial by the biased (this description is banned by the First Amendment) free press in the court of public opinion, and no fact, tried by a Jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law, or if enough people are really really mad about the verdict.

Eighth Amendment: Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted, unless you upset a woman, or you happen to be an unborn child, in which case you can be ripped limb from limb with less regard than someone would put down a rabid dog and nobody’s going to interfere.  Sucks to be you in that case I guess.  Also, if you’re a man and you get sent to prison for a crime considered to be bad bad awful, we will laugh about it when the guards turn their backs and other prisoners inflict cruel and unusual punishment on you, whether you were rightfully convicted or not.  Just sayin’.

Ninth Amendment: The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to limit the powers of the state to just those things.

Tenth Amendment: The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the peopl… *snort* hahahahahahahaha oh that was a good one, almost made it.  Who are we kidding here–there are no powers not delegated to the United States.  Anything we didn’t mention, like who gets to decide who can marry who, it belongs to the government, period.  Unless we don’t agree with the government, then we can just declare a “sanctuary city” and ignore the federal laws we don’t like.


That feeling when the world remembers “oh yeah, North Korea is bad”

I’m old enough to remember when the fake news spent the entire flippin’ Olympics swooning over a bunch of North Korean cheerleaders and claiming that their maximum leader’s sister somehow outmaneuvered Vice President Mike Pence by smirking at him or something.

Now President Trump has announced that the Norks are coming to the table and are talking about scuttling their nuclear program and we’re on to “the President is an idiot to think they’ll talk and he’ll probably give them bombs before he’s done!”  There are no words for how stupid this is.  Yes, we know the North Koreans can’t be trusted.  Nobody knows that better than the president.  But unlike previous presidents who I won’t name right now who gave North Korea nuclear materials upon their “promise” to just use them for energy plants rather than weapons, our current leader is very much in the business of shutting down North Korea’s nuclear capability once and for all.  He’s not going to be looking for empty promises in exchange for a pallet of money and a couple tons of uranium to play with for “purely humanitarian reasons, for real you guys.”  And while just the act of coming to the negotiating table accomplishes nothing in itself, it’s a step forward for the Norks to put the sabre away for a minute rather than rattling it harder.

Gee, who would have ever thought something like this could be accomplished by standing up to tinpot dictators and taking a hard line in defense of America and her allies… nobody anywhere ever could have predicted this could they…


Truth stings

Kurt Schlichter has a way of cutting right to the core of an issue that reminds me of, well, me.


Words that leftists should not use to return next week…and also an announcement

I know I have talked a bit lately about bringing WTLSNU to a close in the near future and just figuring out what a good stopping point is.  I said a while back that the point of doing a weekly series was largely a matter of self-imposed discipline, and every time I begin to think that I might not need that kind of crutch anymore (well north of 500 posts on here), I go through a week and note that for one reason or another there are only one or two entries in between chapters of Well Behaved Women or WTLSNU.  However, the fact remains that a gimmick is a gimmick, and as much as I like having these serial posts, it’s not an excuse to turn out bad or uninspired or uninteresting content just because “hey, it’s Sunday.”  Also, for all the time and effort I put into both Well Behaved Women and WTLSNU, they’re not exactly generating a lot of traffic.  Which is also okay, I’m not getting paid for this, not at the moment anyway, but since I’m pretty much doing this for myself then I suppose “when I’ve had enough” is a good metric to decide when it’s time to wrap a series up.

As I have said before, I could probably go on indefinitely on this subject, and rather than try to continue on a weekly basis, my plan for the immediate future is to have one more regularly scheduled chapter of WTLSNU next week, bringing the final chapter count to 30 just like Well Behaved Women.  However, since these words have a way of cropping up based on the news of the day, I’m going to leave the door open for addendums to the WTLSNU lexicon as circumstances permit or demand.

So, back next week to bring this one in for a landing.  See you then.


