Sunday, January 29, 2017

Why Trump has the potential to be the greatest president in living memory

I've stated many times that I don't care for Trump.  This past week he's done some things that have me scratching my head, like proposing a 20% tariff on Mexican goods to pay for a border wall and claiming that will make Mexicans pay for the wall when the tax will be paid by Americans, not Mexicans. 

You may be wondering with that intro what impressed me this week.  It's a concept that Trump expressed in a position paper that many Americans don't know or have forgotten.  It's all but dead in American law schools.  It was expressed in September, but people seem to have discovered it more recently.

We'll get to his statements in just a bit, but let me introduce the concept, one we've discussed before in prior posts.  There are rights that were part of the colonist's heritage.  They were tradition, considered natural or inalienable rights.  They weren't granted by anyone, but governments were expected to respect them, as they weren't granted by governments, but rather by the very nature of being human.  These rights pre-existed the Constitution.  They weren't granted by it, but rather guaranteed by it.  That means they also can't be taken away by amending the Constitution.  I've heard historians say that the Bill of Rights was objected to by several of the founders not because the guarantees were bad, but because they felt all Americans understood these rights, and infringement upon them would result in another revolution.  I'm so happy they ratified the Bill of Rights anyway.  They had no idea how a hundred years of reeducation would affect the average American's understanding of her rights.

Benjamin Franklin commented on the freedom to express one's thoughts as a fundamental principle for any free country a half century before the 1st Amendment was introduced:

"This sacred privilege is so essential to free Governments, that the Security of Property, and the Freedom of Speech always go together; and in those wretched Countries where a Man cannot call his Tongue his own, he can scarce call any Thing else his own." The full letter is available here.

Once again, the right pre-existed the Constitution and was guaranteed by it.  You can repeal the words in the Constitution, but you can't change the natural law.  The right exists whether it's guaranteed on paper or not.

What Trump Said in his Position Paper
“The Second Amendment to our Constitution is clear. The right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed upon. Period,” the position paper began.

Trump went on to explain that the right to keep and bear arms is a right that pre-existed both the government and the Constitution, noting that government didn’t create the right and therefore cannot take it away.

He also rightly denoted the Second Amendment as “America’s first freedom,” pointing out that it helps protect all of the other rights we hold dear.

From Conservative Tribune
I confirmed with a second source, though many don't trust this one anymore:
On September 18 Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump released a position paper on gun policy in which he stated, “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed…period.”

Trump explained that our Founding Fathers protected Second Amendment rights in this way because the sanctity of all other fundamental rights rests on the existence of a people who are free and therefore armed. To put it plainly, Trump said, “The Right to Keep and Bear Arms protects all our other rights.”

He used the position paper to remind Americans that the United States is “the only country in the world that has a Second Amendment”–the only country in the whole world in which the right to keep and bear arms is recognized as a natural, individual right upon which the government cannot infringe. Trump echoes the sentiment of Founding Father James Madison here. It was Madison who used Federalist 46 to describe the “advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation.”

It should also be noted that Trump understands that the Second Amendment does not create a right. Rather, that amendment recognizes pre-existing rights and protects them from government intrusion. In light of this view of the Second Amendment, it should come as no surprise that Trump’s entire gun policy rests on expanding the exercise of gun rights rather than expanding the presence of gun control.

From Breitbart
If Donald Trump truly understands and believes this, it is as he would put it, "Yuge."  This would mean he understands the Constitution's origin and intent, not just the words on the page.  I have a hard time believing this given how he's used the Kelo decision in private business, yet no president in my memory has expressed so clear an understanding of the sanctity of our rights.  I don't even recall President Reagan articulating this, though readers are welcome to correct me.

Looking at the bullet points of President Trump's expressed opinion is also encouraging:
* Nominate United States Supreme Court justices that will abide by the rule of law and the Constitution of the United States that includes upholding the Second Amendment.

* Defend the rights of law-abiding gun owners:
  • Military bases and recruiting centers - to have a strong military, we need to allow them to defend themselves
  • National right to carry – should be legal in all 50 states
  • Background checks - we need to fix the system we have and make it work as intended. What we don’t need to do is expand a broken system.
  • Gun and magazine bans - the government has no business dictating what types of firearms good, honest people are allowed to own
Once again, if he truly means this and understands it, it's very encouraging, and President Trump has the potential to be the best President in living memory.  I'm jaded enough politically not to get too excited, but I sure would love factory capacity magazines for my firearms and to see some of California's ridiculous restrictions stricken down.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Why the fuss over Betsy DeVos?

Full disclaimer:  I don't like Trump and didn't vote for him.  The only worse outcome for the 2016 presidential election would have been for Hillary Clinton to win.

President Trump's cabinet choices have really upset Democrats, and although I don't like President Trump, by and large I've found his choices for the posts of Secretary fairly good.  That's probably why they upset the Democrats so much.


