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.

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

A good man with a gun saves as many as 100 people at the mall in Nairobi

An armed former Royal Marine who happened to be in the Westgate Mall in Kenya when the Al-Shabab terrorists struck, may have saved as many as 100 people.

Former Royal Marine armed with gun saves lives

For all that liberals profess to think better of people than conservatives do, one of the most striking things about them is that they believe that, the moment people get hold of guns, they turn into crazed killers.  The vast majority of people, when given a gun, will use it only for good or, at the very least, not for bad.  Disarming them means that they are unable to come to anyone’s defense.

I don’t know if this Royal Marine fired his gun, or if he just used his other skills to rescue people.  Nevertheless, one has to wonder whether he would have been as effective if he didn’t have his friend at his waist.

A few observations regarding the Navy shipyard shooting *UPDATED*

What happened in Washington D.C. today (12 dead, apparently at the hands of a disgruntled employee) is desperately sad.  I just want to ask two questions and comment on two things.

First question:  Was the shipyard a gun-free zone?  And even if it wasn’t would it have mattered considering reports that the shooter apparently hid himself up high to start the shooting.

Second question:  Would gun control have kept the shooter’s guns away from him?  (I don’t know what guns he used or how he got them.)

First comment:  It took seconds for some Hollywood has-been to demand gun control.  It seems to be that, until one answers my first two questions, any cries for gun control are premature.

Second comment:  How dumb, really, does one have to be to work at CNN.  I bet that all of you, when you first heard the shipyard story today, instantly thought of the Fort Hood massacre. For at least one MSM talking head, though, the little bit of workplace jihad never happened:

CAROL COSTELLO: I used to work in Washington, live in Washington. This seems so unusual to me that a gunman could create this kind of havoc at a U.S. military facility.

BRIAN TODD: Yes.

COSTELLO: Have you ever heard of it happening before, Brian?

TODD: I’m sorry, Carol. I missed that question. Could you repeat it please?

COSTELLO: I was just saying that this is so unusual, because this is such a heavily-secured military facility. I’ve worked in Washington for many years, I’ve never heard of such a thing happening.

TODD: Well, we haven’t either in this area, Carol. This is the first time we’ve seen something like this, at least in many, many years. Now you remember the Fort Hood shooting in 2009, where that was a member of the service who was convicted eventually of doing that shooting.

Do you think Todd really missed that question, or was he just so stunned that he couldn’t speak?

It’s almost embarrassing to show that much ignorance in public.

UPDATE:  Charles C.W. Cooke has a good discussion about gun control and the shooting.  He answers my question, which is whether the gun control laws the gun haters demand would have changed anything.  Are you surprised that the answer is “no”?

Zo and some friends take on the racism behind Sarah Silverman’s “‘Black NRA” video

It must be enormously frustrating for the Left that new media no longer means that the Democrat white power structure can be the official and the only voice for black America.  Because Democrats’ vested interest is in keeping blacks subordinate to the Democrat party, that Leftist voice has always worked full-time to tell blacks (a) that they are victims and (b) that they can find succor only within Big Government.

Sarah Silverman’s unfunny video about a “black NRA” is the perfect illustration of this paradigm.  It attempts to be a satire implying that the NRA wants to kill blacks.  The problem is that this world view is so grossly untrue that the video does nothing more than engaging in skin-crawling racism that tells the world that blacks are irremediably murderers who cannot be trusted with weapons.  (That is, the only way to save blacks isn’t to change their culture, it’s to keep all of them helpless.)  Ouch.

Last week, I posted Colion Noir’s rebuttal (along with Silverman’s video).  This week, the honors go to Zo and friends:

What I particularly like about this video is that it acknowledges a problem — black drug use and gun violence — but refuses to fall into the “we are victims, whites are racists, Big Brother is the savior” trope. Instead, it’s a video that speaks about true black empowerment, not by insulting whites into obeisance, but by raising blacks up to the full dignities of all Americans.

