Sunday, December 30, 2012

Gun Control and the Long Night of Tyranny: a Cuban Exile Speaks


Guest post from Carlos Perera
I arrived in the U. S. in 1962, a child-exile from Communist Cuba. I will be eternally grateful to the American people for having offered my parents and me a place of refuge and the opportunity to make a place for ourselves in this country (allowing us to rise from absolute poverty to comfortable middle class status in the space of a few years . . . albeit with a great deal of hard work and disciplined husbandry). Because of the great love that I bear this, my adopted country, I am made sad beyond my powers of expression, by the apparent willingness of so many of its people to surrender the ancient liberties recognized by the U. S. Constitution, of which the right to keep and bear arms is one of the most important. (Note that only the fundamental rights of conscience and its expression come before it in the Bill of Rights.)

One of the first steps historically taken by would-be totalitarians is to disarm the population to be ruled: the Bolsheviks did this in Russia, the Nazis in Germany and the occupied countries, the Maoists in China, the Castroites in Cuba, and on and on. In some cases, as in Cuba, weapons of limited military value, like single- or double-barrelled shotguns, are allowed--as a privilege and under permit--to be possessed by the well-behaved . . . though permitted ammunition is generally limited to birdshot. (Of course, especial rules apply to members of the _nomenklatura_, e.g., many of the Soviet big-wigs were avid big-game hunters.)

I fear that our Leftist ruling class--cynically and heartlessly following Rahm Emanuel's dictum never to let a serious crisis go to waste--are exploiting the Newtown, Connecticut, tragedy to take the first (of many to come) steps intended to disarm the American people. Note that they are artfully "shaping the narrative" in terms of limiting the possession of "unneeded" military-type weapons, like semiautomatic rifles and pistols, while grandly and generously permitting us to retain what they deem to be "acceptable" weapons for self-defense and hunting . . . though you can bet the farm that this latter category of acceptable weapons will be progressively whittled down, until, if we are lucky and our overlords are generous, we shall be allowed to retain single- or double-barrelled shotguns with a "reasonable" number of birdshot cartridges.

The right to keep and bear arms has next to nothing to do with hunting or self-defense (though these are admittedly useful incidental consequences), and everything to do with the people's ability, when all peaceful political action fails, to defend their ancient liberties. A tyrant can never feel secure when he tries to impress his will on an armed populace, which is why the regimes to which I alluded above moved early and vigorously to disarm their populaces. If we let the the crowd now in power do the same to us, our future as a free people shall be compromised for a long time to come. We must fight them, else we shall deserve the long, dark night of tyranny that shall eventually descend on us.

Surprise, Surprise: Prez Commie Obamie To Go For Guns in 2013


Our Marxist President has stated that he will go after guns in 2013, in order to "do everything we can to make sure that something like what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary does not happen again.”

Actually, Barack Obama has been against the 2nd amendment for all of his political life, and has sought to ban private ownership of guns long before he ever darkened the halls of Congress or the White House. Sandy Hook merely provides him with an excuse to once again argue for the disarmament of the American people, a long-time Marxist goal.

It is clear to me that the Republican strategy for the next four years should be to block, defer, oppose, filibuster, challenge and vote "no" on any and all policy initiatives put forth by the Obama administration.

Meanwhile, is there any state government, anywhere, who is willing to stand up to this extremist, to nullify unconstitutional federal dictates, to just say "NO"?

Friday, December 28, 2012

Communist Revolution: I Never Thought It Would Come to This

Since I was about 12, I have known that the communist left was dedicated to replacing America with a collectivist tyranny.  I remember Khrushchev pounding his shoe on the table at the United Nations and threatening "We will bury you!"  I became a news junkie at 13, scouring the San Jose Mercury News each morning for the latest Cold War developments.

I never could understand it.  How could anyone believe in a totalitarian tyranny that destroys freedom, starves millions and executes millions more?  Apparently, a lot of people do -- or at least, believe in their version of it.  The long march through the institutions was completed some time ago, and both academia and media have a near monopoly on the transmission of biased news, cultural demolition and the ability to affect public attitudes.  The "closing of the American mind" is just about complete.  Moonbattery blog has an article today called "Brainwashing Works."  The author, Dave Blount, points to a sign in NYC's Penn Station where a graffiti artist has penned "Kill All Republicans!"  This sentiment is not an isolated occurrence.  Twitchy.com reports daily the most vile bile from the left, the unhinged hatred, the desire for violence against Republicans and conservatives.   The Democrat Media Complex has created a vast swath of human botnets, which can be set off in mass to launch denial-of-liberty attacks on any and all who oppose the New Progressive Order.  Like computer botnets, the human variety is programmed and programmable and act in concert, unhindered by scruples or actual thought.

Lately swarms of human maggots on Twitter have tweeted their joy at the death of General Norman Schwarzkopf yesterday, expressing hope that he died painfully and is now burning in Hell.  They have said similar things about former President George H.W. Bush, who is in the hospital with a serious illness, hoping that he dies "in agony."  I do not recognize this leftist human scum as fellow citizens, but as traitors, agents of hostile foreign powers and ideologies.  With the election of one of their own to the presidency, they are now emboldened to finish off the Republic, and as Blount notes at Moonbattery, are now in a rush to disarm us.  A generation ago, Diane Feinstein's proposed gun control bill (to photograph and fingerprint all gun owners) would have resulted in widespread outcry and alarm.  A day or so after its announcement, there is hardly a peep from the populace.

Feeling Fine This Morning

Everyone has some health issue; I am disgustingly healthy with regard to cholesterol, heart function and blood pressure.  My only health issue is clinical depression and, apparently, anxiety attacks.

This past week I tried to stop taking my SSRI (because I hate the side effects) and last night I had an anxiety or panic attack as a result.  Why the feeling of panic?  Because you feel like you are suffocating -- it is some function of the brain, according to what I read on the web.  They call it a "misdirected suffocation alarm mechanism."  You aren't actually suffocating and you aren't going to die, but it feels like sheeeee-it.

I got up and googled info on the web, and was able to finally overcome the attack with breathing exercises, walking and by taking my SSRI.

I feel fine this morning, quite normal.  Just a little tired from not getting enough sleep last night.

Meanwhile, my G.P. doctor has prescribed Cymbalta for me to try in lieu of Zoloft.  However, I am not going to just jump into a new SSRI.  I am going to do some private research first.

My 2013 resolutions:  (1) better manage my mental states (depression, anxiety) and (2) increase my personal energy levels for greater productivity.

Update:  Cymbalta costs $300 for a month's supply of pills.  Now there's a side effect (bankruptcy) that I am sure I wouldn't like.  So that option is out.

Experiment Over: Anxiety Attack! Back on My Meds.

Well now I know I can't merely quit my SSRI.  I woke up with a panic attack, a feeling of suffocation, of not getting enough oxygen.  Is this what waterboarding feels like?   I took a pill.

Anxiety attacks are also called panic attacks, and I see why.  The feeling is one of panic.  This is not the first time I have tried to go off the meds, and it is not the first time I have had an anxiety attack.  I was half expecting one.  However, I had forgotten just how terrible the feeling is, how it comes upon you so suddenly.

All of a sudden, I know what it feels like to be mad, to have the screaming heebie-jeebies.  I'm not screaming, however.  I might be, if I believed the attack would not end sometime soon.

I can see why someone might commit suicide, the feeling is that terrible.  I, however, know that the feeling will pass, eventually.  Nevertheless, I can empathize with those who feel suicidal.  Mental anguish can be so terrible, so painful, that one might do anything to stop it.  I am not there, so don't worry about me.  No, I am not just whistling past the graveyard.  However, I have had a glimpse of that anguish tonight.  Walked a mile in those shoes.  Had a look at those demons.  Ugly little fuckers. I understand them better now.

I do not, however, feel in any way hostile to anyone or capable of violence.  I want to make that clear right off the top.  Whether on my meds or off, I am psychologically incapable of harming anyone.  That much I know, that much I am sure of.  I mention this only because of the false charges and misconceptions that are currently numerous against the effects of SSRI medications (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors).  The theory is that if you take SSRI's, they turn you into Adam Lanza.  Or Jared Loughner.  They don't.  Those fellows were tormented by a different legion of demons, ones unknown to me.  I have never had a glimpse of that tribe.  Anxiety is not the same thing as psychopathic rage.  A drowning person has no desire or purpose of harming others... he just wants to breathe.

