The Supremes left a lower court’s decision intact that canceled Jesse Ventura’s $1.8 million libel award against “American Sniper” Chris Kyle’s estate.
Ventura now has to decide whether he’s willing to sue Kyle’s widow again.
Ockham’s Razor – Since October 2001 – by Scott Kirwin
Archive for the ‘Idiots’ Category.
The Supremes left a lower court’s decision intact that canceled Jesse Ventura’s $1.8 million libel award against “American Sniper” Chris Kyle’s estate.
Ventura now has to decide whether he’s willing to sue Kyle’s widow again.
Cross-posted at Wow! Magazine
By Scott Kirwin
In Part 1 of this two part series we imagined the borders of a new nation called West California created from the blue counties that went for Hillary Clinton in the November 2016 election. In this essay we’ll consider some of the challenges the new country will face, and how it will fare on its own in the international arena.
As mentioned in Part 1, the new nation of West California would likely not have a military. The Yes California website states, “The U.S. Government spends more on its military than the next several countries combined. Not only is California forced to subsidize this massive military budget with our taxes, but Californians are sent off to fight in wars that often do more to perpetuate terrorism than to abate it. The only reason terrorists might want to attack us is because we are part of the United States and are guilty by association. Not being a part of that country will make California a less likely target of retaliation by its enemies.” California dreaming huh?
The US would make it clear that any interference in West Californian affairs would be treated as interference in its own in a 21st century version of the Monroe Doctrine. But it is unclear how long this would last and whether the liberal residents of West California would put up with it and with the military bases on their soil (nor how many Texan or North Carolinan parents would be willing to see their child put in harm’s way for the defense of the anti-military liberal enclave). In any case I would expect West California to lack a national military as Costa Rica does now and for the US military to move its bases out of the country eventually. US military bases are more portable than people think. Just ask the Philippines about how quickly we closed Clark and Subic Bay after they k
West California would face significant opposition to joining international treaties and bodies and would have to create bilateral trade agreements with nations while it applied for membership in NAFTA and other organizations, assuming NAFTA survives the Trump administration. Seeing successful secession in the United States would encourage secessionist movements in Canada, Mexico, and Spain among others, so countries would not necessarily welcome the new nation to their organizations and clubs. Still, the economic might of the nation would make it a player, especially in the Pacific Rim region. There is absolutely no way the US would give up or share its UN Security Council seat with West California.
The federal system of the United States was set up on the assumption that the states it governed were sovereign, and the system actually prepares West California well for independence. Elections would follow independence, and the most likely form of government for the new nation would be a parliamentary system with an elected president similar to France. The president could be considered as an elevation of the governor’s role, while the prime minister would be an elevation of the current house speaker’s role. This would require power shifting from the current senate to the lower house as expected with the change to the parliamentary system.
Being a single party state doesn’t mean an end to politics for the nascent country. In place of Democrats I expect two political parties to arise post-independence: liberals and socialists. Both will agree on the goals but disagree on the methods at first. Eventually the two will become less alike although by no means as different as the current GOP and Democrats.
Education from pre-school through college would be free, paid for by higher taxes. Healthcare would be provided based on the current ACA but eventually would switch to the Canadian model. Abortion on demand and contraceptives would be free making Sandra Fluke happy.
All hunting and fishing would be banned. Strict gun control would be enforced following the Australian model whereby citizens are requested to voluntarily give up their guns during a grace period. After that possession of all firearms including hand guns, rifles and shotguns and all ammunition would be illegal.
I do not know whether the West Californian government would create a written constitution or not. I could see it going either way, but would expect the following “rights” to exist with the following caveats.
I would expect the codification of other rights as well, including the addition of sections covering animal and environmental rights. These would restrict farming, mining and exacerbate the state’s current power supply woes as power companies were forced to abandon fossil fuels and switch to renewables. Greenhouse gas emission-free nuclear energy will be treated the same as coal.
Drug policy would be lax especially since California legalized recreational marijuana use in the November election. Harder drugs would still be illegal, but the switch would be from incarceration to harm reduction policies as followed by Sweden and Switzerland.
In order to avoid hyperinflation and maintain stability during independence, West California would likely continue to use the US dollar as its official currency. The state does have gold held in Fort Knox, and would likely maintain ownership of that commodity in the event of secession (if it wasn’t used to pay for federal land or other transfers to the US federal government as a condition of its independence), but I don’t expect calls for the nation to revert to the Gold Standard. The few calling for that likely left the state prior to independence.
The exodus of unionists out of the new country would likely leave it with more income inequality than it has today based on the fact that Democrats tend to be wealthier than Republicans. California already ranks worst in terms of wealth inequality, with the billionaires of Silicon Valley living less than 100 miles away from the produce pickers of the Central Valley, and the flight of middle class police, teachers and nurses would only worsen the situation. California is today a one party state, and freed from the restraint of the federal government of the Union it West California would likely pursue wealth redistribution along socialist lines. Such wealth redistribution would have two effects: 1. It would encourage benefits seekers, a problem that California has today, and 2. Contrary to what Liberal billionaires profess, they will either move their money out of the country or move their homes to avoid paying more taxes. Put the two together and you have increased demands on the State and fewer resources to meet those demands.
The economic situation would be worsened by the removal of border controls between the new nation and Mexico. This may seem a bit of Right wing wishful thinking on my part, but the border issue has been so fetishized by the Left that I cannot help but believe that given the chance a sovereign West California would remove all border controls with its southern neighbor. This would have consequences with the remaining Unionist state of California and the US federal government forced to defend a much longer border with New California than it does today California’s current border. Within a few years of independence I foresee a downward spiral as the state raises taxes to provide benefits to an increasing number of citizens thereby driving out the minority of citizens capable of paying those taxes.
