The round-up I meant to do yesterday

Victorian posy of pansiesI got so taken up yesterday with my post asking if Obama is truly deranged that I never got around to sharing with you all the great material I found. Some things, however, only improve with age, so here they are.

** 1 **

When I was in Norway last summer, part of me really liked it, because it’s exquisitely beautiful and has fascinating museums commemorating its history (especially the Viking museum and the Open Air Museum). The other part of me, though, couldn’t forget that a stroll through Norway is kind of like a stroll through Nazi Germany in 1935 — not everyone’s a vile anti-Semite, but enough are to make it reasonable for you to view all with suspicion.

** 2 **

JoshuaPundit noticed something missing from Pew’s poll about American’s attitudes towards other religions: It conveniently “forgot” to ask Muslims how they feel about other religions. Could it be that Pew didn’t want the ugly truth about Muslim intolerance to leak out?

** 3 **

A 42-year-old, single, working man is at his peak: Physically and mentally mature, earning money (in theory), and still capable of fathering children. A 42-year-old, single, working woman is staring at the end of the line: She’s old in a youth-obsessed culture (when it comes to women), her career is her whole life, and she is unlikely ever to be a parent. Feminist promises about men and fish and bicycles were lies. No wonder she’s unhappy.

** 4 **

Brandeis doesn’t want Ayaan Hirsi Ali to say mean things about the Muslims who mutilated her, brutally murdered her friend and colleague, and continue to hunt her down.  It’s not always so sensitive, though.  The university named after the first Jewish Supreme Court justice is all good with having rabid anti-Semites on its faculty. More on the subject here.

** 5 **

While the world is weeping for the Gaza residents that Hamas has turned into cannon fodder, Gaza residents are actually fine with the whole thing. They’re especially sanguine when their own bombs kill them. It’s all part of the “glorious martyrdom for TV package.”

** 6 **

If you read only one thing about the evil that is Gaza and Hamas, and the complicity of a Western world that sides with terrorist monsters, read Charles Krauthammer’s latest opinion piece. It could easily be titled “Here Be Evil.”

** 7 **

“It’s for the children” is the Leftist cry . . . except when the mother of two young children is a law-abiding citizen who owns a perfectly legal gun to protect her safety in dangerous situations. In that case, “throw her butt in jail” becomes the cry from the anti-gun cadre.

** 8 **

In Detroit, though, at least one person is wising up. The Police Chief there credits gun-owning homeowners with a substantial reduction in that broken city’s crime rate. God bless the man!

** 9 **

It appears possible that the Left overreached itself with the border invasion. Of course, that doesn’t mean that America’s demographics haven’t been permanently changed in Democrats’ favor. Or . . . maybe not.  It turns out that Obama’s own Democrat politicians (outside of the Pelosi/Reid claque) aren’t so happy with what’s happening at the border either.

** 10 **

My mother’s San Francisco Jewish friends all raved about Ari Shavit’s book The Promised Land : The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel. My Mom therefore read the book, which described many events she personally experienced or that her friends personally experienced.  She concluded that the book’s view of events before and during the Israeli War of Independence was a lie.

Martin Kramer looks at just one of those events — the claimed Lydda massacre — and clarifies just how much of a lie it was. Everything is explained when you learn that Shavit was a Ha’aretz writer. Ha’aretz is Israel’s Leftist paper, which is dying on the vine as Israelis realize how greatly the Left betrayed them.

** 11 **

Two videos from two brilliant political and cultural commentators:

Georgia Mayor speaks truth to Bloomberg’s anti-2nd Amendment Mayors Against Illegal Guns organization

No gunsAs is the case with so many Leftist organizations, on the surface former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s alleged gun safety organization sounds so reasonable:  “Mayors Against Illegal Guns” (“MAIG”).  Heck, we’re all opposed “illegal” guns, right?  It’s only the definition of “illegal” that might trip some of us up.