I dare not lay down again tonight.  Or so I feel at this moment.

I don't know how much of the attack is psychological and how much is organic, i.e. the result of an imbalance in my brain chemistry.  The imbalance that some say does not exist, self-appointed experts like commenter OhReilly.  Sure feels real OhReilly.  I think it may partly be psychological -- I fear the feeling of panic so much that it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.  There is no doubt, however, that much of it is organic, the result of stopping my medication four days ago.

Feeling somewhat better now.  Or am I?

Oh great, it seems I have two options:  (1) to view life though a chemical haze, or (2) be tormented by anxiety attacks.  I want a third option:  to view life through a normal lens.  No anxiety, no depression, no SSRI side effects.  I don't know if option 3 is available to me anymore, but I intend to find out.  I think I need more than my General Practitioner family doctor to guide me through this.  It's time to find a specialist.

Updates:  I googled "How to stop an anxiety attack."  There is a lot of info on the web.  One of the best bits of info is that anxiety attacks are fairly common.  I learned that it is helpful to (1) cool the body down (stand in front of an air conditioner, open a window, etc) (2) take a walk (3) breathe into a paper bag.  I did all these things and feel better.  Another set of suggestions includes drinking a cup of Chamomile tea.  Doing that now.

A couple of websites recommend keeping a journal or blogging as a coping mechanism.  However, the best natural ways to treat depression and anxiety include (1) breathing exercises, (2) physical exercise and (3) sunlight.  The latter has beneficial effects and the sites recommend a minimum of 15 minutes of sunlight per day.  If you live in Seattle, you can get something called a light tunnel to take the place of natural sunlight.

One website explained the feeling of suffocation during a panic attack.  It is a false feeling resulting from the misfiring of a "suffocation alarm mechanism" in the brain, making the patient feel that death is imminent.  Other scientists dispute this theory, but I believe it, having just experienced it.

Well it's 3:24 AM, I think I'll try to get some sleep.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Feinstein's Bill to Destroy the 2nd Amendment: It Is Way Past Time to Openly Defy the Federal Government

The federal government is now the enemy of freedom and the Constitution, and it is time to openly defy it. Diane Feinstein, US Senator from Marxist California, has proposed a federal gun control bill that will make numerous existing handguns and rifles illegal. The bill would create a federal database of gun owners, and require photographing and fingerprinting gun owners. Like hell, bitch.

You can read the details of this Orwellian overreach at Powerline today.

Every day seems to bring a new federal outrage to light. Absolutely nothing that the Party of Treason does surprises me anymore. If this bill ever passes, I will personally defy it. I will neither obey nor recognize such a law. Meanwhile, I will seek to purchase a Glock handgun and a Bushmaster rifle, and begin regular shooting practice with them, at shooting ranges; and I will seek professional instruction on the safe handling and use of such firearms. I will register such weapons with my state, as indeed I have no choice; but I recognize the constitutionality of state law. I will not register any firearms with the federal government. I will rejoin the NRA.

Reasonable gun control laws should be passed by the states; the federal government has no such authority. It is time for "civil disobedience" to the Marxists now in control of the nation, and we must prepare ourselves for civil war in the event the Feds decide to play rough.

Note to state governments: get off your asses and protect the constitutional rights of your citizens. Nullify such laws and arrest any federal officials who attempt to enforce them. Call up state militias if necessary to oppose federal force, e.g. by such agencies as the BATF.

Business as usual is not an option. At the very least, it is time to discuss and plan for such contingencies at the state and local level. It is time to draw a line in the sand.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The Day After Christmas: Watching "Sons of Anarchy" Episodes on TV; Memories of Stockton

My youngest son and his girlfriend and puppy are here for the holidays. With rain pouring outside, we have been watching multiple episodes of "Sons of Anarchy." It's about a motorcycle gang in San Joaquin County, near Stockton, California, where I lived as a child, from 4th through 7th grade, before moving to San Jose.

Stockton was a great town back then, in the mid 1950's. It was a quiet, rural area, where we felt safe taking the bus downtown to see a movie, though we were not yet in our teens. Not so today, as Stockton is now a high crime area. My niece was robbed at gunpoint there some months ago, on the street.

Why is this true? I don't really know, but suspect our changing racial demographics have a lot to do with it -- fewer white people is not a good thing and it's time we admitted this non-PC fact of life. There were no drug-dealing gangs in Stockton when I was a kid -- or if there were, they kept out of sight.



Off My Meds! Horrors!

I have two major goals for 2013: (1) to optimize and better manage my mental state and (2) to increase my energy level to increase personal productivity.

Three days ago I went off Zoloft cold turkey. After 15 years on this drug, I am tired of feeling drunk, dizzy, medicated and anesthetized. I'll take my chances with depression, and if I have to return to an SSRI, I'll try a different one. Right now I feel as dizzy as ever, because my body hasn't acclimated. I do not, however, feel depressed.

The reason why so many people quit their meds is for this reason: they don't like the unnatural feeling of being medicated. For the seriously disturbed, this is dangerous. My wife's best friend has a son who is schizophrenic, went off his meds, and is now in jail. I, however, pose no such danger, even to myself. I was a voluntary partaker of Zoloft. I just don't like the side effects: lethargy, dizziness, the irresistible compulsion to stockpile automatic weapons and ammunition. Okay, that last one was a joke.

Or WAS it? Spooky music: doo doo doo doo, doo doo doo doo! (Think Twighlight Zone.)

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas 2012

Merry Christmas to all my friends and fellow bloggers on the internet, as well as my readers and relatives who sometimes wander this way.


See the animated version of this picture, with falling snow, at this link.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

How To Save Your Marriage (French Text)

I saw this at Facebook and was pleasantly surprised that I could understand 90% of it without using a French-English dictionary.  I took French in high school 50 years ago and still understand it well in written form.  I recently completed my second semester of Spanish, and I don't understand it nearly as well as I do French.

Try out your French, read this short tale and see how much you understand.
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Mariés ou non, vous devriez lire ceci ...

"Quand je suis rentré ce soir-là, et que ma femme a servi le dîner, je lui tenais la main et dit: J'ai quelque chose à vous dire. Elle s'assit et mangea tranquillement. Encore une fois j'ai observé la douleur dans ses yeux.

Tout à coup, je ne savais pas comment ouvrir ma bouche. Mais je devais lui dire ce que je pensais. « Je veux divorcer ». J'ai soulevé le sujet calmement. Elle ne semblait pas être ennuyé par mes paroles, bien au contraire elle me demanda doucement : pourquoi?

J'ai évité la question. Cela la mit en colère. Elle a jeté les couverts et me cria : tu n'es pas un homme! Cette nuit-là, on ne s’est pas parlé l’un l'autre. Elle pleurait. Je savais qu'elle voulait savoir ce qui était arrivé à notre mariage. Mais je ne pouvais lui donner une réponse satisfaisante, elle avait perdu mon cœur, car il s’était tourné vers Jane. Je ne l'aimais pas du tout, j’avais juste pitié d’elle!

Avec un profond sentiment de culpabilité, j'ai rédigé une lettre de divorce, qui stipulait qu'elle pouvait avoir notre maison, notre voiture, et 30% du capital de ma société. Elle la regarda, puis la déchira en mille morceaux. La femme qui avait passé dix ans de sa vie avec moi était devenue une étrangère. J’étais désolé pour elle et pour la perte de temps, de ressources et d'énergie, mais je ne pouvais pas reprendre ce que j'avais dit car j'aimais Jane chèrement. Enfin, elle a crié haut et fort en face de moi, et c'est ce que je m'attendais à voir. Pour moi son cri était en fait une sorte de libération. L'idée d'un divorce qui m'avait obsédée pendant plusieurs semaines semblait être plus ferme et plus clair maintenant.

Le lendemain, je suis rentré très tard et l’ai trouvée entrain d’écrire quelque chose à la table. Je n'ai pas pris le souper, mais je suis allé directement au lit et m'endormi très vite parce que j'étais fatigué après une journée bien remplie avec Jane. Lorsque je me suis réveillé, elle était toujours là au bureau. Je n'y ai pas prêté attention, je me suis retourné et ai encore dormi.

