Rights? What rights?

Democrats Attack 3 Of The 10 Amendments In The Bill Of Rights — An IBD editorial explains.

Democrats have long expressed frustration, if not outright contempt, for the Constitution whenever it hinders their ability to enact some new government program. President Obama has repeatedly complained about the “messy” process the Constitution’s co-equal branches created, and has several times acted as though the Constitution’s limits on the president’s authority simply don’t apply to him.

But the fact that a major U.S. political party — which still considers itself mainstream — is now willing to specifically target amendments designed to protect Americans from tyrannical government control is alarming, to say the least.

Then there is the SCOTUS ruling that allows reverse discrimination, despite laws for equal treatment. What next?

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Utah v. Strieff, does SCOTUS have a racism problem (tell me it ain’t so!)?

Jazz Shaw thinks The Fourth Amendment wasn’t created to protect the guilty but one SCOTUS case got some riled.

The Libertarians are up in arms over yet another Supreme Court decision this week which involves the question of when police are allowed to use evidence of a crime in the prosecution of a suspect. In a five to three ruling which crossed the normal ideological battle lines of the SCOTUS justices, the court found in the case of Utah v. Strieff that evidence of a crime discovered during a traffic stop could be used if the suspect has an outstanding warrant for an unrelated offense. (New York Times)

The responses from Justice Sotomayor in her dissent and from the Libertarians who are bemoaning the death of the Constitution are equally maddening, though for different reasons.

An officer with a gun. (Every lethal force encounter between police and minority suspects)

No one can breathe. (“I can’t breathe” Eric Garner)

Until their voices matter. (Black Lives Matter)

This wasn’t a Supreme Court dissent. It was a series of excerpts from a Black Lives Matter diatribe in a case which wasn’t even addressing questions of profiling or any other related issue.

In this case, Shaw is illustrating racism by example. Paul Mirengoff describes how those illustrating racism and calling for decorum and such might be expressing projection in A penny for your thoughts — “Here’s the measured response of a British leftist, Laurie Penny, to the Brexit:”

“So, here’s the thing. This was never a referendum on the EU. It was a referendum on the modern world, and yesterday the frightened, parochial lizard-brain of Britain voted out, out, out, and today we’ve all woken up still strapped onto this ghost-train as it hurtles off the tracks.”

There is, of course, more to the Brexit than the desire to curb immigration by low-skilled Europeans. Many Brits wanted to wrest control of Britain’s destiny from EU bureaucrats. In other words, they wanted much more say than the EU will allow them in determining what the “modern world” will hold in store.

They shall have it. No wonder leftists like Penny are incensed.

The Brexit vote also prompted outrage at xenophobia and other such contemptuous moral failings. As with the similar flailing against Trump, the level of the outrage says more than the allegations and accusations.

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The most amazing. Trying to catch up with the Clintons

Bruce Bialosky: The Worst Part Of The Email Scandal

The most amazing part of this entire scandal is that Mrs. Clinton maintained the email and personal server for the four years she was Secretary of State and it never became public. It was not until the State Department turned over eight emails to the House Benghazi Committee in August, 2014, that the world learned of clintonemail.com. This was more than five years after the domain was established in January, 2009, during Mrs. Clinton’s approval process in the U.S. Senate.

Not one person questioned this practice publicly. Not one met a Washington Post reporter in a dark corner of a garage and whispered how the Secretary of State was using her own email on her own domain and exposing nationally-sensitive material to tawdry or dangerous elements on the internet. This scares the wits out of me and it should scare the wits out of you. The Obama Administration was running such a cabal that no one challenged this questionable behavior.

In speaking to colleagues about this matter, they asserted various rationale for this lack of response. Most of their rationale centers on the fact that whoever it was, whether they be people in her department, the White House staff or other people in other departments, they were essentially afraid of challenging Ms. Clinton.

As I said this is the worst part. A major part of our government and hundreds of our employees refused to blow the whistle on an obvious dangerous behavior. That should scare us all.

Then there’s Lloyd Marcus trying to explain to his brother that experience in Washington D.C. is not necessarily a good thing. Hillary: Savant of Washington Insider Corruption.

Hillary is well-schooled in DC insider corruption, becoming a multimillionaire while crushing little people along the way. Though she portrays herself as a champion of women, Hillary’s history confirms that she is the complete opposite.

