Wanderer’s greatest hits, volume 1

For posterity’s sake, and for the benefit of anyone new to the blog, I thought I’d put together a collection of what I consider to be the best stuff from the first year meandering down Wanderer’s Way.  There’s plenty more where all of this came from but consider this a sampler.  I’m not including anything that made the top ten views list and in some respects this is a list of “my best posts that nobody’s read.”  So here we go:

Giving legitimacy to nonsense–on why conservatives who respond to envirofascist blather about “climate change” by saying “yes I believe the climate changes, but…” are just playing into the left’s stupid game.  Stop it.

The nuclear option, or How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love Mitch McConnell–on the removal of the filibuster for all presidential appointees in the context of Neil Gorsuch’s nomination and the Democrats basically saying they were going to do it first chance they got.

An open rant…er, letter–you remember all those videos put out by celebrities during and after the election?  This is my response.

What is money?–a dissection of how basic economics works and what money really is.  Spoiler alert: it’s not evil at all.

Insurance for dummies–in which I explain why insurance for pre-existing conditions is not, in fact, insurance.

Troll fighting–installment one in what has been and will continue to be an ongoing primer on how to argue on the internet and not tear your hair out.

Understanding the stakes–all about what the Democrats sacrificed for the Unaffordable Don’t-Care Act and why it’s insane to think they’d help undo it now.

Thinking for yourself–on skepticism and coming to your own conclusions, and why it’s difficult for intelligent people to accept we might not have all the relevant data all the time.

No lefties, there is no “hate speech exception”–because there isn’t.  This is why.

An open letter to pro-life Democrats–The Democrats have told their pro-life faction to get in line on baby murder or get out.  This is where I welcome them with open arms.

The Comey firing, conservative own-goaling, and “fairness”–in which I explain why firing James Comey was long overdue and why conservatives are apparently a lot more concerned with being fair to the left than to other conservatives.

Pardoning Hillary–Face it folks, Dr. Pantsuit is not going to be locked up, and it’s not because President Trump is cutting her a break.  The best thing to do now is actually to pardon her.  Here’s why.

“Because Jesus” is not an argument–because it’s not.  It’s a fine reason, but not an argument.  For more on this, click the link.

Zombie NeverTrumpers–they just keep shambling on like they don’t know they’re dead.

Reforming Islam–what has to happen and why the West can’t do it for them.

Gamechanger–the Scalise shooting and the violent left.

Independence Day–maybe it’s not for everyone.  Maybe some of us ought to be celebrating Dependence Day instead.

CNN, fake news, and the coming media collapse–fake news gonna fake, but the media isn’t going anywhere as long as the left will prop it up.

Susan Collins is a complete idiot–because she totally is.

The allegory of the hamburger–you want to know why we can’t get anything done lately?  This illustration might be useful.

Apres moi les zombie apocalypse–about how the last administration quite deliberately left all kinds of problems for President Trump to have to deal with.

What’s past is prologue–a story from my own past foreshadowing the modern snowflake culture on college campuses now.

Why “Nazi” LARPers are neither scary nor dangerous–Couple dozen knuckleheads want to march around with tiki torches and suddenly we need to burn the Bill of Rights to stop them?

The South was wrong, but their statues are not–on how the fact that there’s a lot of revisionist history about the Civil War romanticizing the South doesn’t make every last Confederate soldier (or descendant) a slave-owning murderous racist.

Health care and lying liars who lie–because nobody’s taking your care and the American system really doesn’t suck.  I know, I’ve worked in the system.

Nazis. I hate these guys…–and so does everyone in the entire freaking world.  Making a big show of it like it’s some brave stance to take is unnecessary and is actually counterproductive.

Why I don’t play nice with the left–When arguing with insipid smug lefties, I’m often dismissive, rude, and insulting right back.  Because lying and condescension are not arguments and not worth more than summary dispatch.  I explain in more detail.

What happens in Vegas–on the Vegas shooting and the fallacy of expecting the government to omnipotently prevent bad things from happening.

The First Amendment for dummies–You get to say what you want.  I get to tell you to shut up and change the channel.  So does the President.

The Second Amendment in context–because it wasn’t meant for hunting rifles, muskets, or just “the militia.”  If proper grammar doesn’t tell you that then Federalist #46 will.

Bump stocks and slippery slopes–Banning things doesn’t keep criminals from getting them, whether they’re automatic weapons or “bump stocks.”

No, Christmas is NOT a pagan holiday–one of my series of Christmas posts in which I explain why Christmas is not just a ripoff.  I’ll probably make a category for Christmas-themed posts when the holidays roll around this year but this is a good starter.

Whose fault is it anyway?–What Happened?  Trump won.  The end.

Going dark–the urge to go on about your business once the country is in good hands can be very powerful, but you can’t let yourself go dark.