But immediately after independence West California’s economy shouldn’t change much. There are numerous statistics used comparing California to other countries, and depending on the statistic California’s $2.31 trillion economy ranks anywhere from 7th to 14th in the world. One thing is clear: the US, with a $15.11 trillion dollar economy will still be the world’s single largest economy after it loses California. California, on the other hand, will find itself among the ranks of Brazil and Italy. As the largest state economy in the US it has the loudest voice when it comes to economics. It issues its own emissions standards and car makers comply. When policies are crafted in Washington DC, its congressmen and senators are usually in the fray. But independence will mute those voices on the international stage to the same status of Brazil, Italy and India. Sure these nations are important in many respects but there are 6 to 13 states ahead of them in importance.
Life in West California
As a former Californian myself and an occasional visitor, there is without a doubt much to love about the state. It has some of the most beautiful places in the country. Joshua Tree. Big Sur. Yosemite. The beaches along the coast are world class, and its pleasant climate is always appreciated by those from “back east.” But today California is a very expensive place to live, making it a playground for the rich who can afford to subsidize the poor. Essentials such as housing, electricity, and gasoline are some of the highest in the nation, chasing away the middle class. The policies that make California expensive such as its restrictions on the housing supply, the state mandate of renewable energy sources, and high state gasoline taxes would likely worsen after independence.
Current liberal thinking on immigration that borders don’t matter skirts the realm of the magical. Nearly all large cities within the state are sanctuary cities which protect illegal immigrants at all cost. Janet Napolitano, President of the University of California school system has stated the system will not assist the federal government in immigration actions against students. Presumably this would include crimes committed by them against other students. In such cases defendants can post bail and disappear back into the illegal supporting community or if charged with capital offenses return to their home countries. Where the border will matter will be with the Unionist California. West California authorities will be busy interdicting firearms from the US as well as the smuggling of high taxed commodities such as gasoline and cigarettes. At border crossings with Mexico I would expect only a token presence along the lines of what tourists used to find in pre-911 border crossings with Canada.
For the first few years post independence I would expect little change with pre-independence California. But as the liberal policies took hold and the population reacted to them, things would change. The flight of the middle class would accelerate. Illegal immigration from Mexico and Central America would swamp the state just as illegal immigration from Africa and the Middle East have swamped Germany, a country with a similar attitude towards borders and immigration. The disarmament of the populace would lead to worsening crime, exacerbated by the innate distrust of the liberal voter for the police. The wealthy would continue on as before, hiring private security to protect them behind the walls of their fortress-like communities. The poor would live on state handouts while suffering the human misery of lives lacking meaningful work dependent on the state, living in crime infested neighborhoods and experiencing shortages of electricity and gasoline.
A wealthy nation with spectacular scenery and blessed with natural resources brought to ruin by the policies of its Leftist government. West California would become Venezuela.
The likelihood of California seceding remains remote bordering on the impossible. But thought experiments like this can provide glimpses at the Truth. California is already experiencing the dangers of being a single-party state, and its only hope is for the state’s Republicans to regroup and help pull the state back to its senses. Without their input, and without the brake red states such as my own of North Carolina put on California through the federal government, the state is destined for disaster.
Cross posted at Wow! Magazine
By Scott Kirwin
Since the Nov 8 election, disgruntled California Democrats have been kicking around the idea of California seceding from the United States. For a variety of reasons this is not happening, most especially because of the moldering bones in Civil War cemeteries throughout the Eastern USA. But let’s imagine if it was possible. For argument sake we must ignore the mechanism for how secession occurs – mainly because there isn’t one regardless of what Rep. Zoe Lofgren believes.
The Easy Part: Redrawing Boundaries
When California secedes the goal of secessionists will be to create a nation in which majority rules. But this may not be so appealing to minorities. Take for example a map portraying Republican/Democrat voting in the November 2016 election breakdown county-by-county. We’ll assume that these counties reflect the strong, consistent political beliefs of the population with red counties voting GOP and blue counties voting for the Democrats in all recent elections although this may not be true since some counties marked in blue like Orange and Riverside went for Romney in 2012.
California Presidential Vote 2016 – by County. Source: Politico.com
How likely would the less populous, conservative-voting California remain in the more densely populated, liberal California? If California is going to secede what would stop these counties from seceding from California and remaining in the Union? And what would happen to Nevada county, the blue tongue surrounded by red counties in the north? Hillary won that county by 2,000 votes out of 30,000 cast. Would the liberals be willing to forgo secession and hang with the surrounding red counties, or would they prefer to secede along with their liberal cousins on the coast? A similar situation existed in areas in Bosnia and Croatia, and the Serbs and Croats took matters into their own hands and murdered and terrorized their non-Serb, non-Croat neighbors until they left. Sparsely populated Mono and Alpine counties would face similar questions on the border with Nevada, assuming Nevada itself doesn’t secede.
While there are federal laws against state secession, I am not aware of any prohibiting the secession of counties from their states. The easiest way to gain secession might be for California to remain part of the United States while the secessionist counties left. This way the Union would be preserved at least at the state level, the secessionists get their new country – we’ll call it West California – and everyone theoretically is happy. That’s what this is all about, after all, making people happy who are so convinced they are right that they are willing to consider starting their own country.
Based purely on the 2016 vote here’s what California and West California would look like. Note that I split Fresno county east of Fresno due to the close vote there. California secessionists may not appreciate the importance of borders today, but you can rest assured their non-secessionists neighbors will.
But we’re not done yet. The US federal government also owns a lot of land including several military bases as shown in the red shaded areas of the map below.
Source: USGS Atlas, Federal Public Land Surface and Subsurface
Either West California would have to buy that land from the federal government or take it by force, which won’t be easy considering the new West California will likely not have its own military. At the very least the new country would likely cede the eastern halves of San Bernardino, Riverside and Imperial counties containing the most US federal land while granting the US military long-term leases for their current bases in counties such as San Diego and Orange. The resulting country would likely end up looking something like this:
The new nation would have roughly 60,000 of the 163,696 square miles of the current state, but it would be much more populous, containing 33.7 million of the current state’s 37.2 million residents (2010 population estimates). The map below shows the population distribution of the current state.