Dans la matinée, elle a présenté ses conditions de divorce: elle ne voulait rien de moi, mais elle avait besoin d'un mois de préavis avant le divorce. Elle a demandé que, dans cette période d'un mois nous aurons tous deux à lutter pour vivre une vie aussi normale que possible. Ses raisons sont simples: notre fils aura ses examens dans un mois, et elle ne voulait pas lui perturber le morale par notre mariage brisé.

Ce fut agréable pour moi. Mais elle avait quelque chose de plus, elle m'a demandé de me rappeler comment je l'avais transporté dans la chambre nuptiale le jour de notre mariage. Elle a demandé que tous les jours pendant la durée du mois, je l'emmène hors de notre chambre à la porte chaque matin. Je croyais qu'elle devenait folle. Afin de rendre nos derniers jours d’ensemble agréables, j'ai accepté sa demande bizarre.

J'ai parlé à Jane des conditions de divorce de ma femme. . Elle éclata de rire, et trouva cela absurde : « Peu importe les méthodes qu’elle appliquera, elle doit faire face au divorce », dit-elle avec mépris.

Ma femme et moi n'avions pas eu de contact de corps depuis que mon intention de divorce a été explicitement exprimée. Donc quand je l'ai portée le premier jour, nous avons tous deux paru maladroits. Notre fils applaudit derrière nous disant : « papa tient maman dans ses bras. » Ses paroles m'ont apporté un sentiment de douleur. De la chambre au salon, puis à la porte, j'ai marché plus de dix mètres avec elle dans mes bras. Elle ferma les yeux et dit doucement, ne dis rien à notre fils au sujet du divorce. J'ai hoché la tête, me sentant quelque peu bouleversé. Je l’ai posée devant la porte. Elle est allée à attendre le bus pour aller au travail. J'ai conduit seul et partis au bureau.

Le deuxième jour, nous l’avons fait beaucoup plus facilement. Elle se pencha sur ma poitrine. Je pouvais sentir le parfum de son chemisier. J'ai réalisé que je n'avais pas regardé cette femme attentivement pendant une longue période. J'ai réalisé qu'elle n'était pas jeune non plus. Il y avait des fines rides sur son visage, ses cheveux grisonnaient! Notre mariage avait fait des ravages sur elle. Pendant une minute, je me suis demandé ce que j'avais fait d’elle.

Le quatrième jour, quand je l'ai soulevée, j’ai senti au retour un sentiment d'intimité. Ce fut la femme qui avait donné dix ans de sa vie pour moi. Le cinquième jour, et le sixième, j'ai compris que notre sentiment d'intimité renoué était croissant. Je n'ai rien dit à Jane à ce sujet. Il est devenu plus facile de la porter au fur et mesure que le mois s'écoulait. Peut-être que la séance d'entraînement quotidienne m'a rendu plus fort.

Et un matin, elle se mit à chercher quoi porter. Elle a essayé pas mal quelques robes mais ne pouvait pas trouver une qui la convienne. Puis elle soupira : « toutes mes robes ont grandi ». J'ai soudain réalisé qu'elle avait tellement maigri, c'était la raison pour laquelle je pouvais la porter plus facilement.

Tout à coup, cela m'a frappé ... elle avait enduré tant de douleur et d'amertume dans son cœur. Inconsciemment, j'ai tendu la main et toucha sa tête.

Notre fils est venu en ce moment et dit: Papa, il est temps de porter maman. Pour lui, voyant son père portant sa mère était devenue une partie essentielle de sa vie. Ma femme fit un geste à notre fils de venir plus près et le serra étroitement. Je tournais mon visage parce que j'avais peur, je pourrais changer d'avis à la dernière minute. Je l’ai alors prise dans mes bras, marchant de la chambre, à travers le salon, dans le couloir. Elle mit doucement et naturellement ses mains autour de mon cou. Je l'ai serrée contre moi. C’était comme le jour de notre mariage.

Mais son poids beaucoup plus léger m'a rendu triste. Le dernier jour, lorsque je l'ai tenue dans mes bras, je pouvais à peine bouger d'un pas. Notre fils était allé à l'école. Je l'ai tenue fermement et lui dit: Je n'avais pas remarqué que notre vie manquait d'intimité. J'ai conduit et suis allé au bureau .... J’ai sauté de la voiture rapidement sans verrouiller la porte. J'avais peur qu’il soit tard pour moi de changer d'avis ... Je pris les escaliers. Jane ouvrit la porte et je lui ai dit, Désolé, Jane, je ne veux plus de divorce.

Elle me regarda, étonnée, puis toucha mon front : « As-tu de la fièvre? » Dit-elle. J’ai enlevé sa main de ma tête : « Désolé, Jane », je dis, « je ne vais pas divorcer. Ma vie conjugale était ennuyeuse sans doute parce qu'elle et moi n'avions pas valorisé les détails de nos vies, et non parce que nous ne nous aimions plus. Maintenant je me rends compte que depuis que je l'ai amenée à mon domicile le jour de notre mariage, je suis censé la garder jusqu'à ce que la mort nous sépare ». Jane semblait soudainement se réveiller. Elle m'a donné une claque forte puis claqua la porte et fondit en larmes. Je descendis et m'en allais. À la boutique de fleurs sur le chemin, j'ai commandé un bouquet de fleurs pour ma femme. La vendeuse m'a demandé ce qu’elle pouvait écrire sur la carte. J'ai souri et j’ai écrit : Je te porterais chaque matin jusqu'à ce que la mort nous sépare.

Ce soir je suis arrivé à la maison, des fleurs dans mes mains, un sourire sur mon visage. Je montais les escaliers, mais seulement, hélas, pour trouver ma femme dans le lit, morte. Ma femme avait été lutté contre le cancer depuis des mois et j'ai été tellement occupé avec Jane, que je n’ai même pas remarqué. Elle savait qu'elle allait mourir bientôt et elle a voulu me sauver de la réaction négative de notre fils, au cas où nous aurions divorcé. Du moins, aux yeux de notre fils - je suis un mari aimant ... .

Les petits détails de votre vie sont ce qui importe vraiment dans une relation. Ce n'est pas la maison, la voiture, la propriété, l'argent à la banque. Ceux-ci créent un environnement propice pour le bonheur mais ne peut pas donner le bonheur en eux-mêmes.

Donc, trouver du temps pour être l'ami de votre conjoint et de faire ces petites choses pour l'autre qui construisent l'intimité. Faire un vrai mariage heureux!

Si vous ne partagez pas ceci, rien ne vous arrivera.

Si vous le faites, vous venez peut-être de sauver un mariage. Beaucoup d'échecs de la vie sont dus au fait que les gens ne se rendent pas compte à quel point ils étaient près du succès au moment où ils ont abandonné. ♥ — with Annie Kaz, Pappy Matshim, Tina Makolo and Joel Kalombo.

Statistics on Gun Use in Crime, Self-Defense (Graphic)

More good stuff from El Opinador Compulsivo:

Saturday, December 22, 2012

A Posted Sign That Will Prevent Gun Violence In Schools

You decide.  (Hat tip:  El Opinador Compulsivo)


























Actually, I think the sign on the right might prove too frightening to many. I would be satisfied by a sign that merely says "These premises guarded by armed and trained personnel."  Or even "These premises guarded by professional security" with an image of a uniformed guard.  No depiction of a firearm would be necessary -- it would be implied by the image.

UPDATE:  I photoshopped another alternative, less scary but possibly just as effective:



Homesick for the Land of Gorch: 1975 Saturday Night Live

Land of Gorch Muppets, Left to Right:
Mighty Favog, Scred (holding a chicken), Queen Peuta, 

Her Son Wisss, Vazh and King Ploobis (with horns)
At night before sleep I have been watching old episodes of "Saturday Night Live" on my iPad, via Netflix.  I am currently watching shows from 1975, and it is interesting to see the original cast again, in their youth:  Chevy Chase, John Belushi, Dan Akroyd, Garrett Morris, Gilda Radner, Lorraine Newman and Jane Curtin.    This group was known as "The Not Ready for Prime Time Players."

I still laugh a lot when Chevy Chase, news anchor, allows a counter-viewpoint to be expressed on his news show "Week End Update": Chase then mocks the speaker from the background, making faces, mouthing words and pretending to mirror the speaker's body language.

Jim Henson's muppets had a part in the 1975 episodes, not the cute little critters from Sesame Street, but some weird and ugly creatures from "The Land of Gorch."  I loved them!  In my opinion, they were the best of Henson's muppets.  The Land of Gorch was described like this:

Come with us now … from the bubbling tarpits to the sulfurous wasteland … from the rotting forest to the stagnant mud flats … to the long lost Land of Gorch!