When I think of an “illegal gun,” I’m thinking of a shoulder mounted rocket launcher, a fully automatic machine gun, or perhaps an otherwise innocuous revolver in the hands of a 14-year-old Chicago gang-banger.  It’s become increasingly clear, however, that when MAIG talks about illegal guns it’s envisioning a world in which all guns are illegal unless in the hands of (a) a police department or (b) a Democrat politician’s body guards.

When the Orwellian-named MAIG approached David Lockhart, the mayor of Fort Park, Georgia, he wasn’t interested in playing cute semantic games with an organization dedicated to destroying the Second Amendment.  Instead, he sent them a delightful, long letter detailing exactly what’s wrong with MAIG:

I do not support your efforts. I oppose efforts to require private sellers with minimal sales (non-dealers) to perform background checks. I am proud that gun shows are regularly conducted in Forest Park.

If you really want to reduce illegal gun sales, perhaps your energy would be better focused in petitioning the BATF to end its illegal gunwalking. Because of Operation Fast and Furious, Brian Terry was murdered with a weapon sold by our own government.

Your organization claims that the goal is “protecting the rights of Americans to own guns, while fighting to keep criminals from possessing guns illegally,” yet none of your “Coalition Principles” further any such protections. One of the principles is to “keep lethal, military style weapons off our streets.” First, I am awestruck that you would focus on “lethal guns.” It seems that guns’ lethality is the point of their design. That you believe a gun’s “military style” makes it more lethal is asinine, and however you would define such style does not make guns so designed illegal. Your stated goals–protecting legal ownership and eliminating criminals from illegally possessing guns–are belied by your specific objectives. What you propose would convert what is currently legal possession into criminal behavior. You may have fooled other mayors, and you may have other fools who agree with your actual objectives, but you haven’t fooled me.

That your organization was founded by Michael Bloomberg, who criminalized the sale of sodas of a certain size, is telling. It is impossible to believe such a man is really concerned with the protections afforded by our Constitution.

Hat tip: Guns Save Lives

Thursday thoughts (and Open Thread)

Victorian posy of pansiesI have not spent my time wisely today, but there are some things that crossed my radar that I think you’d like:

It’s not just because Mike McDaniel was kind enough to link to me that I bring to your attention his long, thoughtful article about gun ownership.  I’m suggesting that you read it because it’s wonderful.  I’m studying it carefully for the next time I find myself engaged in a debate with someone fanatically and foolishly against guns.

An example of this type of person would be the Stanford Law Professor who made the oft-repeated, and invariably stupid, argument that the Founders intended gun control to be limited to weapons in existence at the time they enacted the Second Amendment.  Under that rationale, of course, freedom of the press is limited to articles that are handset by printers’ devils; the only available forms of execution (which is authorized under the Constitution) are beheading, hanging, and shooting; and the only religions entitled to protection are those in existence in 1791.

It is plain as a pikestaff to anyone who is not an Ivy League academic that the Founders, who had just ended a long rebellion against their own government, intended for civilians to have access to weapons as good as their government’s weapons, just in case that government ever took a turn to tyranny.  It’s ridiculous that this Stanford guy gets paid for being that stupid.  Honestly!  I could be that stupid for free — and if you paid me, I’d actually try to be smart.

***

I sat next to Judge Carlos Bea at a luncheon last week.  Nice man.  Glad to see that he stuck up for the Constitution — although, seeing as he sits on the 9th Circuit, he’s a minority.  I have my doubts about therapeutic relief from gayness, but I have my doubts about lots of promises that therapy makes.  The one thing that I don’t doubt is that the California legislation at issue is a form of speech and that the Ninth Circuit is squashing such speech.

***

What do you do when modern Scandinavian sensibilities clash with a three-thousand-year-old religious imperative (in the case of Jews) or a fourteen-hundred-year-old religious imperative (in the case of Muslims)?  The Scandinavians say that it’s unfair that these religions decrease men’s sexual satisfaction.  Of course, in Africa, more and more men are saying “To heck with sexual satisfaction.  We’re circumcising ourselves because we don’t want AIDS.”  Yet another clash there — sexual pleasure versus disease control.  (Circumcision also protects women from certain sexually transmitted diseases.)