So the boundaries have been redrawn. But there’s still a problem: nearly 35% of voters voted for the losing candidate in his or her county in Nov 2016. Most of these are Trump supporters living in the new West California. That’s a lot of disgruntled people. Will they remain where they are?
When independence looms it’s quite likely that there will be a migration of people to live with people who share their views. This is already happening according to a recent TED Talk by Jonathan Haidt, so we should expect some voluntary mass movement of people out of West California most likely to Arizona, Washington, Oregon following current state emigration patterns. The liberal influx from the remaining rump-state of California would be relatively minor by comparison. This will depress the population further and more so than the election numbers would suggest. According to voting tallies in the New York Times, Hillary Clinton beat Donald Trump by 3.4 million votes. If we spread the population between the 11.2 million votes cast, we could surmise that each vote reflects the will of roughly 3.3 people (pop: 37.2m/11.2m votes). Trump received nearly 4 million votes, so we could guess that in the population of 2010 California there would be 13.2m Trump voters or sympathizers. Not all Trump voters or sympathizers will leave their jobs, families and homes, but a significant portion would when threatened by 2nd class status in a new nation. Even some of Hillary Clinton’s supporters might reconsider giving up their US citizenship to live in the new nation and join the exodus. Some voluntary migration will occur, and I don’t think it’s unreasonable to assess West California’s population to 25 million post- independence.
But it will grow and do so quickly, and not in the way liberals will appreciate. See why in Pt 2.
Originally appeared at Wow! Magazine.
Fifth Harmony’s Lauren Juaregui has penned a letter to Donald Trump supporters, published on Billboard’s Op Ed page, in which she calls Trump supporters defending their actions by claiming “voting for Trump does not mean that you are racist, homophobic, sexist, xenophobic, a**holes… (Y)our words are worthless, because your actions have led to the single-handed destruction of all the progress we’ve made socially as a nation.” The 20 year old pop singer then comes out as bisexual, after being photographed kissing a girl last week.
So as someone who voted for Trump in the last election, here is my response.
Who are you and what is Fifth Harmony? Seriously until I read The Daily Mail I had never heard of you. This is not surprising since I have opinions older than you. I suppose I could look you and your band up but it doesn’t matter. In my time I’ve seen so many people like you prance across Fame’s stage only to disappear, often suddenly in a mental breakdown or at a young age in a drug overdose. Honestly I stopped paying attention after Britney Spears melted into Christine Aguilera then washed up on a distant shore to become tabloid fodder.
Billboard hasn’t been driven out of business yet? And it has an op-ed page? What on earth for? And people still read it? What, like a dozen A&R people?
Who the f**k do you think you are telling us “travel and read a history book?” I’ve lived in Africa and Japan and traveled through Europe, and I’m currently reading history books written two thousand years ago by authors whom you’ve likely never heard of. I’m even learning Latin so that I can read their words in their native tongue. Do you understand how arrogant and just plain ignorant you sound when you, a wealthy 20 year old, think you know how the world works for everyone and what is best for people who aren’t like you?
You are worried that the Trump is somehow going to “destroy the progress we’ve made socially as a nation.” What progress is that? LGBTQ rights? Were you aware that Trump said that he didn’t care which bathroom Kaitlyn Jenner used in any of his establishments? Perhaps you hadn’t learned the 3 branches of the federal government while you were becoming the one chosen from hundreds of thousands of aspiring musicians who sing better than you and write better songs then you but just aren’t as lucky as you happen to be? If you had you would know that in 2015 the Supreme Court made gay marriage legal throughout the land, that Presidents can’t make laws, and laws enacted by Congress which the Supreme Court views as unconstitutional won’t survive long as law. Even if Trump wanted to ban homosexuality – which as New York businessman he has ZERO interest in doing – he can’t because that’s not how our government works. Who is the ignorant one?
Is it his stance on immigration that bothers you? How many illegal immigrants are you supporting? I assume with the amount of money you make you could support hundreds, so exactly how many illegals are you employing, feeding, housing, providing medical for? I’m getting tired of being told to lose my guns by people who have their own private security detail, to avoid flying because of the CO2 it burns by people who fly their private jets to attend UN conferences, and to pay more in taxes by people who employ armies of accountants to squirrel away their earnings in tax shelters. I support animal rescue not just with donations but with a house full of rescued dogs and cats. Someone your age should have learned long ago that actions speak louder than words, or is that offensive to you Snowflake?
You see I live in a very poor county that has a large illegal population. Our cops are overwhelmed by the crime they have brought, much of it immigrant-on-immigrant. Our county’s social and medical services are stretched to the breaking point by the number of non-taxpaying illegals here. Yes, the dirty little secret is that illegals don’t pay taxes because their income is not reported to the tax authorities, so they consume government resources paid for by citizens without contributing themselves.
Now taxes are probably something you never think of because you can afford a manager who employs a staff of accountants to take care of all that for you, but trust me, everyone is not like you. The average income in my county is $25,000, and taxes will take about 10% that. $2,500 is probably what you spend on a pair of jeans, but it’s a lot of money for people where I live.
And as a singer you don’t have to worry about illegals taking your job the way many of my neighbors do. I’ve employed numerous carpenters, plumbers, electricians, and tradesmen, all looking over their shoulders worried about companies that employ illegal immigrants doing their jobs. When they compete against these companies it’s difficult for them to bid low enough to get the job, so several contractors I know have either retired early or gone on disability.