Hat tip:  Danny Lemieux

How public schools’ war on boys has led to an increase in gun crimes

The school year has started again and, with it, the insanity that is Zero Tolerance in America’s public schools.  The Washington Post, which originally reported the story, helpfully explains that our nation’s schools have been busy little bees for the past year when it comes to criminalizing child’s play.  I wonder if we’re looking at this anti-gun fascism a little bit backwards.  We’re seeing it as an attack on guns.  But in the context of public schools, isn’t it just a subset of the school’s over-arching hostility to boys?

Public schools like boys in the abstract, but they really hate the reality of boys:  boys are physical beings who live in a hierarchical world that reveals itself when they are as little as two or three years old.  For a nice discussion about the spectacular differences between boy and girl social interactions, if you haven’t already read Deborah Tannen’s You Just Don’t Understand: Women and Men in Conversation, you should.

Boys’ physical, hierarchical world means that they have a terrible time sitting still, even when they’re in their teens or 20s.  (Heck, I know much older men who are still kinetic, whether it’s a jiggling leg or a tapping finger.)  They engage in physical or verbal play that is intended allocate them to their place in the day’s (or the minute’s) hierarchy.  They practice male roles of warfare and command.

All of this is antithetical to the hyper-feminine, hyper-feminist atmosphere that pervades America’s schools, especially her elementary/primary schools.  I don’t know what it’s like outside of Marin County, but here, almost without exception, elementary school teachers are female, with a handful of gay men thrown in for good measure.  Schools want students to sit still, which girls do naturally and boys don’t.  Schools want students to talk about their feelings, which girls do naturally and boys don’t.  Schools want to destroy physical competition, which is a hard sell to girls, and an even harder sell to boys.

What schools should be doing is to allow boys maximum physical activity, such as full physical breaks every hour.  Rather than prohibiting physical and competitive play, they should encourage it, while enforcing concepts such as honor, fairness, generosity, and loyalty, as well as the difference between play and cruelty.  Boys should learn to be good winners and good losers.

The schools’ anti-bullying programs also persecute boys.  Often, bullies are testing out their competitive and pack instincts.  Schools could address this by giving boys meaningful competitive and pack opportunities, with strong expectations about honorable behavior, or they should work to teach other students how not to become victims.  (This would be akin to teaching home owners how to lock doors.  There are bad people out there, but you certainly lessen your exposure if you take responsibility for protecting and defending yourself.)

Instead, schools out-bully the bullies by bringing the full weight of the school to bear on a kid who is, as likely as not, just testing boy boundaries.  The victim learns that people should never defend themselves because, if they do, they’ll get in trouble, and if they don’t, they’ll be celebrated for calling in the heavy-hitters.  The “bullies” learn that the best way to win is to be the biggest bully of them all.

When boys do not respond to this constant hammering away at them in an effort to wipe out their biological imperatives, they get labeled as “problem” students, or ADHD kids.  The schools then start pressuring the parents to put the boys on psychotropic drugs.  It seems appropriate to mention here that, in every one of the school shootings in the last twenty-years, the shooter has been on psychotropic drugs.  The “turn boys into peaceful girl” drugs and the fact that the boys’ families have Democrat political identities are the ties that bind these youthful mass murderers.

I understand that there are boys who are violent and angry, and that bad things happen.  I’m not blaming everything on the schools.  I am saying, however, that in their efforts to feminize boys, including taking away the pretend war games in which boys engage to test what they can do, the schools are creating boys who do not know how to harness their boy energy in a healthy way, and who too often become dependent on psychotropic drugs that have strong links to murder and suicide.

In this context, the anti-gun policy, while it is definitely related to the Progressive push to wipe out the Second Amendment, is also just another front in the Leftist war against men.  The stakes are high in this war, by the way, because manly men — men who are self-reliant and responsible — don’t like a big government that tries to infantilize or feminize them.

(For more information on the schools war on boys, check out Christina Hoff Sommers’ The War Against Boys: How Misguided Policies are Harming Our Young Men.  I haven’t read it myself yet, because it’s expensive, but I’m keeping an eye out for it on our public library shelves.)

Two stories about guns, each showing that the issue is how they’re used, rather than their existence

First, from the NRA, a really solid video about women and guns:

The point, of course, is that guns without people are simply inanimate objects.

