Intellectual integrity and the role of weapons

Jeffrey T. Brown has a thesis that intellectual integrity and ‘criminal violence’ don’t fit together. See Stop Gun Violence? Stop Liberalism First.

Physical violence is ultimately the fruit of psychological disturbance. Those who are rational, thoughtful, self-analytical, and objective rarely commit crimes of any kind, let alone those of violence. They do not hate, they do not feel entitled, they are not bitter, and they respect the lives and property of others. They recognize the necessity of laws based on wisdom and experience. They understand the need to live cooperatively in a social construct that benefits all when practiced in good faith by all. Such people, a subset of Americans identified as “conservatives”, know and appreciate the genius of our Constitution, both in what it says and in its implicit purpose to squelch the ever-present vice of those who are not content to live peacefully and on their own merit.

Where does language of minority oppression occur? Who pushes it and why? As Brown illustrates, that political ideology comes from the same place as the urge to control others on many fronts, including controls on weapons of self defense.

Leave a Comment

Their enemy is reality

John C. Wright puts in his diatribe titled from a Chinese political saying: Point Deer, Make Horse. That is a literal translation of four Chinese characters. The fable on which it is based shows that it means ‘calling a deer a horse.’ It goes to the same roots as the fable about the Emperor’s new clothes.

You see how the Unreality Principle works. Bringing in a pony and calling it a horse won’t do. Someone might honestly mistake a horse for a pony. Only lies that are breathtakingly stupid, things no sane person could say or believe, are sufficient to show where one’s loyalty rests.

It is for this reason that Hillary Clinton announced that acts of terrorism carried out by Islamicists in the name of Islam as defined, promoted and commanded by Islam now and for all centuries past not only had nothing to do with Islam, but, in her words, ‘nothing whatsoever to do with Islam.’

Islam is not the enemy. The deer is a horse.

The problem with loyalty to the Unreality Principle is that in order to be truly loyal, you have to believe, actually to believe, nonsense you should know is nonsense.

I have wasted endless hours debating to what degree the various followers of the Unreality Principle are complicit in their own self-deception, and have finally resigned from the debate in disgust. The question is a paradox. When a man is trying to deceive himself, he is his own victim, deceiver and deceived at once. And successful self deception results in his not knowing himself to have successfully deceived himself: so arguing that he really does not know better is merely to say he is skilled at something akin to auto-hypnosis.

The surface appearance, by design, is all that there is. Intellectual honesty and introspection are what their mental system is designed to avoid.

The question is what you can or should do when you find yourself in a nest of such people. 

Leave a Comment

Tactics: using the Kübler-Ross model to understand climate activist behavior

Larry Kummer says Activists go thru 5 stages of grief for the climate change campaign

Summary: Climate activists have begun to see the failure of their campaign to get public policy measures to fight climate change. Their actions follow the five stages of grief in the Kübler-Ross model. This helps us predict what comes next, and prepare. For example, stage four (bargaining) offers an opportunity to gain something from the expensive policy gridlock in this vital area. This is the third in a series attempting to understand the ending of this 26-year-story and find in it some useful lessons for the future.

Life goes on, even for activists. There is always another campaign, as the coming apocalypse from air & water pollution was followed by the The Population Bombclip_image002[1] (1968), which gave way to Limits to Growthclip_image002[2] (1972), then nuclear winter (1983), then several more campaigns until peak oil, peak everything, and climate change.

Activists will enjoy the certainty that they were correct even though defeated by an ignorant public led by conservatives and oil companies. They will look forward — as did previous generations of such prophets — to the eventual apocalypse that results from the world’s refusal to believe.

Eventually the weather will decide whose science was stronger, that of the “activists or the “skeptics”. It might take years to see decisive results, or perhaps decades (see some scientists’ predictions here). Climate change is a commonplace in history, sometimes destroying entire civilizations. Our refusal to prepare even for the obvious — continuation of the two centuries of warming or, even more irresponsibly, for repeat of past extreme weather — probably will prove expensive in lives and money.