***

Ace is a good writer.  In a few salty paragraphs, he savages the Italian criminal justice system.

You can’t argue with an ideologue — the gun control edition

NRA LogoSince the Sandy Hook shooting, I’ve written several posts about interactions with liberals who refused to believe the facts I cited them about guns.  (The facts I rely upon are here; a good example of a fight with liberals is here.)  Clearly, I am not persuasive.

As I learned today, though, when you’re arguing with an ideologue, nothing is going to be persuasive.  Today was the day I opened my “real me” Facebook page and saw, much to my surprise, that one of my uber-liberal friends (someone with whom I was once very close, so I continue to “friend” on Facebook), had linked to this article from Mediaite (a hard left-leaning outlet):

A study published in the latest issue of the academic journal Applied Economics Letters took on many of the claims made regularly by advocates of stricter gun laws. The study determined that nearly every claim made in support of stronger restrictions on gun ownership is not supported by an exhaustive analysis of crime statistics.

The study, “An examination of the effects of concealed weapons laws and assault weapons bans on state-level murder rates,” conducted by Quinnipiac University economist Mark Gius, examined nearly 30 years of statistics and concluded that stricter gun laws do not result in a reduction in gun violence. In fact, Gius found the opposite – that a proliferation of concealed carry permits can actually reduce incidents of gun crime.

Along with the link, my friend included his own statement to the effect that this was certainly food for thought, but that he still believes that guns should be as tightly regulated as cars.  I couldn’t resist adding my mite to this, because I thought that, with his having cited the article himself, his liberal mind might be opening just a crack to let in the light of pure reason.  We ended up having a polite back and forth that I’ll summarize so as not to destroy his privacy.

I noted, as I always do when the car comparison comes along, that cars are not constitutionally protected, while guns are accorded the highest protection possible (“shall not infringe”).  Otherwise, you can compare cars and guns:  both are useful, both are fun, and both are dangerous.  I added that life overall is dangerous and governments are the most dangerous of all.  I even threw in the fact that, as a predicate to committing mass murder against their own people, totalitarian governments always disarmed them first.

My friend replied that he wants a constitutional amendment so that guns can only be in the hands of people the government pre-approves.  He believes government can commit mass murder without first disarming its people.  To him, it was irrelevant that those governments that actually (not hypothetically) murdered their people all began with disarming them.  Somewhere, somehow, he’s sure there’s a government that successfully committed mass murder against its own well-armed citizens.   He then threw in the usual trope that guns are made solely to kill, while cars are not.

That last comment left me with an opening:  his statement seemed to belie the very study that he had posted in the first place.  It said that fewer people are killed when more people of good will had guns.  That means guns are made for protecting people, not killing.

My friend’s response was to launch into a laundry list of shooting stories — drive-bys, robberies, fights, etc., all of which explain (to his mind) why guns should be banned.  Once again, he’d totally forgotten about the study he cited.  He then repeated that guns are meant only to kill and that the only way to save society is to get rid of guns.

I came back with fact:  as the study he cited shows, places that ban guns have more crime, including gun crime.  Places that once banned guns and then un-banned them (as happened in Washington, D.C. after the Supreme Court ruling in District of Columbia v. Heller) had less gun crime.

He opted for sarcasm:  So, do we give everyone a gun?

I suggested that doing so is reasonable, based on the conclusions from the study he cited.  I also said that Hollywood is a problem.  Even as its people demand gun control, they make pictures rife with guns and hide behind armed guards.  They might want to change the message in their movies.  I also pointed out that gun crime is an inner city problem and that we should look at the culture there, rather than at the guns themselves.

His bottom line had the virtue of being honest:  I don’t really care about the study.  Guns are bad and should be done away with.