The creatures lived in a rocky and craterous landscape surrounded by sulfurous volcanos and an orange sky.  The Kingdom of Gorch was presided over by a comically gross monster named King Ploobis, attended to by his loyal servant, Scred, and nagged constantly by his hag of a wife, Queen Peuta.  Whenever King Ploobis needed spiritual or other advice, he would visit the god of Gorch, a sphinx-like character with a strong Jewish accent and facial demeanor, whose name was the Mighty Favog.  Favog would answer questions for a sacrifice, usually of a chicken, which was inserted into a barrel held by Favog, where it would be flushed somewhere.  Wisss was the son of King Ploobis and Queen Peuta, who was constantly getting high by sticking his long nose into holes in the rocks and sniffing the foul gasses emitted therefrom.

Servant Scred always refers to King Ploobis in hilarious terms:  "Your Flatulence," "Your Grossness," etc.

Ploobis also had a maid-servant and mistress named Vazh, who by Gorchian standards was pretty hot stuff. Those early days of Saturday Night Live were the best, I think.

"An Opinion on Gun Control" Article Goes Viral

An excellent and informative essay on guns, crime and gun control has been posted at a site called Monster Hunter Nation.  The author is Larry Correia, a gun expert who has sold weapons to police and military, is widely knowledgeable of existing gun control laws, and has trained police and others in the operation of firearms and shoot/no shoot scenarios.  The article has gone viral, with thousands of people visiting the site to read it.

The article is An Opinion on Gun Control; it is a long article but worth the time to read.  Correia states important points like these:

Correia's Qualifications: 
Basically for most of my adult life, I have been up to my eyeballs in guns, self-defense instruction, and the laws relating to those things. So believe me when I say that I’ve heard every argument relating to gun control possible. It is pretty rare for me to hear something new, and none of this stuff is new.
Arming Teachers: 
No. Hear me out. The single best way to respond to a mass shooter is with an immediate, violent response. The vast majority of the time, as soon as a mass shooter meets serious resistance, it bursts their fantasy world bubble. Then they kill themselves or surrender. This has happened over and over again.
The average number of people shot in a mass shooting event when the shooter is stopped by law enforcement: 14. The average number of people shot in a mass shooting event when the shooter is stopped by civilians: 2.5. The reason is simple. The armed civilians are there when it started.
Gun Free Zones
Gun Free Zones are hunting preserves for innocent people. Period.

Think about it. You are a violent, homicidal madman, looking to make a statement and hoping to go from disaffected loser to most famous person in the world. The best way to accomplish your goals is to kill a whole bunch of people. So where’s the best place to go shoot all these people? Obviously, it is someplace where nobody can shoot back.

In all honesty I have no respect for anybody who believes Gun Free Zones actually work. You are going to commit several hundred felonies, up to and including mass murder, and you are going to refrain because there is a sign? That No Guns Allowed sign is not a cross that wards off vampires. It is wishful thinking, and really pathetic wishful thinking at that.

The only people who obey No Guns signs are people who obey the law. People who obey the law aren’t going on rampages.
Read it all here. Link it, refer it to others.

Friday, December 21, 2012

The NRA: Target and Scapegoat for the Hyper-Angry Left

Over at Twitchy.com there are many examples of hateful tweets put out by famous celebrities.  The latest hate-fest is against the National Rifle Association, a target of misdirected ire over the Connecticut school shootings of a week ago.  The latest is from author Joyce Carol Oates, who wants NRA members to be victims of gun violence so that they can better sympathize with other gun victims and allow gun control.

One of the characteristics of the loony left is a hair-pin trigger for anger, over-developed adrenal glands and a strong tendency to find a scapegoat for the cathartic expiation of their emotions.  When the actual source of their anger (the shooter) is not available for punishment, a substitute will do just as well.  They need someone or something to hate, someone to act as punching-bag for their anger, someone to blame.

Their strange logic goes like this:  crazy man gets guns, kills people.  The NRA supports the rights of gun ownership.  Therefore, the NRA killed those kids in Connecticut.  Brilliant logic. Or not.

Actually, the NRA has, for over 100 years, supported the safe and responsible ownership and use of rifles and guns.  They teach firearm safety courses.  When I was around 11 years old I went to one of them, as a precondition for going deer hunting with my father.

There are those on the wacky right (the Alex Jones types) who find scapegoats of their own, namely, antidepressant medications, which have nothing to do with the murderous rampages of the insane.  But blaming the medication satisfies a human need to find someone or something to blame.

So is anything to blame for the recent murderous rampages of the insane?  Yes.  Just supply your favorite pet peeve here:  keeping God out of schools; the deterioration of family values; income disparity among the populace, etc, ad infinitum.  However, I think there are objectively considered, real reasons for the violence.  They may (with emphasis on "may," as an admission that I don't have all the answers) include:

1.  The mainstreaming of the dangerous insane, rather than institutionalizing them.  Yes, we want to avoid institutionalizing the non-dangerous insane -- like the professor in "A Beautiful Life" or the man who believed in a giant rabbit named Harvey.  However, when a mental patient has a history of hurting people or expresses a reoccurring desire to harm or kill someone, he should be institutionalized if, say, two independent psychiatrists agree.

2.  The creation of target rich environments by specifying certain areas as "gun free zones."  This is nonsense.  There is no logic in assuming that making people defenseless will make them safer.  All areas where lots of people congregate should make provisions for defending against the occasional mad shooter, areas like schools, colleges, shopping malls, train stations, airports and movie theaters.

3.  Absurdly restrictive Gun Control Laws.  California is a good example of how absurd gun control can be. You cannot carry a loaded gun in public, concealed or unconcealed.  If you are caught doing so, you are subject to arrest and imprisonment, even when such incidences are accidental.  If you carry a gun in your car, it had better be locked up and in the trunk; it may not be loaded, and the magazine may not be close by the gun.  This is allegedly to prevent traffic rage incidents where drivers shoot each other.  It also prevents defense from carjacking or robbery while in the car.  We need the right to carry loaded concealed weapons, under a reasonable training and licensing program.

4. Overly Lax Gun Control Laws.  Those who wish to carry concealed weapons should know what they are doing and how to prevent accidental discharge of weapons.  Along with mandatory training, testing and licensing, I wouldn't be opposed to some kind of psych examination of applicants either, at the very least, a questionnaire:  "Have you ever murdered anyone?  Do you plan to do so?  Are you a lunatic?"  The usual background check for a criminal past should also be a requirement for licensing.

Conservatives tend to oppose any kind of gun control, but I think that is going to have to end.  No one should be able to buy a gun without a procedure for licensing, training and a background check.  No buying guns at pawnshops, Craig's List or gun shows, without first undergoing a licensing and training procedure.  Mark David Chapman murdered John Lennon with a pistol he bought at a pawnshop.

5.  Irresponsible Handling of Guns by Gun Owners.  Too often crazy killers get access to their parents' guns and then use them to murder.  Obligatory training courses for gun ownership should include restricting access to one's guns by unauthorized or unlicensed family members, with criminal penalties for those who fail to do so when such failure results in gun deaths.  Adam Lanza had access to his mother's guns and used them to murder school children.  The Columbine shooters also used their parents' guns to commit mass murder.

6.  Extreme Violence in Movies and Video Games.  It isn't clear how much the extreme violence in movies and video games contributes to insane gun rampages.  Logically, I would assume that they have some impact upon the impressionable and undoubtedly contribute to gun violence.   This would be especially true for psychotics who cannot differentiate between fantasy and reality.  More study is needed.

7.  One More:  Teenage Bullying in High Schools.  High school is a terrible time in the lives of many.  You are either one of the cool, in-crowd, or one of the despised and ridiculed masses.  Many teenagers love to bully, beat up and humiliate the less popular.  Sometimes the bullied get pushed too far and snap.  Harris and Klebold were two such teenagers, and finally struck back with mass murder.  Bullying in high schools cannot be allowed, with strict and swift punishment for those who practice it.

That's the way I see it.