One way to understand this is that grief is just one example of cognitive dissonance. The real world intrudes on the way one wants to see it. Coming to grips with reality is an emotional process whether it is dealing with the death of a person or the death of a fantasy. As Kimmer notes, acceptance may come but that does not necessarily mean compliance. The acceptance that comes with an ideology hitting the fan of reality is to go with the flow rather than to accept the reality and modify the ideology. That is why the effort goes on and on. Life goes on and the struggle continues. Chicken Little or the Prophets of Doom are only flavors of the phenomena. At least the behavior is being noted and described so all can see it for what it really is.

Leave a Comment

It is called evil

Elizabeth Price Foley: “AMERICANS BETTER START BELIEVING IN EVIL: When a mother chooses jihad over life”

It’s called “evil,” and it tries very hard to look normal. Indeed, radical Islam exhibits all of the traits of evil. As psychiatrist Scott Peck’s book, “People of the Lie” suggests (a terrific book that I highly recommend), evil is always convinced that it is “right” or “righteous” or “good” and works hard to maintain that appearance. It projects evil onto others (scapegoating). It is strong-willed, controlling and intolerant. And it hides it motives by confusing others with lies and “magical thinking” (think 72 virgins for Allah’s martyrs).

There seems to be a concerted effort to hide it somewhere, anywhere. Gun control tries evasion – blaming the tool rather than the agent of evil. Then there is the mantra that Islam is a “religion of peace” or the idea that the solution is in the government. Much of the concern in developing the U.S. Constitution was about how to stymie the surfacing of the evil inherent in human nature. Christianity is about this as well as it assumes all humans are sinners who need redemption. 

Evil cannot be ignored and it cannot be hidden and it cannot be defeated. It is the challenge of civilization to inhibit its expression and the importance and difficulty of that challenge should not be understimated.

Leave a Comment

Tactics: demonizing the opposition

Guy Benson describes one tactic used to degrade debate to argument: Planned Parenthood: Shame on these zealots for their violence…and legislation.

It’s cynical enough to casually conflate actual violence with “incendiary rhetoric” that creates a “climate of disrespect.” But that’s End of Discussion 101; it’s depressingly commonplace on the Left these days. Planned Parenthood’s meme takes the slander a step further, lumping in perpetrators of (exceedingly rare and virtually universally-condemned) anti-abortion violence with pro-life Americans seeking to increase legal protections for the unborn through peaceful, democratic means. The abortion lobby is intentionally erasing distinctions between speech, legislative efforts, and physical violence.

The climate issue provides another clear cut example. Disagree with the idea of catastrophic human caused climate change and you are called a denier, accused of violating RICO laws, and told you are out to do evil. 

The real question is why such disreputable tactics get the credibility they do.

Leave a Comment

Being ignorant won’t slow them down

Tom Gresham takes up the case: When the gun-ignorant make gun laws — “Rather than improve safety, they simply waste money.”

When technically ignorant politicians and ideologues ignore those with expertise in a subject, one begins to wonder if there’s not an agenda other than safety and crime reduction at work. Proposing gun restrictions, which they don’t understand, or which are technically impossible, also position politicians for well-deserved ridicule.

Those who seek to ban some, if not all, guns, have always resorted to demonizing or misrepresenting either the guns, themselves or the parts or functionality they don’t understand. Ignorance is the foundation of the gun-ban movement.

Throughout the past half-century, bans have been proposed, and even enacted, on the basis of guns being too small (“Saturday night specials”), being too cheap (“junk guns”), being too accurate (“sniper rifles”), and looking too mean (“assault weapons”). Each has failed when the reality of what a firearm is, how it’s made and how it functions collides with the fantasy world of the technically ignorant gun control lobby.