This week, I was a bit stunned to see a friend complain about the nomination of Betsy DeVos for the post of Secretary of Education.  Part of my perplexity was the fact that people were claiming she was unqualified, but there are no real qualifications for the post.  Harambe could do a great job.  So could my 11 month old kitten (he's young, but very enthusiastic).  The Department of Education arose from smaller offices in 1980.  That's right, Darth Vader has been around longer than the Department of Education.  It has done very little besides throw around federal money for education loans and grants, with the unanticipated income being skyrocketing tuition costs for universities.  Where there is easy money, someone will sponge it up enthusiastically, even if it means years of repayment for American graduates.  The Department of Education hasn't done any real good for our education system, which seems to have functioned better when it was completely controlled by states and municipalities.  Funny how local control and accountability works better than distant bureaucracy.

So, the post of Secretary of Education really doesn't matter any more than instagram pictures of what your friend had for breakfast.  It's of passing interest, but has no impact on your life or mine.

To figure out what the excitement was about, I did a bit of searching.  It turns out the NEA really doesn't like her (now, for me that's a high recommendation that she's a great pick).  Here are their reasons, and I'll summarize:  http://educationvotes.nea.org/2016/11/30/5-reasons-trump-pick-betsy-devos-wrong-secretary-education/

Here's the very short version.  I will add letters to their objections contained in the initial paragraph but not explicitly expanded in the supporting paragraphs:
Last week, President-elect Donald Trump nominated as Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, a [A.] billionaire and [B.] conservative mega-donor who has [C.] no classroom experience, and [D.] whose work in public education consists mainly of efforts to privatize it.

1. Betsy DeVos has no training or experience in education.
2. Like Donald Trump, DeVos is an ardent supporter of “school choice” privatization schemes, despite a complete lack of evidence that privatizing public schools produces better education.
3. DeVos has invested millions lobbying for laws that drain resources from public schools.
4. DeVos has fought against the regulation of charter schools.
5. Betsy DeVos is not a good fit for a position overseeing the civil rights of all students.
I've added the orange letters.

Let's start with their enumerated objections.  Point 1. is that DeVos doesn't have any experience in education.  I'm not sure what they think a Secretary of a department does.  Secretaries of Departments take the President's overall policy and goals and translate it into high-level directives for their subordinates to carry out.  The subordinates are still working at a very high level.  They aren't going into classrooms and trying to teach anyone.  They aren't going to individual schools and trying to manage the site (a Principal's job).  They're working with very high-level policy.  So really, all you have to do to be the Secretary of Education is have ideas about education, or be able to follow the President's ideas and be able to run a bureaucracy or be able to hire capable people who can.  I was exaggerating above.  My cat couldn't do this despite his intense interest in classroom manipulatives.  Harambe is still a possibility.

Point 1. also encompasses objection C., which is that DeVos has no classroom experience.  To be Secretary of Defense, you need not have served as a private in the military.  To be Secretary of Agriculture, you need not have run a small farm.  The argument that a Secretary of Education must have classroom experience is designed to inflame idiots who don't think too deeply.  You know, useful idiots.

Point 2 is even more fun.  The NEA feels school choice is bad.  That's been the position of the Left because school choice takes money from school bureaucracy and directs it to private institutions or home school students.  Taking money from school districts means these fiefdoms, the outposts of the least intelligent and capable political administrators, a part of the new royal class (politicians) are deprived.  I digress.

The writer says there's "a complete lack of evidence that privatizing public schools produces better education."  That statement worded as it is, is true.  However, it doesn't address school choice.  There's plenty of evidence that works rather fabulously, and that's why the Left wants it shut down.  Let's have a look at one example that the Obama administration defunded in Washington DC over the objections of parents.  For the full article, please read here:  http://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/finance/2015/February/President-Obama-Leaving-DCs-Children-Behind

From that article:
The $20 million annual program which began under George W. Bush has proven extremely effective. Nearly 6,000 kids from lower-income families have benefited from these scholarships - which reach more than $8,300 a year for primary school and more than $12,500 a year for high school.

That's still about one-third lower overall than what it costs per pupil to educate' students in Washington, D.C.'s public schools. Almost all -- 97.4 percent -- of the students who get the money are blacks and Latinos.

The scholarships are popular with parents. Several years ago when President Obama tried to shut down the program, black and Hispanic parents locked arm to arm with Republicans in Congress who support the program and marched in front of the Capitol.

That was an amazing optic. In the 1960s and 1970s civil rights leaders and "community activists" fought against laws that prevent blacks from getting in to the public schools.

Now liberals refuse to let them out.

Research by Patrick Wolf at the University of Arkansas tracked how well these kids did over time. Graduation rates of voucher students were 21 percentage points higher compared with those who applied for the vouchers but didn't win (91% to 70%); and the graduation rate was 35 percentage points higher than the graduation rate for all D.C. public schools.
Oops.  This program did a far better job educating minority students than DC public schools at a 1/3 lower cost to taxpayers than public education.  That's really embarrassing.  No wonder it had to go.  All those Black and Latino students benefiting from it were getting in the way of the Left's agenda, so back to public school they went to get an inferior education and graduate at a much lower rate.  Nice work, Obama and Democrats.