Hillary has learned how to put her political best interest above American lives. This was exposed in the bestselling book and accompanying movie, 13 Hours, which tells the horrific account of how Americans were left to die in Benghazi.

Hillary has learned how to create a charity in which only 10% goes to the people she claims to champion.

Hillary has truly mastered the technique of portraying herself as a champion of various groups while stabbing them in the back.

My low-info voter brother’s time is consumed coaching kids football and working a full-time job. He gets his news from mainstream media. His only knowledge of Hillary’s email scandal is the media and Democrat operative’s spin that says evil Republicans are out to get her. My brother does not know that as secretary of state Hillary broke extremely serious national security protocols, putting American lives at risk.Government employees with far lesser violations have been thrown into jail. Hillary has learned that being a Democrat in Washington permits her to arrogantly function outside the law without consequence.

It is out there in plain sight just like the temper tantrum of Democrats on the floor of the House of Representatives trying to raise funds with a faux 60’s sit-in advocating overturning the Bill of Rights. But, instead of being aghast at such behavior, it is praised and lauded.

Worried, yet? Or are you one of the plurality that is wondering what all the fuss is about, one that gets angry at those who think there is a problem here?

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Why do they do that? Bureaucrats and Organization Directors, too.

The Coyote Blog takes on Government, Arrogant Ignorance, and the Power of Incentives.

As most of you know, my company operates parks on public lands, so I work with government agencies a lot. Years ago, from this experience, I coined a term called “arrogant ignorance.” It comes from numerous times when government employees will be completely ignorant of some process, perhaps even their agency’s own rules and procedures, but will fight to the death any suggestion that I might be able to enlighten them or that they are doing something wrong.

For a while, people had me believing that I had just rediscovered the Dunning–Kruger effect. But I am now convinced that this is not the same as my “arrogant ignorance”. And the difference between the two highlights a key point about failure of government I have made for years, which is that government does a bad job not because the people are bad, but because it hires good (or at least average) people who have terrible incentives and information.

But my concept of arrogant ignorance is not really a cognitive effect, I think, but rather a symptom of incentives. The problem with most government jobs is that they have no service or output metrics so that they are instead judged mainly on conformance to procedure. And even that is not quite correct, because most agencies I work with do not even have formal standards or quality review processes for their employees, at least below the executive level.

I want to take an aside here on incentives. It is almost NEVER the case that an organization has no incentives or performance metrics. Yes, it is frequently the case that they may not have clear written formal metrics and evaluations and incentives. But every organization has informal, unwritten incentives. Sometimes, even when there are written evaluation procedures, these informal incentives dominate.

This isn’t a phenomena restricted to government employees. For example, see the 2014 Acceptance Speech by incoming WBCCI President, Joe Perryman and WBCCI life member Phil Pons Presentation on Leadership and Presentation Concerns for WBCCI. The WBCCI governing board has been accused of Arrogant Ignorance for a long time and many of the incentives for board members are the same as the Coyote describes for government employees. The WBCCI does have a service metric – its membership and participation – but it does not appear that the organization leaders can connect this to their own behavior even though presidents such as Perryman have laid it out for them. The leaders show themselves to be “completely ignorant of some process, perhaps even their agency’s own rules and procedures” yet blindly dedicated to “informal, unwritten incentives.”

So, I try to learn from this. One thing, for example, I always do is ask myself when someone who works for me screws up, “Is this really my fault, for not training them well.” A surprising number of times, the answer is a reluctant, “yes”.

A business that wants to continue to exist must learn like this. Any organization that wants to remain healthy must do likewise. Business, social organization, or government all need leadership and responsible executive behavior to remain viable and useful.

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You will think correctly. Or else.

Jacki Pick: Why Exxon is not the problem — “The greatest threat to the environment is unrestrained government.”

What the prosecutors are doing to Exxon and scientists is moving from the Rule of Law to the Rule of Man.

When the Constitution no longer has meaning, its protections are lost to the mercy of whoever is elected or appointed. What a capricious game. So, if the prosecutors’ favored climate scientists are refuted by a future President Trump’s climate experts, does Mr. Trump get to jail them under RICO for propping up the fortunes of green tech groups who contributed to their campaigns? How do you like the climate inquest precedent now?