Enough to make one wonder if there is another agenda … Want something. Do anything to get it. Take from others for reasons that are really unknown hence manufactured.

Guns are not the only issue where this happens.

Leave a Comment

The engineering standard?

Herchel Smith takes note of some commentary stimulated by the pending Paris Climate Conference in Global Warming Fraud? Say It Ain’t So!. There are two problems. One is that claims about extreme often depend upon differences in measure that are well under the noise threshold. The other is the lack of accountability in research.

give me an engineering report on the field measurements, and instrumentation used, calibration data sheets, and a data mean, prove to me that you meet the central limit theorem with the ten or so statistical tests used for Monte Carlo calculations, get it peer reviewed, and most of all, have it all done by a registered PE who can be taken to court and lose everything (including his livelihood) if he’s wrong, and then maybe I’ll take it seriously.

Otherwise, the AGW advocates are just wasting my time. But they won’t do that, because they want to write papers in the echo chamber that is AGW “science.”

The standard used is that of the role of a registered professional engineer. An application for a special use permit to build a million square foot warehousing facility near here was peppered with the seals of PE’s who signed off on various reports and findings. While legal culpability might be a bit much for research findings, the means and methods should not be. The problem with much research about climate is that the usual substitute for legal culpability is under assault. Rather than attempting to enhance duplication of results, any who question are told to shut up or even threatened with unemployment or legal prosecution. There is a smell coming from the climate research community and it is beginning to be noticed.

Leave a Comment

Pick a target, Never give up. Never surrender.

Exxon has long been a target of the green movement. Now, it’s Schneiderman’s Climate Inquisition — “New York’s attorney general launches a bid to criminalize skepticism“.

what has inflamed progressives, and given impetus to the New York investigation, is the revelation that Exxon has given money to conservative organizations that oppose the extreme policy proposals of climate alarmists. Or, to use the New York Times’s tendentious description, the company may have played a role in “directing campaigns of climate denial, usually by libertarian-leaning political groups.”

The theory is tenuous, but the endgame is clear: to force Exxon and other companies to settle. Even when the underlying legal theory is frivolous, responding to a subpoena like the one served on Exxon—which seeks nearly 30 years of records—presents high financial and reputational costs. Moreover, the risk of criminal prosecution is one that most companies, particularly publicly-traded companies, can’t afford to take. Peabody Energy has already buckled under the threat of prosecution. After a few more energy companies embrace climate alarmism to avoid the taint of prosecution, the rest of the industry will be sufficiently intimidated to pull any funding from groups that question “established climate science.”

Progressives like to claim that there is an overwhelming consensus in favor of radical action on climate change. That may not currently be true, but it certainly will be once climate dissent is outlawed.

Not only is the effort to silence dissidents, it is to punish them and profit in the process. There seems to be a book on how to abuse prosecutorial discretion for ideological ends. The NY AG isn’t alone. Consider what has happened in the US AG’s office regarding, for instance, Black Panthers monitoring polling places. Then take a look at recent stories about how the LA police steal weapons from burglarized homes. 

Leave a Comment

How does a lie live so long?

Rabbi Abraham Cooper tells how MSNBC got caught: Lying through their teeth and their maps — “Factually inaccurate maps distort Jewish and Arab land claims.” The thing is that the maps in question have long since been discredited as a 70’s attempt to show how “Those nasty Zionist imperialists have been stealing more and more Palestinian land.”

None of these facts deter a Who’s-Who of mainline churches who continue to deploy the map with impunity, decrying the theft of “Palestinian” land by the Jews and rallying members to vote for punitive measures against Israel.

How does a lie live so long? Seems that a convenient untruth can often trump the real story. Evidence the celebrated link between homo sapiens and his simian ancestors. Or so people thought of it until that hoax was discovered.

So truth will eventually prevail — but only if and when people are prepared to hear it.