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

O Tannebaum: My Favorite Vince Guaraldi Christmas Jazz (Video)

I love the music of Vince Guaraldi, and the Christmas season always makes people aware of him. He was the jazz pianist and composer who wrote and performed the musical scores for the "Charlie Brown" cartoon series, including "A Charlie Brown Christmas," which is played every Christmas season on television. It first appeared for Christmas in 1965. My favorite Guaraldi Christmas tune is "O Tannebaum," which is German for "O Christmas Tree," if I am not mistaken. Guaraldi's mellow jazz interpretation of this song is fantastic, and I particularly love it when the string bass and drums start several measures into the song.

Here it is:  enjoy!


 

"In Cold Blood" Killers' Bodies Exhumed

Richard Hickock (L) and Perry Smith (R)
The skeletal remains of two famous criminals were exhumed yesterday in an effort to solve another murder case.  The bodies were those of Richard Hickcock and Perry Smith, murderers of the Clutter family in 1959 and subjects of the Truman Capote book, "In Cold Blood."

In February of 2009 I wrote about the famous murder case described in Truman Capote's 1966 book, "In Cold Blood."  That famous crime involved the murder of a family of four in Holcomb, Kansas, the Clutter family.  Two recently released petty criminals, Perry Smith and Richard Hickock, invaded the family's rural home in the middle of the night on November 15, 1959.  The criminals had heard from a fellow inmate that Herb Clutter, owner of the ranch and house, had a safe in his office stuffed with cash.  It was bad information; there was no safe and very little cash.  So Smith and Hickock tied up the family of four and executed them one by one, with shotgun blasts to the head.  The victims were Herb Clutter, 48; Bonnie Clutter, 45; Nancy, 16; and Kenyon, 15.  My post, along with links to pictures and videos, can be viewed here.

Smith and Hickock were on the run for the next six weeks, and spent some time in Sarasota County, Florida.  During their stay there, another family was murdered: Cliff and Christine Walker and their two young children on Dec. 19, 1959, in their home in Osprey.  Christine was beaten and raped.  All four members of the family were murdered, the youngest child by drowning in the bathtub.  The crime was never solved, and police have long speculated that it was Perry Smith and Richard Hickock who were the perpetrators.

Smith and Hickcock were arrested in Las Vegas for the Clutter murders on December 30, 1959.  They were tried, convicted and, on April 14, 1965, hanged.  Their bodies were buried in Mt. Muncie Cemetery in Lansing, Kansas (See here and here).

The exhumation of Smith's and Hickock's skeletal remains yesterday was to obtain DNA samples to match to semen taken from Christine Walker's underwear.  The only purpose of the investigation is to provide closure to the family of Cliff and Christine Walker, since the potential perpetrators are already dead.

In 1967, a movie of "In Cold Blood" was made, based on Capote's non-fiction novel, and many of the scenes were eerily filmed in the same places where the actual events unfolded:  the Clutter's house, the Kansas courtroom.  Robert Blake played Perry Smith, and his physical resemblance to Smith gives an added realism to the film.  Scott Wilson played the role of Richard Hickcock.

During the exhumation, bone fragments were taken from each grave to use as a source for DNA.  Each body was then re-interred.  Read more about it here.

If you want to know more about this famous case, I recommend the 1967 film "In Cold Blood," as well as Truman Capote's excellent non-fiction novel of the same name.

Update:  The DNA from the two bodies was not a match to the Walker murders.  See follow up article here.


Robert Bork Has Died

Chronicles magazine reports:
Today brings the sad news that Robert Bork has passed away. The sadder news for America, though, came in 1987, when the Senate unjustly rejected his nomination to the Supreme Court. There is no doubt that, had Bork been confirmed, Roe v Wade would have been overturned in 1992 when the Supreme Court decided Planned Parenthood v Casey. Unlike Anthony Kennedy, whom the Senate ultimately confirmed and who voted to reaffirm Roe in Casey, Bork possessed the fortitude to stand up to the pressures that exist in the Beltway to move to the left.
Read it all here. 

Judge Bork was demonized to an extreme during his senate confirmation hearings for appointment to the Supreme Court.  Led by the execrable and unlamented Ted Kenney, Bork was slandered to such a degree that a new verb was invented for the personal destruction of an individual, "to bork."  Naturally, his appointment was voted down by the Democrat controlled Senate. Judge Bork is but one of many principled men of accomplishment whose potentially great service to the nation was blocked by the neo-Bolsheviks of the Democrat Party.

Are You a Psychopath? Take the Test!

My cousin the psychiatrist sent me the following list for judging the degree of psychopathy in mental patients.   After reading it, you may recognize some people you know.

Test for Psychopathy

For each of the 20 characteristics, give a score of 0 if it does not apply, 1 if it applies partially and 2 if it is a perfect match.

Glib and Superficial Charm  
The tendency to be smooth, engaging, charming, slick, and verbally facile. Psychopathic charm is not in the least shy, self-conscious, or afraid to say anything. A psychopath never gets tongue-tied. They have freed themselves from the social conventions about taking turns in talking, for example.
       
2  Grandiose Self-Worth    
A grossly inflated view of one's abilities and self-worth, self-assured, opinionated, cocky, a braggart. Psychopaths are arrogant people who believe they are superior human beings.
            
 Need for Stimulation or Proneness to Boredom  
An excessive need for novel, thrilling, and exciting stimulation; taking chances and doing things that are risky. Psychopaths often have a low self-discipline in carrying tasks through to completion because they get bored easily. They fail to work at the same job for any length of time, for example, or to finish tasks that they consider dull or routine.  
             
Pathological Lying Can be moderate or high; in moderate form, they will be shrewd, crafty, cunning, sly, and clever; in extreme form, they will be deceptive, deceitful, underhanded, unscrupulous, manipulative, and dishonest.   

Conning and Manipulativeness  
The use of deceit and deception to cheat, con, or defraud others for personal gain; distinguished from Item #4 in the degree to which exploitation and callous ruthlessness is present, as reflected in a lack of concern for the feelings and suffering of one's victims. 

6  Lack of Remorse or Guilt               
A lack of feelings or concern for the losses, pain, and suffering of victims; a tendency to be unconcerned, dispassionate, coldhearted, and unempathic. This item is usually demonstrated by a disdain for one's victims.
             
Shallow Affect   
Emotional poverty or a limited range or depth of feelings; interpersonal coldness in spite of signs of open gregariousness.   

8  Callousness and Lack of Empathy
A lack of feelings toward people in general; cold, contemptuous, inconsiderate, and tactless.
    
Parasitic Lifestyle             
An intentional, manipulative, selfish, and exploitative financial dependence on others as reflected in a lack of motivation, low self-discipline, and inability to begin or complete responsibilities.
  
10 Poor Behavioral Controls              
Expressions of irritability, annoyance, impatience, threats, aggression, and verbal abuse; inadequate control of anger and temper; acting hastily.
 
11  Promiscuous Sexual Behavior     
A variety of brief, superficial relations, numerous affairs, and an indiscriminate selection of sexual partners; the maintenance of several relationships at the same time; a history of attempts to sexually coerce others into sexual activity or taking great pride at discussing sexual exploits or conquests. 
            
12  Early Behavior Problems               
A variety of behaviors prior to age 13, including lying, theft, cheating, vandalism, bullying, sexual activity, fire-setting, glue-sniffing, alcohol use, and running away from home.
   
13  Lack of Realistic, Long-Term Goals              
An inability or persistent failure to develop and execute long-term plans and goals; a nomadic existence, aimless, lacking direction in life.  
        
14  Impulsivity          
The occurrence of behaviors that are unpremeditated and lack reflection or planning; inability to resist temptation, frustrations, and urges; a lack of deliberation without considering the consequences; foolhardy, rash, unpredictable, erratic, and reckless.    
   
15 Irresponsibility  
Repeated failure to fulfill or honor obligations and commitments; such as not paying bills, defaulting on loans, performing sloppy work, being absent or late to work, failing to honor contractual agreements. 
           
16  Failure to Accept Responsibility for Own Actions
A failure to accept responsibility for one's actions reflected in low conscientiousness, an absence of dutifulness, antagonistic manipulation, denial of responsibility, and an effort to manipulate others through this denial. 

17  Many Short-Term Marital Relationships 
A lack of commitment to a long-term relationship reflected in inconsistent, undependable, and unreliable commitments in life, including marital. 
   
18  Juvenile Delinquency    
Behavior problems between the ages of 13-18; mostly behaviors that are crimes or clearly involve aspects of antagonism, exploitation, aggression, manipulation, or a callous, ruthless tough-mindedness. 
             