Dial it back

tea my hero

So earlier today President Trump met a bipartisan (*spit*) group of lawmakers to have a roundtable discussion about where we go next on guns and gun control.  Evidently some things were said during this meeting that have the gun grabbing left squeeing with delight and the zombie NeverTrumpers out in force to proclaim it was all for nothing, the last year and everything we’ve gotten that we always wanted was all a big ruse because President Trump was a gun grabber all along or something.  And here I thought the NeverTrump zombies wanted the President to be more “presidential” and try to be “bipartisan” (*spit again*).  People are losing their composure in both directions with no small number of tepid Trump supporters ready to throw in the towel and let the Democrats win the midterms, full speed ahead on impeachment, and so on.

I get it.  The Second Amendment is a real raw nerve issue for our side and for many conservatives it’s a dealbreaker.  It ought to be.  It is for me–it’s not my main issue, but it’s right up there.  But step back a second and take a deep breath, my friends.  First of all, I’m not going to go through an exhaustive list of all the winning we’ve done in the past year and a half.  Suffice it to say, a bump stock is a small price to pay for that.  No, I’m not ok with banning bump stocks because that’s a stupid gesture, not a solution, but my point in bringing that up is one minor bad move doesn’t invalidate everything else President Trump has done.  For God’s sake, even President Reagan made some HUGE missteps on illegal aliens and gun control.  Are we going to condemn HIM too?

People are up in arms about a line the president said about “first get the guns, then give due process.”  This was obviously meant as a summary statement and in context what it means is the same thing that already happens when someone is arrested or held for a mental illness civil commitment: you secure them and/or their weapons, which does temporarily infringe upon their rights, then they have their day in court, after which they get their guns (or at the very least their right to own guns) back as long as they are not convicted of a felony or found to be incompetent.  Yes, I am aware that it does not always work out that way and that some police departments are less cooperative about the whole “returning the guns” thing.  I also completely acknowledge that there’s a bill in the works that I have not seen that would make it a lot easier (dangerously so) to point a finger at someone and say “this guy’s crazy,” and as a result, you get arrested and your guns get seized until you get due process.  I don’t mean to trivialize that at all, and make no mistake, I don’t like this idea.  Getting “due process” is cold comfort to someone who is made to sit in jail or a mental hospital or who has to surrender thousands of dollars worth of legal firearms because of an accusation made out of spite or revenge.  So I am watching this whole process warily.

One thing stuck out to several observers and it stuck out to me too.  Steve “Iron Man” Scalise suggested repeatedly to attach a provision to this bill that would finally introduce state-to-state reciprocity for concealed carry permits, essentially instituting federal concealed carry, which would be great.  President Trump said “don’t include that, the bill won’t pass” and also expressly said he supports the idea, just do it separately.  He made further comments about raising the age to buy guns and said it wasn’t in the initial draft because the author was “afraid of the NRA.”  I tend to think that statement was mocking the millions of fools who claim the GOP is “afraid of the NRA,” considering the NRA and the President have been on very good terms up to this point.  He seemed to be encouraging the bill’s writers to add restrictive provisions, saying he’d “love it” if they did so.

I think I see what’s going on here.  For one thing, this has gotten the Republican base hopping mad in a matter of hours.  They’re wide awake–which is exactly what they need to be going into the midterms.  Primary season has already begun, folks.  For another, this is not the first time there’s been a big “roundtable” type meeting where the Democrats came out grinning like Cheshire cats only to find out they’d been outplayed by the President (remember the first DACA “deal?”).  But I think the key here is in the separating out of the concealed carry reciprocity provision.  I think the president wants to create a lose-lose situation for the Democrats the way they always seem to do to us.

Here’s how this is going down: the Democrats can’t pass anything, even if they all vote in a solid block.  There’s no danger of them “slipping” anything past the GOP, and even if they got some RINO squishes on board, President Trump can simply veto whatever they send him.  There’s no risk here.  However, gun control is and always has been a toxic issue for the Democrats.  Imagine giving the Democrats their entire Christmas wish list–waiting periods, “enhanced” background checks (whatever that means), bump stock bans, increased gun buying age, whatever else they want, and wrapping it all up in one big gun-grabbing bill.  Maybe the President even makes a big show of trying to get a few concessions out of the Democrats.  Imagine that bill is ready to roll out for debate and a vote somewhere in the late spring/early summer, right when primaries are getting done and candidates are getting locked in.  Now imagine that you’re a Democratic candidate, and you’re looking at a gun control bill that you know has no prayer of actually passing and being signed by the President.  And you realize, you don’t want this.  You’re stuck with the decision either to vote against the gun control bill and alienate a large chunk of your lunatic base, OR, you vote FOR the bill and alienate a large chunk of pretty much everybody.  I think that’s why President Trump told Congressman Scalise to leave out the CC reciprocity provision, because if that was in the bill, it would give the Democrats an out.  They could claim it was the “poison pill” that forced them to say no to all their “common sense” reforms.  With no down sides to blame for their backing out, the Democrats will be forced to choose between two bad options.