And that’s why you can’t argue with an ideologue.  Data is irrelevant.  Blind faith is everything.

Americans used to have guns without shame

Fred and RitaThere are very few bad Fred Astaire movies, but there are a few. You’ll Never Get Rich definitely falls into that category.  Even Rita Hayworth, who is at her most lovely, cannot save this pathetic wreck of a movie.  The plot is convoluted, which is normal for an Astaire movie, but the movie makes the fatal mistake of casting Astaire as a cowardly, dishonest man.  Nobody expects a macho Fred, but nobody wants a quivering, cowardly, lying Fred.  The dancing is lovely, though, and TiVo means that you can just fast forward to the good parts.

There was one scene in the movie, however, that merited watching.  I’ll try setting it up as briefly as possible:  An unwitting Rita Hayworth opens the morning paper to discover a false headline saying she was engaged to Astaire.  She believes (erroneously) that Astaire planted the headline.  Hayworth’s fiance, a Captain in the Army, then calls her and, when he learns the headline is a lie, heads over to her apartment while wearing his civilian clothes.  Astaire also heads for Hayworth’s apartment to berate her, since he believes (erroneously) that Hayworth planted the headline.  The Captain reaches Hayworth’s apartment first.  When he, Hayworth, and her roommate hear Astaire banging at the door, Hayworth shoos the Captain and her roommate into the bedroom.  And here’s where this mess of a plot momentarily gets interesting.

Once in the bedroom, the Captain says something along the lines of “I’ve got a great idea to prank this guy.”  He then turns to the roommate and (I quote) asks, “Have you got a gun?”  Without so much as a blink, she replies “It’s in that drawer.”  He opens the drawer and grabs a large revolver.  Armed with his gun, the Captain bursts into the living room, pretending to be Hayworth’s outraged Southern brother demanding that Astaire marry his “sister.”  Astaire rabbits out of the room.  In the next scene, an agitated Astaire is telling his boss, who’s the real culprit behind the newspaper headline, about the threat to his life.  His boss says, “Buy yourself a gun.”

Can you imagine any Hollywood movie today showing a woman having a revolver just hanging around in her vanity drawer?  Can you imagine a gun being used as a playful joke in a happy musical?  And can you imagine that a Hollywood movie would show someone terrified of being attacked getting advice from a colleague to “buy a gun”?  It’s inconceivable (and I know what that word means, too).

And while we’re on the subject of guns, Charles C. W. Cooke notes that everything the Progressives tell you about the necessity for gun control laws is a lie.  Since all the elaborate registration requirements and background checks currently on the books don’t prevent mass shootings, small wonder then that Second Amendment supporters suspect that increased registration requirements are simply a predicate to gun confiscation or otherwise criminalizing gun owners.

I did mention, didn’t I, that the dancing is lovely?

John Lott will be at Berkeley for a debate on October 25

Unfortunately, I have a prior engagement that I can’t avoid, but I wish I could go.  John Lott brings common sense and sound data to information about gun ownership and gun use in America.  This forum sounds so good it would even be worth lifting, only temporarily, of course, my self-imposed ban on going into Berkeley, my least favorite city and my least favorite college, in America.

John Lott at Berkeley

Hat tip: Jose

Finally!! A gun control proposal that makes sense

The repulsive Democrat Rep. Alan Grayson made news yesterday by putting out a fundraising letter that likens the Tea Party to the KKK (which, during its heyday, was an entirely Democrat organization):

Grayson fundraising letter comparing Tea Party to KKK

Today, in a very timely way, Caped Crusader sent me the first sensible gun-control proposal I’ve seen, when that gets to the heart of the violence underlying gun crime:

In 1863 a Democrat shot and killed Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States.

In 1881 a left wing radical Democrat shot James Garfield, President of the United States, who later died from the wound.

In 1963 a radical left wing socialist shot and killed John F. Kennedy, President of the United States.