In short, point 2 is a complete lie.  We can also throw out point 5. here because it's a restatement of point 2 but written in a vaguely inflammatory manner to insinuate DeVos is a racist.  It had to be written that way, because there's no evidence she is.  "Donald Trump’s nomination of DeVos is deeply concerning to many civil rights groups, because school choice schemes promote racial segregation and undercut civil rights enforcement that is routine in public schools."  Tell that the the 97.4% Black and Latino DC students who were doing better using vouchers but were forced back into public school by the Left's ideology.  Most voucher systems focus on performance, not race.  A result of disparate impact means not that there's a problem with the systems, but rather a problem with the outreach to and focus on education in disadvantaged neighborhoods.  This has to do with socioeconomic status, not race, but the Left likes to focus on skin color more because you can count heads a bit easier.  That approach suggests to me that the Left and this author are racists, not DeVos, who would like to see any student willing to work hard succeed regardless of skin color.

Point 3. isn't a problem for me.  In a year-end project for my Advanced Placement U.S. History class we studied funding in our district.  In leaner years, the district spent more wisely and more money was spent on classroom education.  In more heavily funded years, it spent money on refurbishing the district offices, including installing a $10,000 air curtain system over the front doors that didn't work properly and so was shut down.  A $10,000 paperweight was far more important to them than new books, or technology improvements in classrooms.  It was clear to me then and later during my 2 years as a classroom teacher that throwing money at education isn't effective.

What happens when money is taken from public education and given to higher performing private schools?  There's suddenly competition.  Public schools have to spend money on actual education instead of air curtains so they can compare favorably with private institutions.  Massive, ineffective, wasteful bureaucracies hate having their shortcomings so starkly exposed, and that's all Point 3. is about.

Point 4. made me laugh out loud.  Regulation doesn't equate to accountability or performance.  As California schools have had increased regulation and requirements for teachers, our performance has dropped.  We keep doing more of it, though, not because it works, but because the Left and the NEA believe it should.  Good for charter schools and DeVos for fighting ineffective rules and focusing on improving scores and graduation rates instead.

Let's cover the objections presented in the introductory paragraph of the article.  Here it is so you don't have to scroll up:  "President-elect Donald Trump nominated as Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, a [A.] billionaire and [B.] conservative mega-donor who has [C.] no classroom experience, and [D.] whose work in public education consists mainly of efforts to privatize it."

A.  Anybody appointed to the post of Secretary of a department is likely to be wealthy.  That's true under every president.  This is an objection for idiots.

B.  Oh, no.  DeVos is a conservative who puts her wealth into what she believes.  Kind of like liberal movie stars do.  It's evidently only bad when conservatives do it.  Once again, an objection for idiots.

We've covered C.

D. is only a good thing.  Competition makes complacent school administrators have to fight for their funding, as they should have to.  Choice is good (why does the Left only believe that regarding reproductive rights?).  Freedom is good.

Based on the Left's objections to DeVos, I've come to support her.  I appreciate their strident objections giving me the opportunity to review something I'd normally pay very little attention to.  If we could vote for the Secretary of Education, I'd vote for DeVos over anybody the NEA would find acceptable. Except Harambe.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Rigged Election?

Democrats have been taking losing poorly to a new level following Trump's election.  I get it, Hillary won the popular vote by the margin of the number of voters in New York City and Los Angeles.  There's some case to be made that we don't need an electoral college, and an even better one to be made that we do (i.e., how much worse would it be if candidates only campaigned in 4-5 large cities instead of several "battleground" states?).

Still, there's a limit to the tantrums anyone should throw.  First, Americans don't particularly like tantrums.  A blogger who goes by LawDog made great points about this in an entertaining post here:  Dear Trump protestors

So, protesters probably helped get Trump elected.  We also don't like sore losers.  Obama has now done things a sitting president probably shouldn't, including encouraging active duty troops to question the commander-in-chief (yes, they have a right to do that, but when they're not on duty) and ordering an investigation of Russian election hacking.  Allegations of election fraud should indeed be investigated, but Obama seems to be doing this to encourage the belief that the election was rigged.  Note that there's always been some election fraud, but that's actually something the electoral college helps mitigate.  The hypocritical part is that before the election, the Democrats told us all about how there was no election fraud at all.  It's entertaining to look at prominent Democrats' views pre and post election.  Here's a representative example.



Again, I'm all for investigating voter fraud.  I'm not okay with rank hypocrisy because a party isn't happy their candidate lost.  A bit of introspection would serve Democrats better than continued caterwauling.  Some Democrats are already doing thoughtful introspection about what caused this loss.  It's encouraging.

I hope Republicans do the same, because the truth is that there's no joy in a Trump win.  Ben Shapiro wrote a fantastic piece titled, "Trump Is Conservatism's Dunkirk."  It was dead on.  Both parties need to be looking into a way to prevent a fiasco like this from happening again.  This election has to be the most ridiculous thing I've ever seen.

I was discussing time travel with a friend and I said it simply wasn't possible.  We'd have seen oddities in the timeline by now.  He said, "Like a Trump vs. Clinton election?"  Touché.

Let's investigate voter fraud but not pretend the election was rigged.  Let's make sure we work toward a smarter system.  Instead of fighting each other we should be looking at ways to get a better outcome for everyone in the future. 