In a Gallup poll of attitudes toward the honesty and ethical standards of people in various professions, well over twice as many Americans trusted clergy over television news reporters. Judging by the way the four-panel map of Palestine hoax continues to be recycled by some church groups, they may want reconsider their preference.

The fact is that there has not been any Palestinian state and it is only a modern invention intended to foment civil disruption. The area was a part of the Turkish empire until WWI and then a British colony until allocated to the Jews in 1948 as part of WWII reparations. But lies don’t die as long as they serve a useful propaganda purpose for those without intellectual integrity. The idea of a historic Palestinian state is one of those lies for the anti-western culture enthusiasts.

Leave a Comment

Disregard for old-fashioned truth

VDH on The fiction of ‘Truth’ — “Leftists love lies, if the cause is noble.”

Utter disregard for old-fashioned truth is now deeply embedded in contemporary America, largely because it advances a particular agenda. It reminds of an earlier age of politically correct fable, when evidence in the Alger Hiss case and the Julius and Ethel Rosenberg case got in the way of ideologically useful mythologies.

Subsequent fact-finding does not seem to dispel these untruths. Instead, what could or should have happened must have happened, given that the noble ends of social justice are thought to justify the means deemed necessary to achieve them.

The “60 Minutes” memos about Bush’s Air National Guard service were never authenticated. Everyone now rejects the myth that the Benghazi attack was a result of a video. Investigators proved that Michael Brown was not executed by Officer Wilson. Ahmed was neither a young prodigy nor a victim of bias.

But the legends are created and persist because they further progressive agendas — and the thousands of prestigious and lucrative careers invested in them.

The enlightened ends of seeking racial and religious tolerance, equality of opportunity and political accountability are never advanced by the illiberal means of lying. What makes this 2016 election so unpredictable are fed-up voters — in other words, Americans who finally are becoming tired of being lied to.

There appears to be a growing awareness of how such deceit is not just a distortion of actual events but an actual hoax. It is no longer a matter of differences in perception but rather a difference in what is actual fact. It used to be that everyone could have their own opinion but they all shared the same facts. This no longer seems to be the case as everyone wants their own facts, too. 

Leave a Comment

Understanding the opposition: The Mizzou example

The Neo-Neocon has More on Missouri—and more and more and more. He has been studying the events and happenings and thinks it has legs.

a lot of people are puzzled about what Wolfe and Loftin did or did not do that deserve canning as punishment. I can answer that question quite simply: they didn’t deserve it, the social justice warrior mob demanded it, and what the social justice warrior mob wants on college campuses the social justice warrior mob gets. Enlisting the football team in the fight was the icing on the cake, because football is very powerful on the college campus as well.

The deeper one goes into the facts at Missouri, the more it seems clear (or at least highly likely) that the actual complaints were minor at best, and that it is not at all certain that the alleged offenders were students there. What on earth was the administration supposed to do about it? There was nothing they could have done that they didn’t do. These incidents were pretexts for flexing the muscles of the movement.

The left is very sophisticated. The left is very tireless. The left is very organized. The left is very savvy about politics and power. The left is a giant octopus whose reach is vast, and it is in nearly total control of the American university.

Sophisticated. Tireless. Organized. Savvy. And, no, it’s not a conspiracy or the plot of a gifted few: that is another aspect that makes it difficult to pin down and defend against. A first step is taking the covers off the behaviors and that is why Trump and Carson are gaining so much support.

Leave a Comment

Being able to reproduce results?

Ben Marwick gets into How computers broke science – and what we can do to fix it. The issue has a current high profile example of the problem in climatology right now. The Congressional brouhaha over an agency’s manipulation of data and that agency’s reluctance to comply with requests for information is a case in point.

The problem:

For most of the history of science, researchers have reported their methods in a way that enabled independent reproduction of their results. But, since the introduction of the personal computer – and the point-and-click software programs that have evolved to make it more user-friendly – reproducibility of much research has become questionable, if not impossible. Too much of the research process is now shrouded by the opaque use of computers that many researchers have come to depend on. This makes it almost impossible for an outsider to recreate their results.

