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I've been banging away on my keyboard. Here's some new articles. In The Armed Citizen, we have: Soldier, Officer, CitizenAccoutrements for training, and What’s your Tueller Distance? In the book reviews there's Prepared: Surviving Worst Case Scenarios. Enjoy!


This clip clearly shows how The Illustrious One thinks. The exchange starts at 35:00 and the actual comment at 35:45.

The comment in question from the President was, "Hey, listen, you're in my house."

I do not have a problem with the President ejecting disruptive attendeees. I DO have a problem in him thinking that the office he holds, the authority invested in him and where he lives is "his."

No, Mr. President, that is NOT "your house." It is the PEOPLE'S HOUSE. You rent. When our elected officials think that the power granted to them is theirs personally to wield as they please, rather than in service to those who elected them, things never end well for the People.


I am disconcerted by recent events. I am seeing people who want to be something else. If they are one skin color, they want to be another. If they are of one sex, they want to be another. I actually understand how that can happen on a genetic level.

We should identify ourselves as human beings. No more, no less. All of our ancestors came out of Africa. Our skin colors became different due to our ancestors migrating and settling in the differing climates of Earth.

That being said, there are some divisions between us. We have two sexes, both of which are needed for procreation. We have different customs, languages and societal norms, generally based on location. What is accepted as societal norms in Moscow, Russia is different from Moscow, Idaho.

But this, this labeling of people into groups within a group based exclusively on outward charastics, I am unable to abide nor tolerate this. The further we divide people into groups, be it by skin color, economic status, sexual orientation, sexual preference, all this does is promote hatred. This pigeon-holing of everybody does nothing but promote the "he is different from me, therefore I fear and hate him" mentality.

I don't care what your skin color is, if you are male, female or somewhere inbetween (or even outside of those choices), who you want to have intimate relations with, none of that. I care what is in your heart. How do you treat the people around you? The character of a person is shown by how they treat someone who can do nothing for them. Do you seek to help others, or unfairly profit from them?

It is the Liberals drive to label people by cosmetic features that led to this Rachael Dolezal fiasco. In order to insure "proportional representation" in employment, employers have to ask by force of law your sex and race when you apply for a job. Ms. Dolezal's genetic heritage or her "racial identity" should not be qualifiers for where she is employed. Under the definitions of law, she has a particular skin color. There is no provision in that law for what racial skin color she identifies with. She should have been truthful with her legal statements. This is a character issue. I can with say I am a Martian every day of the week and twice on Sunday. When filling out a job application, my wants and needs do not enter into it. In order to check one (or more) of the demographic boxes, I have to adhere to the definitions of those boxes as set forth by the law of the land.

Can we get rid of the labels, please?

Another Statistical Sampling

Speaking of statistics, I found an article that comes from data from Neighborhood Scout, listing the “25 most dangerous neighborhoods” in the US. I washed it through a spreadsheet and came up with the following information.

First of all, some neighborhoods were spread out over more than one zip code. I stuck with the first one in those cases for simplicity. Second, there were three zip codes that appeared twice on the list, so now there is really only 22 entries. I then went to a link off the Census Bureau’s website to Proximity One and got the White and Black populations for those zip codes and did a search engine on the political affiliation for the mayors. I wanted to see how long the mayors have been from one party had been in control of the city, but most cities websites were not forthcoming with that information.

So, 22 zip codes, comprising 15 different cities. 74% of those zip codes are primarily Black residents. 9 of the cities have Democrat Mayors, 3 Republican, 2 unknown affiliation and 1 Independent.

Chicago and Detroit came in “first,” with three zip codes each on the list. Houston, Indianapolis and St. Louis each had two zip codes and the rest had one zip code.

I plan to look into this more, perhaps with slightly different criteria.

Lying with the truth

“There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics.” – Mark Twain

I found this article by the Atlanta Blackstar and discovered it to be full of all three of the above: 9 Facts That Show White-on-White Crime Far Exceeds Black-on-Black Crime and How Media Outlets Conceal It.

I want to make this clear and up front, not buried in the bottom where you probably won’t read it. I believe the vast majority of people are good people. I don’t care what their skin color happens to be. There is a small subset of people who commit crimes. A small percent of the criminal population is actually responsible for the majority of crimes.

This article is about statistics, which looks at groups of people and makes generalizations based upon the group. It does not say or intend that any specific person is good or bad.

This is the author of this piece of trash:

Edward Wycoff Williams, an author, columnist and political analyst for MSNBC, conveyed a reality that many do not seem to know is real. Williams wrote for The Root

Williams wrote that article for the Root linked to above in 2012 and it is heavily quoted in this article.

Statistics are cut-and-dry, and they do not lie. According to the FBI’s most recent homicide numbers available, from 2011, a staggering 83 percent of white murder victims were killed by fellow Caucasians.

The darkest kind of lie is the one that has enough truth in it so you take the false as true as well. Yes, 83 percent of Whites were killed by Whites.

Here’s where the lying comes in:

And because whites are the majority in the country — there are six times as many whites as there are Blacks — that means they commit the most murders.

Do you see it? You can’t because it’s actually a lie of omission, you aren’t given all of the numbers so you have a context of what those numbers mean. I got these numbers from the FBI’s 2011 Murder statistics Table 6 page.

Here’s the important part of the table:

Race of Offender
Race of Victim Total White Black Other Unknown
White 3,172 2,630 448 33 61
Black 2,695 193 2,447 9 46
Other Race 180 45 36 99 0
Unknown Race 84 36 27 3 18

So, according to the article, there are six White people for every Black person in the US. According to my calculator, that means the ratio between the races is 86% White, 14% Black. If we are to infer that Blacks are no more violent than Whites, we should see a similar ratio in the number of murders.

My calculator must be broken. It’s saying that blacks committed more murders than Whites in raw numbers, 2,958 to 2,904. If Blacks were equally as murderous as Whites, the Black Offender numbers should only total about 472. I can only deduce then the Black population is 6.25 times more violent as the White population.

So, here is reinforcement of the lie:

Williams wrote: “The term ‘black-on-black’ crime is a destructive, racialized colloquialism that perpetuates an idea that blacks are somehow more prone to violence. This is untrue and fully verifiable by FBI, DOJ and census data. Yet the fallacy is so fixed that even African Americans have come to believe it.”

Yet, a simple calculator will tell you the black-on-black murders alone are 40 percent of the total murders, showing that Blacks are killing Blacks 2.5 times more often than Whites are killing Whites.

Then, we start the cherry picking:

The truth, taking FBI data from 2010: Whites killed whites 3,252 times, which was 4.6 times more than the number of whites killed by Blacks.

Why change years? The author went from 2011 to 2010. Also, I haven’t found his numbers. Table 6 is single offender/single victim, he must be including when there were multiple offenders or victims involved. I do not see a table for that.

More obfuscation without context:

Whites are responsible for the vast majority of violent crimes, according to the FBI. With respect to aggravated assault, whites led Blacks 2-1 in arrests; in forcible-rape cases, whites led all racial and ethnic groups by more than 2-1. And in larceny theft, whites led Blacks, again, more than 2-1.

What is the ratio of Whites to Blacks as given on the first page of this article? 6-1. So, if Blacks were equally prone to be criminals, the numbers in that quote above should be 6-1, not 2-1. Which means a Black person is three times more likely to commit one of the aforementioned crimes than a White person.

The last three pages are invoking the specters of racism and how poor Blacks are.