In 1975 a left wing radical Democrat fired shots at Gerald Ford, President of the United States.

In 1983 a registered Democrat shot and wounded Ronald Reagan, President of the United States.

In 1984 James Hubert, a disgruntled Democrat, shot and killed 22 people in a McDonalds restaurant.

In 1986 Patrick Sherrill, a disgruntled Democrat, shot and killed 15 people in an Oklahoma post office.

In 1990 James Pough, a disgruntled Democrat, shot and killed 10 people at a GMAC office.

In 1991 George Hennard, a disgruntled Democrat, shot and killed 23 people in a Luby’s cafeteria.

In 1995 James Daniel Simpson, a disgruntled Democrat, shot and killed 5 coworkers in a Texas laboratory.

In 1999 Larry Asbrook, a disgruntled Democrat, shot and killed 8 people at a church service.

In 2001 a left wing radical Democrat fired shots at the White House in a failed attempt to kill George W. Bush, President of the US.

In 2003 Douglas Williams, a disgruntled Democrat, shot and killed 7 people at a Lockheed Martin plant.

In 2007 a registered Democrat named Seung – Hui Cho, shot and killed 32 people in Virginia Tech.

In 2010 a mentally ill registered Democrat named Jared Lee Loughner, shot Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and killed 6 others.

In 2011 a registered Democrat named James Holmes, went into a movie theater and shot and killed 12 people.

In 2012 Andrew Engeldinger, a disgruntled Democrat, shot and killed 7 people in Minneapolis.

In 2013 Adam Lazna, the child of a registered Democrat, shot and killed 26 people in a school.

Recently, an angry Democrat shot 12 at a Navy ship yard.

One could go on, but you get the point, even if the media does not. Clearly, there is a problem with Democrats and guns.
No NRA member, Tea Party member, or Republican conservatives are involved.

SOLUTION: It should be illegal for Democrats to own guns.

Best idea I’ve heard to date. JUST SAYING.

You can help change the television landscape

I haven’t forgotten the collaborative post I put up after the election regarding the need for conservatives to create an alternate media challenging liberal paradigms.  I was therefore delighted to see that the Kochs are thinking of buying up old Leftist media outlets and reconfiguring them as honest news outlets — meaning outlets that either honestly report the news or honestly identify their own biases.

The Kochs are at one end of the economic spectrum when it comes to revitalizing conservative participation in the media.  At the other end comes a very good idea that is currently being crowd sourced (meaning that, if you donate money, the people with the idea can bring it to fruition).  Check out the proposal for a new gun show called Shoot to Thrill.  And if you like it, send a few bucks their way.  Game changers don’t have to be big moments.  They can be low-level trends that lead towards tipping points.  Demystifying the Hollywood treatment of guns — evil except when they’re in an action hero’s hands — will go a long way to changing the gun debate.

Is it racist to remind people that the American government first disarmed Native Americans and then decimated them?

A week or two ago, I put this poster on my site:

Guns in government hands

I think it’s an un-racist poster.  It reminds people that government will always be a minority’s worst enemies.

What I didn’t know was that, in Greeley, Colorado, someone put up a billboard echoing that sentiment:

The friend who sent me this video said exactly the right thing about those who are now crying foul:

I love the premise here: “Pay no attention to history, it may offend someone!”

Bill Maher almost gets it when it comes to terrorism

In fits and starts, Bill Maher is creeping towards an understanding that the enemy isn’t America when it comes to terrorism.  He’s unable to square the circle, though, because he’s so hung up on gun control.  That is, he’s incapable of appreciating that the best way for Americans to depend themselves is for them to be armed.  Anyway, I wrote the following post for Mr. Conservative, and I think it fits in well here:

Bill Maher has periodic outbursts of logic and reason that give one hope that he may yet figure out that his blind allegiance to the Democrat party is misguided. Friday, on his HBO show Real Time, Maher showed pictures of heavily armed police patrolling Boston streets and expressed concern that “This country is becoming a police state,” adding that he finds this trend “very troubling.”