Sunday, December 4, 2016

The Armed Citizen

You're never really too old to defend yourself. In Eastpointe, Michigan, a 91-year-old man was getting out of his car outside of a pharmacy when he noticed a man approaching him in a threatening manner. The armed citizen declared that he was a permit holder. He waited in his car until the stranger disappeared. But when he got out a little while later to enter the store, the assailant came toward him and raised a weapon over his head at the older man. Warning the miscreant that he was armed, the 91-year-old pulled his .38 Special-chambered revolver from his side and opened fire, striking the attacker in the neck. "It doesn't have to be a gun or a knife," said Eric Keiser, Eastpointe deputy police chief. "The suspect had a piece of metal fashioned as a weapon. [The armed citizen] felt his life was in danger." The suspect was transported to an area hospital and was later charged. (MacombDaily.com, Eastpointe, MI., 8/23/16)

An assailant in West Philadelphia, Pa., lost his life after attacking his ex-girlfriend. The man tried to enter the residence through a downstairs kitchen window. Not one to stand idly by, the woman's new boyfriend pushed the attacker back through the window and temporarily kept him at bay. Undeterred, the assailant made his way up to a second-floor bedroom window and successfully entered the home that way. The woman attempted to defend the home and got into an altercation with him. Her current boyfriend came to her defense, pulling a gun and firing a single shot at the intruder. Officers arrived, and the injured attacker was transported to a local hospital. where he later died. (ABC 6, West Philadelphia, PA, 8/25/16)

Sleeping on the job gave a store manager the element of surprise so he could take down a bad guy. As closing time was approaching, a manager at a local supermarket in Waterloo, Iowa, decided to take a short nap behind a counter in his store while another employee worked with customers. The manager was awakened by loud talking and heard repeated demands of "Give me money." Looking up, the manager saw a male intruder who was pointing a gun at the store clerk. "He didn't see me before. When he saw me, he pointed the gun to me and said, 'Don't move,'" the manager recalled in a news interview. As the gunman turned his attention back to the clerk, the manager reached for a 9 mm Luger semi-automatic he had stowed. The bad guy and the manager exchanged fire, with a bullet striking the troublemaker. The intruder then fled. Police later found and arrested the suspect. (WCFCourier.com, Waterloo, IA, 8/29/16)

In Oregon, a 15-year-old boy taught a home intruder a lesson. The boy was home alone when he heard someone enter the abode. The teen retrieved a shotgun. When he saw the intruder, he fired and shot the man in the leg. "The juvenile was in fear of his safety, my initial conclusion is that the shooting...was a justifiable use of force," said District Attorney Paul Frasier. (The World, Myrtle Point, OR., 8/6/16)

One criminal paid the price for messing with a mother's son after a recent attempted robbery in Augusta, Ga. One Sunday, two men with crowbars entered a Subway restaurant. When the two men began to act suspiciously, the employee behind the counter went to retrieve a firearm from her purse. After one of the alleged robbers struck her 14-year-old son, who was standing behind the counter, in the back of the head, the armed citizen opened fire and put two rounds into one of the assailants. The owner of the franchise said he supported his employee's right to carry a firearm for defensive purposes. The suspect who was shot died, and police later apprehended his alleged accomplice. (WRDW 12, Augusta, GA., 8/25/16)

A good Samaritan came to the aid of a neighbor during a domestic dispute that ended in the death of the aggressor. In Gonzales, La., a man in his home heard people arguing outside. He went to investigate. The neighbor approached the two people-a man and a woman-who were arguing and was accosted by the male. The instigator pointed a handgun at the good Samaritan, who in turn drew his own firearm and shot. When police officers arrived, they determined that the man who had been arguing with the woman was dead. The police said that charges would not be filed against the armed citizen, saying that he ended a dispute that might have led to the death of the woman. (ABC 2, Gonzales, LA, 8/20/16)

Want even more stories?
Breitbart is providing 2nd Amendment stories.
The Blaze is providing 2nd Amendment stories.
Visit The Armed Citizen blog for older stories (the blog seems abandoned).

Other accounts of self-defense collected on this blog:
2nd Amendment Saves a Pregnant Woman,
2nd Amendment vs. a Serial Rapist,

Failures of Gun Control:
UK Government under reports gun violence to pretend their policies work
A great personal account:  My Transformation From Anti-Gun Feminist To Armed Feminist
Knife Control?!
Protecting Children through Gun Control?
Futility of the Gun Banning Philosophy
A Contrast to VA Tech

Thoughts on publicized shootings: Shootings early in 2009, Alabama Shootings, Finland School Shooting. Remember: The only proven method to mitigate the disaster of a rogue criminal shooter is to have more first responders, e.g. CCW permit holders lawfully armed and on scene. These criminals do not respect "gun free" zones, but simply view them as target-rich opposition-free areas in which to slaughter innocents.

CCW Holders are an especially lawful group.

Carrying a firearm is an inherently civilized act.

Right to Carry Statistics.

Does Violence Beget Violence?