Here’s more lying:

When gang-related killings are referred to on the news, they treat it as an almost exclusively Black problem. However, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, for the period of 1980 to 2008, a majority (53.3 percent) of gang homicides were committed by white offenders, and the majority of gang homicide victims (56.5 percent) were white.

Obfuscation, let me count the ways: First of all, he has to invoke a 28 year span (1980-2008). Can’t he stick with his original 2011 numbers, or would that show a bad light on what he is saying? Remember that 6-1 ratio? If Whites and Blacks were proportionally as violent, shouldn’t those numbers (53.3% and 56.5%) be up around 86%? So, a raw majority of gang homicides were perpetrated by Whites, but barely over half. This means that again, Black gang activity was most likely 40% of the total, while comprising only 14% of the population.

So, there you go. How to lie while giving facts. Cherry pick the facts, don’t give enough facts so the reader has a context of what the facts mean and don’t be afraid to quote other statistics outside of your original data set to bolster your position.

Freedom… or Persecution?

Okay folks, pull your head out of your politics.

People, by and large have little, if any, grasp or concept of laws in this country. They think the First Amendment applies to everybody, government, businesses and individuals, when it in reality only applies to the government. Only the federal government is prohibited by the Constitution from restricting your speech. If you say something stupid and it costs you your job or whatever, that is NOT a First Amendment matter.

If course, a law entitled “The Puppies and Kittens Act of 2015″ everyone would support it based on its title alone. After it becomes law, then we find out that it that lets the feds to “detain” anybody they want, for any reason and for as long as they want.

Before you go and get upset over a law or act, Read. The. Effen. Bill.

Now, the Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act prohibits the Indiana State government and its “political subdivisions (counties, cities and towns, etc.) from discriminating against a person or business based on the religious beliefs of a person, no matter if it be an individual or business owner."

That’s it.

And before you get all up in arms about this, let’s look at the States that have already passed similar laws:

Alabama, Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia. Indiana is the twentieth state to pass this type of law.

To top that off, Alaska, Hawaii, Washington State, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, North Carolina, Ohio and Wisconsin, that’s eleven more states, by the way, have had state courts set down rulings that are similar to RFRA laws.

Thirty States had this in place before Indiana. Where is the hue and cry over these laws and rulings?????

Now for the flip side of things:

In Washington State, one of those “protected” by court rulings rather than law, a lady who owns a florist shop stands to lose her business and all of her assets because the government is persecuting her on her religious beliefs. Here is the story.

The events, in a nutshell, are this: Two gay men wanted to get married, one of them went to this florist to purchase flowers for their ceremony. The business owner, who has religious beliefs against such things, declined their business and suggested they patronize several other florists willing to accept their business.

The business owner, a lady who has had this shop for 30 years, has to pay Washington State a fine basically for standing up for her religious beliefs. This judgement has also opened her up to a lawsuit filed by the ACLU and could destroy her business and her finances.

So, who is the injured party here? If this gay couple were denied services by all of the florists in the area, that would be one thing. One business declined their business and suggested other places to go. If that happened to me, I’d walk out with my money and not bother with that business any more. To demand a business offer their services violates the freedom of the business owner.

Now, if Gen Con, et. al., wants to move out of Indiana because of this, that’s perfectly acceptable because it is the choice of the Board of Directors of Gen Con to do so, for whatever reason the BoD sees fit.

I will however call them idiots if they land in a state with similar laws.

How to select a candidate

I was just reminded the other day about my High School Geometry and Trigonometry teacher, Mrs. Corsale. It got me thinking about using her method for selecting a primary candidate since the political season is approaching quickly.

She told me about how she picked her husband. She was in college and had three suitors vying for her hand. She couldn’t make up her mind as to which one she would choose, so she applied math.

Mrs. Corsale wrote two lists, the first was positive aspects she wanted in a husband, the second list was the negative aspects she didn’t want her future husband to have. She then gave each suitor a point per item on the positive list, then deducted a point for every item on the negative list. She married the guy with the highest total. She had been married for over 15 years at the time she related this to me and had several children by him, so it must have been successful.

I bring this up, because the Republicans have presented Presidential candidates that have somewhat approached lackluster for several cycles, simply because the final candidate was the least offensive. I see a lot of “single hot button” voters that will reject an otherwise outstanding candidate, simply because of their stance on a single issue. They might agree with that candidate on 37 other subjects, but those don’t matter if the candidate doesn’t agree with them on that hot button issue.

No candidate will ever agree with you 100%, unless you are the candidate. So, look at a candidates total spectrum before you decide to support or reject the candidate based on one choice or decision.

Net Neutrality

I have been reading through the FCC’s “Net Neutrality” ruling, released March 12, 2015. The following are my thoughts and impressions. I have a copy here.

First of all, I do not condone any agency making rules and regulations that have the same effect of law as a bill passed by Congress and signed by the President. The concept of administrators who can make what are effectively laws and do not answer to the People are an anathema to me. The concept that these administrators have no agenda is ludicrous on its face. I guess the closest comparison would be the term “Philosopher-Kings.”

Case in point: BATF and APCP. In the 80’s, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (Explosives were added later) issued a regulation that declared Ammonium Perchlorate Composite Propellant (APCP) as an explosive and thus under their authority to regulate the possession and use of said “explosive.” They never followed their own procedures to test and determine if a material is explosive or not, they just issued a regulation declaring, “We’re regulating this now. Tough shit.”

Because most people have no idea what APCP is, it is rocket fuel. It is the only solid rocket fuel deemed safe enough to be “man-rated,” meaning we launch people into space using it. This was the fuel in the Shuttle’s Solid Rocket Boosters.

When people who engaged in high power rocketry in the 80’s starting using APCP, they had to apply for a “Low Explosives Users Permit” or LEUP which was excruciatingly detailed as to the purchase, storage, transportation and use of APCP. You were also subject to inspection at any time to make sure you were obeying their regulations.

It took years of court battles and hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees by the National Association of Rocketry and the Tripoli Rocketry Association to get that regulation overturned.

Back to the FCC: Looking through this “Rule,” I find some interesting things. This is a sampling, not a point-by-point list of that I disagree with through 319 pages:

Page 8, “No Unreasonable Interference or Unreasonable Disadvantage to Consumers or Edge Providers.” The key word here is “unreasonable.” Who decides what is unreasonable? Why the government, of course! Those “uninterested” administrators.

Page 12, part 37, reads, “Today, our forbearance approach results in over 700 codified rules being inapplicable…” This hints at something that you don’t directly see in any one spot. You have to read the FCC’s website and throughout this document. It means, “We don’t feel like applying these regulations right now.” So they are selectively applying their own rules. Sure, they aren’t enforcing that rule today, no guarantee on tomorrow.

Page 14, part 43, “Exercising our delegated authority to interpret ambiguous terms in the Communications Act, as confirmed by the Supreme Court…” Again, the administrators have the power to interpret the law passed by Congress however they want to. And what the administrators say it meant yesterday, does not mean it will mean the same thing tomorrow.

Page 16, part 51, “In finding that broadband Internet access service is subject to Title II, we simultaneously exercise the Commission’s forbearance authority to forbear from 30 statutory provisions and render over 700 codified rules inapplicable…” Again, the administrators are deciding today that these parts are inapplicable. They can always change their minds.