19  Revocation of Condition Release              
A revocation of probation or other conditional release due to technical violations, such as carelessness, low deliberation, or failing to appear.  
 
20 Criminal Versatility          
A diversity of types of criminal offenses, regardless if the person has been arrested or convicted for them; taking great pride at getting away with crimes. 
        
TOTAL  DIAGNOSIS                                     

Hillary Arkancide



Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Crazy Hatred on the Left, plus Illogical Solutions to Lunatic Violence

A rabidly leftist professor at a Rhode Island University has called for the assassination of NRA head Wayne LaPierre. The professor, one Erik Loomis, is also a blogger at the far left screed sheet known as "Lawyers, Guns and Money."

Loomis was enraged by the Connecticut school shootings, but weirdly and inappropriately blamed the National Rifle Association for the massacre. Some left wing extremists believe that any and all gun violence is the fault of the NRA, for merely lobbying to preserve the Second Amendment. These extremists want all private ownership of guns outlawed and the Second Amendment altered or revoked. Radicals like Loomis believe the NRA to be the major obstacle to this goal. Once all guns are gone, everlasting peace will reign -- or so they seem to illogically think.

Loomis and his ilk never seem to consider the fact that not all guns can or will be confiscated, or that criminals and crazies will find alternative weapons. These leftists are strenuously opposed to furnishing guns to say, school teachers or shop owners, for protection against such threats. Somehow people will be safer if they are defenseless -- even though statistics on gun ownership and crime show the opposite to be true.

Loomis has incurred much heat over his hateful remarks on Twitter and his blog, and has been visited by the police. Donald Douglas has the complete story, with links, at American Power here.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Psycho + Guns = Tragedy: The Solution Is More Guns, Not Less

Taser:  A Tool For Stopping Violent Criminals
Adam Lanza has joined the pantheon of mass-murdering psychopaths in what might be called the SUPER "revenge of the nerds"  -- socially awkward people with mental problems who kill and then commit suicide.  Well, not all of them commit suicide -- take Jared Loughner and James Eagan Holmes, for example.

However, there is a distinct and predictable pattern here, expressed by the scientific formula:  psycho + guns + numerous available targets = tragedy.

How can we keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill?  That would surely decrease the number of mass murders.  We could ban all guns, forcing nut jobs to use knives, swords, baseball bats or bombs instead.  Then they might kill less (maybe more if bombs are used).  In any case, a young female school teacher would still be at a severe disadvantage when a Lanza enters her classroom looking for targets.  The size and strength differential between the teacher and psycho would be reduced to zero had the teacher a loaded gun.

The truth is, guns cannot be sufficiently banned to stop such incidents.  Outlawing guns means the criminal will have a gun and you won't.  What is needed is more guns, not less.  Teachers should be packing.  Anywhere there is a crowd of people -- in theaters, hospitals, schools and the shopping malls -- someone sane and trained needs to be armed and ready for psychos who show up with intent to kill.

Weapons for defense need not be limited to handguns.  Perhaps stun guns or better yet, tasers, could be issued to teachers, head ushers, hospital guards and others in lieu of traditional firepower.  Tasers can be used to floor someone from a distance, generally 15 feet for civilian tasers and 21 feet for police tasers.  The problem is that you only get one shot and if you miss, you're likely to be dead.  Still, a taser is a lot better than nothing.  Discussion, experimentation, training and research are needed to increase the options for civilians in dangerous situations.

We cannot disarm the bad guys, but we can arm their potential victims, so the latter will have a fighting chance at survival.

Related Post:  See Joseph Farah's article on How to Stop the Slaughter of Innocents.

Lots of Nonsense About Mental Health on the Web Following the School Shooting

Every time some psychopath goes postal and starts murdering innocents, a lot of self-appointed mental health "experts" come out of the woodwork to rail against the evil of psychotropic drugs, particularly SSRI's (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) -- drugs like Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil and Cymbalta.  There is a school of thought on the wacky right that has built a near-religion around the demonization of these drugs, almost on a par with 911 trutherism and Alex Jones style paranoia, and with the same willful ignorance of facts.

Invariably one of these drugs will be prescribed to someone who is quite unbalanced in the off chance that it may help the patient with his mental problems.  Then the person becomes violent and kills someone, and the ignoramuses start screaming about the SSRI being the cause.  One might as well argue that bandaids cause cuts, or aspirins headaches.  The fact that the SSRI was ineffective in a particular case does not mean it was the cause of the violence.  It has been said  many times before and needs to be repeated once again:  Correlation is not causation.  Don't put 2 and 2 together and get 5.

An SSRI does one thing only:  it increases the amount of the brain hormone serotonin in the synapses -- your own serotonin that is produced by your very own brain.  The brain puts the hormone into your synapses and then reabsorbs it.  An SSRI inhibits the reabsorption, leaving more of the hormone in your synapses for a longer period of time. Without enough serotonin, a person goes into clinical depression and/or experiences anxiety attacks.  These conditions are very unpleasant:  the patient is in psychic pain, often to an extreme degree.  Suicide may be the result.  However, I have never heard of someone who is clinically depressed committing mass murder.  Clinical depression is not psychosis; it is a chemical imbalance in the brain, and it cannot be fixed with positive thinking or wishful thinking, because not every function of the brain is subject to the conscious will.

What does cause maniacs like Adam Lanza, James Eagan Holmes, Jared Loughner, Seung Hui-Cho, Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris to commit mass murder?  I put the question to my cousin, a psychiatrist and M.D. in Dallas, Texas.  He said the major cause of such events is rage.  The angrier a person is, the more irrational they become.  Their brains shift into the rage/kill software program.  Where does the rage come from?  From a malfunctioning brain, where delusions seem very real and where emotions may be totally out of all proportion to external stimuli.  Insanity is not completely understood and cures for it not well defined.  What works for one patient may not work on another.

Apparently, a psychopath and a psychotic are not one and the same thing.  They're both pretty messed up mentally, but a psychopath is mean and angry his whole life.  They have little or no empathy for other human beings and enjoy causing others to suffer.  Psychotics may have trouble differentiating reality from delusion, but most psychotics are not dangerous.  It is difficult to predict who will become so, and so mass institutionalization of psychotics is not considered a practical solution to preventing violence.  My cousin says we would need to know a lot of Lanza's personal history to diagnose him, but at first glance Lanza seems to be a paranoid psychotic rather than a psychopath.  Not that it matters much now:  crazy is as crazy does.

By way of disclosure, I have clinical depression and take generic Zoloft, an SSRI.  I have been taking it for 15 years.  It has some side effects that I do not like, namely, dizziness and lethargy.  Those are my side effects, not every patient suffers the same ones from the same drug.  We all have a different and unique biochemistry.  I plan to try Cymbalta as an alternative, on the advice from my cousin, the psychiatrist.  I can assure the Alex Jones amateur psychologists out there that their only danger from me is sarcasm.

Related articles are linked at American Power here.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Evil Rules - How Can We Fight It?

A worthless creep murders 26 people at an elementary school. Two courageous and heroic women give their lives to save children. Once again we are outraged by unspeakable evil while simultaneously revering the heroes who died trying to stop it.

I really don't know what to say. All we can do is oppose evil with whatever tools we have and never surrender to it.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

More B.S. from Union Thugs

Some Michigan union official has promised to send union thugs to the soccer games of Governor Snyder's daughter. To me, the words "union" and "thug" are synonymous.

Bullies and hoodlums have traditionally been a major turnoff for the American people. However, the leftist media filters out so much these days, many people won't hear about it.

Still, if we must fight in the streets to take back the country, then perhaps it's time we did so. Any union thugs who show up at said soccer games should be beaten to bloody pulps. That's the way I see it anyway.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Visiting the Grandkids

I am in Murrieta, California, visiting my middle son and grandchildren. Murrieta is next to Temecula, about 45 minutes north of San Diego and south of Los Angeles. The Grandkids appropriated my iPad to play with the piano app, and I haven't had time to post.

My daughter in law tells me Murrieta was named for the famous Mexican bandit Joaquin Murrieta, whose head was cut off and preserved in a pickle jar. If you saw the last Zorro remake, this legend was portrayed in that film. Allegedly, the pickled head was on display in a local bar for many years. Poor Joaquin, my head has been pickled a few times and it feels like hell the morning after.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Union Violence in Michigan: Tony Camargo of IBEW Sucker Punches a Fox Reporter

Anthony (Tony) Camargo
Violent Michigan Union Thug
I have always hated unions.  They seem like organized thuggery, beating up people who just want to work.  Yesterday they used violence to oppose supporters of right-to-work laws in Lansing, the capital of Michigan.    One well known comedic pundit, Steven Crowder, was punched in the face by an IBEW thug named Anthony Camargo (otherwise known as Tony Camargo).