Second, an article about the use to which Palestinians put guns — training their children to kill Israelis.

Guns aren’t the issue. Culture is.

Guns don’t kill people; governments kill people

Wonderful, wonderful video:

Incidentally, apropos the fact that government agencies are stockpiling weapons and ammunition, Charles Cooke explains that the numbers aren’t that scary when one considers how many people serve in the various agencies, along with the fact that sometimes the agents have to confront people angered by agency tactics or engaged in criminal acts under agency purview.  He has a point.  There’s probably not a scary conspiracy theory going on.  But there’s still something scary going on, and Cooke nails what it is.  Indeed, he nails it so precisely that I’m going to quote him at some length here:

Fair enough. But here one starts to sympathize with the malcontents. There is a world of difference between the FBI, Department of Homeland Security, or Forest Service and the Department of Education, and that there is no grand clandestine plan for the subjugation of America should by no means be taken to imply that every government action is acceptable. Questions do still abound: Whether it is in possession of one bullet or 1 million bullets, should the federal Department of Education be armed in the first place? If so, why? Should its OIG be investigating external fraud rather than handing it over to the police or the DOJ or the FBI? For those federal departments that play no role in combating domestic and foreign threats — such as the DoE — what would constitute a threat requiring armed confrontation with malefactors?

In 2011, a story about a Department of Education raid went the rounds. Initial versions suggested that the department had commissioned a SWAT team to break into a California home and arrest the estranged husband of a woman who had defaulted on her student loan. Mercifully, this was incorrect. There was no SWAT team involved, nor was the target being investigated for unpaid loans. But the reality was not necessarily much better. Instead, the DoE announced that it had conducted the raid itself, in pursuit of an American citizen that it suspected of “bribery, fraud, and embezzlement of federal student aid funds.” It was a disaster; the suspect no longer lived in the house, a fact that special agents eventually discovered after they had smashed in the doors at dawn, thrown the occupant’s children into a police car, and kept the suspect’s (innocent) husband in handcuffs in a hot squad car for six hours.

As the local ABC affiliate reported, in an attempt to clear up the confusion, “police officers did not participate in breaking [the target’s] door, handcuffing him, or searching his home.” Instead, the Department of Education did. Judging by their ammunition purchases, the Social Security Administration and the IRS could have done so, too. That, and not fantasies about a plan to counter phantom civil unrest, is what should concern Americans.

Exactly.

 

 

The Left — criminalizing childhood

The news is filled with stories lately about the way in which Progressive-managed public schools are behaving insanely when it comes to kids and faux-guns.  My friend Mike McDaniel, whose regular home is Stately McDaniel Manor, has an article up at PJ Media today which combines surreal (yet sadly real) stories about teeny-tiny kids caught in their school’s anti-gun cross hairs.  To the extent the world is going to hell in a hand basket, I can only say that the Progressives are making the trip there a whole lot faster and uglier.

Dems are troglodytes about women and self-defense, and they’re selling this as a virtue for the next election

Colorado State Rep. Joe Salazar’s ham-handed, even troglodyte, advice for campus women worried about rape came as no surprise to me.  My experiences at UC Berkeley thirty-odd years ago left me fully prepared for this Leftist approach to females and true self-defense, an approach that hides both misogyny and an overriding fear for the men involved in a potentially dangerous situation.

Long-ago, when I attended Cal, my economic situation  — too poor to afford on-campus housing, too middle-class to get meaningful financial aid — meant that I lived at home and commuted.  This was not an ideal way to attend college.  I spent an awful lot of time in transit and I had a hard time maintaining a social life (something made harder by the fact that I worked my way through college).

A significant chunk of my transit time was devoted to finding all-day parking and then walking to and from that parking.  The closer one got to campus, the more limited the parking options were:  there was resident-only parking, 30-minute parking, 1-hour parking, 2-hour parking, etc.  Since my job and my classes kept me on campus all day, I usually ended up parking between a mile and a mile-and-a-half away from my classes.  The walk, although time-consuming was pleasant, although less so if I had a lot of books to carry or it was raining.

In my senior year, however, things changed, because there was a rash of rapes and assaults on women near campus.  I was less than thrilled when, during winter’s early, dark afternoons, I had to walk to my car alone.