The first 282 pages of this 400 page document is only justification on why and how they will or will not enforce the laws and regulations already in place along with 1,777 footnotes. The actual rules, “Appendix A” starts at page 283 and runs for just 7 pages. However, considering that there are passages like: “AUTHORITY: 47 U.S.C. §§ 151, 152, 153, 154, 201, 202, 208, 218, 230, 251, 254, 256, 257, 301, 303, 304, 307, 309, 316, 332, 403, 503, 522, 536, 548, 1302.” Your reading will be a lot longer.

Appendix B, the “Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis,” runs another 22 pages and 173 more footnotes.

The last 86 pages are supporting or dissenting opinions of the members of the FCC Commission. The FCC Chairman, Tom Wheeler and the other approving members, Mignon Clyburn and Jessica Rosenworcel gushed the “party line” for a whole six pages collectively. Commissioner Ajit Pai dissents for 63 pages and 487 footnotes. Commissioner Michael O’Rielly also dissents for the last 15 pages and 76 footnotes. Both Commissioners Pai and O’Rielly systematically detail and pick apart everything that is bad about this new rule and how it will hurt the American People and the Internet.

I highly suggest you read it with an open mind.

An Explanation about the Police

Warning: occasional profanity.

The Internet is wonderful and terrible at the same time. Right now, we can in our Facebook feed, or checking some news aggregators, or even just YouTube, see dozens of “police abuse” videos. Most people, from those reports, will make the inference that “there is an awful lot of police brutality” going on.

I am not saying there isn’t any “police brutality” going on. There obviously are instances of such activity. However, when there are hundreds of thousands of police encounters every day, even a hundred is a very small amount. For example, 100,000 police encounters nationwide every day (a very low estimate) and if 100 of those encounters that fall into the “Police brutality” category (a very high estimate) yields according to my calculator a 0.001% of police encounters meeting the brutality category. Honestly, you have a better chance at getting run over by an 18-wheeler.

Let’s take an objective look at a police officer, their mindset, their job and everything else.

First, a police officer is a human being. They have the same fears, thoughts, hope, dreams and feelings like everybody else. They worry about their spouse and kids when the family is sick, financial troubles because the bills outweigh the income, all that stuff you worry about when you’re at work as well. If their spouse was yelling at them the night before or this morning over something, or their boss is yelling at them, they are going to carry that frustration and anger into their encounters during the day… Just like you would.

Police officers are people who are trained to be observant, assertive, aggressive when necessary, what laws they are charged to enforce and the constraints and procedures they are to use while carrying out their duties. They have to demonstrate a certain level of physical strength, endurance and firearms proficiency.

A police officer is trained to assert and assume control over any encounter they have. That is their self-defense mechanism, because if they aren’t in control, they will likely end up dead. They never know if they are stopping a harmless little old lady or a gangbanger who just murdered someone when they pull a vehicle over for a broken tail light. If they are personally emotionally upset coming into that encounter, there exists the possibility that they will be more aggressive than needed.

The officer has the authority, both for personal protection and as an agent of the state, for him and fifteen of his buddies to beat the living shit out of you if you do not instantly obey everything he tells you to do. The police must win every encounter, especially when violence is involved. If you fight with them, they will use fists, feet, batons, Tasers, firearms and anything else they can get their hands on to make you comply. The only thing that fighting with the officer will get you is hurt or dead. If you are being detained or arrested, any type of resistance at that point will hurt you physically and hurt your case when it comes to the courtroom.

Second, there is some misdirection going on. All of these news stories and YouTube videos do not tell you the whole story. You almost never find out the details as to why the encounter happened in the first place. Most likely, the person broke a law or regulation in view of the officer. Timothy McVeigh, the Oklahoma City Bomber, was pulled over for an expired license plate on his car. Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO was jaywalking. The duty of a police officer is to detain and/or arrest people he believes have broken a law he is charged to enforce. The police do not write the laws, nor can they choose which laws to enforce or not enforce. If you have a problem with being arrested for a particular law, take it up with your legislators about removing or altering the law.

Third, if you get into an encounter with the police, there are some things you need to consider and carry out. First of all, know the laws of the state where you are. Know your rights. You don’t have to recite court cases or anything like that. Know when you have to show your identification and when you do not have to show it and things like that. In my state, if I am pulled over for a traffic violation, I have to show my driver’s license. If I am walking along the street and I am detained, I do not have to show any identification. You also have the right to remain silent. That means, don’t talk. Let me emphasize that point. Under no circumstances are you to open your fucking piehole. That means don’t talk, shrug your shoulders, move your hands/arms, change expression on your face, nothing except, “I do not consent to any searches of my person or property. Am I being detained or am I free to go?” Everything that you say or communicate by bodily movements, etc., can and will be used against you to convict you with whatever you will be charged with. Anything exculpatory (that means proves your innocence) will not be used to help you. A police officer can testify that you confessed to whatever you’re charged with, however if you say something that shows your innocence, the same officer cannot testify about it, as exculpatory statements are considered “hearsay” and thus inadmissible in court.

If you are being detained, an officer has the authority to feel on the outside of your clothing to see if you are carrying any weapons on your person. If you resist this pat down, you will be given a vigorous and enthusiastic (on the officer’s part, not necessarily yours) beat down until you stop resisting. A simple, clear and polite, “Officer, I do not consent to any searches of my person or possessions” limits them. If the police perform an improper search after you tell them you do not consent, that evidence can be disregarded by the court. There are a lot of particulars that I am unable to go into, as I am not a lawyer, and anyways what can happen in Cleveland, Ohio may not fly in Cleveland, Tennessee.

I am happy to see videos like this:

This young man was polite and respectful to the officer and the same courtesy was given to him in return. This young man was given a warning instead of a citation and he went on his way. What he didn’t try to do is try and intimidate the officer by showing what a “bad ass” he is. He also didn’t run, swear or be confrontational.

The next time you have a “police encounter,” I hope you remember who you’re dealing with. As a person and a position.

Witty Twitter Banter

I’m starting to pay attention to some Twitter comments, as that will be part of my job in the week ahead.

This one popped up, Pat Sajak (the host of Wheel of Fortune) Tweeted the following:

When I had minimum wage jobs, my goal was to better myself, not to better the minimum wage.

It’s stuff like this that warms my heart. Because, in the minimum wage world, there are two groups of people: people who have mental/physical disabilities and everyone else.

The first group, people who have disabilities generally have some kind of public assistance supporting them. They work because they want to work. I commend them for that. To push or expand beyond their disabilities makes me very proud of them. If I was hiring, I would take someone with disabilities who push themselves 104% versus a non-disabled person who does the minimum to get by.

“Everyone else” actually have a couple of sub-groups. You have these broad categories:

  • Teenagers in their first job
  • Adults 30+ who have been laid off and are working to get a better job
  • Seniors who are supplementing their retirement
  • People who have worked minimum wage for 5+ years

The teenagers group get minimum wage jobs because they are still living at home. All they need is “gas and date” money, as probably their parents are paying for everything else. They have zero job experience and are looking to start their job history.

The 30 and older adults, they have experienced a setback by being unexpectedly laid off or whatever. They are doing whatever it takes to support their family, even if it means being a line worker in a fast food restaurant. Today, it is easier to get a job if you already have a job. It is assumed that if you have been unemployed for an extended period you are either A) a slacker or B) you are being too picky about a job. I experienced that during my nine months of unemployment last year.

Seniors, our third sub-group are looking to supplement their Social Security and stay active. Due to age discrimination, they can’t stay in whatever field they worked in during their younger years.