Does Trump’s “America first” position scare you? I used to live in Japan. Guess which nation they worry about first? Think they worry about the war in Syria or famine in sub-Saharan Africa? Nope. They think about Japan first. In fact I would bet that if you traveled the way you are telling Trump voters to do you would find that every nation’s people want to put their country first. Australians. Chinese. Russians. Brazilians. Nationalism is the norm, so stop being so naïve. It’s only the wealthy who think borders do not matter, and they don’t – for them. But everyone else can’t afford to leave their country just because their preferred candidate lost an election. For one thing it costs a lot of money to move to another country. For another most countries will not allow you to reside in their country unless you have a lot of money. Even the EU which many of your fellow entertainers look towards as some kind of ideological promised land will not let Americans stay indefinitely in their borders.
Most 20 year olds do not get the attention you do, and that’s a good thing. As a former 20 year old myself I remember thinking I knew everything there was to know about the world, it’s people, religion, and Life in general. Within ten years Experience had taught me how little I knew of anything, and it’s only now 30 years later that I’ve realized that while I do know a thing or two, there is still much in the world I do not know. At my age I wouldn’t even think of telling complete strangers how to think or what to do with their lives. But let me leave you with a bit of advice.
I do not know what is best for you so don’t presume you know what is best for me.
It may take you awhile to grok that, if you ever do, but in the mean time I really don’t care what you think.
A Trump Voter
A long time ago I was once called a Nazi by a roomful of Jews.
My crime? I dared stand up against a Chabad Lubavitch rabbi at a town hall meeting who wanted to build a parking lot on land owned by the power company.
A proud gentile Zionist who supported the state of Israel more than some of the Jews in the room, and I was spat at by a Holocaust survivor and called a “Nazi thug.” Afterwards I spoke to an ex-roommate of mine, a Jewish biker who assured me that there was enough anti-Semitism in the world that his tribe didn’t need to go making more up.
We are 70 years removed from Hitler putting a bullet through his own brain yet Hitler and Nazis are still trotted out by people to demonize their opponents. It’s gotten to the point where Jews are regularly called Nazis by the very people who WERE Nazis, the German Left and their Palestinian terrorist pals who were fervent Nazi sympathizers, and every death of a handful of people or more becomes a Holocaust.
I’ve studied the Holocaust in detail and the Nazi regime from its pre-WWI roots to its end in a shell crater in Berlin, covered in gasoline and set aflame. I read the transcripts of the Nuremberg trials and watched movies and documentaries (personal fave the Wannsee Conference) . Although I was born an entire generation after the end of the Nazi period I studied as much as I could stomach of that regime (there are things I read and pictures I saw twenty-five years ago that I can’t read or look at today).
While certain events have come close enough to being a Holocaust to warrant the term genocide such as the Killing Fields under the Khmer Rouge in the late 1970s and the systematic slaughter of Tutsis in 1994 Rwanda, there has only been one Holocaust in our written history. Nothing else can touch it. Nothing can match its bureaucratic and systematic barbarism. The entire European continent, its economy, society and even its culture were all reconfigured for one purpose: the annihilation of the Jews. The war that Hitler fought on two fronts wasn’t about German military conquest: It was about creating the space needed for the true task of the Nazi regime: the destruction of Jewry. By exterminating the Jews Hitler saw himself as creating the Master Race and 1000 Year Reich. In the Nazi mind Killing Jews led to these goals, not the other way around which is why trains with cattle cars filled with doomed Jews were granted priority over troop transports and military supply trains.
Nothing in our history compares to the Holocaust. The genocide of native Americans? Ad hoc policies over a period of centuries with no systematic plan. Manifest Destiny was an idea, not a systematic program implemented at every level of the government. Even Stalin’s purges and Mao’s Great Leap Forward that killed tens of millions weren’t as methodically planned and executed by a powerful bureaucracy as the Nazi regime used against European Jewry.
Are we clear on that?
So when I see The Daily Beast article, “Trump Versus Hitler: What We Can Learn From Weimar Germany written by Nathan Stoltzfus, the Dorothy and Jonathan Rintels Professor of Holocaust Studies at Florida State University and the author of Hitler’s Compromises: Coercion and Consensus in Nazi Germany, I pretty much know the answer before I read the first sentence.
Elites are so terrified by an outside politician that they instinctively rush to portray him (or her in the case of Sarah Palin) in the worst possible light. Trump is Hitler, although the article approaches the subject through rhetoric that equates Weimar Republic with current conditions in the United States.
What can we learn from the Weimar Republic?
Plenty of things but none of them are the author’s point. And few economies compare to the absolute disaster that Germany’s was between 1919 and 1933.
The Weimar Republic’s economy was a nightmare thanks in large part to the onerous war reparations the Allies levied on Germany. This led to inflation to a degree that people regularly ran out of money, and the printing presses were running so furiously they often ran out of paper. At coin shows I’ve seen Weimar currency printed on bits of leather, even wood. It was a lesson that was learned and applied after the Second World War whereby both Germany and Japan were given extended time frames to pay war reparations and the US even gave the former Axis powers money to help rebuild their economies and societies as exemplified by the Marshall Plan.
Trump says our economy is bad, but he doesn’t say it’s that bad. The only place on the planet with a comparable economy to Weimar Germany right now is likely the Leftist poster-child Venezuela where even toilet paper is being rationed. Equating the US economy to that of Weimar proves ignorance of European history or a tendency towards excess by the writer. How is Trump’s calling for background checks on Muslims from warzones like Libya, Iraq and Syria different from the Left’s demand for background checks on ammo buyers? It’s not as if he’s slapping on yellow crescents on every Muslim that enters the country.
History is filled with lessons, but determining which one is more of art than a science. For example, as a student of Ancient Roman History I’m wondering whether the Edict of Caracalla which extended the right to vote to all non-slave residents of the empire including women contributed to the decline of the Empire. Left-wing historian Mary Beard views the edict in a positive light, like a 19th amendment of the Roman Empire. But I see it as anti-democratic, diluting the power of the Senate even further and boosting the power of the Emperor.