I spent an hour or two trying to track this thug down, and found a person with that name, aged 53, in a town in Michigan.  Don't know if it's the right Tony Camargo, but the age is about right based on photographs.  This Tony has an unlisted number, but I could get the information if I want to pay for it.  I don't, at this point.

All you need to know about unions is this:  they are blackmailing, extortionists, thugs and bullies who want to get paid more than they're worth and use intimidation, blackmail and force to get it.

Hey Tony, wait for the knock on your door, it's coming.  A knock by the police, of course, what else did you think I meant?


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Surviving Progressivism: Sultan Knish Explains How

If you read nothing else today, read Daniel Greenfield's essay at Sultan Knish:

Winning the Demographic War and the Cultural War

Daniel describes an emerging concept within traditionalist circles, that of cultural secession and the formation of tight-knit communities to eliminate the progressive programming of children.  This programming occurs by exposure to the mainstream media, academia and the entertainment industries.  He gives examples of existing communities where this is already happening, with encouraging results.

I have a more expansive post on this topic at Confederate Gray.



Michigan Democrat Threatens Violence Over Passage of Right to Work Laws

Michigan has passed right-to-work laws which weaken the union monopoly on labor in that state.  Michigan had little choice:  it is the most unionized state in the midwest, and also the one with the highest unemployment.  Yes, there is a correlation.

Now some asshat Democrat, Rep Doug Geiss has declared "there will be blood," implying that the new laws will result in union violence...against whom?  Michigan politicians?  Non-union workers?

Rep Geiss had better be careful, his prediction may come true in ways he does not foresee.


Monday, December 10, 2012

Lawrence Auster on How We Can Create a New Conservative Society


See my post on this subject at my other blog, Confederate Gray.  Lawrence Auster is one of the best thinkers on the right and his busy brain is working on the problem we all face:  how to survive in a post-American world.

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Barack Obama Wants Unlimited Borrowing Power

Obama is asking Congress to give him the power to raise the debt limit all by himself.  That would essentially end the debt limit and give Dear Leader an unlimited credit card.  That would be similar to giving your teenager the keys to both the liquor cabinet and the car while you are out of town.

Note to Congress:  No Effin' Way.

ARRA News Service has the details here.


Friday, December 07, 2012

December 7, 1941: Pearl Harbor

I have previous posts on this historic event, with pictures and videos, at the following links:

Facts About the U.S.S. Arizona and the Attack on Pearl Harbor -- Inside the Wreck (Facts, Photos, Videos)

70 Years After Pearl Harbor (Rare Color Video of the Attack)

Remembering Pearl Harbor: December 7, 1941

Four States to Vote on Nullification of Obamacare

The Tenth Amendment Center states that four states are planning to vote on bills that would nullify Obamacare, making the law null and void and unenforceable in those states.  Another ten or so states are mulling over the creation of similar bills.  Nullification, an old American strategy, may yet be the best way to end the so-called Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

The principle of nullification is not new, and is described in Thomas E. Wood's book 33 Questions About American History You're Not Supposed to Ask.  The Virginia Resolutions of 1798 concluded that if the federal government should encroach upon the powers reserved to the states, the states have a right to nullify the offending law and refuse to enforce it—after all, a law that violates the Constitution is no law at all. Taken together, these ideas became known as the “Principles of ’98."

It doesn't matter if a federal court, including the Supreme Court, decides differently.  Ultimately, it is the right of the individual states to determine the constitutionality of any federal laws and choose to obey them or not.

This principle has precedent in American history.  Of course, there is the well-known "Nullification Crisis" of 1833, when South Carolina passed an ordinance of nullification against the 1828 federal Tariff of Abominations that would have greatly increased the tax on imported goods from Britain, resulting in a significant lowering of British demand for Southern cotton.  President Andrew Jackson was prepared to send federal troops to South Carolina to enforce the tariff, but a compromise ended the crisis.

However, that nullification crisis of 1833 wasn't the first time individual states have nullified federal laws.  The first was by Massachusetts, reacting to federal government's Embargo of 1807.  This embargo was designed to punish Britain and France for depredations of American neutrality rights on the seas, and prohibited any American trade with foreign nations whatsoever.  The U.S. Navy was to enforce the embargo by stopping and searching merchant ships -- a clear violation of the 4th Amendment's prohibition of unreasonable searches and seizures.  Further, the embargo badly damaged the New England economy.

A federal district court ruled the embargo constitutional, but Massachusetts did not agree, and passed state laws to nullify the federal embargo.  The nullification held.  The important thing to note is that the federal court's decision was not the last word on the matter.   The Massachusetts House explained:
“Were it true, that the measures of government once passed into an act, the constitutionality of that act is stamped with the deal of infallibility, and is no longer a subject for the deliberation or remonstrance of the citizen, to what monstrous lengths might not an arbitrary and tyrannical administration carry its power…. Were such doctrine sound, what species of oppression might not be inflicted on the prostrate liberties of our country? If such a doctrine were true, our Constitution would be nothing but a name—nay, worse, a fatal instrument to sanctify oppression, and legalize the tyranny which inflicts it.”  (Thomas E. Woods, 33 Questions About American History You're Not Supposed to Ask.)
The Governor of Connecticut, John Trumbull, agreed with the Massachusetts legislature, stating:
“Whenever our national legislature is led to overleap the prescribed bounds of their constitutional powers, on the State Legislatures, in great emergencies, devolves the arduous task—it is their right—it becomes their duty, to interpose their protecting shield between the right and liberty of the people, and the assumed power of the General Government.”  (See Woods Jr., Thomas E. (2007-07-10). 33 Questions About American History You're Not Supposed to Ask (p. 30). Random House, Inc.. Kindle Edition.) 
Conclusions:  Nullification of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, is both legal and constitutional, and is undoubtedly the most expedient way to dispose of this unconstitutional and oppressive federal law.  However, each state will have to pass its own separate nullification laws.  Which state will be the first to do so?  Once one does, others will quickly follow.



Michigan Gets Smart, Passes Right to Work Laws

Yesterday, both the Michigan state House and Senate passed identical versions of the Workplace Fairness and Equity Act, bills that would give Michigan workers the freedom not to join unions if they so choose.  In states without "right to work" laws, an employee generally can be compelled to join a union, or forced to pay union dues without joining, as a condition of employment.

Whatever their historical achievements, unions today have one major purpose:  to extort employers into paying union members more than they are actually worth on the open market.  Unions are a form of monopoly, in which both employers and the public are often forced to pay through the nose for the goods and services that union members produce.

Unions are rarely satisfied with their exorbitant salaries and benefits, and always push for more, lest they destroy their employers through strikes.  Hostess is the latest example.

It is widely known that unions are what destroyed General Motors.  Unions are why American companies relocate their manufacturing facilities overseas.  Employers get tired of the blackmail and exorbitant costs, and move their plants to China and elsewhere to lower their costs and increase profits.   In times like these, such efforts may be necessary for a company's very survival.

Democrats support unions and oppose right-to-work laws, since unions are a major constituency of their party.  Unions also support Democrat candidates with their members's dues, whether the members like it or not.

Today, union leaders and Democrat politicians are waxing eloquently about the RIGHT to collectively bargain and join unions.  However, that right has not been taken away, and employees can still join unions if they wish, and cannot be fired for it.  The important difference is that employees in right-to-work states do not HAVE to join unions or pay union dues if they do not wish to do so -- and they can't be fired for their refusal.

Unions often supply a crowd of member-thugs to commit violence and destruction in order to intimidate opposition.  They did so yesterday in light of the Michigan vote (per the Washington Examiner):
After [Gov. Rick] Snyder announced he would support the legislation, union activists rushed the Senate chamber. Squadrons of Michigan State Police were ready for union violence however, and with the use of pepper spray they were able to prevent the protestors from hijacking the chamber. “A level of appropriate force was used by troopers,” State Police spokeswoman Shannon Banner said. “Medical treatment was offered but they refused.” Eight protestors were arrested in the melee.
Union-extorted high pay and benefits, like high minimum wage laws, do little for employees if there are no jobs.  The Examiner notes:
Michiganders are tired of businesses and factories leaving the state. They are tired of having the highest unemployment rate in the region. Yesterday’s right to work victory was another major step in Michigan’s fight to become competitive again.