The last group are generally the ones who want the “living wage.” If you have worked in a minimum wage environment for 5+ years and are not disabled, let me put it to you bluntly: YOU ARE A SLACKER. Because this means you have not received a useful college degree or have not graduated from a trade school, thus upgraded your skills and become a more valuable worker because you have a knowledge and skill set that is in demand.

For several years back in the 90’s, I had a job installing point-of-sale computers in fast food restaurants. Because of the “back office stuff” I had to be knowledgeable about the industry. Here is what I found:

A $2.00 hamburger has the (roughly) following costs:

  • 50 cents: Materials (bread, meat, cheese, etc.)
  • 80 cents: Labor (workers, management, maintenance, etc.)
  • 46 cents: Overhead (Main office workers, rent/mortgage, utilities, etc.)
  • 14 cents: Franchise fees (the store owner paying the brand name)
  • 10 cents: Net profit (what the franchisee receives)
  • 200 cents: Total

Now, jumping the minimum wage from $7.25 to $15, that’s doubling it and then some. It would not be out of bounds to think that keeping the same amount of staffing at the higher rate would jump the labor costs probably about 48 to 50 cents. The result would be this:

  • 50 cents: Materials (bread, meat, cheese, etc.)
  • 128 cents: Labor (workers, management, maintenance, etc.)
  • 46 cents: Overhead (Main office workers, rent/mortgage, utilities, etc.)
  • 18 cents: Franchise fees (goes up because of the price increase)
  • 10 cents: Net profit (what the franchisee receives)
  • 252 cents: Total

So, because the labor costs almost doubled, the total price of the item jumped about 25%. It is math, and no matter how much you whine about it, that won’t change the numbers. This business will sell less of that $2.00 item because it will be “too expensive” for some people and they will probably choose another place, because all of the prices there will jump up a similar amount.

So, in order to reduce the labor costs back to the original 80 cents, a combination of two things is necessary:

  • Reduce staffing levels (less jobs)
  • Increase automation.

So, the result of increasing the minimum wage will result in either higher prices or less people working and more automation like this:

Fast Food Worker at 15

That is the result of artificially inflating wages. Any questions?

Imperial President

The mountain of irrefutable facts grows.

President Obama is steadily marching toward crowning himself Emperor Obama while the Republicans are paving the way by refusing to make any significant effort to impede his progress. Case in point: Iran. Here we have a country who held 52 Americans hostage for 444 days, who's President has repeatedly stated they want to "wipe Israel off the map" with nuclear weapons, who has supplied insurgents in Iraq and is currently supplying ISIS with the tools of war.

President Obama, in a horrible imitation of Neville Chamberlain (who negotiated a "peace at any price" agreement with Hitler) is currently negotiating with Iran, to delay them having a nuclear weapon "for 10 years." Which means the 45th President (unless Obama refuses to leave the White House) will have to deal with a nuclear mushroom cloud over Jerusalem or Washington, thanks to the Iranians.

Let me explain why a nuclear-armed Iran is A BAD THING. We have stood toe-to-toe since the 60's with the Soviet Union/Russia and China because they are reasonable men. They have not launched missiles at us, nor have we at them. We both want to survive and in a full scale nuclear war, there are no winners. We could use that to make sure the Soviets/Russians and Chinese would not attack us, because they know thousands of missiles and bombers would quickly retaliate.

Iran is not rational. They are perfectly willing to sacrifice themselves and their people to achieve the goal of killing most if not all Jews on the planet. You cannot talk them out of that. There is no incentive you can use to dissuade them from that goal. If they manage to acquire a nuclear weapon, they will use it the first chance they get. What Obama and the Republicans seem to forget, any treaty or agreement negotiated by the President must be ratified by the Senate. Obama thinks this agreement can be binding with just his signature, and by the laws of our country, it cannot without the consent of the Senate.

But then again, considering how much Obama has ignored the laws of this country, and how the Republicans refuse to do anything about it, the Senate just might rubber stamp the treaty. Right now, I am holding out zero hope that the Republicans will grow testicles and refuse to ratify this agreement. Because on the off chance they do actually refuse to ratify, Obama will sign the agreement despite the refusal of the Senate, then the Congress will not act to hold Obama to any account for violating the Constitution for the umpteenth time.


The Discretion of the Bureaucrat

I am very scared. Not too much personally, rather for the country as a whole.

We are seeing the Chief Executive of the United States turning from a President into a dictator. It started with the "Affordable Care Act." The next chapter is "Net Neutrality." In each case, onerous regulations are enacted, mostly from the power given to the Executive Branch by Congress in the phrase, "The departments tasked with enforcing this Act may issue additional regulations as needed" or words to that effect.

The Law enforces draconian laws, however, if you are willing to endear yourself to those in power (bribes, campaign contributions, doing their bidding, whatever) you can obtain a "waiver" which exempts you from said onerous law. Through this mechanism, we depart from a nation of laws, where all are equal before the law, to most are crushed under the law, except for the privileged few who do not have to follow the law.

Then the new chapter, "Ammunition Bans." Just because the BATFE has "decided" to ban .223/5.56 ammunition, they are going to do it. Of course, BATFE "decided" APCP (the fuel used in high power model rockets and the Space Shuttle SRBs) was an explosive, it took 20+ years of bullshit to store and use something that is clearly not an explosive. I have more to say on this, I have to find the proper words.


A World Leader With Some Testicles

We all know about the two American hostages of ISIS that were beheaded. Our Glorious Leader, President Barack Obama, issued some stern words to the press about this on his way to a game of golf. Earlier this week, ISIS executed a Jordanian fighter pilot by immolation and King Abdullah II is pissed. He ordered the immediate execution of two ISIS linked prisoners and flew home from the United States early. He is commencing to step up airstrikes and I am willing to bet that's just the start. He learned how to properly deal with terrorists.

In Beruit back in the 80's, twenty-five Americans were captured and held, some for years. Some were killed. During that time, four Soviet diplomats were taken hostage, all at the same time. One was killed, the other three were released unharmed within a month. Why the difference? This story might explain. Here's part of it:

The incident began when four Soviet diplomats were kidnapped last September by Muslim extremists who demanded that Moscow pressure the Syrian government to stop pro-Syrian militiamen from shelling rival Muslim positions in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli. The militiamen, the Jerusalem paper said, did not cease their attacks, and the body of one of the Soviet diplomats, Arkady Katkov, was found a few days later in a field in Beirut.

So, the extremists were playing tough. The KGB was tougher:

The KGB then apparently kidnapped and killed a relative of an unnamed leader of the Shias' Hezbollah (Party of God) group, a radical, pro-Iranian group that has been suspected of various terrorist activities against Western targets in Lebanon. Parts of the man's body, the paper said, were then sent to the Hezbollah leader with a warning that he would lose other relatives in a similar fashion if the three remaining Soviet diplomats were not immediately released. They were quickly freed. The newspaper quoted "observers in Jerusalem" as saying: "This is the way the Soviets operate. They do things--they don't talk. And this is the language Hezbollah understands."

I like a leader that has brass balls the size of shot-puts that go klang klang klang when he walks.

You can't negotiate with people like this. They want us dead and no amount of talking will dissuade them from that goal. You have to kill the bastard. Make it clear to them that you will kill them, their wife, parents and children, their pet goat and camels and the rest of their family out to their 12th cousin twice removed. In order to make sure that his countrymen make sure we don't deal with the terrorists, you erase the terrorists village. Kill everybody and everything, all the way down to bacteria, and the five nearest villages as well. That should incentivize some self-policing.