There should be a rule on the internet banning the designation of anyone as Hitler. It proves the ignorance of the writer and does an injustice to the millions who suffered because of him, minimizing their horrific experience for the sake of scoring cheap political points. Nathan Stoltzfus, the Dorothy and Jonathan Rintels Professor of Holocaust Studies at Florida State University should know better.
1. Too many black people are being gunned down by the police without justification. Black Lives Matter didn’t start for no reason. We have seen too many grainy videos of black men being shot in circumstances that don’t justify the death penalty. Broken taillight. Selling single cigarettes. In these cases unarmed civilians are shot by law enforcement. Under these circumstances the standard police tactic of overwhelming force – aggressive demands, guns drawn – failed. Such shock and awe tactics may work on the battlefield but they should be the last resort in a civil society. There is a place for SWAT tactics, but that place is not in America’s streets during traffic stops.The best tool a cop has is his or her brain, and they must be trained to use it. Currently cops rush in and their goal is to gain the upper hand and control a situation. This tactic minimizes the danger to law enforcement but strips civilians of all power and dignity, leaving them vulnerable to police misconduct. Such vulnerability can often boomerang and lead to more physical aggression by those detained. Instead cops must be trained in deescalation tactics and learn how to operate in an uncontrolled environment. American gun owners are often told how we could learn from gun-free societies such as the UK and Australia. Perhaps American cops can learn new tactics from law enforcement that don’t escalate into a fight/flight situation for everyone involved.
2. It is possible to be pro-cop AND pro-black. Trevor Noah is a liberal asshat in my view, but he’s right on this one topic: It’s possible to be pro-cop and pro-black. This is America in the 21st century. We shouldn’t have to choose between living in total anarchy or a police state. If we cannot come up with a solution that navigates between these two extremes than we do not deserve to live as a free people and our society is doomed.
3. Dead cops won’t fix dead black people. 5 dead cops in Dallas do not increase the sympathy for dead black men like Philando Castile. Neither does this fix the problem unless you believe the problem can only be solved by a full-on race war, and if that’s the case then pick up your shit and leave my country.
4. We have a problem and we have to fix it. As the parent of a teenager and one who is considering becoming a LEO I don’t want my kid to be gunned down for no reason, either for a broken taillight as a civilian or in revenge as a cop. Our leaders continue to fail us, so it us up to we Americans to step up and begin to fix this problem ourselves. The first thing that we can do is to recognize we have a problem. The second thing we can do is accept that we can be pro-cop and pro-black. We shouldn’t have to pick sides. The next thing we can do is reach out to others and search for solutions that don’t involve promises that lead to anarchy or a police state.
There will be more videos. There will be more dead civilians and likely dead cops. This is not the America we want and it is our responsibility to change it.
PS: Yes, white kids and Hispanics are being gunned down by cops too, but the fact remains that most of the incidents are white cops shooting black men. The solution, whatever it is, will be color blind.
I belong to Pink Pistols, a group of 2nd amendment supporting LGTBQ and their allies, and would like to see local chapters to volunteer to post armed members at gay nightspots around the country. All it would have taken to save lives in Orlando would have been a single club goer carrying a handgun. Terrorists plan their attacks thoroughly. Orlando’s shooter had been to the club over a dozen times so he knew exactly what to expect and could carefully plan to maximize the carnage. Just the possibility of an armed defender changes the dynamic of terror, introducing an element of uncertainty that either forces the attacker to choose another target or causes him to stop and seek cover during the attack, giving victims precious seconds to escape.
Unfortunately liberals are taking the exact opposite approach, trying to convince the LGTBQ community to disarm itself further and take on the cause of gun control. As Ed Krayewski notes at Reason, this completely ignores the reality of attacks outside of the US where gun control is rife yet terrorists in France and Kenya have no difficulty obtaining full auto weapons banned in the United States.
But countries with stricter gun control laws than in the U.S. are struggling to find something to do to keep guns out of the hands of terrorists too. In Europe, while it may be far harder for law-abiding residents to acquire legal firearms, terrorists are able to acquire actual “weapons of war,” automatic weapons, that have are largely banned in the U.S. despite the misleading rhetoric used by the anti-gun left. Neither were tough gun laws able to stop the 2013 radical Islamist attack on the Westgate shopping mall in Kenya or the 2015 attack on Garissa University in Kenya or numerous other terrorist attacks around the world.
As I wrote in a previous post, I find this tactic of using terror attacks to advance gun control by the Left not only misguided but downright evil. Disarming law abiding citizens does not make us safer when terrorists have shown no difficulty in obtaining weapons in nations where they are banned. But the Left likes victims, so I suppose it makes sense to push policies that increases their numbers. Still, that’s pretty sick.
I found out about the shooting in Orlando while I was out of town. I watched on my smartphone as the body count doubled, and the major news outlets avoided using the term “Islam”. The “Religion-That-Must-Not-Be-Named” continued so when President Obama spoke and pushed banning guns as the solution, choosing to ignore the so-called Religion of Peace’s role in the slaughter.
How many people have to die before liberals admit they are wrong about Islam?
I avoided social media until today, but as I expected my mostly liberal friends followed the President’s lead, focusing on the type of rifle used instead of the terror ties, the shooter’s father’s belief that g-d will punish the gays, or that he attended a mosque where a visiting Imam preached gays should be executed.
As an ex-liberal myself I recognize the change is tough. 9-11 was the moment that I understood I had a choice: I could continue believing the fantasy that Islam wasn’t the problem, or I could accept the evidence to the contrary. 3000 people in 3 locations within 2 hours was enough evidence for me, and for weeks afterward I struggled with changing a lifetime of beliefs to fit the post-911 reality.