This is it, folks–my election eve final plea, to stop the monster we saw coming twenty-five years out.  Thank God we did it.  It’s still sobering to look back at and realize just how close we came.

Voter fraud: how it works and why it’s an issue–I explain some little-known facts about how elections work and why voter fraud is like an iceberg–if you see it at all, there’s a huge amount you don’t see.

Well behaved women, chapter 1–the inaugural post in my first weekly series rebutting the stupid bumper sticker “Well behaved women rarely make history.”  God I hate those.  It was an interesting journey over thirty installments.

I believe: the power of morale–an explanation of why biased polls and slanted media coverage work, and why it’s important to keep fighting.  A winner doesn’t give up when he’s down by three touchdowns.

The story of George–The last entry in this collection is not political at all.  It’s a heartfelt memorial tribute to a dearly missed and deeply loved little friend, and the two years of absolute joy he brought to my home.  It’s strange what you can move on from and what just won’t let you go.  It’s been more than three months and I’m still crying.  I still miss you so very much Georgie, and I’ll never be able to say I love you forever enough times.

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One year further down the road…

It’s official folks, Wanderer’s Way is a year old.  I’ve done just a little redecorating for the occasion, feel free to let me know what you think.  For a politically-themed blog it’s been a hell of a time to be alive.  So far it’s ended up being more about current events than philosophy in general, which considering how current events have unfolded is more than understandable.  Part of my intent in starting down this path was to try to make a record for the future in a more permanent longhand form than comments on Twitchy and Breitbart would allow.

I set out planning to do at least a post a day, six days a week, and so far while there have been some gaps and lulls I’ve managed to keep up a pretty good pace–this will make my 399th post.  I thought I would take a moment to just review some statistics and things I have seen over the past year, and before I do I’d really like to reiterate that I’d appreciate any notes or comments you care to leave.  I think WordPress’ spam filter has intercepted a few over time so if you’ve tried and not gotten a response, sorry about that.

With that said, here’s a quick rundown of what you all found interesting over the past year–the top ten posts by number of views for the first year of Wanderer’s Way.  I’d like to note briefly beforehand that the homepage (where all my posts are visible) actually has the most views of anything on the blog, which tells me a lot of you liked what you read elsewhere enough to keep reading.  Thanks so much for that.

#10: Polls, historically.  Coming in at #10 is the only post in my top ten most viewed from 2016, a look back at polling in past elections from about two weeks before we sent Dr. Pantsuit packing.  I think at this point she was supposed to have a double-digit lead and we Republicans were being told it’s all over, there’s no way we’re going to win the Presidency or keep the Senate, might as well give it up and come on over to the cool kids’ table.  Yeah…no.

#9: Revisiting DACA.  Posted a little over a month ago, this entry had to do with President Trump’s initial announcement that he’d give Congress a set period of time to do something about the “DREAM”ers or he’d take further action.  As yet we still don’t know what that action is and the hurricanes and the Vegas shooting have kind of taken the focus away, but despite the declarations of victory from Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi (and the zombie NeverTrumpers) we still haven’t seen the end of this.

#8: President Trump, Kid Rock, and the rise of the un-politician.  I’m not really even familiar with Kid Rock’s music, but I’m a fan of his candidacy for Senate, and it has very little to do with any specific policy stance he might take.  I think this surge in “outsiders” is a very good, very healthy thing for the country, even if it does feel a little like we’re headed down the road to President Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Camacho.

#7: Whether they realize it or not.  This post about the California legislature passing a bill (which Moonbeam Brown has signed) making California a “sanctuary state” hopefully doesn’t come across as flippant.  It’s not meant to be.  I’m deadly serious.  I’m waiting to see what President Trump’s response is and how fast this gets to the Supreme Court, because this could be a Fort Sumter moment in the making.  I’m not joking.

#6: Bipartisanship is not even close to a virtue.  The title pretty much says it all.  We hear so much nonsense about “bipartisan cooperation” and “reaching across the aisle” when all that means is the Democrats won’t give an inch and somehow even when they’re out of power we still have turncoat GOP Senators (John McCain, Susan Collins, and Lisa Murkowski to name the big ones) who don’t get that they were put in office to STOP the damn Democrats, not cooperate with them.  Nobody worries about “bipartisanship” when the Democrats own everything.

#5: Antifa idiots.  This is an older post from back when Antifa was just beginning to get a lot of attention and I think the traffic it has seen over time is because a fair number of people just don’t (or didn’t) understand what their deal was.  I know I’ve gotten an education over the course of the past year.  This was also my first and so far only engagement with a troll on my own blog (spoilers: it didn’t end well for him).

#4: One of many reasons to love Sargon of Akkad.  This was just a post presenting without comment a video done by Sargon about a Black Lives Matter leader and her ridiculous demands that white people essentially give black people houses and money, because white privilege or something.  Check it out, it’s hilarious in a kind of twisted way.