Force is the only thing they understand. Raw, unmitigated, unstoppable, overwhelming force that could easily be confused with the wrath of God. I have no doubt our testicle-less Glorious Leader would never do such a thing. More's the pity.


Fantasy vs. Reality

With the several deaths that have ensued at police hands recently, people aren't listening to the other side. They basically agree on the major points, they just see things... differently. Here is a video story out of Phoenix that was about a Black Rights Activist going through a live use of force scenario.

When I had a CCW license, I trained constantly. Marksmanship, practical pistol competitions and specifically what are called "shoot/no-shoot" scenarios. I used an air-powered simulation pistol with a narrow light beam and sensor in the barrel, with a system similar to the NES's Duck Hunt. You then watched a short video using a wall projector to simulate the exercise. When you pulled the trigger, the air piston would rack the slide (thus giving the feeling of firing a round) and flash the light. The projection screen would for 1-2 frames go black, except for a white spot to represent a proper target, generally the center of mass of the person(s) on the screen. If the weapon was aimed at the white spot, the light would reflect off of it and back to the sensor in the weapon and tell the computer to register a kill. The computer would then play the appropriate video clip based on if you were justified in shooting and if you hit or missed. If the person(s) on the screen made an aggressive move (such as advancing toward you and/or pulling a weapon) and you shot and hit, the video would show the person dropping. If you missed, they would shoot you and declare you "dead."

Sometimes the person would throw up his hands and surrender or run off without pulling a weapon. If shot then, you lost because your use of force was unjustified. Police officers make split-second life-and-death decisions every day. "Armchair quarterbacks" who have days or months to analyze what happened will 99% of the time find something that the officer missed in the 0.72 seconds the officer had to decide in who lived and died. The armchair quarterbacks can also kibbutz about "Why didn't you shoot the gun out of his hand?" or "You should have shot him in the leg to stop him instead of the head" are blowing smoke out their ass.

Unless you have had to make those kind of split-second decisions, be quiet. You have no idea what you are talking about and "should haves" are bullshit.


Liberals are complex people

Liberals, by and large, like to pigeon-hole everybody. Give them a label, and that's what you are for the rest of your life. Black, White, Conservative, Mentally Ill, it doesn't matter.

With real human beings, however you cannot realistically do this to them. No "bad" person is 100% "evil," nor is every "good" person 100% perfect. We are a spectrum ranging from good to bad and everything in between.

I now present Darlena Cunha. She came to my attention this morning, after writing in Time magazine in favor of people rioting in Ferguson. Something prompted me to take a deeper look at her through what she has written and this is what I found: in 2007, Darlena moved from California back home to the East Coast. She became pregnant by her boyfriend. Her boyfriend proposed, then they bought a house. Then, several events ganged up on her. Three weeks after closing, the housing market collapsed and their home instantly lost 40% of it's value. Then her boyfriend was laid off. Darlena gave birth to preemie twins, and decided to freelance from home to raise their children. As a result, they suffered an 80% pay cut.

She wrote the article, The day I drove my Mercedes to pick up food stamps, where she described her experiences applying for Medicaid, SNIP (otherwise known as food stamps) and WIC. She had this to say about the Mercedes (and why it was a significant part of the story):

That's the funny thing about being poor. Everyone has an opinion on it, and everyone feels entitled to share. That was especially true about my husband's Mercedes. Over and over again, people asked why we kept that car, offering to sell it in their yards or on the Internet for us. "Sell the Mercedes," a friend said to me. "He doesn't get to keep his toys now." But it wasn't a toy — it was paid off. My husband bought that car before we met. Were we supposed to trade it in for a lousier car we'd have to make payments on? Only to have that less reliable car break down on us? And even if we had wanted to do that, here's what people don't understand: The reality of poverty can spring quickly while the psychological effects take longer to surface. When you lose a job, your first thought isn't, "Oh my God, I'm poor. I'd better sell all my nice stuff!" It's "I need another job. Now." When you're scrambling, you hang onto the things that work, that bring you some comfort. That Mercedes was the one reliable, trustworthy thing in our lives.

I would like to say, as of the publication of the article (July 2014) they still had that Mercedes. Good for them. The next article gave me a very wide grin.

Darlena attempted to apply her Liberal virtues upon her children, and got them thrown right back in her face by her children. I’m a die-hard liberal. It ruined my parenting. What she attempted to do was apply a reasoned approach to why she did what she did to and for her six-year-old twin daughters. She attempted to get "buy-in" from her daughters and it failed miserably. Her daughters logic was impeccable and better than Darlena's.

So, she had to fall back on those old Conservative (although she doesn't use that term) principles of "Do it, because I'm your Mother." The system of telling young children (generally under 10 years old) what to do rather than explaining why and expecting the "now enlightened" child to do it of their own volition has worked for several thousand years. Once children start developing the ability to reason through several sequential thoughts to get from start to finish, then you can take the time to explain the why's and wherefore's to them. The best thing to do with children is tell them to do it. Make the rules for their conduct age appropriate and clear beforehand. If you have to administer punishment, do it when you are calm (or have the other parent do it while they are calm), then love and hug them before and after the punishment. When correction (and by extension discipline) are done through love and support rather than anger, you will end up with a better young adult. Now for the reason for the post: Ferguson: In Defense of Rioting. In typical Liberal fashion, she writes this (emphasis mine):

Because when you have succeeded, it ceases to be a possibility, in our capitalist society, that anyone else helped you. And if no one helped you succeed, then no one is holding anyone else back from succeeding. Except they did help you, and they are holding people back. So that blaming someone else for your failures in the United States may very well be an astute observation of reality, particularly as it comes to white privilege versus black privilege. And, yes, they are different, and they are tied to race, and that doesn’t make me a racist, it makes me a realist. If anything, I am racist because I am white. Until I have had to walk in a person of color’s skin, I will never understand, I will always take things for granted, and I will be inherently privileged. But by ignoring the very real issues this country still faces in terms of race to promote an as-of-yet imaginary colorblind society, we contribute to the problem at hand, which is centuries of abuses lobbied against other humans on no basis but that of their skin color.

Then Darlena has the temerity to invoke the Boston Tea Party. For those of you who do not keep up on history, the Boston Tea Party was a political protest over "Taxation Without Representation," the frustration of American Colonists and their being taxed by Great Britain without Colonial representatives in Parliament.

In today's dollars, about $1.6 million of tea was destroyed by throwing the chests containing said product were thrown overboard from three cargo ships. Nothing was burned and no one was hurt. Benjamin Franklin (that old, evil white guy) actually called for and tried to make restitution for the losses. The Boston Tea Party was actually considered at the time something shameful. It didn't get its current prospective until 60 years after the event.

As far as what I have in bold above, I think Darlena has a different dictionary than I do. My dictionary defines racism as, :"... the doctrine that a certain human race is superior to any or all others." To say "I am racist because I am white" as a blanket statement is beyond ludicrous. And, just as a thought, if she is a self-admitted racist, why should any person who is not of her skin color trust her?

I prefer to judge people on their actions and the content of their character. The color of another persons skin is not a factor in any decision I make about a person. There you go. Darlena is a self-admitted Liberal, and a self-admitted racist. Do I think every other Liberal is a racist? No. I make that determination based on each persons actions and words. You draw your own conclusion.


Consequences of Your Actions

There are always consequences of your actions. Any action you perform interacts with and changes the Universe to some degree.

Too bad we have been taught that "consequences" has a negative tone. Because consequences can be positive as well. If you do the right thing for the right reasons, the resultant consequences are positive. If you hurt others, the consequences are negative.