Counter to the president’s claims, the greatest threat to Americans is not climate change, nor is it Exxon’s climate change research; the greatest threat is unfettered government, and the threat looms larger as the election year wears on.

The case of Peabody Energy is mentioned. That was a ‘do whatever they say’ effort to appease the prosecutors. Funny, that is what some members are saying about how their local  chapters should deal with the WBCCI. The current Exxon exercise shows just how futile it is to try to appease the beast.

And the news this morning is that the British decided to abandon rule from Brussels and Hawaii is implementing a database of gun owners and the bureaucrats have more guns than the marines. 

Worried, yet?

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Power corrupts, academia version

On The Reference Frame: Leonard Susskind vs Donald Trump.

A co-father of string theory and lots of other creative ideas in physics and my once co-author Lenny Susskind (he’s been surely more important for me than the very modest paper indicates) is the current director of physics at Stanford and he wrote a “letter on the lunatic” which he agreed to turn into an open letter.

It’s often being said that left-wing ideologies are unavoidably totalitarian in character and every leftist is a Stalin to the extent to which he is allowed to act as one. One’s firm fist – either literally or metaphorically – is the only thing that protects tens of millions of lives from a leftist. It’s hard to disagree when you read this Susskind’s rant.

For some reason, this director’s assault on a leading presidential candidate – and, equally explicitly, on about 50% of the U.S. citizens who support him – is considered OK and faces no backlash. Susskind claims that “all of them agree” that Trump is a lunatic. Just try to imagine what message this is sending to regular students, postdocs, or faculty at Stanford who naturally support Donald Trump.

Now, when the director of physics writes that the politician enjoying the support of some 50% of his nation is a “lunatic” and that these supporters are “exceedingly dangerous”, everything seems to be fine. The political atmosphere at the U.S. universities is broken beyond repair.

But when I heard the phrase “my right-wing friend” for the fifth time, it started to sound sick. Why did he feel the urge to expose my politics whenever we appeared at the same place?

At some moment, I decided that he had a psychological problem with my being right-wing, exactly the same – if not greater – problem that the communists in Czechoslovakia used to have with the right-wingers.

You know, I’ve fought against a left-wing totalitarian regime for some years and I can sense such things instantly. This is the same thing. Boy oh boy, all of us agree that Lenny Susskind is clearly a part of this extremely serious problem. Shame on you, Lenny.

A distinguished physicist in a prestigious university shows that his intellectual integrity is quite restricted in scope. That is what bothers another such physicist who lives in a part of the world that has ‘been there, done that’ with such nonsense – and suffered what results when folks like Susskind forget or ignore reality.

Lubos notes the important points: a proper issue to pursue would be to try to understand why Trump has garnered such significant voter support. Resorting to childish name calling (e.g. “lunatic”) to decry childish name calling and resorting to logical fallacies (all agree) invalidate the rant. Then there is is acceptance in Susskind’s academic circles of his rant and the worries that should bring to the surface. Academia is painting itself into a corner with an identity that destroys its credibility and reputation.

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Those mean, dirty, evil, anti renewable energy corporations and their sympathizers

As per usual, when you don’t have reality on your side, argue the opposition. James Rust examines an example as Questioning “The Secret Dirty War to Stop Solar Power”.

There are many disadvantages to solar energy because it is unavailable most of the day—availability is expressed as capacity factor defined as the fraction of total annual solar energy produced compared to a facility operating 24-hours daily, 365 days per year. Capacity factors of solar plants in Southwest desert areas are 0.19 compared to capacity factors of 0.9 or greater for nuclear and fossil-fueled electricity plants.

Other disadvantages are solar plants require vast land areas when used for utility-scale power generation (6 acres per Megawatt) and have limited useful plant lifespans of about 25 years. Nuclear and fossil-fueled power plants have small land requirements (less than one square mile for 1000 Megawatts) and lifespans of 60 years or more.

A report from The Taxpayers Protection Alliance “Filling the Solar Sinkhole” said, “American taxpayers spent an average of $39 billion a year over the past 5 years financing grants, subsidizing tax credits, guaranteeing loans, bailing out failed solar energy boondoggles and otherwise underwriting every idea under the sun to make solar energy cheaper and more popular. But none of it has worked.”