#3: One who stood.  I still think Alejandro Villanueva stood there in front of the tunnel on purpose and that his apology/explanation was the result of pressure from Coach Tomlin.  It was sad to see this titan bow to his progressive overlords but like I said in a followup, courage doesn’t mean you make sure you can handle the consequences before you act.

#2: A climate change parable.  I have to say I am particularly proud of this one, and it’s timeless.  Yes, it is original.  Yes, I’d love it if you linked and shared it.  The house is not on fire.

#1: The Califexit song.  I’m sad to say that it appears the secession drive in California has kind of burned out (although as I pointed out in the #7 ranked post I think they’re actually closer to it now than ever), but it appears that a lot of people got a kick out of my riff on “Let it Go.”  I guess the secret to getting traffic is to write a parody of a Disney song.

Of course the bulk of my traffic (over 1400 views) has been from the United States but for whatever reason I’ve had views from fifteen other countries including Panama, India, Costa Rica, Latvia, and New Zealand, just to name a few.  Don’t know what brought them here but hey, welcome to the long and winding road.  Looks like almost as many folks are finding me through search engines as are clicking on the links I put in Disqus comments, and a few people are linking my stuff in Facebook–I’d drop in but I don’t use FB.  Some are even finding me through the WordPress reader, which is astonishing to me–I took a glance through there and I felt like Dick Cheney waking up to find himself in the middle of the Women’s March.  So much navel-gazing self-absorbed virtue-signalling lefty catchphrase tripe… Maybe I oughta drill down and see if I can find what drew them here.  Or maybe their cat walked over the keyboard at an opportune time.  Eh, views are views.  Good kitty.

I’m not one to shill for attention but if you’re here and reading this I’d appreciate it if you just left a note on this kinda-sorta special occasion.  I intend to keep this up for my own sake and for posterity no matter who comes by but it’s nice to know I’m not just talking to myself.  I may do another retrospective or two in the next couple of days, but either way, here’s to the next year on the long and winding road.

Words that leftists should not use, chapter 13

Today’s word is brought to mind by the events in Las Vegas last weekend and the all-too-predictable response of the gun-grabber left in response.  It’s a word that the left likes to sling around not just in response to terrible acts but also as they go about generally slamming and ridiculing the United States and the rubes who comprise the majority of her citizens.  That word is “obsession.”  They go out screaming and wailing about America’s “obsession” with guns, typically within minutes of the last shooting incident or in the context of their apologetics for crime rates in other countries or terror attacks committed by other nationalities Muslims, the intent being to either cast a desire to own firearms as some kind of mental illness and/or as every bit as bad as actual terrorism.

Taken from Merriam-Webster, the very first definition of “obsession” is “a persistent disturbing preoccupation with an often unreasonable idea or feeling.”  From this definition, it’s obvious that if anyone has an “obsession” with guns it is the left.  Many legal gun owners enjoy target shooting or appreciate the aesthetics of a well-crafted firearm, but it’s not a preoccupation for them (nevermind a disturbing one) nor is either unreasonable.  Many others own firearms for personal or home defense and other than occasional maintenance they give them very little thought.  Even folks like the NRA, whose job it is to stick up for gun rights and help law-abiding citizens use their weapons appropriately and safely, have more of a focus on the law and on safety than on the guns themselves.  Even those who collect and amass personal arsenals are again less concerned with their guns than they are the possibility of government overreach and preparation for disaster or “the collapse” or what have you. 

Contrast this with the gun-grabbing left.  Time after time, the last shell casings are still rolling around on the floor when the first Democrat calls a press conference or starts tweeting or somehow starts running their mouth about gun control, and it always turns out that no amount of gun regulation did prevent or could have prevented the tragedy at hand.  They’ll try to bloviate about Second Amendment supporters “making it political” when they themselves are standing on freshly dug graves and still-warm bodies to make a political attack.  They’re coiled and ready to pounce anytime something like this happens–and this idea or feeling is objectively unreasonable.  Seriously, plain and simple evidence points to the obvious fact that “gun-free” zones have the effect of pointing out to criminals bent on mayhem the places where everyone will be vulnerable and no one will be shooting back until the police arrive.  For a lunatic or a committed jackass who either doesn’t plan to walk away or cares more about executing his rampage than seeing the next sunrise this means taking more innocent people with him.  In spite of all evidence to the contrary, they hold to this preoccupation with disturbing tenacity.  And for them, yes, it is the guns.  They blame the guns and not the shooter or the laws that either did not stop or actually enabled him every time.  They ignore the fact that of the 30,000 gun deaths per year in the United States, 20,000 are suicides, which leaves 10,000 homicides as opposed to at minimum 200,000 lives that are saved by legal firearms each year.  That number is probably much higher but of course it’s hard to foresee how many lives are saved when a maniac is stopped before or early into his rampage.