I saw the posts by ex-lovers and friends-for-life, and struggled with how to respond. Europe has some of the strictest gun control laws on the planet yet they didn’t stop full auto AK-47s from being used by Islamists to kill non-believers there last year. The recent attack in Brussels airport used bombs, which I would point out are also illegal in Europe. I didn’t point out that if banning works, why are people dying of heroin overdoses in my county? Liberals seem fixated on the AR-15 as being an “assault rifle” yet used a picture shared from Huffington Post showing an AR-15 that had been photoshopped into having an impossibly short (and illegal) barrel. And no mention of Islam anywhere.
I shut the site down. What’s the point in opening up myself to harassment from people who honestly don’t know what they are talking about? Few have ever fired a gun and I doubt that only a handful know the difference between semi-auto and full-auto. If I’m going to be beaten up online I’d prefer it to be done by someone who at least knows what they are talking about. I’m too scarred from previous attempts to try to educate these people and help them change their minds. If 50 dead gays won’t do it, I’m not sure what will.
Accepting that the threat isn’t from an inanimate object but a twisted idea in the form of world religion is pretty daunting. Blaming a scary looking gun is so much easier than blaming a world religion yet refusing to do so is like a drunk looking for his car keys under a street light because that’s where he can see them. It’s magical thinking that has no bearing on reality. So you ban AR-15s, how would that have stopped the Charlie Hebdo or the Bataclan Theater attacks in Paris? There’s a whole airplane missing in the Mediterranean and another that was blown out of the sky over the Sinai, how would the ban stop that? And what about the two men kissing that set him off. Should we ban that? How far down the slippery slope do we go before we realize we’ve realized we’ve traded freedom for security and gotten neither, to paraphrase Ben Franklin?
“Enough with the obfuscation. The killer of Orlando was a homophobic Muslim extremist, inspired by an ideological take on my own religion.” The “islamophobe” behind those remarks? Liberal Daily Beast writer Maajid Nawaz, a Muslim who recognizes “(j)ust as we encourage others to actively denounce racism wherever they see it, so too must we actively denounce Islamic theocratic views wherever we find them. Enough with the special pleading. Enough with the denial.”
It’s been said that conservatives think that liberals are idiots while liberals think conservatives are evil. The silence after these terror attacks, the refusal to see them for what they are and to accept the clear motives of the attackers at face value, and the usage of the carnage to further their own political agendas instead of preventing attacks (how can you stop it if you can’t even name it?) not to mention the promotion of gun-free buildings and the disarmament of the public isn’t stupid, it’s evil.
How many people have to die before liberals admit they are wrong about Islam?
It’s evil that liberals support flooding the country with people who follow the religion of a 7th century warlord then blame guns when they decide to kill in the name of their religion. It’s evil that liberals call anyone who questions the tenets of that religion an “islamophobe”, equating the questioning with a form of racism. It’s evil that liberals seek to turn gays into martyrs for their cause by disarming them and forcing them to rely upon the police, often the same homophobic force that arrested them for indecency and sodomy and raided their hangouts just a few years ago.
And that’s why liberals are evil.
If Mexico is so great just head south kid.
Update: Hey Bryan Adams, plan on boycotting Egypt now that your agent found it on a map? Egypt Jails 11 Men Accused of Homosexuality.
Here’s a list of companies and individuals boycotting North Carolina. As a libertarian living in the state who supports the LGBT+ community, I really think there are more important issues than who can use which bathroom. But boycotting an American southern state is easy to do, the economic equivalent of liking a Facebook page. It costs firms almost nothing yet gets them attention in the media and improves their branding with the relatively affluent gay community.
Ringo Starr – Every true Beetle fan knows shooting him would have impressed Jody Foster more.
Bryan Adams – No problem visiting Egypt last month where gay sex can net you 17 years in prison. Adams said he “loves it here,” even after Egyptian customs officials vandalized his guitar. Adams also toured the Middle East in 2010 with dates in Qatar, UAE, and Damascus Syria – all places where homosexuality is illegal.
Deutsche Bank – “Deutsche Bank’s deep-seated belief in the necessity of companies contributing to the societies in which they operate” in the Middle East includes offices throughout the region including Riydah Saudi Arabia, where gay sex is illegal and the second offense will net automatic execution. Oh, and don’t mention the war.
Paypal – Operates offices in Malaysia which has imprisoned an opposition figure numerous times over the past 17 years for sodomy, a crime punishable by whipping and 20 years in prison. But Paypal cancelled plans to open offices in Charlotte NC where gay marriage as well as sodomy is legal.
Bruce Springsteen – In the 1980s I got beaten up by guys who listened to Bruce Springsteen and thought anyone who dared listen to anything not on local album rock station K-SHE 95 was a “f****t.” I thought his music was whiny neo-hippy shit then and I think it’s even more shit now. I can at least be proud that he’s about as popular today with millennials as penicillin resistant gonorrhea.
Michael Moore – Golden Corral owners statewide are breathing a sigh of relief.
xHamster – I’m not surprised he’d oppose HB2 given his homoerotic-charged scenes with Oxnard.
Joel McHale – Didn’t he have his own navy back in the 60’s?
General Electric – From the China Post: “We think globally. The way we like to think about the shipbuilding industry is: we power, we propel and we position,” said Mark Hutchinson, president and CEO of GE Greater China. I guess Hutchinson doesn’t think globally about LGTB rights. Unlike North Carolina, gay marriage continues to be illegal in China. The same week HB2 boycotters made news, a high court in China ruled against a gay couple seeking to get married. Gay rights in China are abysmal in general even with a skewed population of men outnumbering women thanks to sex-selective abortion. Would GE pull out of China to protest the Chinese court decision? Nope. Why not? It would be too expensive. Boycotting a state of 10 million is cheap. Boycotting a nation of 1.4 billion is expensive.
Dow Chemical Company – Dow has a single location in Charlotte NC. Like GE Dow has an extensive presence in China. Shouldn’t it sacrifice that presence over China’s abysmal LGBT+ rights record?