In spite of all the subsidies, promoters of solar energy complain they are treated unfairly in what they claim to be a competitive electricity production market.

In Nevada, Solar Energy Fairness is trying to get the word out about just how much damage is being done, especially to the more needy ends of society, by those pushing for the government support of businesses that are not able to stand on their own.

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Paradigms, due process, and civility: guns

Scott Adams thinks he knows Why Gun Control Can’t Be Solved in the USA. One problem is the idea of “solved” as applied to gun control as the debate has little to do with guns and a lot to do with control. The Democrats temper tantrum in the House yesterday showed that. The temper tantrum was about due process, not gun control, as due process was the only sticking point on a Senate bill the Democrats otherwise supported. Adams also illustrates the misdirection problem.

So it seems to me that gun control can’t be solved because Democrats are using guns to kill each other – and want it to stop – whereas Republicans are using guns to defend against Democrats. Psychologically, those are different risk profiles. And you can’t reconcile those interests, except on the margins. For example, both sides might agree that rocket launchers are a step too far. But Democrats are unlikely to talk Republicans out of gun ownership because it comes off as “Put down your gun so I can shoot you.”

Let’s all take a deep breath and shake off the mental discomfort I just induced in half of my readers. You can quibble with my unsupported assumptions about gun use, but keep in mind that my point is about psychology and about big group averages. If Republicans think they need guns to protect against Democrats, that’s their reality. And if Democrats believe guns make the world more dangerous for themselves, that is their reality. And they can both be right. Your risk profile is different from mine.

Fear always beats reason. So as long as Democrats are mostly using guns to shoot innocent people (intentionally or accidentally) and Republicans are mostly using guns for sport or self-defense, no compromise can be had.

When fear drives people to solving the wrong problem, there is a solution to be had. In the Adams scenario, this would be for Democrats to address the reason why they are killing each other – e.g. inner city crime. The problem here is that they oppose the effective and proven methods. Stop and frisk has been set aside in New York. Black Lives Matter works on a false premise to emasculate proper policing. Releasing criminals from prison on a false pretext of racial disparities in the prison population is another. None of these have anything to do with gun control but they do have something to do with murder and mayhem.

What is missing in the efforts to solve a political problem is first the lack of intellectual integrity. There is no common basis in reality upon which to build any solution. The House tantrum shows just how deep a denial exists. That tends to lend credence to the idea that “Republicans are using guns to defend against Democrats” as that is one of the fundamental reasons for the second amendment in the first place: citizen defense against irrational tyranny that eschews such concepts as due process much like the Democrats are advocating.

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Not the least bit funny

Thomas Sowell on The Gun Control Farce.

Virtually all empirical studies in the United States show that tightening gun control laws has not reduced crime rates in general or murder rates in particular. Is this because only people opposed to gun control do empirical studies? Or is it because the facts uncovered in empirical studies make the arguments of gun control zealots untenable?

In both England and the United States, those people most zealous for tighter gun control laws tend also to be most lenient toward criminals and most restrictive on police. The net result is that law-abiding citizens become more vulnerable when they are disarmed and criminals disobey gun control laws, as they disobey other laws.

The facts are too plain to be ignored. Moreover, the consequences are too dangerous to law-abiding citizens, whose lives are put in jeopardy on the basis of fact-free assumptions and unexamined dogmas. Such arguments are a farce, but not the least bit funny.

Why does so much of what the left advocate result in death, misery, and suffering? Another big push for gun controls trying to leveraging grief for political gain at the same time there is a push for leniency of convicted felons in both voting rights and even outright sentence reduction. Whether it is big city crime or Venezuela food riots, the result is not pretty.

Try to discuss or explore this reality and the door slams shut, defensive barricades are erected and denial goes full force. 

Worried yet?

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lingchi

Scott Johnson calls it a death by a thousand euphemisms.

The phrase “death by a thousand cuts” is so concise and descriptive that I thought it must be Shakespearean, but it is a translation of the Chinese word “lingchi” (alternately transliterated ling chi or leng tech). The word is translated variously as death by a thousand cuts, the slow process, the lingering death, or slow slicing. It was a venerable form of torture and execution used in China from roughly 900 A.D. until it was banned in 1905.