(Read here about Maher’s unexpected defense of Christianity.)

Maher’s guests tried hard to downplay his concerns. For example, MSNBC contributor Robert Traynham said that what people saw wasn’t attributable to Boston but was, instead “a federal response after a horrific bombing.” Apparently Traynham was unclear on the fact that, when the feds go all “police state” on us, it’s even worse than if an individual city or state does.

Maher wasn’t deterred. Looking at the constitutionally improper house-to-house searches for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in Watertown, Maher again said that this isn’t right:

To me that’s out of hand. I agree we shouldn’t have given this kid his Miranda rights because he probably had information. We wanted to take him alive . . . if you agree with that then what the cops did there was unprofessional. That’s called contagious fire.

***

He has information, he had information and he was just lying in the boat. They knew that. They put that grenade up there. He wasn’t moving. It’s ridiculous. It’s out of control.

Where Maher is unable to square the circle is with his belief that everything would be better without guns. On Friday’s show, he noted that, while American police go in with tanks, “the British police don’t even carry guns.” On another occasion, he insisted that “the Second Amendment is bullshit.

Maher seems incapable of making the logical leap that says that, if the public also has some police power – the ability to protect itself against criminals and crazies – then the police themselves don’t have to be so heavily armed. Rather than facing the entire world alone, the police in an armed, civil society, have law-abiding citizens at their back, helping out.

Americans show a much greater understanding of the situation than Maher. According to polls, an overwhelming number of Americans want to be armed when there’s a manhunt going on. Rather than being victimized twice – first by the terrorist and then by the police – they want to be active participants in their own security. This is a civic awareness that’s completely contrary to the arrogant Big Government idea that only the police are capable of protecting Americans from criminals. There’s a word for citizens who won’t and can’t take care of themselves: Victims.

Orwellian double think enters the gun grab debate

Second Amendment

George Orwell understood that good language clarifies and bad language corrupts.  He’d moved amongst Communists, so he understood how controlling people requires controlling language.  One cannot fully erase ideas if the language to express them still exists — so one changes the language.  In 1984, Orwell envisioned an Auschwitz-like world (“arbeit macht frei”) that takes old words and perverts their meaning so much that they become meaningless. He called this linguistic world “double think”:

“The power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them… To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just as long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while to take account of the reality which one denies – all this is indispensably necessary. Even in using the word doublethink it is necessary to exercise doublethink. For by using the word one admits that one is tampering with reality; by a fresh act of doublethink one erases this knowledge; and so on indefinitely, with the lie always one leap ahead of the truth.”

The three most famous examples of double think from 1984 are, of course, War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, and Ignorance is Strength.

Democrat Joe Manchin has flung himself with total abandonment into the world of double think.  In an interview on Fox News, Manchin vows to continue the fight to put limits on Americans’ rights to possess and use guns.  During that interview, he collapses into an Orwellian double think heap:

This not only protects your Second Amendment rights, it expands your Second Amendment rights.

Think about that for a moment.  The Second Amendment, as most recently interpreted by the Supreme Court, gives an un-infringeable right to bear arms, one that is predicated on a well-regulated militia as understood in the 18th century — a people’s army, not a standing army.  In other words, every American is a potential militia member and therefore has an absolute right to bear arms.

How in the world, then, can any legislation expand up on that absolute right that is inherent in every American?  By definition, our right to bear arms cannot be expanded because it is predicated upon 100% gun saturation.  That means that any legislation can only leave the right unchanged, in which case the legislation is unnecessary, or it can limit that right, in which case the legislation is unconstitutional.

Faced with this logical conundrum, Manchin does the only thing left to do, which is to pervert language:  By limiting your right to bear arms we will expand your right to bear arms.

George Orwell knew the Left and he knew how the Left thinks.  There are no surprises.  The only “surprises” that occur are when we let down our guard.