Sunday, November 27, 2016

The Armed Citizen

Instilling a respect for the principle of self-defense in her son is one reason why an 88-year-old Chicago woman survived a break-in. The elderly mother was awakened one night by the sound of a gunshot. Fortunately, it had come from her son, who fended off someone who was trying to enter the house through a window. Keeping guns around for self-defense is a practice the elderly woman has followed since her husband was shot and killed during a home invasion more than 50 years ago. "My son said he wasn't going to let that somebody come in that window. He knew those boys came in the house and killed his father. He wasn't going to let somebody come in the house and kill me," the mother told television reporters after the incident. The suspect was taken to a hospital and treated for his injuries. (abc7chicago.com, Chicago, Ill., 3/28/16)

Shots rang out in a suburb of Pittsburgh when a homeowner protected his property from four juveniles who were breaking into the home. The boys were trying to enter the home through a window that housed an air conditioner. The armed citizen grabbed his .380 ACP handgun and confronted the intruders. He fired multiple shots, wounding two of the teens. All four of the suspects fled. One of the wounded was found on a nearby bridge; the second was found at a relative's house. The two uninjured accomplices were also caught. All have been charged and placed in a juvenile detention facility. Officials said the homeowner was within his rights to defend his home. (Tribune-Review, Pittsburgh, Pa., 3/23/16)

Bad guys who think the elderly and disabled make an easy target better think twice. An elderly man in Missouri, who relies on an oxygen tank, got the better of two ruffians who broke into his home as part of an attempt to steal the man's prescription drugs. The armed citizen was acquainted with one of the would-be thieves, police said, but apparently the bad guy didn't know him well enough to know he kept a gun for defensive purposes. The two men, police said, approached the door and knocked. Since the homeowner recognized one, he opened the door. The suspects, one of whom had a mask over his face, bulled themselves in, pushed the resident aside and started to rifle through his belongings. The citizen grabbed his gun and shot one intruder in the abdomen. (dailyjournalonline.com, Park Hills, Mo., 4/1/16)

Police officers responding to a report of gunshots in Georgia learned that a disabled veteran used his Smith & Wesson M&P to save his life. The man said he was awakened early in the morning when two men, claiming to be police, tried to break into his mobile home. When he checked a video surveillance device, though, the resident had a good idea that they were not police officers. The two armed thugs allegedly fired at the homeowner first, who fired back. No one was injured, but bullet holes that pock-marked the man's trailer were visible for the real police to see. "My gun saved my life," the man told reporters afterward. (WTOC, Savannah, Ga., 3/30/16)

One of two men charged with murder after a friend of theirs was killed by an armed citizen during a robbery should have been in prison at the time of the alleged murder/robbery. The criminal was free on bond and awaiting a sentencing of up to five years for a previous assault. Instead of showing up at his February sentencing, he skipped out, and he and some friends allegedly went on a spree of home invasions. One turned deadly for his cohort after a homeowner shot him. The two surviving accomplices face murder charges because someone was killed during the commission of a felony. (The Columbus Dispatch, Columbus, Ohio, 4/8/16)

A West Virginia man was savvy enough to suspect that a young woman who knocked on his door and asked to use the phone might be up to no good. So before he opened the door, he armed himself. He was right. As soon as the door was ajar, two male suspects also hustled into the home. They threatened the resident and demanded that he hand over his valuables: The elderly homeowner instead pulled out a gun and fired multiple times, hitting each of the male intruders. The female accomplice escaped the fray. One of the shooting victims was pronounced dead at the scene. The other was treated for his wounds. He and the woman face charges. (wvmetronews.com, Fairmont, W.Va., 4/19/16)

Want even more stories?
Breitbart is providing 2nd Amendment stories.
The Blaze is providing 2nd Amendment stories.
Visit The Armed Citizen blog for older stories (the blog seems abandoned).

Other accounts of self-defense collected on this blog:
2nd Amendment Saves a Pregnant Woman,
2nd Amendment vs. a Serial Rapist,

Failures of Gun Control:
UK Government under reports gun violence to pretend their policies work
A great personal account:  My Transformation From Anti-Gun Feminist To Armed Feminist
Knife Control?!
Protecting Children through Gun Control?
Futility of the Gun Banning Philosophy
A Contrast to VA Tech

Thoughts on publicized shootings: Shootings early in 2009, Alabama Shootings, Finland School Shooting. Remember: The only proven method to mitigate the disaster of a rogue criminal shooter is to have more first responders, e.g. CCW permit holders lawfully armed and on scene. These criminals do not respect "gun free" zones, but simply view them as target-rich opposition-free areas in which to slaughter innocents.

CCW Holders are an especially lawful group.

Carrying a firearm is an inherently civilized act.

Right to Carry Statistics.

Does Violence Beget Violence?

Castro inspiring craziness in liberals

Fidel Castro died on Friday, and many Cubans are celebrating what they hope will be the beginning of a new era of freedom in their nation.  Meanwhile, the Left has been celebrating the life of this murderous dictator, and mourning his passing.  There's been some pithy commentary about this sick adoration of a very bad human being.





Why the Left will bend over backwards to justify the actions of failed communist regimes is beyond me.  My bias has always been in favor of human freedom, and both communism and socialism have only ever curtailed freedom, sometimes viciously and with tremendous bloodshed.  There is something wrong with any system that has to put up walls to keep its citizens in the country.  I do not understand how that's okay with anyone who supports freedom.