President Obama is inflicting lingchi on the Constitution’s restraints on the executive branch. Here, however, he is acting consistent with a tradition that, while it doesn’t date back to 900, dates back to around 1900 and the onset of the Progressive Era in American politics.

He is also inflicting death by a thousand euphemisms. George Orwell wrote the book on it, so to speak, but here Obama is plowing new ground in American politics.

Obama acts according to what he believes is a higher wisdom behind the apparent denial of reality that makes him look stupid.

Now the Obama administration refuses to release the transcript of Orlando mass murderer without redaction of his pledges of allegiance to the Islamic State.

The higher wisdom is a component of Obama’s strategic withdrawal of the United Staters from the Middle East. It is getting us killed now with more to come later. See, for example, the accounts of CIA Director John Brennan’s congressional testimony last week

It requires a bald denial of reality. While Obama’s courtiers (paid and unpaid) tell him that his intellectual finery makes him beautiful, the intellectual finery is stupid and Obama is naked.

You may encounter The denial of reality in conversation, too. It comes with the sound of a door slamming shut as someone makes it clear that they do not want their idea of reality exposed or their lack of integrity put on the table. The Orlando incident provides a lot of opportunity for this as people insist on ‘facts’ about weapons that are easily disproved but will slam the door on any exposure of their fantasies.

The cuts do not heal, are not allowed to heal. We all bleed.

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Just not in the game

Ari Halperin: Is Attorneys’ General Mischief just the Tip of the Iceberg?

The recent escalation of rogue Attorneys General persecuting conservative political organizations and their real or alleged supporters suggests that Climate Alarmism has been playing a much wider role in politics than it seemed. The Left has been riding Climate Alarmism to muzzle and defund its opponents since at least 2000.

Apparently, the extreme Left bought the Democratic Party in 2004, and openly boasted about it: “Now it’s our Party: we bought it, we own it, and we’re going to take it back.”

Their modus operandi can be observed as follows:

1) Hostile foreign entities and their domestic accomplices compile lists of individuals and/or organizations that they want to muzzle and/or destroy for any reason. The political targets are invariably conservatives, libertarians, and Republicans. Other targets include vital industries and defense, but those campaigns are beyond the scope of this article.

2) These lists are merged, sorted, and truncated to obtain an actionable target list.

3) The targets on the list are declared “climate deniers,” industry shills, and so on. Their names are publicized and smeared. Their friends and supporters are intimidated.

4) Finally, the targets list is handed down to the purchased congresspersons and government officials, who persecute them by abusing the power of their offices.

What is clear here is that one side is fighting a war and the other just wants to do research. The opposition just isn’t in the game. And it isn’t just climate research, either. Right now, the gun owners who just want to defend themselves or get out on the range are having to repel an assault, too. Want to just run a small business? Ditto. Even many WBCCI members who just want to go camping with friends in their Airstream RV’s are finding themselves embroiled in ideological power plays.

Not in that game? Too bad. There are some very committed people out there who are going to drag you in to controversy and their false reality whether you want to go there are not.

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Now here’s a rant for you: Derek Hunter on Why They Hate Us. The problem is that he isn’t that far off the mark as his examples illustrate.

If you only watch network news and read the New York Times you easily could come away with the impression that last Sunday morning a conservative Christian man, draped in crosses and screaming “Make America Great Again,” walked into a gay bar and murdered 49 people on direct orders from Republican National Committee headquarters located in the basement of the National Rifle Association’s headquarters, naturally, in a space they rent from Fox News.

What kind of sick monsters blame the horrific actions of one man on their political opponents? A lot of them, it turns out.

Although the poltroon declared his reasons, unambiguously, to the police and a local news station, Democrats saw an opportunity to advance their agenda of limiting the rights of all Americans. Ignoring the truth, every branch of the progressive left simultaneously and sanctimoniously struck the same cord – it was the gun’s fault.

Pure hatred is the currency of the Democratic Party in the 21st century. Democrats try to blame their political opponents for every act of evil or terrorism committed on US soil. The media parrots these nefarious charges as gospel. The truth eventually comes out but only after the lie has taken root with many.

The ends justify the means for the political left – and always have. Motivated by hate – for opponents, the Constitution and anyone who won’t submit to their belief of moral and intellectual superiority – there is no depth to which they will not sink, no pile of bodies on which they will not dance to advance their agenda. In then end it’s sad, it’s disturbing, it’s fascistic, and it’s progressive…and we are not, which is why they hate us.