If anyone has an “obsession” with guns it is the left.  I’ve already discussed why.  Check out “What happens in Vegas” a few posts back if you missed it.

Another word coming up next week.  See you then.

Space and why we need to get there

This topic has been in the back of my head for a long time.  I watched a video yesterday by Dave Cullen on this subject and it brought the concept to the fore of my thoughts.

I grew up on Star Trek, by which I mean the classic Captain Kirk era of TV shows and movies before there was such a thing as The Next Generation.  I’ve been a fan of science fiction ever since I was a kid and I’ve dabbled in writing some myself.  If there’s one thing that’s obvious from human history, it’s that science fiction has a tendency to not stay fictional.  I had a friend in college (a physics/engineering major at that) who insisted that humans would never travel faster than light because “it’s just not possible,” and I, a lowly political science/English major just replied that it would be impossible until it wasn’t anymore, just like flying and submarines and travel to the moon and a thousand other technological advancements no one thought was possible or even thought of doing at all for centuries.  I was more than a little gratified when I read about a theoretical design for a faster-than-light vessel that got around Einstein by reducing the mass of the ship to zero, which was the idea I came up with for a story more than ten years earlier (pity I never finished it, I might have looked prophetic).  The point of this paragraph is that when we’re discussing scientific progress and space travel, the people who insist it cannot be done really need to get out of the way of the people who are doing it.  We WILL have the means someday, and probably sooner than the naysayers think.

This is a good thing, because the sooner it happens, the better.  I’m not referring to anything to do with overpopulation or global warming or any other leftist myths, nor am I even referencing the off chance that a stray asteroid could rearrange the face of our planet.  No, children, we are not even close to overpopulating the planet nor have we made a mess of it like the ecofascists want you to believe.  What I am referencing is the fact that planet Earth is out of frontiers, for all practical purposes.  Sure, there are uninhabited and even unexplored parts of the world, Antarctica and the deep ocean being the two best examples, and these areas ought to be colonized and exploited as technology permits as well.  But they would not be “frontiers” in a lot of the best senses of the word.  Anyone trying to set up housekeeping on Antarctica would very likely be met by interference from other countries or the U.N., especially if they made efforts to make portions of the ice shelf hospitable for human habitation.  The same would go for deep ocean colonies, even in international waters, again especially if the establishment of human outposts was dependent on controlling or changing the surrounding environment.  Even if no one tried to interdict the establishment of these colonies, sooner or later if they proved to be useful or lucrative someone would roll in and try to take them over, especially if they become independent nations or city-states in their own right.

The reason we need to get to space is what I like to call the Captain Mal principle.  Right now, socialists practically rule the world.  There are a few flickers of light remaining, some former Soviet satellites being shining examples, and of course one flagging beacon which is the United States, but the “progressive” left is a lot closer to extinguishing freedom and leaving nowhere to run to than most people (even conservatives) like to think about.  If the United States falls (as it could have last November), even if there are a few bastions left like Poland and Hungary, those last outposts can’t hope to stand when the globalist progressives decide to mop up the last shreds of resistance.  There’s no need for an Iron Curtain trapping people inside if there’s nowhere you can run to, and this is the true danger and threat of socialism.  Socialists and communists are not content to have their own backward societies that live and let live, they’re determined to bring all of mankind into one gigantic leftist dance party, and believe me brother, you’d better dance.  It’s the same submit, convert, or die mentality that forms the foundation of Islam.

But if we can get to space, then running room will be infinite.  The Captain Mal principle is that if you can keep flying, then no matter how far out the reach of the government gets, you can always fly just a little bit farther.  On the frontier there is freedom.  Of course, the story of Firefly is that freedom-loving frontiersmen were willing to trade the luxuries and comforts of the urbanized worlds of the Alliance for the hard-scrabble life on the outer planets (that the Alliance considered “savage,” kind of like rednecks in middle America), but even then the “progressives” couldn’t leave them alone.  And in reality, the same thing will happen sooner or later.  That doesn’t mean there’s a flaw in the plan, it just means it’s something for the folks who head for the new frontier will need to prepare for accordingly.

The important difference between getting to space and just going to the deep ocean is not merely the universe of resources just waiting to be found and exploited, but the fact that once interplanetary space travel becomes as easy as intercontinental flight, the “progressives” lose their ability to force their will on everyone.  Life on any frontier has been hard and often solitary, but it’s vitally important that free men have a way to opt out of the social contract entirely.  Right now we’re in the position where society can change the terms of that contract at any time and not fulfill its end of the bargain (like sixty million dead babies whom society failed to protect), and then laugh in the faces of anyone who objects.  It’s like Lando Calrissian arguing with Darth Vader, as Lando protests that some things were never part of the deal and Vader coolly replies “I have altered the deal, pray I don’t alter it any further.”