Hence this article, U.Va. Looks at Alcohol as Factor in Sex Assaults. Disclaimer: I was drinking at 18. That being said, I was on a military base where the drinking age was 18. Off-base, the age was 21 and I did not drink off-base. I also assure you, if I had gotten drunk on-base and something stupid, I would have faced the negative consequences of my actions.

Back to the article: In this typically Liberal bastion, the Regents are more concerned about appearance than substance. So, these "regrettable incidents" are either quietly swept under the rug or ignored altogether. Here is a novel idea. How about the laws of the land be enforced? How about the university attach some significant consequences to bad actions? Let's start by enforcing the law of the land. All students under 21 years old found intoxicated will be presented to the police for investigation and if necessary, appropriate charges. Same with a sexual assault. Both parties are to be referred to the police for investigation and appropriate charges. That would include charges against the "victim" for filing a false report if that was found to be the case.

Now, what can the university do to ensure this doesn't happen on campus? How about, for a misdemeanor conviction, the student loses the entire semester. All class fees for that semester are forfeited. No classes count toward graduation. You must retake all of the classes for that semester. A second misdemeanor conviction during the twelve months following the first conviction will result in immediate expulsion from the university and forfeiture of all credits and fees. Any felony conviction will also result in forfeiture of all credits and fees.

As far as the "Greek system" goes, I am willing to give a bit more latitude, as one adult or organization should never be held accountable for the actions of another adult. If an on-campus Fraternity or Sorority (I'm willing to be equal here, the university in the article wasn't) in the course of a year (or whatever the pledge cycle is) has an "incident" involving a member of that Fraternity/Sorority, upon conviction of the member(s) involved, it goes on immediate probation. A second conviction results in pulling of that charter and banishment of that Fraternity/Sorority from the campus for not less than five years. I specify on-campus organizations, because the university has no authority over things that happen away from their campus.

Now, will this "stop" the underage drinking and sexual assaults? Of course not. An 18 or 19 year-old is by definition impulsive and curious. I most certainly was. I made my share of mistakes, and I paid for them. Fresh away from home like this they are on their own for the first time in their lives. They are going to try new things. Some of them will be stupid things. The best way to mold these wild young adults are to give them a clear set of rules and guidelines, as well as the positive and negative consequences of these guidelines. This should have been started when they hit about 10 years old, but I digress. To those who follow the rules, they will most likely end up as responsible and contributing members of society. Those who cannot or will not follow the rules, most likely won't have that outcome. It's really as simple as that.


Ferguson, Part 2

I found this while working on my post below: NASW Statement on Ferguson Grand Jury Decision. Through my years working in behavioral health, I worked with a lot of Social Workers, as co-workers and as a client. As a group, Social Workers are very hard working. They want to help others. They are also frustrated, bound by constraints of the agency they work for, and the times when the services they offer do not fit with the needs their clients have. So when the "national organization" says things like this, it is disheartening:

NASW supports reforms that could prevent unnecessary police shootings from occurring. These include:
  • National standards on the use of lethal police force.
  • National standards on how police handle persons living with mental illnesses or disabilities.
  • Training to help end police bias and racial profiling when dealing with people of color.
  • Making body cameras standard police equipment.

First of all, I support body cameras on officers. It documents when they did things right, as well as when they do things wrong. Body cameras are an impassioned, neutral witness to events whose story does not change as time goes on. Second, "national standards" doesn't work. It sounds good, however remember we are a patchwork of 50 States, each with its own identity. What works in California probably won't work in Arkansas, and vice versa. Also, you would have to write out every possible instance and the appropriate reaction for that case.

Of course, none of the people who will write this "standard" will have ever been in a gunfight or any type of fight for their lives, thus having no idea what they are talking about. The result will be unreasonable standards of conduct, parsed to the point where even the tiniest mistake (Remember Ed, whose misplaced comma cost his firm $1.6 Million?) will leave the officer dead or in jail for the rest of his life.

"National Standards" probably won't work in dealing with "mental health calls" too much either. See above. Unless you want to apply something that supersedes the law, human kindness. People with mental health issues are not operating under the same set of facts that everyone else does. The result is, they will act differently. I know this, because I've been on that end of a "police encounter." The Crisis Intervention Team concept was developed here in Memphis, Tennessee. It teaches the officers to talk with, not command a person who is scared, disoriented and who sees and hears things no one else does.

I remember one time a man who was severely affected by paranoid schizophrenia. We were in a "Psychiatric Evaluation Ward" and he was curled up on the ground shouting, "Help me! The voices are telling me to kill!" Despite all that, the officer still has to protect himself and others. Here in Memphis, not every mental health call is successfully resolved, but the vast majority are.

Last point: I personally, just me, think that the laws should be as few as possible. With all of the laws, rules and regulations on the books, our physical, emotional, social, economic and other freedoms are extremely restricted by the government. That being said, the law must be color-blind. And I know in Ferguson it is not. Race should never be a factor for the police to stop or investigate a citizen for anything. If 79% of any group (be it by skin color, religion, sexual orientation or any other description you wish to use) breaks a law, it is no reason to detain without provocation any person of that group, because you just might grab one of the 21%.

Ferguson Burns... Again

I have written about the situation in Ferguson before, here, here and here.

I support our first responders, they run towards trouble, rather than away. That being said, I am at the front of the line to complain when I see abuses of power. I also understand the purpose of the police, which is to enforce the laws, not "protect the people."

As you can see from what I have posted before, I do my homework. I understand the underlying resentment of the citizens of Ferguson. I know more than what the Media wants me to know. However, I realize that I will never know all of the facts because I was not there when Brown died, nor was I in the Grand Jury room, or the DA's office.

From what I have read, Officer Wilson was doing what he was charged to do, which was enforce the laws of the municipality. Jaywalking is a misdemeanor in almost every urban or suburban area. Brown, who had just committed two felonies (strong-arm robbery and assault) acted "defensively" (in his mind) because he probably thought the officer was stopping him because of the felonies he just committed. A struggle ensues and Brown ends up dead. Rioting ensues.

So, now we come to this point. The DA punts, handing the responsibility over to the Grand Jury. When the Grand Jury returns a "No Bill," or they do not indict Officer Wilson, again the rioting starts. And the frustrated people of Ferguson, who have been beaten down and hyped up on incorrect information, react in the worst possible way: they foul their own nest by looting and burning the businesses in their own neighborhoods. So when Ferguson becomes an economic wasteland because honestly, who wants to put forth the time, effort and cash to operate a business only to have it looted and burned? Who in their right mind would want to invest in such a community?

Of course, in the near future when the citizens of Ferguson now have to hop on the bus or drive to get groceries and services they used to be able to walk to, whom will they blame? Probably not themselves. They will place the blame of why they burned those businesses on the reasons they did it, not on their own actions. If you don't like the system, change it. Don't like the laws passed? Petition to your elected officials. If they don't listen to you, run for office yourself and get elected. Then you are in a position to repeal those bad laws.


Twisted People, Twisted Logic

And another wonderful example of how some people are willing to twist things to their own advantage. Outrage as LA School District argues that child can 'consent' to sex w/ teacher. So, the lawyers are stating that because the molested minor female was able to lie to her mother about her whereabouts, she could reasonably consent to sex.