You don’t have to look far to find your own examples, unless you are one of the very many who are in denial and joining in on the irrational and harmful behavior. What are your feelings? What is behind your perceptions? Do you cut off any who raise questions about your views?

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Is evidence a matter of belief? (a problem in healthcare)

Robert Centor illustrates the problem as The conundrum of clinical medicine is what makes it difficult.

The term, “evidence-based medicine” (EBM), provokes strong feelings from its proponents and its skeptics. I spent a full day recently in discussions about EBM. As the day proceeded I understood that evidence is wonderful when it fits the clinical question, but that too often the clinical question does not, and probably will not have adequate evidence.

Even if one believes in EBM, controversies among guidelines must give one pause. These likely occur because differing guideline committees have differing priorities and values. Data are not cold hard facts that we can always apply to our patients. Rather we must filter data through a screen of patient preferences, co-morbidities and social concerns (including money).

Evidence, i.e. what can be observed and measured, has both proponents and skeptics and is a matter of belief in the medical community? That is (or should be) scary.

What is also scary is the really bad science education in the discussion. Evidence is based on measurement and that always comes along with a proper consideration for precision and accuracy. And both of those concepts consider the impact of the conditions of the measurement. When Centor talks about EBM and its fit to a clinical question, he ignores these measurement issues and tries to create a straw man making a complex scenario into a binary measure.

The comment about “filter data” tells of an effort to squish evidence into a small hole, a subset of measures that have specific numeric results. The issue in medicine has been, for the last century or so, that of trying to find objective and repeatable measures for the many situations a practicing encounters. It is one of trying to decipher the evidence and the models that were once just the province of gifted practitioners to the realm where they can be understood and applied by the less gifted.   

Why this is an issue is that medicine has been plagued by those who eschew evidence and use a longing for a cure and the issues in measurement and knowledge to sell their snake oil. 

Another example in clinical medicine where evidence gets short shrift is illustrated in the medical establishments efforts to bring gun control into their realm. If a sign on a local clinic was taken seriously, patients would need to leave their pocket contents at home and park canes and other assistive devices outside the clinic. The medical profession has taken leave of their charge to examine the person in favor of putting a focus on the tools their patient uses. This makes the false assumption that the tool is used for only one thing and, from that, concludes that the patient is mentally unhinged (but can be re-hinged by a sign on the door). Evidence and intellectual integrity go out the window.

Clinical medicine is difficult because it deals with interacting complex systems that are neither fixed nor consistent in their behavior. That requires a respect for evidence coupled with a proper understanding of measurement and a good awareness of what is known and what is not.

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This is how it works

Mary Grabar wanted to set up a small tax exempt association “resisting the re-education of America.” She tells her story: Here’s How the IRS Treated Me Because I’m a Conservative.

We waited, long past the three-month mark. And past our opportunity to hold a 2013 year-end fundraiser. I continued to post and speak, and I published three educational guidebooks.

But over a year passed. I called my senator’s office. After several correspondences, we were told we had been assigned an agent.

On May 16, 2014, our – ahem — Cincinnati-based agent sent an “Information Request” consisting of seven multi-part objections — with a two-and-a-half week deadline to respond. I was floored. She ended up granting us several extra days.

The IRS had three types of objections to our application: minor paperwork, a financial inquest, and ideological accusations.

Remember, it was pretty much me in the basement. I described my one-woman efforts in a recent post.

We finally received approval on September 2014. They forced me to waste money and time when we should have been building on the momentum of our launch and fundraising. Other groups also lost opportunities, namely in 2012.

That’s how this IRS, this administration, works.

On the other side of such tactics, it appears that some Republican District Attorneys are telling their Democrat colleagues that going after climate skeptics also puts climate alarmists as valid targets. You can only expect the opposition to lie down and take it for so long. Grabar is now a part of a lawsuit challenging Democrats misuse of the IRS. The efforts to shut down debate about using climatology as a path to power and control are also being challenged. The efforts to use a tragedy to gain control to deny a right to self defense is being challenged with significant increases in gun sales.