Brian Williams even made this idiotic statement:  “It’s still one of those nations where you see donkey carts alongside cars, trucks and buses in downtown Havana because that’s exactly what they’d rather have for transportation."

Uh, yeah, Brian.  They wouldn't rather be transporting their goods in a new Toyota Tundra.  They like the impoverished conditions caused by a dictator stealing the fruits of their labor to make himself rich.  So those donkey carts are okay!  

Let's think about his logic for a moment.  Donkey carts are so awesome some people would rather have them than automobiles.  This is a trend we see throughout the U.S., too.  Oh, wait.  No we don't.  Because cars are actually better, more comfortable and more efficient for transporting goods.  Brian Williams evidently thinks Cubans are so dumb that they prefer donkey carts to trucks.  If anyone on the right said anything like that, she'd be called a racist.

So, Brian Williams, congratulations:  you're a racist.

To the rest of the left, stop celebrating murderers.  Communist regimes and ideas caused the deaths of over 100 million fellow human beings last century.  Unless you really like murder, that's a failed ideology.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Fascism


Thursday, November 24, 2016

Why #Calexit will never happen

After a lot of protesting and an online movement, supporters of California seceding from the U.S. have begun the political process by filing a proposed ballot measure.  This first one would strip the California Constitution of language that makes California an integral part of the United States of America.  A referendum on actual secession would follow in time.
 
As an aside, this picture makes me laugh. 
The fellow has had no political science education.
"State" actually means an independent country with
its own borders, government, etc., which is what the
States originally were.  They're now more accurately
described as provinces.

California will never secede and I'll explain why, but first let's talk about the selfishness of this move.  If California were able to leave the union, the U.S. would become a one party country.  No Democrat would hold the Presidency again in the near future.  While some people would cheer this development, one party political states aren't healthy.  The California Left doesn't care what happens to the rest of the liberals in the country, though.  They only care about themselves.  This is the real ethos of socialists.  They claim all they do is for the greater good, but it really comes down to self-indulgence at the expense of others, so it's no shock that California liberals don't care what happens to their brothers and sisters in the rest of the nation.

While much of the US would be fine with CA splitting off, it won't happen for several reasons.


1.  We aren't capable of financial independence.

California has a massive economy, the 6th largest in the world, and we also have a massive spending problem.  Our unfunded pension liability will at some point require a federal bail out.  The political elite in California know this and that we rely heavily on federal funding because we spend far more than we take in.  While the U.S. also deficit spends, California has done it for years with the expectation that at some point in the future the rest of the union would help pay for our fiscal mismanagement.  So, the political elite won't let the secession process go very far.

2.  Most voters won't approve secession

California voters often approve some fairly far left propositions, but they often balk at really radical things.  Nearly half the State is conservative, and many of the liberals are moderate, not extremists.  For examples, look at this past election's results.  We extended income tax on the wealthy and repealed the bilingual education ban, but we did not repeal the death penalty or limit drug prices.  We also made a fast lane for death penalty cases.  Yes, the State has a majority of liberals, but many of them aren't ready to get really radical.

3.  Secession would fracture California

I mentioned before that nearly half of California is conservative.  Here's a map of California's political geography:


Geographically speaking, most of California is conservative.  Parts of California already want to split off and form their own state, the State of Jefferson, dedicated to more libertarian and conservative ideas.  If California liberals managed a secession, these counties would simply secede from California and return to the Union as smaller states.

4.  That whole water thing

Much of the liberal territory of California relies on water from other parts of the US and from conservative areas of California.  Secession would mean no more free water, and the potential for a complete shut off of water from the foreign nations that would surround the new Liberal Coastline Polity.  Farmers in the central region would rejoice and grow crops happily while San Francisco and Los Angeles shrunk in size or instituted draconian water rationing schemes and penalties, which are nothing new in California.

5.  The U.S. wouldn't permit secession

Leaving all the peaceful reasons California can't secede behind, we'll now focus on the use of force.  I mentioned above that California is the 6th largest economy in the world.  In addition, we grow a sizeable portion of many important crops in the U.S.  From Slate:
California produces a sizable majority of many American fruits, vegetables, and nuts: 99 percent of artichokes, 99 percent of walnuts, 97 percent of kiwis, 97 percent of plums, 95 percent of celery, 95 percent of garlic, 89 percent of cauliflower, 71 percent of spinach, and 69 percent of carrots (and the list goes on and on). Some of this is due to climate and soil. No other state, or even a combination of states, can match California’s output per acre.
Source here.

The economy and agriculture make California too valuable to give up.  Secession from the U.S. was tried in 1861, and it didn't go so well for the secessionists.  A modern attempt would be no different.  Much of the military is Republican/conservative, though it's not the monolith many people think it is.  If California tried to secede, the federal government would assume control of the California national guard and send in the rest of the active duty military.