Since many women around this same time were unhappy about walking to their dorms, apartments, and cars alone, the campus police instituted an “escort service.”  With this service in place, women could go to the campus police office and an authorized man (I don’t know if they were employees or volunteers), armed with a walkie-talkie, would walk them to their destinations.

I immediately availed myself of the service — only to discover that it wasn’t a service at all. The deal was that these escorts were not allowed to exceed a half-mile radius.  The reason given was that their walkie-talkies didn’t work outside of that radius, so it was unsafe for them to go further. You got that, right?  It was unsafe for the men to exceed a half-mile radius but presumably more safe for the women to continue on their own.

The nice escorts would stand at their little boundary to listen in case they heard your screaming.  Frankly, I really didn’t feel that this auditory aid amounted to much.  You see, the reality of this so-called “escort service” was that I was left on my own on Berkeley’s dark and unfriendly streets.

Given the program’s manifest inadequacies, I rather quickly abandoned the whole notion of applying to the campus police for aid in getting to my car.  Not only was it unhelpful, it actually increased my risk.  Since there were only a few escorts available at any given time, I had to hang around the office waiting and waiting, even as the skies grew darker and the streets scarier.

This experience at UC Berkeley was the first time I ran headlong into the Progressive’s devotion to lip service over actual service.  They made lots of noise, but they cared more about men than about women, and more about image than reality.

Those unpleasant evenings on campus, when I felt alone and defenseless, returned to me in living color when I heard about Colorado State Rep. Joe Salazar’s bizarre advice to women facing a scary campus environment:

It’s why we have call boxes, it’s why we have safe zones, it’s why we have the whistles. Because you just don’t know who you’re gonna be shooting at. And you don’t know if you feel like you’re gonna be raped, or if you feel like someone’s been following you around or if you feel like you’re in trouble when you may actually not be, that you pop out that gun and you pop … pop around at somebody.

The gloss is that “he cares.”  The reality is that this ostensible “caring” is mere lip-service.  What Salazar carelessly let slip is the misogyny that underlies so much strident feminism (perfectly realized in this amalgam of this Koran and an anti-rape rally).  The Nanny state is built upon the elite’s belief that individuals cannot care for themselves, and nowhere is this more obvious than in the claim that women are incapable of recognizing danger or acting appropriate when they do recognize it.

Moreover, rather than worrying about high-risk women being hurt, Salazar is terribly worried that low-risk men will get hurt (“you just don’t know who you’re gonna be shooting at”).  Here’s the deal Rep. Salazar:  the good guys, the men who don’t rape, don’t stalk women and they don’t interview women (“Hey, babe, can you tell me the time?  No?  Too bad.  You’re cute.  You know you’re cute, don’t you?”).  What they do is to keep a respectful distance and attitude.  Do that, and you won’t get “popped.”

In other words, Salazar is my UC experience all over again:  lip-service and misogyny, wrapped up in a package of making sure that the men are safe.

It’s not just Salazar, of course.  Looking at this much-publicized advice from University of Colorado.  Apparently awed by the abilities its bulimic students have shown over the years, the university advises women who are threatened to vomit on demand (emphasis mine):

  1. Be realistic about your ability to protect yourself.
  2. Your instinct may be to scream, go ahead! It may startle your attacker and give you an opportunity to run away.
  3. Kick off your shoes if you have time and can’t run in them.
  4. Don’t take time to look back; just get away.
  5. If your life is in danger, passive resistance may be your best defense.
  6. Tell your attacker that you have a disease or are menstruating.
  7. Vomiting or urinating may also convince the attacker to leave you alone.
  8. Yelling, hitting or biting may give you a chance to escape, do it!
  9. Understand that some actions on your part might lead to more harm.
  10. Remember, every emergency situation is different. Only you can decide which action is most appropriate.

I especially like that first one:  “Be realistic about your ability to protect yourself.”  With that advice in mind, ask yourself this:  Am I more likely to protect myself against a power-hungry predator who may be hopped up on drugs by doing this?

Or by doing this?