This deal IS getting worse all the time.  And it will continue to get worse as long as one side cannot walk away from it.  The “progressives” cannot stand that anyone might be able to choose anarchy or a limited government tailored to their wishes (even if said government only governed a town of a hundred souls) over their utopia, but if such places exist, “voting with your feet” could actually be a thing again.

Oh, and to anyone who thinks humans would “screw up” other planets or who has a visceral knee-jerk reaction to the idea of “colonization,” you are literally too stupid to argue with.

Harvey Weinstein, Cam Newton, and Ivanka Trump

If that title grabbed you with hopes of salacious details, get your mind out of the gutter.

I’m going to begin by saying there’s absolutely not a thing wrong with what Cam Newton said the other day.  He chuckled and thought it was funny to hear “a female” ask a technical football question.  He did not insult the reporterette or dismiss her.  He just thought it was funny.  Unwad your panties and grow the hell up.

I’m also going to say that I don’t give a good damn what Harvey Weinstein did and who he did it to or with.  Sorry if you think that’s awful, but it’s the ride everybody who goes to Hollywood knows and knew they were signing up for.  Don’t even start with the “what if it was your daughter” crap, if that’s the argument then I’m glad this all came out on behalf of middle American parents everywhere.  I’m sure countless parents warned bubbleheaded cuties about what would really happen if they set off for L.A. to “be a star” after just knocking the lead role in the high school musical out of the park, and said bubbleheads were just sure they knew so much better than their stick-in-the-mud mom and dad, and proceeded to hitch up their cutoff jeans and crop-top shirts and catch a bus to la la land.  Where they promptly found about a million other cute bubbleheads like them all fighting over about a dozen decent “movie star” jobs and no shortage of disgusting Harvey Weinsteins who might or might not launch their dream career in exchange for a turn on the casting couch.  At least now mom and dad have conclusive proof of this, before little Jenny comes home used up and brokenhearted, or ends up strung out on heroin in a Los Angeles tenement somewhere.  Might spare a few families some heartache in the long run, I don’t know.

The point of this is not whether either of these men are reprehensible jerks or just victims of bad press or, in Weinstein’s case, the “vast right-wing conspiracy.”  Yes, he actually claimed that.  They both lean hard towards being jerks, both have peddled more than their share of leftist propaganda whether from Hollywood or the football field.  The point I’m aiming at here is what exactly caused them to go from heroes and champions to become the targets of the selfsame virtue-signallers they have spent their careers promoting.

The answer is pretty obvious: both men have outlived their usefulness.  Cam Newton has led the Carolina Panthers to the Super Bowl (and then managed to lose to Peyton Manning’s Broncos), but this season he’s putting up only marginally better numbers than Colin “I started a revolution because I was gonna get cut for sucking” Kaepernick.  He’s worth far more as a target of feminist outrage over the slightest of slights than he is making the black power symbol after a touchdown or taking a knee for the anthem.  Weinstein has the same kind of problem–rumor has it he’s running into financial problems and is not looking like the same Democratic kingmaker that the party has come to rely upon.  Weinstein of course has been far more useful to the left than Cam Newton but it comes down to the same principle, their leftist cred may be triple-A rated but their usefulness to the cause is flagging.  This is why Weinstein responded to the scandal that everyone knew about way ahead of time and did nothing by prostrating himself before the sacred cows of the left, pledging to make Wayne LaPierre’s life miserable and pointing his pudgy finger at the “vast right-wing conspiracy” for ginning up this nonsense that everyone in the Hollywood left knew about all along.  He’s desperate to prove to his leftist overlords that he is still useful and still relevant before they have him dragged away as a sacrifice to the feminists.

What does any of this have to do with Ivanka Trump?  It’s well known that Ivanka has some pretty hard-left leanings, as does her husband Jared Kushner, but Ivanka also has the benefit of having the President’s ear in a way I doubt anyone else really does.  Bill Maher and Ashley Judd can cram their disgusting innuendos, I’m talking about their father-daughter relationship in light of the fact that she’s a highly successful professional herself.  It should be obvious to Ivanka by now, if she’s half as intelligent as her father (which I kind of question given the nonsense that she blabs about), that her pals on the left aren’t going to cut her any slack for her lady parts or for her support, they’re content to slam and slander her on the basis of nothing more than her name and her father.  And this is what they’re doing to her while she still may be useful.  If this is what the left does to its champions once they are put out to pasture…you might want to consider what they’ll do to you, cupcake.