Pepsi – The drinks company expanded its presence in Africa by opening a facility in Kenya. Gay sex there is punishable by up to 14 years in prison.
Hyatt – The hotel chain, partly owned by Obama Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker, expanded its operations in several cities in Mexico in 2014. Although gay marriage is recognized in Mexico, gay bashing is still prevalent and rarely investigated by authorities.
Hewlett Packard – The company run into the ground by former GOP presidential candidate Carly Fiorina and her successor Mark Hurd, who left after being sued for sexual harassment, has extensive Chinese operations. See GE above.
Choice Hotels International – Who are these guys? They are the owners of a whole stable of hotel chain brands and are based in Maryland. Unlike NC, Maryland does all transgenders to use bathrooms of their choice. But Choice Hotels International hasn’t exported its homegrown anti-discrimination sensibilities abroad, operating hotels the Dominican Republic where same-sex marriage has been illegal since 2010.
Whole Foods – Not sure how these guys are boycotting NC. The store in Winston is open. Maybe by making the attitudes of the staff more rude. It will be a challenge given how high they set the bar before the boycott.
Levis Strauss & Co. – I’m a big Levi’s fan, which is why a quick check of my jeans reveals they were made in Indonesia. Yes, Indonesia – a bastion of tolerance in Southeast Asia. Actually no. Gay marriage and gay porn are both illegal, and gay sex is prohibited for Muslims. While transgenders are permitted to live as the sex they choose, “They must learn to accept their nature,” says Ichwan Syam, a prominent Muslim cleric at the influential Indonesian Ulema Council. “If they are not willing to cure themselves medically and religiously” they have “to accept their fate to be ridiculed and harassed.” That would include President Obama’s transgender nanny.
Boston – The band not the socialist utopia in Massachusetts. A 1970s creator of earworms who weren’t all killed in a small plane crash in Mississippi in 1977. Honestly I thought they were dead until a friend of mine on Facebook who happens to be a happily married gay man posted an article about the band cancelling a gig in the state.
Everyone has a right to come or do business in North Carolina as they see fit. If you want to avoid the state, go right ahead. Just don’t wrap yourself in some sanctimonious tortilla as you do so unless you are prepared to make changes that hurt. For individuals like Springsteen and Adams that would mean skipping the dough from sand-gigs in the Middle East. For large companies like GE, Paypal, and the like that would mean leaving China, a country they just can’t quit.
If this is all it has left, the gay community needs to declare victory and go home or export the fight abroad and change the world. There are gays abroad literally dying for being true to themselves in hell-holes from Tijuana to Riyadh, yet gays here would rather fight about bathrooms in North Carolina. Why? Because it’s easy and something they can do from their Macbooks during HGTV commercials. As one commentator mentioned after the Supreme Court declared gay marriage the Law of the Land, Gays can’t take yes for an answer. As a long-standing LGTB ally and libertarian, leave my state alone and take your fight elsewhere.
I live in North Carolina. I support LGBT rights. I also support the rights of a state’s elected representatives to make rules that I don’t necessarily agree with, such as the law mandating usage of public bathrooms based on the gender one was born with. To complete my libertarian perspective I also support private companies holding states to account for the decisions of their elected representatives, such as Paypal’s decision to boycott the state over the new law.
But when a private company does something like that and announces it for public relations purposes, I think it’s also appropriate to take it to task for blatant hypocrisy and showboating. Paypal does business in countries which treat members of the LGTB community far more harshly. Such as Malaysia. The Washington Times notes:
But Malaysia’s Penal Code 187 — which punishes homosexual conduct with whippings and up to 20 years in prison — did not stop PayPal from opening in 2011 a global operations center there that it estimated would employ 500 workers by 2013.
“We chose Malaysia because of its highly skilled, globally competitive and multilingual workforce, in addition to a world-class business environment and technology infrastructure,” John McCabe, senior vice president for global operations, said at the time.
Personally, I think the LGBT community in the USA has reached the point of diminishing returns in the USA. There are gays being thrown of buildings in the Middle East, or “non-existing” in Iran. There are plenty of LGBT rights to be gained outside of the USA, but fighting for bathroom rights in NC is laughable while millions of homosexuals still face death elsewhere.
Yesterday on St. Patrick’s Day I was celebrating my Irish ancestry by listening to Irish music, from traditional jigs and reels by the Chieftains to the punk tunes of the Pogues. Today I’d kill for a Japanese curry (Digression: Why are there no curry restaurant chains in this country? Curry houses are almost as common as sushi shops in Japan.) and listening to Wagakki Band.
And all this is happening in rural North Carolina.
I’ve been meaning to write about “cultural appropriation” which evidently is a hot topic on some college campuses (Digression: Why aren’t getting good grades, landing a good job, or the skyrocketing cost of higher education hot topics? Instead of talking about the mind-expanding process of learning we seem to be talking instead about the mind-closing process of safe spaces and cultural appropriation.)
I am an American male of Irish and Slavic ancestry. My great-great grandfather and great-great grandmother escaped the genocide of the Irish brought about by the British occupation policies. (Digression: The potato famines (yes there were several) weren’t natural events. Sure the potato crops were blighted, but the famines were brought about by the political decisions and actions of the British.*) My Slavic ancestors were peasants of the Austro-Hungarian empire who escaped central Europe in the late 1880s and early 1890s. My hybrid genes have left me with a tendency towards sentimentality and alcoholism from the Irish coupled with an instinctive paranoia and natural talent for baking that kept my Slavic alive while oppressed. I have lived in two non-Western nations – Japan and Tanzania – and my experiences abroad educated on what it means to be American, as well as made me appreciate Western Civilization so denigrated today by nearly everyone.
At the same time those experiences also left me with a deep appreciation of other cultures, particularly the Japanese. To put it bluntly, I think the Japanese are a crazy people. They are racist in ways you have to witness to believe. They are silly, stupid some times and downright ignorant at others.