The problem is that most modern science is so complicated, and most journal articles so brief, it’s impossible for the article to include details of many important methods and decisions made by the researcher as he analyzed his data on his computer. How, then, can another researcher judge the reliability of the results, or reproduce the analysis?

Stanford statisticians Jonathan Buckheit and David Donoho described this issue as early as 1995:

An article about computational science in a scientific publication is not the scholarship itself, it is merely advertising of the scholarship. The actual scholarship is the complete software development environment and the complete set of instructions which generated the figures.

It means all those private files on our personal computers, and the private analysis tasks we do as we work toward preparing for publication should be made public along with the journal article.

This would be a huge change in the way scientists work. We’d need to prepare from the start for everything we do on the computer to eventually be made available for others to see. For many researchers, that’s an overwhelming thought. Victoria Stodden has found the biggest objection to sharing files is the time it takes to prepare them by writing documentation and cleaning them up. The second biggest concern is the risk of not receiving credit for the files if someone else uses them.

What to do? FOSS is gaining attention.

Currently, these are the tools and methods of the avant-garde, and many midcareer and senior researchers have only a vague awareness of them. But many undergraduates are learning them now. Many graduate students, seeing personal advantages to getting organized, using open formats, free software and streamlined collaboration, are seeking out training and tools from volunteer organizations such as Software Carpentry, Data Carpentry and rOpenSci to fill the gaps in their formal training.

Measurements in the lab have always been described the tools being used and any peculiarities involved in the test and measurement setup and procedure as a routine part of reports. What Ben notes is that this bit of background in the reporting of investigations has become rather sloppy when it comes to twiddling with numbers using modern computer technologies. The suggestion for a fix is to go back to fundamentals. Describe the methods used to obtain and manipulate measurements. Provide the software and the well sourced data in a manner that anyone can replicate and examine.

Complicated? That’s an excuse. When there are enthusiasts reverse engineering cheap VHF-UHF radio firmware, hackers trying to see if they can get past security barriers in cell phones and business databases as entertainment, and FOSS projects such as the Linux kernal and the GNU project, excuses don’t cut it. What should cause wonderment is why it is only just now that “many graduate students” are just beginning to see personal advantages in the FOSS paradigm and why proprietary data formats such as those native to Microsoft Office, are so predominant. It’s been more than thirty years since VisiCalc took the  financial world by storm. Isn’t “avant-garde” getting a bit stale for this sort of technology?

Leave a Comment

Actual denial

Orac says it is A sad day for public science advocacy and then illustrates hubris and denial in his plaint.

Over the years, I’ve noticed many traits that various antiscience cranks share in common, be they antivaccinationists, quacks, anthropogenic global climate change denialists, or anti-GMO activists, and that is an obsession with ad hominem attacks. They can’t win on the science because science doesn’t support them; so they attack the man—or woman. The tactics they use include online harassment, harassment of families, legal thuggery (as Steve Novella recently suffered), and, of course, harassing them at work by contacting their supervisors or administration. …  Of course, if harassment of one kind doesn’t work, maybe another type of harassment might. If harassment at a science communicator’s day job doesn’t work, maybe a bogus lawsuit or online public attacks might. Whatever the tactic, the idea is to intimidate the critic to silence, or at least to make speaking up so painful that the critic thinks twice about it. At the very least, other scientists who see what happened to, say, Dr. Folta might decide speaking up is just not worth the consequences. Again, that’s the idea.

Consider what he is doing here. His list of “antiscience cranks” list four issues and makes no distinction about the quality differences between them. The label itself tends to be an illustration of what he calls an “obsession with ad hominem attacks” because crank is about the person and not the quality of the argument. Who is it that is creating a straw man in making assertions about the “idea” these cranks have about goals for their action?