This could just as easily be directed at a number of nominal Republicans (John McCain, Susan Collins, Paul Ryan, I’m looking at you…) but most of them are either too old to care or have been down this road and ought to know better–“maverick” McCain spent years in the Senate giving conservatives heartburn and getting the media to swoon over him before he ran for President and suddenly the press discovered he was Hitler.  You’d think maybe someone in Ivanka’s position might look at what’s going on and consider that the people whose side she picked might not be the best friends she could have made after all.  But more than likely, she’s looking at this with no more insight than the bubbleheaded cutie with her life packed into a suitcase and a bus ticket to the West Coast, and it won’t even dawn on her after some Harvey Weinstein has told her to get her clothes on and get off the couch so the next girl can “audition” that her only worth to her supposed friends is as a disposable abuse doll.  You’d hope someone with her upbringing might be able to see that before it’s too late, but sadly, plenty of small-town farmer dads and moms who raised their daughters right hoped the same thing right up until they watched that bus roll away.

The kind of person you are says a lot about your values and the right-or-wrongness of what you believe in.  This is the real reason Weinstein was covered over and ignored for so long.

Money and the NRA

The smirking bastards over at Politico thought it would be a good idea to see how much money the NRA has contributed to political campaigns over the past twenty years in what I presume was an effort to shore up their “GOP is sold out to the ‘gun lobby'” narrative.  Turned out that over two decades, the NRA gave all of $3.5 million in support of its preferred candidates.

Admittedly, a few standout names got a bigger chunk (though it’s worth noting that two of them are women and one of those women is black), but if anything that reinforces the point that three and a half million dollars spread over a 20 year period comes out to about $175K per year, spread out over more than five hundred races.  Dr. Pantsuit made more than that for a speech.  That comes out to about three hundred bucks each.  Steve Scalise, who apparently is still defiant of his leftist betters even after having been shot and crippled, has been accused of “selling his soul” to the NRA for less than five thousand dollars.  In Washington terms, or hell, in most state legislatures, that’s nothing.

I’ve said on numerous occasions that the politicians on the right who support the NRA and who get support from them in return would do it for free.  This proves it.  Good hit piece there, Politico.

Bump stocks and slippery slopes

Amidst the ongoing hysterics and other discussions over guns and gun control in the wake of the Las Vegas shooting, I’ve noticed a few disturbing comments from even some fellow conservative types saying that they think “bump stocks” ought to be banned, in the context of more generally opposing gun control.  Others have outright defended the existence of a machine gun ban.  In response to this, let me tell you a story about two guys, Joe and Bob.

Joe is a responsible gun owner and a law abiding citizen.  Joe thinks it would be cool to own a machine gun.  He’d like to learn more about its inner workings and thinks it would be fun to take it out to the stone wall on the back forty and use it to obliterate pumpkins or something, and maybe, just maybe, he thinks it might be a good thing to have around for if certain bad things ever happen.  He goes to apply for the incredibly expensive permit and for whatever reason, his application is denied.  Joe, being a responsible citizen who does not break the law, shrugs his shoulders and goes about his business.

Bob is a criminal who may or may not be a touch crazy, and Bob has decided he’s had enough of this world and thinks it would be a hell of a sendoff if he took a whole bunch of other folks with him.  So he comes up with this elaborate plan to acquire and position multiple weapons capable of automatic fire in a place where he knows a large crowd will be gathering.  Bob finds out that the weapons he plans to use are against the law and this totally makes him stop and rethink the whole plan.  Actually no, I lied, that fact doesn’t even enter into Bob’s calculus for half a second, because what he’s planning to do is so against the law and so depraved that not getting a permit for his machine gun is going to be the last thing on his mind as he blows his own brains out.

Am I making this clear enough people?  The only people who a gun or accessory ban stop or even slow down are people who obey the goddamn law.  Adam Lanza went to the local outdoor supply store to try to buy a gun, they turned him down, he promptly went home and wasted his mom and stole hers.  It neither impedes nor dissuades them.  Furthermore, the very existence of “bump stocks” cuts against this line of thought because “bump stocks” are a workaround for the machine gun ban.  They might be a crappy one but when your objective is to just cause wanton destruction you can rig up a lot of havoc with just some rudimentary understanding of basic machinery.  Hell, you can probably look them up on the internet as easily as you can find this site.

Automatic weapons predate the Civil War.  The plain fact is that if a weapon exists, a bad guy can get it, period.  Banning them doesn’t prevent that.  And if a weapon doesn’t exist, you can’t make it never happen by just not ever building it, like shellshocked Tony Stark at his most idiotic.  Someone else will.  Human ingenuity is almost as boundless as human stupidity.

Meanwhile, conceding “okay, you can ban bump stocks, there’s no reason a person would ever need that” not only considers something that does not enter into the equation, but it subjects the Second Amendment to the slow death by a thousand cuts that the left continues to work on while still trying for the Hail Mary.  It literally does not matter if or why someone “needs” a bump stock or a suppressor or a 30-round magazine.  For the millionth time, banning these things does not keep bad people from getting them.  Giving away something that you personally find unnecessary or distasteful is every bit as bad as giving up the whole argument, especially if you’re going to get all self-righteous and smug about it like a goddamned leftist.  Don’t you dare tell me “we need to use our brains on this” when you clearly aren’t using yours, and don’t kid yourself, you’re not going to get any credit from the left for yielding this ground.  I seriously don’t give a good damn about bump stocks and really could not care a whole lot less about suppressors but I will in no way concede that either ought to be banned any more than I concede machine guns should be.