In smaller associations, lawsuits and such things are usually not worth the effort. With the WBCCI, for instance, membership suffers when bullies take over. While it is a lot easier to leave a social RV club (and form your own alternative) than it is to leave a country, the parallels in behavior are worth study. Well meaning people seem ignorant of just how destructive their behavior really is and turn to denial and defense rather than introspection, examination of consequences, and intellectual integrity.

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The Trump Wince

There were stories this morning about yet another Trump Wince. This one was due to a perception that Trump was accusing U.S. troops of mishandling money. That goes along with denigrating prisoners of war, accusing illegal immigrants of being a source of other crime, accusing all Muslims of being terrorists, and more. The rumor, based on polling data, is that even Trump advocates are beginning to wince when he comes up with another one.

The difficulty is that traditional politics parses words. This is often done to ‘expose’ hypocrisy, falsehoods, flip flopping, and other bad things about the politician. Trump doesn’t seem to be participating in this tradition. Words provide examples or analogies or illustration of a broader point. That point often hits feelings and values that resonate with many voters.

The Trump Wince is being used by Democrats as a weapon. It is a weapon they have often used. It is to shame and humiliate their opposition and they have gone to significant extremes in its application in the past. Trump really can’t avoid this else he becomes one of the traditional politicians that would betray his base.

It will be interesting. Democrats are playing an established game. Can Trump play another?

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Self defense or wait for the cops?

The latest mass murder has the gun control fanatics out in full cry and much of that cry is rather far afield from reality. Andrew P. Napolitano speaks In defense of self-defense — “Americans have a natural right to preserve their lives with guns.”

Don’t expect to hear that argument from the gun control crowd in the government. It is the same crowd that has given us the killing zones. It is the same crowd that does not trust you to protect yourself. It is the same crowd that ignores the reality that in the post-World War II era, there is not one recorded example in the United States of a person in a restaurant or bar getting drunk and shooting his lawfully carried handgun.

We have a government here that is heedless of its obligation to protect our freedoms. We have a government that, in its lust to have us reliant upon it, has created areas in the United States where innocent folks living their lives in freedom are made defenseless prey to monsters — as vulnerable as fish in a barrel. And we have mass killings of defenseless innocents — over and over and over again.

All these mass killings have the same ending: The killer stops only when he is killed. But that requires someone else with a gun to be there. Shouldn’t that be sooner rather than later?

The question is why a political party wants to burden law abiding citizens with suspicion and to take away a fundamental right of self defense.

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Re-writing history

Paul Mirengoff reports how the College Board mandates left wing narrative for AP European History. He cites a National Association of Scholars report written by David Randall

Here are Dr. Randall’s key findings.

1) APEH presents the history of government rather than of liberty.

2) APEH presents religion throughout as an instrument of power rather than as an autonomous sphere of European history.

3) APEH treats the movement to abolish slavery without mentioning how it was inspired by religious faith, led by saints such as William Wilberforce, and hymned to Amazing Grace.

4) APEH underplays British history throughout, thus minimizing the importance of Britain’s distinctive history in the European tradition as the champion of liberty.

5) APEH minimizes and extenuates the evils of Communism, the brutal destructiveness of Soviet rule, and the aggressiveness of Soviet foreign policy.

6) APEH virtually ignores Europe’s unique development of the architecture of modern knowledge, which made possible almost every modern form of intellectual inquiry.

7) APEH doesn’t argue that European history is important or interesting in itself. APEH never gives a reason why students should study Europe’s history in particular.

8) APEH never mentions that Americans should study Europe’s past because it is our history.

On a related note, Victor Davis Hanson says it’s the Same Old, Same Old Horror. He provides an example of the outcomes of APEH type thinking and teaching.

The post-911 debate over “why do they hate us” should have been settled long ago with a resounding “because of who we are,” rather than the refrain from the blame-America crowd—voiced from the Ron Paul libertarian Right to the Michael Moore Left—that the answer is “because of what we do.”

In too many deadly cases, a generation of Muslims goes to great lengths to reach the United States only to raise an American-born or naturalized ungracious and unappreciative generation that apparently grows to hate the bounty and freedom of America to such a degree as to blow up, shoot, and maim innocent Americans. Immigration to the U.S., and citizenship itself, should be seen, again, as a privilege, not a right—and assimilation and integration, not multicultural separatism and ethnic and religious chauvinism, should be the goal of the host.