I’m overthinking things, you say?  Well, you tell me what’s more likely, that our multi-billionaire president who has outplayed the Democrats multiple times before and enacted a fiercely conservative agenda faster than even President Reagan has taken complete leave of his senses and turned against both his base and one of his biggest backers (the NRA) in favor of the people who burn him in effigy and call him Hitler and wish for his impeachment, imprisonment, and death on a daily basis; or that he’s outplayed them yet again and they’re still too arrogant to even consider it possible, let alone see it.

I’m warily waiting to see.  I’ve already promised one person I’ll eat my words if I turn out to be wrong and President Trump has turned on us all, but that’s a bet I’m not going to lose sleep over.  I trust the President.  So stay calm, or you know what, don’t.  If this makes you mad then get mad.  Get fired up.  Get rolling.  And for God’s sake, stay the hell awake.  If this is what you need to make sure you get to the polls in November, then by God above get as pissed off as you want.


Competence, cowardice, and Fight Club economics

The latest gun control storm seems to be subsiding on schedule.  The Astroturf Planeteers are still getting the celebrity treatment from their artificially extended fifteen minutes, companies are starting to see the reaction (which won’t amount to much either way) to their discontinuation of NRA discounts or refusal to do so, and the derailed narrative has come to rest squarely in the lap of the Broward County Sheriff’s Department, both the guy at the top of the food chain and the grunt at the very bottom on the milk run job.  Thanks to the inaction of a government employee in a job that was never supposed to make any demands of him, the outrage that the fake news wanted to aim right at the NRA has been pointed instead at the failure of law enforcement to protect, reinforcing the ages-old argument that you cannot rely on the police for protection.  Whether you respect law enforcement or not (and I want to be clear, I do), they cannot be everywhere at once, and they are not infallible.

It’s been kind of amusing to watch the left, which has spent the past several years (and off and on for a few decades now) deriding the police as fascist racists who go hunting for young black men to ventilate just for kicks, now trying to leap to the defense of this old white school resource officer after he blew their argument to bits.  They say he’s being attacked unfairly.  They claim “no one knows how they’ll handle a situation like that until they face it.”  They continue to create this bogeyman fantasy wherein an AR-15 makes a shooter indestructible and for some reason think that the only approach that a trained law enforcement officer who knows the building could take to intercept said shooter would be to walk straight down an open hallway right into the rifle barrel.  They assert that waiting for backup was what he was supposed to do (which doesn’t explain why he and three other BCSO officers were still outside when Coral Springs arrived).  Sheriff Scott Israel, the head of the department and the one responsible for this SRO’s assignment, has tried to disclaim responsibility for the SRO’s lack of action, claiming he gave him a gun and training but it’s not Israel’s fault he didn’t use it.

There could be legitimate questions about why Officer Peterson did what he did, and the officer could have some legitimate answers for them.  But right now it’s not looking likely.  We’ve heard stories that Peterson hid in a stairwell pointing his weapon at nothing.  We’ve heard that he got enough of a look at the shooter to call in a description yet claimed he thought the shooting was going on outside.  Frankly, the damage he has inflicted upon the gun control narrative is not contingent on whether he was doing his job the way he was trained to, or whether he lost his nerve and hid, the point is that even with police on-site and not even “minutes away when seconds counted,” you cannot rely on the police to stop these rampages.  Obviously the “gun-free” zone didn’t stop it either.  Nonetheless, addressing the root cause of why this officer did not intervene is still important, and without seeing evidence to the contrary, one is forced to conclude that the reason is either cowardice, incompetence, or both.  None of those are particularly reassuring qualities in any law enforcement officer, much less one who is entrusted with the safety of a school.