Arguing that a child can make adult decisions, Keith Wyatt, the school district's trial attorney in the case, argued against the child, stating plainly, "She lied to her mother so she could have sex with her teacher. She went to a motel in which she engaged in voluntary consensual sex with her teacher. Why shouldn't she be responsible for that?" Not quite done yet, Wyatt also went on to insisted that a 14-year-old can be mature enough to consent to sex with an adult. Telling reporters, Wyatt also said, "Making a decision as to whether or not to cross the street when traffic is coming, that takes a level of maturity and that's a much more dangerous decision than to decide, 'Hey, I want to have sex with my teacher.'"

A 14-year-old is not emotionally mature enough to make such life-determining choices on their own. When an authority figure such as a teacher abuses the trust society places on them and engages in such conduct, they violate that trust, as well as the child. I am happy to note that child molesters are the lowest rung of the pecking order in prison, so our "teacher" is getting "schooled" by Bubba every night for his three year stint. Personally, I think Mr. Wyatt, for those kind of idiotic statements should suffer the same fate as the molester. It boggles my mind how such a person can be so craven to make statements like that. Knowing that this is in California, it's actually likely the family of the molested teen will lose this case. It's that screwed up in that state.

Slavery... As It Is Today

I have said this for years: "Don't complain about history when it's current events." In Memphis, the War of the Great Rebellion (AKA the American Civil War) and slavery is brought up or alluded to almost every city council meeting. "Your ancestors enslaved my ancestors!" kind of thing. And, I have been talking about how slavery is still prevalent, and the "Maybe we'll get around to abolishing it, next year" in other parts of the world. Then I find this: Nearly 36 million people are slaves, Qatar in focus: global index.

The index defines slavery as the control or possession of people in such a way as to deprive them of their freedom with the intention of exploiting them for profit or sex, usually through violence, coercion or deception.

The definition includes indentured servitude, forced marriage and the abduction of children to serve in wars.

So, forced exploitation of your fellow man is still going strong today.

The index showed that 10 countries alone account for 71 percent of the world's slaves.

After India [14.3 million], China has the most with 3.2 million, then Pakistan (2.1 million), Uzbekistan (1.2 million), Russia (1.05 million), Nigeria (834,200), Democratic Republic of Congo (762,900), Indonesia (714,100), Bangladesh (680,900) and Thailand (475,300).

To all of those who claim they are enslaved, I suggest you look elsewhere and see how much better their lives are compared to those who are in active bondage.

The Twisting of our Constitution

This image came up during my news perusal. It's a bit bit small, so I will quote the relevant parts.

homework govtgivesusrights sm

This is something from 2008, which shows that this has been going on for a while. It is plain to see that is indoctrination that has to be fought. Here are the relevant parts:

"When you are a citizen you have rights. Rights are special privileges the government gives you. In our country, you have free speech. You are also given the right to choose a religion. In America, the press is free to tell you what is happening in the world. The Bill of Rights lists the freedoms given to citizens. These rights are very important. Many people in the world do not have the freedoms we do. Because the government gives us rights, we have the duty to be good citizens.."

To anyone who has studied the Constitution and the works of our Founding Fathers to understand the context, the above is 100% false. The rights enumerated in the Bill of Rights were recognized by our Founding Fathers to come from our Creator and the government is not to abridge, delay, interrupt or deny those rights. Read what those rights actually say: First, "Congress shall make no law..." Second, "...shall not be infringed." Fourth, "The right of the people...shall not be violated..." Ninth, "The enumeration of the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people." Tenth, "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." The Constitution is a document that very specifically states what the powers of the government are. If it's not in the Constitution, then the federal government is not allowed those powers. If you can train the people to believe the horseshit that rights come from the government in stead of your Higher Power, then you can convince them that "they don't need those rights." More:

"Being a good citizen also means obeying the laws in your community and school. Laws are made to help you and keep you safe."

Again, 100% wrong. Laws describe actions which are deemed "detrimental to the public good." Thomas Aquinas’ definition of a law: “Law; an ordinance of reason for the common good, made by him who has care of the community.” Now, if the agenda of the person(s) who make the laws runs counter to the good of the people, you have laws like this:

The Lacy Act: 16 U.S.C. § 3370, in part, states: It is unlawful for any person - (1) to import, export, transport, sell, receive, acquire, or purchase any fish or wildlife or plant taken, possessed, transported, or sold in violation of any law, treaty, or regulation of the United States or in violation of any Indian tribal law; (2) to import, export, transport, sell, receive, acquire, or purchase in interstate or foreign commerce - (A) any fish or wildlife taken, possessed, transported, or sold in violation of any law or regulation of any State or in violation of any foreign law; (B) any plant taken, possessed, transported, or sold in violation of any State; or...

If you actually read that part of the law, it's pretty frightening. A friend travels abroad, brings something back and gives it to you. If you accept that gift and what you were given was against the law in the other country to export, you just violated one of the thousands upon thousands of federal laws. You didn't set out to violate the law, and thereby lack rens mea (Latin for "the evil mind"). However, the fact that you did it, knowingly or unknowingly makes you guilty. You might also want to watch this:

Frightening, isn't it?


They Want The Best For You...

... even if you don't want it. This is pretty much a cornerstone of Liberal "benevolence." Town's tobacco ban hearing too rowdy, ends early. The Westminster, Mass Board of Health has decided to consider a ban on the sale of all tobacco products in their town. The Board of Health, that is has made this decision. And when the proles decide to show up en mass to dissuade the council from passing this law, the meeting was shut down.

...Board of Health chairwoman Andrea Crete gaveled the hearing to a close just 25 minutes into it instead of taking comments. "The crowd's getting out of control and the room's filled to capacity," she said. "We don't want any riots." [..] "I'm disappointed that we didn't get to have the hearing," she said. "We're trying to save lives and prevent children from being future users."

What Ms. Crete means is that she believes that people have no control over their choices and she feels that she must take those choices away from them. For their own good, of course. And then she doesn't want to listen to the "insufferable proletariat" who have the temerity, the outright audacity to think they know what's best for themselves!

Shopkeeper Brian Vincent, whose country store on Main Street sells $100,000 worth of tobacco products a year, said he's collected at least 900 signatures on a petition against the ban. He said smokers will simply make their purchases in other towns and probably buy their gas and groceries there as well. "Having other adults decide what legal item we're not allowed to consume just makes you wonder: If this passes, what could be next? Sugar? Bacon?" he said.  

I can assure Mr. Vincent, if this goes through and is allowed to stand, sugar and bacon will be some of the next targets.

When my wife and I were newlyweds, we had planned one evening to go out and have a nice dinner. Then she found out that there was a State Legislature subcommittee meeting on a bill that she was interested in advocating for. My wife was very involved in Hawai'ian state politics. We attended the meeting (after grabbing some hot dogs from the 7-Eleven) and my wife and several other citizens spoke eloquently in favor of the bill. The legislators, after hearing the citizens, decided to kill the bill. My beautiful bride was so upset over that she started a Category 4 shitstorm. Letters to the Editor, the Governor, her State Legislators and those involved in the subcommittee meeting all received nastygrams from her about that event. She was a very influential person in Hawai'ian politics at the time, so she was listened to.

Something else to consider: will the town be able to "afford" this? As in, just for the sake of argument, smokers will go to other stores outside of Westminster to do other shopping while they buy their tobacco products. If there were 20 stores that each sold $100,000 of tobacco annually and there is a 10% tax on those tobacco products, that would mean a tax revenue shortfall of approximately $200,000 in tobacco taxes. Not to mention a shortfall in other "revenue streams."