The Second Amendment, in context

The text of the Second Amendment to the Constitution reads like this:

“A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

The Founders were very economical with their words.  As I demonstrated yesterday, they recognized the absolute freedom of speech and enshrined it in perpetuity using just ten words (and five of them were shared with freedom of religion, the press, and assembly).  They used twenty-seven to recognize the right to keep and bear arms.  Note there is nothing in there about muskets, nothing in there about hunting, nothing in there about “but only two or three of them, maybe four at most, nobody needs ten,” nothing about “but only if they can’t hold more than twelve bullets at a time,” nothing about “just not arms that look scary.”  They included the justification for this as the first part of the amendment, which I honestly think was primarily to ease the concerns of people who did not like the idea of standing armies, but because of that first clause we’ve had decades worth of gun-grabbing idiots trying to claim “See?  See?!  It says ‘militia!’  That means only the army gets to have guns!” And of course that leads to linguistic gymnastics wherein people point out that in context the militia meant all free able-bodied adult men, which is correct, but it’s not the point.

A simple grammatically correct reading of this amendment really doesn’t leave any doubt as to its meaning, which of course hearkens back to my oft-repeated point that language is important.  Translated and expanded upon, the amendment means something like this: “Okay guys, look.  We know a lot of you don’t like standing armies.  We don’t like them either.  We know we just fought a war with the most free, most democratic, most respecting-of-individual-rights government the world has ever seen (which Britain was until the USA came along), and we saw just what even that kind of a good government is capable of when it has a monopoly on martial force.  But the fact we have to acknowledge is that an army (i.e. “well-regulated militia” as opposed to farmers who could grab their rifles and link up with the local unit when the call went out) is necessary to the security of a free country that wants to stay free.  Otherwise we run the very real risk of the Spanish or the British or the Canadians or hell, the flippin’ Indians just waltzing in and pulverizing us in our sleep.  So, being mindful of the risks that presents, to counterbalance that power, the government is not going to have the right to interfere with an individual citizen’s right to keep and bear arms.  No ifs, ands, or buts, ‘shall not be infringed’ means ‘shall not be infringed.'”  And of course it was understood at that time that “citizen” did not include people who had violated the social contract by committing felonies, which would be about the only exception.

This reading is reinforced by James Madison in Federalist #46.  To summarize Madison’s thoughts in this paper, he envisions a hypothetical scenario wherein all the safeguards of the Constitution have failed, and somehow the government has become overrun by tyrants and morons who are now in complete control of the armed forces.  On the flip side of that, you have an armed populace that outnumbers the government military by orders of magnitude.  By Madison’s reckoning, there would be no way that even a trained and well-regulated army could overwhelm the people in this scenario.  The point being, the purpose of the Second Amendment is NOT that the men who wrote it thought it would be a great idea for a violent revolution every now and then (at least not universally–some did believe that “the tree of liberty must from time to time be watered with the blood of patriots and tyrants”).  Rather, the idea and the hope was that by virtue of the populace being armed, this would deter the government from overstepping its bounds and prevent a bloody revolution from being necessary.  Contrary to what the left is bleating about lately, we don’t want guns because we want to shoot American soldiers, that’s as asinine as it is offensive.  We want guns so that we’re never put in a position where American soldiers are shooting at US.  That’s the whole goddamn point.

Now, I spoke about the intent and the pretty damn clear meaning of the Second Amendment when you consider it in historical context as well as just reading it using simple rules of English grammar.  I mentioned that all this nonsense about the “militia” that has served to muddy the waters and give leftist gun grabbers something to latch onto inevitably leads to the same conclusion, that it is the citizenry as part of the militia whose rights to keep and bear arms are not to be infringed (and yes, children, that includes machine guns, tanks, fighter jets, whatever the army has, we’re supposed to be able to get it too).

The simple fact is that none of that matters.

Oh, sure, the left likes to pretend it cares about the letter of the Constitution when they think they can twist it around to serve their agenda.  They claim to find all kinds of rights to things like privacy and baby murder and gay marriage and health care that don’t actually exist because the Constitution is a “living document” or some such bulls**t but when it comes to this little convoluted clause and their even-more-convoluted reading of it they think it’s cast in stone.  But frankly, it’s irrelevant.  I’m not saying that a strict constructionist approach to the Constitution is not important, it’s vital because that is the contract we all (passively or actively) agree to live and be governed under, and as such it cannot be malleable due to the whims of a couple of judges or some loudmouthed minority of protesters any more than your cell phone company can decide in the middle of your contract that they can add a clause saying you have to send them a box of cookies every month.  That’s not the deal you agreed to, and it doesn’t matter if some people would just shrug and send in the cookies.