One of the fundamental issues in science, and especially in the social ‘sciences’, is an awareness of observer bias and its effects on measure and perception. The behaviors Orac cites are those that can be seen by anyone and have been noted in this blog for years. Where Orac fails is that he does not seem aware of observer bias and tends to commit the same behavior he impugns. There appears to be a self awareness missing. 

Leave a Comment

Considering FUD via ignorance: data mining edition

Brandon Valeriano takes on Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt Stoked by Bond and other fiction, our fear of surveillance is worse than the real thing.

There is a real need to rectify our fears and align them with the realities of cyber-conflict. Yes, we face a growing number of attacks online, but their impact and severity are not increasing. To secure this fragile stability, we need to take an approach that will ensure that those attacks and breaches that are bound to occur are kept as limited as possible.

The recent coverage of the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA) passed by the US senate only reinforces the view that the fears we construct are often the greatest danger to our security. An all-knowing security surveillance programme is beyond our capabilities at the moment, but by preventing government and commercial organisations from making best use of the information available to them, we’re leaving ourselves vulnerable.

Chasing rabbits, it is chasing rabbits. Too many of them going in too many different directions and you can’t live off them because they lack nutrients humans need to survive. But many who don’t know do it anyway. They buy protections they don’t really need and push for laws that weigh heavily in dangerous directions.

Leave a Comment

Denial of reality: Rather, Mapes, et al (Galaxy Quest edition)

Scott Johnson was one of the first to point out the blatant fraud involved in the Rather reporting of Texas National Guard documents intended to impugn a candidate for president. The attempt to deny that reality continues with ‘seriousness of the charge’ and ‘fake but accurate’ and other known rationales being drug up to prove what cannot be. A recent movie release attempts to re-write history and Johnson is on that as well. Lies of Truth provides a summary.

The film is all about rewriting history. Thus the celebration of the film by the New York Times at the TimesTalks event hosted gingerly by Susan Dominus last month. The left is unrelenting in supporting the myths that sustain its political religion. Truth runs 121 minutes, but it’s an Orwellian Two Minutes Hate for the ignorant, the gullible, and the true believers.

It is like the mantra in Galaxy Quest: “never give up, never surrender.” Such an approach is fine if you are trying to save the galaxy and have a solid basis in reality but the left is trying to make a fantasy and farce a reality, just as in the movie — With another movie that has about the same credibility as Galaxy Quest.

Leave a Comment

It’s up to you

Helen Krieble: The responsibilities of citizenship — “American exceptionalism relies on the energy of individuals.”

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, that to secure these rights governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”

This means that citizens are the sovereign power in the United States, and the government is accountable to us, not the other way around. Our form of government, designed to protect our rights, has been allowed to become an ever-more powerful and despotic entity. Instead of holding the government accountable for its trespasses, most citizens no longer understand our Founding documents, as our education system has failed us. They have no idea what their responsibilities are as citizens. Of those that do, most shrug their shoulders and think, “I am only one person; what can I do?”

One activist summed up the problem: “The biggest enemy I battle is people thinking they can’t make a difference.”

Our exceptional form of government is an endangered species. If we do not stand up for the Founding principles and re-assert the duty of citizenship, it could become extinct.

Goal #1 in the propaganda from the left is to make followers rather than leaders. This is done by instilling the view that any one of us can’t make a difference. Krieble cites several examples where an individual has made a difference. Small steps by very many responsible citizens can add up. Stand up. Lead. Make a difference no matter how small in bringing back the idea of governance by the people rather than over the people. It’s up to you (and me, and him, and her …).

Leave a Comment

PC BLM and why no solution is in sight

Colin Flaherty provides examples of Cops Fired For Telling the Truth about Black Violence.

“President Obama is proud of his support for Black Lives Matter. He calls stories of elevated black crime and violence “anecdotal” and says a history of racism in America justifies whatever Black Lives Matter says or does.

It matters to Chief Halstead.