By the way, don’t fall into the trap of thinking that Salazar’s going to be humiliated about this one.  Although the conservative blogosphere is pointing fingers, liberals who were outraged by Todd Akin’s stupid rape quote are perfectly fine with Salazar’s stupid and demeaning advice to women.

And why not?  They agree with it.  Moreover, their agreement matters because, just as the Dems used Akin and women to give Obama that last little push he needed to get into the White House, Dems are planning that same strategy with women and guns.  They’re already starting the “women who love their communities hate guns” trope, which we can expect to get worse with time.

Long-essays like mine are great at educating women about guns and warning conservatives about future gun attacks, right?  Oh, God no!  I wish.  In a short-attention span universe, I am a poison pill.  After the first paragraph, the average voter’s eyes are rolling back into her head, she’s reaching blindly for her TiVo clicker or her smart phone, and she’s totally tuned out.

The reality is that, in short-attention span America, we do not need long essays like mine.  I’m a pre-programmed essayist, though, and, sadly, I can’t seem to help myself.

What I’d love is to be more visual, so that I could create pithy posters or punchy videos that could easily be circulated on Twitter and Facebook, all of which drill home the same point:  guns make women safer, not less safe.

If you have photoshopped a poster that puts together gun statistics (such as these) in a clever, easy-to-see way, or you’ve created a video that does the same, let me know, and I’ll do my best to promote it.  Dems are already planning for the next election, so we need to as well.

The last stuff from my email backlog

Whew!  I’m finally current on my email, a pleasant state of things that should last at least two days, or maybe four.  I’m sufficiently self-aware to know that my chronic procrastination damages my life, not to mention my relationships.  Despite that knowledge, though, I still procrastinate.  It’s very frustrating to me that I can’t seem to sum up the will to abandon a habit that’s very, very bad for me.  Although I don’t have any substance abuse problems, my procrastination abuse problem gives me a certain empathy for those who struggle against drug, tobacco, or alcohol addictions.

Ooops!  I’m digressing, a bad habit that accounts for a lot of the time I spend procrastinating.  Back to topic….

The material in this post sweeps up the last of the January email still lingering in my inbox.  Not all are links.  Some are just great ideas from readers.

***

Soldier4110 agrees with me that we cannot win the political and culture war if we’re already convinced that we’ve lost.  To that end, Soldier4110 points to some cheering signs:

I recently left a comment on an article at any other website about Scott Walker’s win at the ballot box last November and the importance of that win. I agreed with the author and added that both Indiana and Wisconsin had wins in court last week for their right-to-work legislation. I also mentioned that the Republicans did well at the ballot box in gubernatorial races and in maintaining or winning statehouses.

Surprise, surprise, a bunch of people ‘liked’ the comment. This leads me to believe that currently Republican posters and readers are looking for good news, like you say they are.

Am thinking of a couple ‘good news’ topics:

The overwhelming win of the two seals at Benghazi who were able to kill 60 of the enemy before they died. These men began fighting after Stevens was already injured and the IT guy was killed. So they saved the lives of all the others in that situation. Almost like Bowie at the Alamo, they surely knew they would die. What Heroes!

Also, the Republicans have great ‘minor league’ prospects what with the numerous statehouses and governorships. The right-to-work laws in IN and WI (and MI) are a start, but let’s hear what’s going on in other state legislatures……the reason being that these successes, when multiplied, make a difference at the ballot box, too. Now Pennsylvania is able to use their voter ID law in the next election…..that’s a good example. Also, new Indiana Governor Mike Pence is pushing two initiatives: vocational training and cutting income taxes.

So let’s give our ‘farm teams’ some notoriety and keep the good news coming. Keeping the readership aware of successes in various states will perhaps lead readers to look for and report successes in their own states, which keeps them focused on looking for the positive.

***

Zhombre forwards an idea that should become sticky. Just because Congress has no interest in amending the Constitution doesn’t mean that the states don’t have the power to do so when a good idea comes along:

Governors of 35 states have filed suit against the Federal Government for imposing unlawful burdens upon them. It only takes 38 (of the 50) States to convene a Constitutional Convention.

This will take less than thirty seconds to read. If you agree, please pass it on.