6.  Many Californians would throw in with federal forces

Remember how much of California is conservative or libertarian?  We'd assist the military in quashing the liberal secession.  Oh, by the way, we're the ones who practice with firearms and are completely sick of being marginalized by the Left in this state.  The proposition system has left us with a clear understanding of what John Adams and later Alexis de Tocqueville meant by the tyranny of the majority.  We'd fight to get back the rights the Left has been stripping from us for years.  Military action succeeds best with intelligence and support from locals.  We've seen your yard signs, your facebook and twitter posts.  We'll defend to the death your right to say what you like, but if you get violent, we'll be happy to direct the military your way, loan them some ammo (we still have a bit, despite prop 63) and even assist as needed.

In conclusion, the California secessionist is a group of self-centered, whiny liberals who didn't get their way in this election.  As a fellow who never gets his way in any election, I sympathize to an extent, but also think they're being a bunch of unrealistic drama queens.  #Calexit will never happen.  Trying it would be unwise and potentially very costly for all liberals.

For a more explicit message to the Left from an American infantryman, have a fun but profanity-laced read here:  A Message to the Angry Leftists from an American Infantryman

Sunday, November 20, 2016

The Armed Citizen

Michael Votruba had just arrived home from a long day at work when he spotted an animal scurrying across the yard as he exited his vehicle. Votruba was clearly able to identify the animal as a bobcat when it approached him growling. He drew the pistol he was carrying and took a few steps back. The bobcat lunged at him, attacking his leg. Votruba shook free and ran only a few steps before the bobcat jumped on his chest. Again, Votruba fought back throwing the cat to the ground and shooting twice. When the bobcat lunged at his chest yet again, Votruba fired several more shots, killing the animal. Votruba was not seriously injured during the attack, and immediately received the necessary rabies shots and an updated tetanus shot. (Telegram & Gazette, Holden, MA, 6/20/13)

Jan Cooper, 72, was at home with her husband, Bob, 85, when she made a 911 call for help as a man attempted to break into their home. She told police to hurry as the assailant was on her back porch trying to gain entry through a sliding door. She told the police that she was armed with a .357 revolver and that she would shoot if need be. When she heard the door sliding open, she fired. The intruder fled, but was later found and arrested for burglary. "I don't mean to shoot anybody," said Cooper, "but whatever's necessary to literally stop them-he was not going to come into my home." (Foxnews.com, Anaheim, CA, 6/12/13)

At approximately 11 PM, a resident responded to the sound of an intruder entering his home. A 21-year-old man had used a shovel to break through a back window and enter the residence. The resident retrieved a firearm and shot down a hallway toward the intruder. The intruder, who already had a long list of previous offenses, was struck and later pronounced dead. The homeowner was reportedly not injured during the home invasion. (The Post & Courier, Orangeburg, SC, 5/27/13)

Jessica Grayson was driving behind a pickup truck when the truck suddenly stopped in front of her, blocking her lane. A man exited the truck and approached Grayson's vehicle. He began beating on the window and grabbing the door handle in an attempt to get in. Jessica quickly pulled out her Colt .357 revolver. "... I pointed my gun at him and told him to step away from my car or I would shoot him," Grayson explained. The assailant immediately backed away from her vehicle and left. "You hear a lot of stories about guns being used in crime, but they prevent crime every day, too," Grayson said. "What if I hadn't had my gun that day?" (The Advertiser-Gleam, Danville, AL, 6/28/13)

Store owner Arturo Taveras, 69, was working at McCann's Liquors when a masked man entered, pulled a gun on him and demanded money. Taveras did not hesitate to draw his own firearm from his right hip and point it back at the would-be robber. When he saw Taveras' gun, the attempted robber fled the premises. It was last reported that police were reviewing surveillance video and searching for the attempted robber. (The Eagle-Tribune, Lawrence, MA,6/4/13)

While walking down the sidewalk, a military service member was assaulted by a man he did not know. As he was walking around 3 PM, he was approached by a stranger, who proceeded to verbally assault him before physically striking him in the head. The attack was reportedly unprovoked. The service member, also a concealed-carry permit holder, pulled out his firearm detaining the assailant until police arrived and arrested him. (The Olympian, Olympia, WA,5/31/13)

A woman and her son were driving around 11:30 AM when a vehicle cut them off and abruptly stopped in front of them. A man exited the vehicle, pulled the woman from her vehicle and held a knife to her throat. When the woman's son got out of the car to confront his mother's attacker, he was reportedly punched in the face. A passerby witnessed the attack and stopped to intervene with his .40-cal. handgun. When the suspect saw the firearm, he quickly returned to his vehicle and drove off. The good Samaritan who had stopped to help was able to get the suspect's license plate number, which later resulted in the attacker's arrest. He was charged with assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature and assault and third degree battery. (WISTV.com, Richland County, SC, 6/5/13)

Want even more stories?
Breitbart is providing 2nd Amendment stories.
The Blaze is providing 2nd Amendment stories.
Visit The Armed Citizen blog for older stories (the blog seems abandoned).