Honestly, there are numerous parts of the original Constitution that had to be rethought, reworked, and revisited over the past two and nearly a half centuries, for better or for worse.  That’s why we’re pushing 30 amendments at this point when we started off with just ten.  The point is that the intent of the Founders only matters inasmuch as it helps to clarify what the text we have all agreed to live under means, and whether the left likes it or not, it means the people get to have guns.  But more than that, more than the wishes of long-dead (though abjectly brilliant) men matter, the simple fact is that gun control does not f**king work.  The only thing it does accomplish is disarming the people who are law-abiding and removing that check on governmental power that has served as a deterrent, and if that’s your definition of gun control “working” then you’re a sick tyrannical piece of filth.

The plain fact is that Sandy Hook, Fort Hood, Aurora, San Bernardino, Pulse nightclub, Columbine, every mass shooting has taken place in a so-called “gun free” zone.  That’s not by accident.  Most of the time the perpetrators get their guns illegally.  It’s been pointed out that the guy in Vegas passed all kinds of background checks–well whaddya know, they didn’t work either.  Gun grabbing idiots are pointing to that as “proof” of why we need a gun ban and totally missing the fact that his modifications to the weapons were illegal, his possession of firearms on the Vegas strip was illegal, knocking out the windows in his hotel room was illegal, and oh yeah–shooting into a crowd with intent to hit almost six hundred people is illegal.  And honestly, guns are not going to go away.  Ever.  There is no magic wand you can wave to make them disappear.  They are mechanically very simple machines that can be made in garages or basements, nevermind smuggled across the border.  Automatic weapons pre-date the Civil War.  We don’t even need to get into people killed with a truck or a fertilizer bomb, as important as that is it does kind of cut away from the central issue.  All you can do by “banning guns” is take them out of the hands of people who obey the law–people who save at minimum 200,000 lives every year using their legal handguns and as many as three million (the range being due to the fact that it’s difficult if not impossible to tell how many people are saved by defensive use of a firearm, whether it’s shooting a bad guy or just brandishing the weapon).  As always, the government cannot legislatively prevent bad things from happening, but it can prevent a whole lot of good.  Criminals don’t care about laws on general principles, and when you get someone who goes into this kind of a rampage and doesn’t plan on surviving it, I’m sorry but there’s no way to prevent that.  We could have an Australia-style gun ban already in effect and this evil person would still have gone on this killing spree.

That’s what matters folks.  Steve Scalise acknowledged this in his first trip back to the House floor after a Democratic activist tried to assassinate him.  The Second Amendment is a timeworn bulwark against the efforts of fools and tyrants to take away the only thing that deters the government from plunging headlong into absolutism, but when it comes right down to it, the wishes and foresight of the Founding Fathers don’t matter half as much as the plain and simple fact that this nonsense does not and will not work.  It would honestly be different if this were not true, but it is, and it’s so plain to see that it’s mind-boggling that these people just don’t get that their “solution” only makes the problem worse.  The blood of every mass shooting that takes place in a gun-free zone is on the hands of gun-grabbing politicians and morons like Shannon Watts and Jimmy Kimmel who are either willfully blind or deliberately lying.  Like I say all the time, of all the stupid, ignorant strains of leftists, the gun grabber is by far the stupidest.

More pesky facts about Puerto Rico

It seems a major news source (The Hill, not going to link to fake news) tweeted out yesterday that President Trump had denied a request from Puerto Rico to allow residents there to use food stamps for prepared food (i.e. fast food).  This was met by a slew of thousands of retweets and snarky comments about how awful the President is and the usual round of insults that come from the little bastards who still haven’t gotten over losing the election.

Of course none of them bothered to read the article that The Hill was promoting, which outright said–in the headline, no less–the exact f**king opposite of what was in the tweet.  Yes, children, food stamp use for hot meals (or whatever McDonalds “food” is) has been approved in Puerto Rico and they damned well knew it.  They tweeted out an “update” but that of course only received a handful of RTs as opposed to over 10,000 for the initial hit tweet.  I’m convinced they’re not even trying anymore and are taking full advantage of the fact that a lie gets halfway around the world before the truth can get its pants on.  Then they have the gall to complain when they get called “fake news.”

Most Puerto Ricans are responding favorably to President Trump’s visit.  There are your diehard Trump haters who will slam him no matter what he does out of pure spite and hatred but they conveniently overlook the fact that Whatshisname spent all of five hours (yes, hours) on the island over the eight years of his presidency.  There’s even outrage over the event where the President helped distribute relief supplies by tossing rolls of paper towels into the crowd.  For God’s sake people, he’s a showman and he’s trying to help lift people’s spirits, and you’re going to fuss at him for “playing fetch like a dog?”  Nevermind, of course you are.  Real people know what’s going on.