I see people purchase tobacco when they fill their vehicles at convenience stores, or when they buy groceries. I will bet that those primary purchases will move out to the surrounding areas to coincide with the tobacco purchases if this ban were to go into effect. Which means a large loss of sales (and tax revenue) to the businesses and city government of Westminster.

I don't use tobacco, never have. My parents and sister were heavy smokers, so I do not like it in my presence. If someone smokes near me, I position myself so that I am not affected by it. Or I remove myself from the area entirely. I see it as their choice to smoke, and my choice not to be near it. At the same time, I do not have the right, power or authority to take away someone elses' choice on something. It's their choice, no matter how god or bad, right or wrong I think their decision is.

As long as Liberals believe they must take away choices "for our own good" they must be defeated. Every time and every way. Because if some has that kind of mindset, if given the opportunity, what makes you think they won't take away your choice on other things as well?

11/20/14 UPDATE: According to this article, two of the three members of the Westminster Board of Health saw the writing on the wall and voted to kill the proposal. The chairwoman, Andrea Crete, wanted to keep the proposal "under consideration." Which is, of course, Liberalspeak for "We will pass it later when no one is watching us."

No Chain of Command

This event clearly shows that Our Illustrious Leader has no power in the Executive Branch of the government, the very same one that he is (supposedly) in charge of. Obama’s call for an open Internet puts him at odds with regulators.

The President is the CEO of the Federal Government. What he says, goes. Period, end of story. I will admit, I liked it when President Obama stood up for Net Neutrality. The Internet should be open and equal to all. To have the head of the FCC publicly contradict the president is disrespect to the office of the president, as well as the person holding the office. When the president stated this intent, Tom Wheelers public words should have been, "Yes, sir." Now that the FCC head has publicly disagreed with the President, Obama should tell Mr. Wheeler two words: "You're fired." Anything less only shows that Obama is a puppet.

Berkley Strikes Again

Berkley, California is no longer part of this planet, because they have left the building. Approval Of Soda Tax In Berkeley Is Scary Precedent For Food Industry.

Again, using taxation to influence peoples behavior is just plain not right. I guess the lawmakers of their city council just can't stand people making choices the council does not want them to make. Either that, or they want the "sin tax" income. Personally, I think the city council should just make it against the law. No soda is better than some soda, right? Just outlaw it entirely.

On the other side, I think Pepsi, Coke and the other companies should stop selling their products to companies who have locations in Berkley. If they do business with chains (Wal-Mart, 7-Eleven, McDonald's, etc.) that have franchises in Berkley, Coke and Pepsi should stipulate in their contracts with these companies that their SSB (sugar-sweetened beverages) products not be sold within the city limits. Pepsi and Coke, et. al., should make it very clear to everyone involved, that the businesses will suffer as long as that tax is in place.

Businesses and residents will move out, causing the tax rolls to fall and the city to lose money. Because this is a bad precedent to be set. If the government gets away with this, where will it stop? After the Sixteenth Amendment (income tax) was passed, the first tax returns were only had to be filed by the wealthy, who also had generous deductions. Today, most of us pay up to half of our income in federal, state and local taxes. So, what starts as a one cent per ounce on SSBs ends up as another onerous tax on all food before you know it.

The "Why" Behind Common Core

Folks, here it is. From the mouth of the guy who co-wrote Common Core:

He wrote it because he felt guilty about his "White Privilege." He grew up somewhere different from me, because I sure never received anything based on the fact that I am a white male. N-E-V-E-R. I earned what I have gotten in my life, the good things and the bad things.

I was appraised by every company who hired me by what I had done and learned in the past. I was appraised on my knowledge and talents. My knowledge came from learning in school until I graduated from High School. My talents were developed by applying that knowledge. Just as an aside, I was one credit shy from graduating at the end of my junior year. I needed 18 credits to graduate, I had 17. At the end of my senior year, I had 23 credits. So I did not "coast" through my Senior year.

It was made very clear to me by my parents growing up that I had to acquire and understand knowledge. I had to acquire it so that it would always be at hand when I needed it. I also had to understand it so that I can make proper use of that knowledge. "He has more degrees than a thermometer but not a lick of sense" is someone who as acquired knowledge, but does not understand it enough to use it.

Most descriptors regarding human beings are reflected on a bell curve. It really doesn't matter what is being described, it is some form of a bell curve. There are some people on the far left, some people on the far right, and most in the middle. Liberals want us to all be the same. Like ants or bees. All working in harmony, together for the common good. Of course, they want to be the queen so they can be waited on hand and foot, but that's another story.

People are not ants or bees. We are individuals, and as such we each perform differently. Some people want to learn, some people don't want to learn, some people can't learn. Those people who want to learn generally end up on the right side of the bell curve. Those people who can't or don't want to learn generally end up on the left side of the curve. Just to be clear, we as a society should help those who can't learn to be productive to their level and have dignity in their lives. If you don't want to learn, you suffer the consequences of your actions.

When Liberals try to externalize the ideas that exist in the space that's between their ears, those ideas generally fall flat, or cause more damage than good. No matter how noble their intentions or lofty their goals, there are ideas that fail every time they are tried. To make everybody the same is one of them.

Liberals in education just can't fit some ideas into the universe between their ears, like some people don't want to learn. This clashes with their "everybody must be equal" meme, so their efforts must then revolve around pushing the entire curve to the left, to the lowest common denominator. Which is what I have seen the efforts have been in Common Core. Instead of requiring students to memorize multiplication tables, they are taught the most infuriating and mind-numbing method possible. Example: to answer 2 X 6, you have to draw two horizontal rows of six circles each, then count them to come up with twelve. Heavens forbid if you were to draw those rows vertically. You might get the answer correct, but the methodology is wrong, so the answer is wrong, even when it's correct.

Some subsets of society (say that three times fast) do not place a high priority on learning and knowledge. Some subsets of society of society do. By and large, those cultures who do not value learning end up with a large portion of those people ending up dropping out of school and becoming a drain on society. Here in Memphis, our graduation rate, last I heard was in the 50-60%. In order to correct that, some years ago they came up with the "Every Child. College Bound" program. It failed miserably. Why? Because not every young adult wants to go to college.

When I was in High School, your freshman year was used to evaluate you. Halfway through your sophomore year, you were guided towards one of three options for after graduation. Either you graduated and ended your academic learning at that point, which led to menial dead-end low-pay jobs. If you showed some talent with your hands, you could be steered into the Vo-Tech program, where you learned a trade (mechanic, plumber/electrician, etc.). The last option way you showed a penchant for learning and knowledge and you were groomed for college. When I was at the MEPS in Cleveland enlisting, the Petty Officer processing my paperwork took a look at my school grades and my ASVAB score, his jaw dropped open, and he asked me, "How would you like to go to Annapolis?" As in to be an officer. I turned it down. I had done enough research to know what I would be going through if I went, and I didn't want to endure it, no matter the prize at the end of the road.

You cannot force a person to learn, nor force them to think. The best thing you can do is leave those who do not wish to learn behind and cause them discomfort until they realize it's more comfortable to be intelligent than unintelligent. Use methodologies that have been proven to work to help children to acquire and understand knowledge. Guide them towards where their level of knowledge and talents would help them become whom they want to be. Train for the jobs of today, because yesterday's jobs aren't there anymore and tomorrow's jobs we don't know what you will need for them.

The First Tuesday Following A Monday...

VOTE. I don't care who you vote for, but VOTE. Make your voice heard. The job of the Citizen is to keep their mouth open. This is part of that obligation. If you don't vote, you have no right to complain about how things are.

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