But this world would be so much worse off without them and their culture. Listen to the song embedded above and watch the video. Wagakki Band has taken traditional Japanese instruments and added American heavy metal to create a unique sound. You don’t have to like it to appreciate its vitality, its energy and its unique character.
By current Leftist standards on college campuses what Wagakki Band has done is culturally appropriate an American sound to create something new. One character trait of the Japanese over the past 1,500 years is their skill at cultural appropriation. In the 7th century they appropriated Chinese religion (Buddhism), writing, and government – then blended it into their own unique culture. Their Buddhism was never much like the rest of Asian Buddhism. As for their writing they may use the same characters as the Chinese but they pronounce them differently and have stuck to a syllable-based language represented by their own writing kana forms. And their form of government was very different from the Chinese, lacking the complex meritocratic bureaucracy of the Chinese. Later Japan would emulate various elements of the Portuguese, British, Prussian and Americans. Strip away all the cultural appropriation and very little would be left of Japanese culture, and what remains would be rather dull (although Shinto has its moments – especially at drunken fire-festivals).
Fredrik deBoer has some good comments about cultural appropriation that got me thinking about all the above since Japan factors into his argument. deBoer writes, “when white progressives complain about culture appropriation, (it) is the denial of the agency of people from other cultures. To accept the idea that, say, an art museum holding an event at which people wear kimonos is necessarily a heinous act of appropriation is to presume that you know that no Japanese people would ever approve of such a thing, even though actual people in Japan will be very happy to at least sell you a kimono. I’m sure some Japanese people wouldn’t like Kimono Wednesdays. I’m sure some Japanese people would find it flattering. I’m sure many wouldn’t care either way. A common response to the controversy, in Japan, appears to have been bewilderment that anyone could be upset about it. But to become offended on the behalf of Japanese people, you have to presume that Japanese people have no agency [emphasis added]. You have to presume that no Japanese person could say to him- or herself “I’m gonna make a choice, not as an avatar of a culture of millions of people but as an individual, to accept/encourage/facilitate white Americans wearing kimonos.” In place of their agency, you put your own righteous judgment.
I lived in Japan 5 years and never wore a kimono but many of my gaijin friends did on occasion and the Japanese always seemed to appreciate it. When a non-Japanese decides that wearing a kimono is racist against the Japanese, s/he presumes to speak for 120 million Japanese people. That strikes me as pretty arrogant, particularly when those worried most about cultural appropriation seem to have spent very little time in the cultures they profess to speak for. I have friends who have spent 30+ years in Japan and have citizenship (Digression: Very difficult to get unless you are a sumo wrestler) who wouldn’t presume to speak for the Japanese, so some college brat doing so seems laughable. But it’s not that funny; as deBoer states “you have to presume that Japanese people have no agency.” This means that the college kid has decided that s/he has more power to speak for the Japanese than the Japanese themselves do. That’s the modern equivalent of what the White Man’s Burden of a century ago. Not surprising considering that the efforts to separate the races on American campuses are nothing more than Leftist versions of separate-but-equal post Plessy v Ferguson America of the early 1900s. All we need is a progressive version of the Ku Klux Klan for completeness.
deBoer concludes, “Like so many other elements of contemporary culture, the economy of offense is revealed to be just another expression of our own ego. We need to remember that we are not the cosmos, that the world is full of other people making their own adult decisions. To forget that isn’t progressive. It’s, well, a kind of imperialism.”
And that’s exactly what I’ve been thinking. This progressive effort to define and then separate the cultures strikes me as conservative to the point of being reactionary. It’s fascism without snappy uniforms and all that goose-stepping. First it wields power over a group of people without their consent. Then it makes decisions telling them what they can and cannot eat, “You are Chinese therefore you must eat Chinese food. No Big Macs for you.” How to dress, “You are German. You must wear lederhosen and dresses like Julie Andrews wore in ‘The Sound of Music’.” And what music to make, “You are Japanese. You must not play rock music; instead you must play traditional Japanese music with shamisen and koto. What the Koto isn’t Japanese, it’s Chinese? Well then no Koto for you Japanese girl.” It’s actually a lot like what Tokugawa shogunate did, mandating the jobs people and their descendants did forever, creating the classes and setting their interactions – and the Tokugawa shogunate isn’t exactly a progressive icon even if the average progressive knew what it was.
I’m confident this whole movement will pass. Any movement that restrains freedom and prevents people from appreciating Japanese curry is doomed to fail. And any group that would keep Wagakki Band from rocking it like Ono no Komachi meets Motorhead deserves to be ignored.
*The tone of that statement reflects my feelings towards the British government during the Irish occupation. Just because I have issues with the treatment of the Irish during those years doesn’t mean that I support the IRA or hate the British governments post 1922. Quite the opposite. In fact I’m a bigger fan of the British government rather than the Irish Republican government due to the latter’s support of the PLO and neutrality during World War 2. Yes I’m one of the few who believes the Irish have some explaining to do over their actions during that war.
Gavin McInnes, writing at Taki’s Mag: “The petulance of the left is based on Daddy issues and getting rid of Daddy only makes it worse. This is why Trump is so popular right now. Obama is Pippa Bacca. We let him run the show for seven years and he left America naked and strangled in a ditch. Trump isn’t popular because of his policies or his record in politics. He’s popular because he reminds us of Dad after “kids day.” Nobody got any sleep these past two terms and we consumed nothing but cultural junk food. We need a patriarch to rein it in.”
I sure wish that patriarch wasn’t Trump.
The attitude of the customer service representative is inversely proportional to the importance of the call.
Discovered while reporting a case of credit card fraud to the credit card company. When dealing with the company on trivial topics they are always “sunshine and rainbows” but today they were positively funereal and borderline rude.
The company will text me for false positives like my son using the card at a local gas station, but not for an in-store purchase of autoparts 1,500 miles away.