So what does that have to do with these guys?

Fight Club

I have a longstanding love/hate relationship with the movie Fight Club.  It’s mostly love, though some of its brain-dead socialism and Luddism still make me retch.  It’s one of a very few movies I would say I sat down to watch and by the time I was done I wasn’t sure what I’d just seen but I was pretty sure it changed my life.  Anyway, that’s a topic for another time.  Early in the movie, Edward Norton’s character (who works for a major corporation in their products liability department) describes the process that his company goes through to decide when to do a recall.  It’s meant to portray his corporate overlords as heartless monsters only concerned with money and I’ll take a footnote after I’m done here to debunk that idea, but the way it works is the company figures out the expense of doing the recall versus what it’ll probably cost them just to pay out when their product kills a handful of people, and if the recall costs more than a few wrongful death lawsuits will, the recall doesn’t get done, and the company lets the product kill a few people.  It’s a simple economic choice.

This is the thinking that goes into LOTS of government job assignments, including but very much not limited to school resource officers.  I am not saying that ALL SROs fit into this category, but Officer Peterson clearly did.  School resource officer is a position within the sheriff’s office or police department that can be considered a plum job.  It’s not as mentally or physically demanding as being a patrol cop or investigator and the hours are good.  Which means that often, the sheriff will put someone into that role not because they’re the best one for the job, but because the job is easy and it gets the officer out of the way, or sets him up on a nice easy glide path to retirement.  We are not assigning Robocop to guard the kids folks.  Often, we’re giving the job to Barney Fife–or worse.  At least Barney had some semblance of guts.  We’re doing that because we don’t expect the job to be difficult or dangerous…until it is.  If that’s the economic decision you can live with, then that’s fine and that’s your call.  I’m inclined to think that maybe most parents wouldn’t necessarily be okay with the low man on the totem pole who couldn’t chase down a gunman if you gave him a ten-second headstart being responsible for the safety of their children, but then, how many even think about this?

Of course disarming teachers and staff doesn’t help the matter, but if the police can’t respond to shooters in “gun-free” zones then not only do teachers need to carry, but they need to be ready to defend themselves and their students until actual help arrives.  From the sound of things in Broward County, actual help was a long time coming.


*Footnote regarding Fight Club economics: to make it clear how the recall decision is not as heartless and evil as it sounds, let’s look at some numbers.  One of the most popular vehicles in the USA is the Toyota Camry, which has sold about 8 million units since 1995.  It’s estimated that between 80 and 90% of those are still on the road, so we’ll estimate that there are 7 million Toyota Camrys currently operational.  We’ll also presume that every one of those 7 million Camrys would be subject to recalls for device failure, just to be generous.

Now, let’s assume there is a catastrophic flaw in all of those Camrys.  Let’s presume that it’s a relatively pricey fix that Toyota would have to eat–parts and labor cost $1000 per recall.  Meaning that if every eligible Camry got the fix, Toyota would have to shell out seven billion bucks.  Big money, right?  Now let’s look at wrongful death settlements.  A cursory look at wrongful death payouts for products liability cases shows a lot of discrepancy and of course each case is driven by its own facts, but it looks like a good range is in the neighborhood of $7 to $10 million per person killed.  We’ll be conservative here and peg our estimate at $5 million.  You’d have to get up to 1,400 people dead to equal the amount of money spent on the recall as would be spent on the settlements. And remember, we’re not talking about actual deaths here, we’re talking about the statistical likelihood of at least 1400 wrongful death lawsuit payouts.

Still, sounds damning, right?  Hold up, we’re not done.  With great numbers come low probability.  Seven million Camrys resulting in 1400 potential deaths means that this extremely expensive flaw has a .02% chance of ever manifesting itself.  That’s two in ten thousand, figuring cheap settlements and expensive recall parts.  By comparison, you have a 1 in 3000 chance to be struck by lightning.  Meaning it’s almost twice as likely for you to be struck by lightning as to be killed by this flaw in a Camry.  Meaning that the only way it would be economical for the company to say “eh, let ’em burn” would be if the defect were so remotely likely to ever effect anyone as to be virtually impossible.  And remember, any cost like that is built into the price of goods.