This is an idea that we should address.

For too long we have been too complacent about the workings of Congress. Many citizens had no idea that members of Congress could retire with the same pay after only one term, that they specifically exempted themselves from many of the laws they have passed (such as being exempt from any fear of prosecution for sexual harassment) while ordinary citizens must live under those laws. The latest is to exempt themselves from the Healthcare Reform that passed … in all of its forms. Somehow, that doesn’t seem logical. We do not have an elite that is above the law. I truly don’t care if they are Democrat, Republican, Independent or whatever . The self-serving must stop.

If each person that receives this will forward it on to 20 people, in three days, most people in The United States of America will have the message. This is one proposal that really should be passed around.

Proposed 28th Amendment to the United States Constitution: “Congress shall make no law that applies to the citizens of the United States that does not apply equally to the Senators and/or Representatives; and, Congress shall make no law that applies to the Senators and/or Representatives that does not apply equally to the citizens of the United States …”

***

Obama’s Pentagon got rid of Marine General James Mattis, Chief of U.S. Central Command.  Rumor had it that he was let go because he kept trying to force civilians to do silly things like look at the reality on the battlefield without wearing their usual ideological blinders, or to try to imagine what the military should do if the Obama administration’s ideological hopes and dreams didn’t pan out.  Mattis is a warrior, not a politician, and the politicians who tasked him with being a warrior on their behalf couldn’t stand the heat, so they fired him from the kitchen.  Okay.  I get that.  One of the glories of America is that our military is under civilian control, rather than vice versa.  Good civilians make for a good military; bad civilians . . . well, the American people get what they asked for.  In any event, if you’d like to know a bit more about the endearingly plain-spoken General Mattis, this will do it.

***

I’m too lazy to dig through my own posts to find it, but I did post somewhere that a British choirmaster says that boys’ voices are changing earlier, not because of climate change and pollution (the reason given for girls’ early menses), but because of our excellent Western diet, which is filled with vitamins, minerals, and proteins.  One of you was kind enough to send me an email noting that, in a pre-climate change hysteria era (1999, which seems so long ago), scientists had a decidedly non-PC explanation for some early menses:  A daddy in the household.  Better yet, a loving daddy in the household.  In other words, the proliferation of unwed mothers might affect girls’ biology.  Fancy that!

***

The female draft is coming.  I can feel it gathering steam right . . . about . . . now.

***

Two days after I wrote my post about a Sunset Amendment that would require all laws to expire in twenty years unless Congress affirmative renewed them, I found this story about raisin farmers who are being forced to turn over 50% of their full production to the government.  Why?  Because of an obscure Depression-era law.  If there was a Sunset Amendment, this specific type of government overreach (harassing people with obscure, outdated laws) wouldn’t happen.

***

The problem isn’t guns.  The problem isn’t mental illness.  The problem isn’t violent movies.  The problem is liberalism.  Really:

Another edition of “tame the inbox”

I stopped going through my inbox when I got it down to 100 unread emails.  It’s now scooted its way back up to 170 unread emails.  So, I’m going to continue clearing the inbox and posting those things that are not only interesting but still relevant.

Here’s a matched set for you.  Back in December, Breitbart ran a post noting that California’s budget has gone right off the cliff.  We’ve been hearing about “rich athlete flight,” and I know several rich non-athletes who have fled since the Prop. 30 and 32 debacle.  Several California municipalities are massively in debt, politically-connected little birds have told me that the so-called “balanced budget” is funded by imaginary revenues resting on wishful thinking, and California is America’s champion welfare sucker.  So can someone explain to me this Daily Kos post saying that California — under Jerry Brown, of course — leads the nation in job creation?  Kos cites some pretty impressive statistics to back up his claim:

California leads the nation in job creation

California contributed more than 15 percent of the nation’s new jobs between October 2011 and October 2012 – adding more jobs in 12 months than Texas and the rest of the other top-10 fastest-growing states combined – while home building is bouncing back and demand for houses is increasing.

The end-of-2012 results were even more impressive.