The inability of Barack Obama and the latest incarnation of Hillary Clinton to utter “radical Islam” or “Islamic terrorism” in connection with Muslims’ murderous killing sprees again is exposed as an utterly bankrupt, deadly, and callous politically correct platitude.

Finally, the Left will blame guns, not ideology, for the mass murder, forgetting that disarmed soldiers who could not shoot back were slaughtered by Major Hasan, that the Tsarnaev brothers preferred home-cooked explosives to blow up innocents in Boston, that the Oklahoma and UC Merced Islamists did their beheading or stabbing with a knife, and that Mateen likely followed strict gun-registration laws in obtaining his weapons.

Then there’s Venezuela. A civilization is self destructing and people are being killed. Learn anything? Denial and fantasy and defense of the indefensible indicate otherwise. Worried, yet?

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Soft targets or citizen militia?

Jazz Shaw says We’re having the wrong discussion regarding “soft targets”.

So called soft targets are optimal for those seeking to perpetrate evil because of the minimal risk to themselves when launching an attack combined with the probability of the highest body count and greatest impact.

The real question left unaddressed is what to do about it. You can’t eliminate soft targets without forbidding significant numbers of free people from gathering together in public spaces. … since you’re never going to find every person with evil in their hearts before they strike, the only rational choice remaining is to make those soft targets less soft.

what we can do is make it easier for the crowds of innocent civilians to include a reasonable proportion of them who are not only armed but thoroughly trained in how to respond to a crisis situation and take down a bad guy before a tragedy turns into a mass tragedy.

Stripping more law abiding citizens of their ability to defend not only themselves but their fellow citizens is pretty much the opposite of a solution.

Trying to use the reference to a militia in the 2nd amendment to mean it is a collective and not an individual right is a tactic often used to promote gun control. SCOTUS dismissed that idea in the Heller case but the 9th circuit has recently tried to reinstate the idea that one can only be armed by permission of the state. The fact is that recent terrorist attacks do require a citizen militia in order to harden targets and make the risk much higher for those that want to murder civilians.

But then, “having the wrong discussion” in matters like this is another common tactic of those driven by fantasy and self delusion rather than reality and integrity. It is why it is often impossible to have any discussion at all as there is no common basis for discussion when reality is dismissed.

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Civics, where art thou?

R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. thinks that Preventing another Orlando and “Civics education could down ignorant hatred of America.”

This great republic has its historic Constitution. From it, its citizens have rights, and just as importantly, they have responsibilities. They are governed by the rule of law, and from those rules all sorts of blessings and obligations follow. It strikes me as a dreadful shame that not many of us understand this almost divinely inspired blueprint for our freedoms.

Can we reintroduce civics into our classrooms? Well, some private schools have. As for the public schools, you will have to take it up with your local teachers union. Good luck.

This is one reason why the troubles at a tax exempt RV group, the WBCCI, are important. The Wally Byam Caravan Club has on the table right now a motion that bypasses its Constitution and rule of law put there by one of the directors of the corporation. That means the motion attempts to bypass due process and other common Western Culture and U.S. traditional protections against governmental abuse and misguided governance. Association governance is a school for a practical education in civics. When that school is dismissed, pride in the organization suffers and its identity becomes diffused. Those are the conditions that foster terrorism as Tyrrell describes and it happens locally as well as nationally.

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Who’s your friend?

Stephen Moore says The ‘Stupid Party’ keeps getting stupider — “Republicans are playing into the hands of the left by calling Trump a ‘racist’.”

What is maddening about the Clinton and Trump gaffes is the reaction by the brain trusts of their respective parties.

All of this is self-defeating on a thousand levels. First, don’t these lame-brained Republicans get it that they hang together or they hang separately. Tearing down Mr. Trump will mean thousands of political casualties down ticket. Democrats do get this.

Second, since when do we judge our candidates based on the left’s warped criteria? They seem to suffer from the Stockholm Syndrome of seeking the affection of their captors.

Finally, the Republican members of Congress would be wise to stop with the holier than thou strategy. These are the people who’ve blown a hole in the budget as big as Texas and so how are they morally superior? These are the people that can’t even defund the cronyist Export Import Bank.

Who’s your friend? It seems there are a lot of Republicans who just don’t know.

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