Other accounts of self-defense collected on this blog:
2nd Amendment Saves a Pregnant Woman,
2nd Amendment vs. a Serial Rapist,

Failures of Gun Control:
UK Government under reports gun violence to pretend their policies work
A great personal account:  My Transformation From Anti-Gun Feminist To Armed Feminist
Knife Control?!
Protecting Children through Gun Control?
Futility of the Gun Banning Philosophy
A Contrast to VA Tech

Thoughts on publicized shootings: Shootings early in 2009, Alabama Shootings, Finland School Shooting. Remember: The only proven method to mitigate the disaster of a rogue criminal shooter is to have more first responders, e.g. CCW permit holders lawfully armed and on scene. These criminals do not respect "gun free" zones, but simply view them as target-rich opposition-free areas in which to slaughter innocents.

CCW Holders are an especially lawful group.

Carrying a firearm is an inherently civilized act.

Right to Carry Statistics.

Does Violence Beget Violence?

Friday, November 18, 2016

The Armed Citizen, special edition

Gun-Toting Granny Foils Armed Robbery
Three suspected criminals are in police custody after an armed Georgia grandmother foiled their attempt to rob her home on Friday.

Elaine Stiehl, 78, was settling in to take an afternoon nap when she heard a noise inside her Coweta County home. She grabbed and loaded her gun and went to investigate. Once she opened her bedroom door, she saw two men standing in her hallway.

The men, joined by a getaway driver, were in the process of stealing fur coats and power tools from Stiehl’s home when she interrupted them. After seeing Stiehl’s gun, the men took off for the door.

“I don’t know why they selected that house, but they picked the wrong one,” Colonel James Yarbrough of the Coweta County Sheriff’s Office told Fox5.

The robbers did not get far, though. Police were able to stop their car a short time later.

“Neighbors were able to give us a description of the vehicle. We pulled it over and took the subjects into custody,” Yarbrough said.

Police said they found a number of firearms in the robbers’ car in addition to the fur coats and power tools. The suspects are being charged with burglary and weapons violations. (freebeacon.com, 11/17/2016)

Pizza shop customer shoots 2 robbers, killing 1
A pizza shop customer shot and killed one robber and injured another after they tried to hold up the restaurant Tuesday night, Pennsylvania officials said.

The incident took place at Porfirio's Pizza and Pasta in Levittown, about 25 miles northeast of Philadelphia.

Police said the customer shot both men after they allegedly pistol-whipped him.

“The two male robbers apparently told the employees and the customer to get on the ground. They began pistol-whipping the customer. At that point, the customer produced a handgun and shot both of the robbers,” Middletown police Chief Joseph Bartorilla said.

One of the robbery suspects was pronounced dead at the scene after being shot in the chest. The second was in serious condition after suffering injuries in the neck and shoulder. The robber was being transferred to a hospital in Philadelphia, according to Levittown Now.  (Foxnews.com, 11/16/2016)

[Note:  It isn't clear whether the customer had a proper permit to carry, which is a shame.  Be sure to have a CCW if you're going to carry and it's required in your state, or you may end up charged with a crime despite saving others.]

Civilian shoots, kills man attacking deputy in Florida
This is a nightmare scenario for an officer of the law.  While helping with a normal traffic stop, an officer was nearly hit by a passing motorist.  Believing the near miss to be intentional, he got in his cruiser and pursued.  When the suspect finally stopped, he charged the officer before the officer was able to get clear of his vehicle.  The suspect knocked the officer down, and began beating him as the officer struggled to defend himself and maintain control of his weapon.

While several passersby stopped to watch, but none helped until a CCW holder stopped at the scene.  “The passerby, who had a Concealed Weapons License, exited his vehicle and instructed the suspect to stop beating the deputy…after noncompliance from the suspect, the passerby shot the suspect three times,”  sources said.

This is how it's supposed to work.  Though he didn't seek it, the CCW holder ended up with a free gun from a local gun shop for his heroics. 


“I thank my good friends at ‘Shoot Straight’ who realized that the hero’s gun was taken as evidence and immediately gave him a brand new firearm,” Sheriff Mike Scott wrote. “Above all, I thank the hero that recognized the imminent threat, rushed to Deputy Bardes’ aid, and ultimately stopped that threat."  (LeoAffairs.com, 11/2016)

Want even more stories?
Breitbart is providing 2nd Amendment stories.
The Blaze is providing 2nd Amendment stories.
Visit The Armed Citizen blog for older stories (the blog seems abandoned).

Other accounts of self-defense collected on this blog:
2nd Amendment Saves a Pregnant Woman,
2nd Amendment vs. a Serial Rapist,

Failures of Gun Control:
UK Government under reports gun violence to pretend their policies work
A great personal account:  My Transformation From Anti-Gun Feminist To Armed Feminist
Knife Control?!
Protecting Children through Gun Control?
Futility of the Gun Banning Philosophy
A Contrast to VA Tech

Thoughts on publicized shootings: Shootings early in 2009, Alabama Shootings, Finland School Shooting. Remember: The only proven method to mitigate the disaster of a rogue criminal shooter is to have more first responders, e.g. CCW permit holders lawfully armed and on scene. These criminals do not respect "gun free" zones, but simply view them as target-rich opposition-free areas in which to slaughter innocents.

CCW Holders are an especially lawful group.

Carrying a firearm is an inherently civilized act.

Right to Carry Statistics.

Does Violence Beget Violence?