Of the 171,000 new jobs the entire U.S. added in October, 27 percent were in California. And since the beginning of the year, California has added nearly 300,000 jobs, outperforming Texas by a decent margin and outpacing New York by more than 2 to 1.

San Francisco is overrun with cranes, as the new digital economy (Google, Apple, Facebook, Twitter) continue to be HQ’d in the Bay Area. Heck, add Samsung to the pile.

Conservatives have made hay of reports of California companies leaving the state. And it’s true! Some have—254 in 2011, to be exact. Conservative media had a field day with that little stat. On the other hand, 132,000 new businesses were created that same year—second highest per capita in the nation, tied with Texas, and behind only Arizona. And that was California’s down year.

Off the top of my head, I guess what matters isn’t just the numbers of jobs created, but the nature. If California is losing big businesses that pay solid wages, but gaining in returning fly-by-night small businesses that function at a minimum wage level, there’s a superficial net benefit, but an actual net revenue loss.

Anyway, I would appreciate your input on this one. If we’re right, it’s nice to know; if we’re wrong, it’s necessary that we know.

***

Speaking of California, one of the engines driving California politics is climate change.  California has all sorts of regulatory and tax schemes aimed at punishing “dirty” producers and rewarding “clean” energy.  Conservatives doubt whether these will achieve their stated goal (affecting the climate), but pretty darn sure that they will affect the unstated goal, which is to rid California of the ill-gotten gains of capitalism.  That’s what California voters want, that’s what they’ll get.  But I do wonder how voters will feel about all this when/if they start becoming aware of all the stories that indicate that anthropogenic climate change (as opposed to naturally occurring climate change) is the scam what am.  When even the IPCC starts tentatively admitting that the sun could matter more than we puny humans do, you’ve got a problem.  It’s also going to be worrisome for the AGW crowd when people start realizing that they’re playing games with the numbers — and that the real numbers do not show dramatic climate change.  Getting rid of unnecessary pollution is a laudable goal.  Creating a world without humans, or one in which humans exist at a subsistence level, is a genocidal, downright evil goal.  In any event, if you’re interested in climate news, you’ve got to stay current with Watts Up With That.

***

It’s a post from December, but it’s never too late for a good idea (or, as I’m wont to say now, a tipping point idea).  Coyote Blog suggests legislation holding unions to the same standards as insurance companies.  I like it !  (H/t JKB.)  After all, if the government is going to go all fascist and run ostensibly private businesses, it should certainly apply those same standards equally across the board.

***

They all laughed at the NRA for suggesting armed guards in school.  But now Newton is doing exactly what Israel does, what the NRA suggested, and what the Clinton presidency funded.

***

While I’m on the subject of guns, Eugene Podrazik, at Elkhorn Creek Lodge, notes that the entire gun battle in America (not battles with guns but the battle over guns) is tightly linked with the Left’s elitism.  Leftists speak of “the people,” but they don’t really like “the people,” nor do they consider themselves to be down in the gutter with the people they purport to represent.

***

Six harsh truths that will make you a better person.  Or life is tough — get used to it and work with that reality.

***

More inbox taming to follow in subsequent posts.

Even in Marin, people are stocking up on ammo

Big 5 is a sporting chain that spreads across the 12 western states.  It has a couple of stores in Marin County.  I went into one a few days ago and saw this notice posted on the front door:

Sign re ammunition in window at Big 5 Sporting Goods

If you’re reading this on a small screen it says:

Due to unprecedented demand for ammunition, we are limiting sales to five (5) boxes of ammunition per SKU per customer, excluding Game and Target Shot Shells.

This limit will help us accommodate more customers with the limited amounts of ammunition currently available.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and thank you for your patience and understanding in this matter.

Others have noticed the run on ammunition.  At Power Line, John Hinderaker calls Obama the “Ammo Salesman”.  Jokingly, he refers to Obama’s unlikely claim that he’s been shooting skeet like crazy up at Camp David to explain the ammo shortage.  More seriously, though, Hinderaker adds that “There is something seriously wrong when Americans have to stand in line to buy ammo.”