Thursday, December 06, 2012

Some Notable Deaths This Week

Susan Luckey
Susan Luckey, who played Zaneeta, the mayor's daughter in the 1962 musical "The Music Man," has died at age 74. I remember her role as the ditzy teenager who kept saying "Ye gods," which seemed somewhat profane to me. I love that musical, especially Shirley Jones singing "Good Night My Someone."

Also dead is Alex Karras, former football player who played Mongo in "Blazing Saddles." He was 77.

Alex Karras as "Mongo"
This past week I had a blood test and a blood pressure test. Blood was normal in every respect and the nurse described my blood pressure as "excellent." My wife is not so lucky: she has a long list of ailments and I'll probably survive her, but I'd rather not. The world would be a terribly empty place without her.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Dave Brubeck, Jazz Great, Dies at 91

Dave Brubeck, famous jazz pianist, has died.  He is probably most famous for the song "Take Five."  Here he is in 1966 playing this great hit.

See Rick Darby's poignant tribute to Brubeck at Reflecting Light.


There Are No Lifeboats: Accepting Our Fate

Musicians of the Titanic (Movie Recreation)
I am in a strange mood since the American people, in their infinite stupidity, re-elected a radical who hates business, prosperity and energy.  We have a president who is doing all he can to ruin the country.  Whoops, must be careful there, I was allowing a bit of anger to rise.  No point in that, since anger is futile.  It would be the same if the crew of the Titanic got angry at the ice berg.  Must reconcile to my fate.  No matter how much I don't like it, there is nothing I can do to stop the destruction.  I can only watch in awe as the giant smokestacks break free and fall into the sea, the passengers scrambling for a higher place on the deck in order to survive a few moments longer.

When the Titanic was sinking and beginning to list towards the bow, some gentlemen remained in the smoking lounge, playing cards, smoking cigars and drinking brandy.  They were doomed and knew it, so enjoyed their last few moments doing what they liked best.  The ship's musicians did something similar:  they carried their string instruments on deck and played rag time music amidst the frenetic human scramble to find places in the too few lifeboats.  Towards the end, they played "Nearer My God to Thee."  Then they died in the freezing sea.

I feel somewhat like that now.  The Ship of State is sinking and there are no lifeboats.  Businessmen are selling off stock and other capital assets before Obama's tax hike hits, companies are laying off employees to try and survive the hefty expenses of Obamacare.  The human scramble in the face of disaster takes many forms.

I am trying to enjoy my life as best I can this Christmas season.  It goes against the grain to passively accept an evil that I cannot change.  I like to fight for what I believe, at least when there is a chance of victory.  So I will enjoy the Christmas music, the colored lights, the tinsel, the camaraderie of friends and family.  After New Year I will think about new ways to cope and to resist.  Meanwhile, cut the cards and enjoy another cigar.

Related Post:  Always on Watch posts on a similar line of thought.  Read it here.

Monday, December 03, 2012

Accidental Racism

Where is Rosa Parks now that we need her?





















Found at El Opinador Compulsivo.

Practical Uses of an iPad

Okay I have a new iPad, an early Christmas present. I never really wanted one before because you can't (I thought ) use them for spreadsheets or word processing. However, I was wrong about that. I just bought an app for $10 that produces spreadsheets similar to and compatible with Excel. It also allows you to word process and do graphic presentations.

Blogger has an app that allows me to blog from my iPad, and I'm doing that now, mainly to try out its capabilities.

So an iPad allows one to do these tasks, assuming he has a WiFi connection:
1. Browse the Internet;
2. Blog;
3. Take photos and videos (Internet not required);
4. Read and send email and tweets:
5. Download and play videos and music;
6. Stream both audio and video from the Internet, like on YouTube (I listened to Rush today and the iPad has a port for connecting earphones);
7. Buy apps to play games, like the popular "Angry Birds";
8. Use other applications like spreadsheets and word processing.
9. Read books in Kindle format using a free app.

You can do all of these things with any modern laptop, but the advantage of an iPad is its portability and long battery life. You can put it in your briefcase, or in your purse if you have the mini model, making it usable for work or entertainment from an airport, a mall, a park or just about anywhere.

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Stogie's Political Wish List

If I could magically change the USA and the World into what I want it to be....here are my preferences.

ECONOMIC POLICY:

1.  The USA would be energy independent, using our fossil fuel and nuclear resources to the maximum, to make energy plentiful and cheap, thus fueling our economy and increasing prosperity and opportunity for everyone here.

2.  The Internal Revenue Code would be put through an industrial size paper shredder, and all income taxes on both corporations and individuals would be a flat tax on gross income, similar to a sales tax.  There would be no deductions, credits or carryforwards, no minimum tax, none of the byzantine complexity that now exists.  This would make taxes simple and understandable, eliminate all loopholes and patronage, eliminate thousands of hours in tax courts, and free up attorneys and CPAs (like me) to find more productive work.  Tax filings and tax returns would be made simple and understandable to the common citizen.  Tax rates would apply equally to everyone, including the poor and the middle class, so when these groups vote for higher tax rates, they too will feel the effects of it.  This will help eliminate "class warfare."

3.  All federal bureaucracies would be ended -- no more Department of Energy, Education, Agriculture, Labor or Commerce, for example.  All the bureaucrats who work there would have to find more productive pursuits.

4.  The Federal Reserve System would be ended.  Interest rates would be allowed to float, determined by supply and demand, allowing the free market to allocate resources more efficiently, thereby lessening the boom and bust effects of the business cycle.

5.  All states in the Union would be given the same sovereign rights; the federal government would give up any of its unconstitutional claims to the land and resources of the individual states.  Alaska, for example, would control its oil reserves as it sees fit, including the right to drill in ANWR.  Midwestern states would have full access to grazing rights in their own territory, not subject to any dictates of the federal government whatsoever.

6.  Immigration of Third-World people into the USA would be severely curtailed and the 1965 immigration act repealed.  The reason is simple:  such immigrants vote for socialism and big government, which are contrary to the American ideal.  No Islamic immigration would be allowed at all, since that "religion" is both violent and disloyal to its host countries, and its ultimate goal of sharia law incompatible with the Constitution of the United States.

7.  The right of state secession would be fully acknowledged.  The threat of secession was, in the past, a disincentive to an overweening federal government, and could be so again.

8.  Decisions of the US Supreme Court would be advisory only, and not "the law of the land."  Individual states would have the right to determine the constitutionality of any federal law, and to nullify those considered unconstitutional, i.e. to declare such laws null and void within the territory of the nullifying states.

9.  All federal intervention into the private economy would be reversed, made null and void.  All federal dictates to businesses as to whom they can hire, whether or not they have parking or other amenities for the disabled, or whether or not they provide health insurance or birth control to employees, would be ended.  Thousands of pages of arbitrary federal regulations would be reversed, freeing business to concentrate on making a profit and adding to the general prosperity of the country.

10.  Foreign aid would be substantially ended, and the funds used instead to help pay down the federal deficit.

11.  The US Constitution would be amended to be more specific about such items, to eliminate dubious and far-fetched future interpretations as a means to bypass the original intent.

Those items comprise my economic platform.  In a subsequent entry I will present my foreign policy platform.

Muslim Woman Finds New Use for the Koran (Photo)

Found on Facebook.  Not sure what she's doing but I don't think Morsi would approve.


Saturday, December 01, 2012

Last of the Pick: Fuyu Persimmons From Our Tree

Wifey picked the last remaining fruit from our fuyu persimmon tree today.  Since these fruits were last on the tree, they were especially large with deep color.  Fuyu persimmons are crunchy and you can eat them like an apple.  We had a bumper crop this year and gave large quantities of them to friends and family.

Here's a photo of one picked today, alongside my mouse to give it perspective.  Click on picture to see actual size.


Thanks, College Kids! We Old White Folks Will Live High Off the Hog and You Voted to Pay For It!

Thanks to Powerline, my perspective on the recent presidential election has changed.

The younger voters assumed crushing debt on my behalf.  Now I and my wife can live a comfy retirement and the majority who elected Obama get to pay for it.

Thanks, suckers!

Read the Powerline article and feel much better:  One Generation Got Old,  Another Generation Got Sold.