After he was fired this month, Chief Halstead broke it down on Fox and Friends: Black Lives Matter is “a terrorist group if you can march down the streets and call for the deaths of police officers,” he said, pointing to videos showing protesters chanting, “pigs in a blanket, fry ’em like bacon” and chanting about “dead cops.”

Both of those officers knew the risks to themselves their careers before speaking out about the threat of black violence and Black Lives Matter. Both knew the people they were sworn to serve needed to know what reporters and public officials most often try to ignore, deny, condone, excuse, encourage and even lie about: that black crime is wildly out of proportion.

They took the risk. They paid the price. That is what heroes do.

Why are blacks over-represented in jail populations? They are arrested, tried, and convicted more often than other racial groups. Why is that? Perhaps the reason is related to why inner city violence tends to be concentrated in black communities. But, for the left, reality doesn’t matter. The presumption is ‘white privilege’ so blacks become a ‘protected minority’ – isn’t protected a form of privilege? – and jails are emptied because it is obvious to the left that that is the only way to correct an injustice.

Meanwhile, crime rates go up with repeat offenders, black on white crime escalates, and denial runs rampant trying to pretend that what they eye sees isn’t what is really there. Problems get worse, not better. How long will that continue? Why are lessons from history ignored?

Update: HEATHER MAC DONALD Heather Mac Donald in Testimony before the United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary, October 19, 2015 regarding The Myth of Criminal-Justice Racism.

The most dangerous misconception about our criminal justice system is that it is pervaded by racial bias. For decades, criminologists have tried to find evidence proving that the overrepresentation of blacks in prison is due to systemic racial inequity. That effort has always come up short. In fact, racial differences in offending account for the disproportionate representation of blacks in prison. A 1994 Justice Department survey of felony cases from the country’s 75 largest urban areas found that blacks actually had a lower chance of prosecution following a felony than whites. Following conviction, blacks were more likely to be sentenced to prison, however, due to their more extensive criminal histories and the gravity of their current offense.

Violent crime is currently shooting up again in cities across the country. Police officers are backing away from proactive enforcement in response to the yearlong campaign that holds that police are the greatest threat facing young black men today. Officers encounter increasing hostility and resistance when they make a lawful arrest.

Some are taking note, others look away. Same ol’ story. What will it take for reality to intrude such that it can’t be ignored?

Leave a Comment

Expressing an opinion if you publish?

The question is a troublesome one. One the one hand, companies like Facebook are getting sued because some page on their service offended someone. On the other hand, Facebook censors pages that offend it politically. Tom Gresham explains How Web giants wage war against guns  — “Ignoring Second Amendment rights assaults the free market.”

Blocking the flow of information on the Web is the newest form of book burning.

A question to be asked: When do the restrictive actions of a small handful of companies controlling much of the information on the Web become a legitimate area for review by government?

It’s the ultimate irony that these attacks on legal and highly regulated commerce in firearms come just as we see government reports that over the last 20 years, murders are down by huge numbers, so-called “gun crime” is down by more than 40 percent, and accidental firearms deaths of adults and children are at an all-time low. During this same time tens of millions of Americans have become new gun owners, tens of millions of guns have been purchased, and more than 10 million people have been licensed to carry loaded guns for their own protection. More guns, less crime, to coin a phrase.

Another story is about how Police Chiefs are pushing for universal background checks. This means they want any transfer of a gun, whether a private individual sale, a gift, or an estate, will require FBI permission to proceed. Yet another story was about a study that showed that states with gun control laws had reductions in violent crimes which ignored the fact that violent crimes are decreasing in most states no matter their obsession about gun control.

It is the ongoing battle where reality doesn’t matter much that is depressing. Honesty doesn’t matter much in pushing these efforts, either. Gun control is one of the oldest of these issues. Human Caused Catastrophic Climate Change has been around a while. Only Black Lives Matter is another post-Kennedy issue that comes up now and again. Then there is the effort to reduce the prison population and you can see what that does in noting California’s double digit increase in crime post proposition 47.