One of the things that goes with shortages is price increases.  It occurred to me, therefore, that Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who has suggested that banks refuse to loan money to gun manufacturers, has it (per usual) bass ackwards.  At this rate, those who manufacture guns and ammo are going to find themselves a whole lot richer than the banks — and more power to them.  (Although I hope that their civic spirit prevents them from price gouging and encourages them, instead, to use any excess profits to further support the Second Amendment.)

Still clearing the spindle (this may take awhile)

I winnowed down half of my emails yesterday, but still have more than 200 to go.  Some of them, I’m embarrassed to admit, date back to early-ish December.  Those that I’m linking to here are still relevant, though, so don’t be deterred by my delay in posting them.  Also, heads up to those who wrote to me a month ago:  You may finally be getting your reply!  I’ll start with a handful of posts from today, and then start digging into the past:

In his inimitable style, Jonah Goldberg reminds us that, when it comes to guns, as with all things, the perfect is the enemy of the good.  (And if you’d like to read an older book that focuses on the deleterious effects on society from the bureaucrat’s futile, expensive, and Kafka-esque search for perfection, read Philip K. Howard’s The Death of Common Sense: How Law Is Suffocating America.)

Orwell wouldn’t be surprised if he returned from the dead today and found himself on Carleton University’s campus in Canada.  Within hours of students putting up a free speech wall, an “activist” student in his 7th year (that’s not a typo) ripped it down, loudly declaiming that “not every opinion is valid, nor deserving of expression.”  Orwell, of course, phrased it better when he said that “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”

We’re taking a moment here for an important public health announcement:  If you’re a woman heading towards or already going through menopause, estrogen therapy not only will not kill you, it will make your life better and, possibly, protect you from certain cancers.  I anxiously look forward (heh!) to the moment when scientists announce that their widely expressed fears about anthropogenic climate change were also wrong, and that we can all stop panicking now.

I’m always embarrassed when I think back to the way I used to admire Thomas Friedman’s faux-sophistication.  Fortunately, as I’ve grown older, I’ve distinguished myself from Friedman by growing wiser too.  That’s why I appreciated this absolutely splendid attack on his most recent idiocy, this one concerning Iran.

Ed Driscoll looks at the icky sexuality and childish adulation that describes so much of the elite Left’s attachment to Obama.  Would it be wrong of me to say that the first part of this way of thinking is a direct lineal descendent of the Democrats’ Jim Crow and slavery approach to blacks, one that saw them view black men fearfully as hyper-sexual beings?

My personal road to Hell is heavily paved with good intentions.  Among those good intentions are book reviews.  I’m fortunate enough to receive books in the mail or on my iPad, and I do really and truly intend to review them.  Somehow, though, the mere phrase “book review” sends me spinning back to 7th grade, and I start procrastinating like crazy.  While I’m procrastinating, I’ll at least give you the link to a very interesting, timely, and somewhat worrisome book that came my way:  Larry Kelley’s Lessons from Fallen Civilizations: Can a Bankrupt America Survive the Current Islamic Threat?.  I won’t give away the ending.  You have to read it yourself, keeping in mind that it was written before Obama’s reelection.

If you thought that the Left is seldom right, you are correct, as this 40 minute video explains.

One of the things the Left does very successfully is to celebrate things that didn’t used to be celebrated (gay marriage, unmarried mothers, etc.).  This GAP Christmas ad campaign is a good example.  As is so often the case when it comes to message, we need to take a page out of the Left’s book.  Instead of constantly challenging their celebrations (challenges that are often divisive when it comes to social conservatives and libertarians), why don’t we start celebrating things we like.  In other words, let’s catch society being good.  When you go on social networks, including new conservative entrants such as Helen’s Page or Ritely, don’t just fulminate about the Left or even praise only conservatives.  Highlight something cheerful and positive that also advances traditional values.

Okay.  I’m down to 175 emails.  More later.  Right now, I’m meeting some conservative gals for lunch.  Yay!

Startling facts about guns, violence, and schools

I knew everything in this video, but this is the first time I’ve seen it put together so neatly, if you will.  The only thing in the video to which I object is the length of Nick Gillespie’s sideburns — trim them back, dude.  It’s not a good look.

Here’s the accompanying article, with links to all the statistics and facts that Gillespie states.