Then there’s the Ole’ Miss effort to re-write history by banning any flag with anything that might look like a Confederate symbol. 

The price has been paid before. Why yet again? And again? Is reality, reason, and intellectual integrity that difficult to incorporate into one’s base?

Leave a Comment

Banana Republic: respect for law perhaps biggest casualty

As IDB reports it:

Lerner was caught red-handed targeting Tea Party and other conservative groups, wrote partisan emails to prove it, then engaged in a massive cover-up effort — with a suspiciously crashed server, an oddly missing BlackBerry and plenty of excuses.

She evaded even more accountability by shielding herself with the Fifth Amendment in Congress. The consequences to her have been . .. retirement on a full pension with all her bonuses to a multimillion-dollar mansion in the deep D.C. suburbs.
As for her victims — and they were many — there is no justice. Now everyone, no matter what their political leanings, will wonder if they too are a political target by an out-of-control agency protected by the Justice Department.
Because that’s the real consequence of this failure to hold Lerner accountable: A precedent has been set.

Remember the case against the Black Panthers regarding voter intimidation? But, of course, the Lerner episode is put down as just ‘managerial incompetence’ with Democrats railing about how much money was spent investigating IRS corruption – conducting hearings where Lerner plead the fifth.

Jazz Shaw describes the result as The Banana Republic of America.

But what if the case never even makes it into the system? If a crime is perceived by the public to have been committed but the government fails to even attempt the prosecution a new problem emerges. Kevin D. Williamson at National Review has looked over the Justice Department’s decision not to pursue a case against Lois Lerner (or anyone at the IRS) and determined that we may be approaching Banana Republic status.

Then look at the Bengahzi hearings. People cheered when Clinton laughed at the efforts of an Ambassador to prevent himself from being dragged through the streets, abused, and killed. Banana Republic, indeed.

Leave a Comment

Yet another target: farmers

Baylen Linnekin reports on a progressive attack front you might not have hear about. Right-to-Farm Debate Heats Up — Controversies over laws in all 50 states that protect the rights of farmers to actually farm. Keep in mind that farming is one of the most direct and concrete examples of the production of value. Farming and ranching take a renewable resource, manages it, and produces food and other goods for the public.

Right-to-Farm laws are on the books in all fifty states. They are enshrined into some state constitutions, including in Missouri, where the state constitution now guarantees, in perpetuity, “the right of farmers and ranchers to engage in farming and ranching practices” in the state.

Right-to-Farm laws like Missouri’s generally serve two key purposes. First, they protect farm owners from state and local regulations that might restrict farming. …

Second, Right-to-Farm laws also protect farmers against the real specter of nuisance lawsuits. In particular, they help protect farmers against lawsuits by neighbors who—in legal parlance—come to the nuisance.

But don’t Right-to-Farm laws preclude lawsuits like Himsel’s? Not exactly. The fact they serve as an affirmative defense doesn’t prevent (and hasn’t prevented) people like Himsel from filing lawsuits against farming operations. It just makes such lawsuits far less likely to succeed than non-agricultural nuisance lawsuits.

From animal rights activists to the EPA’s water grab, there is an assault on the food needed to feed the poor. Current activity may be a bit below the radar – the notice of the left’s propaganda machine – right now but that may change.

The issue goes back to land use and property rights issues. Consider, for example, a subdivision built near an airport where people move in and then start complaining about the noise. Or consider Dr. Sowell’s recent column about housing prices in the Bay Area and the implication of all of the vacant land near I280 between San Francisco and Palo Alto.

It’s nice if you can afford it. It’s suffering and death if you can’t. The example of communism in Eastern Europe illustrates that. See Bruce Walker on The Ultra-Reactionary Left. Why is that history denied by the Left?

Leave a Comment