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As long as you aren't a spammer, your respectful comments will be posted. Fair warning, you want to go Godwin's Law on me, the Ban Hammer comes down.


"We're not them"

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I am beginning to think that the major problem is not excessive government, rather SJW-led corporations. We already know about Facebook, Twitter, et.al., banning people whose political views don't agree with management. And in ideas developed through Operation Choke Point, the financial strangling of people who have jobs or businesses deemed "undesireable" by the government. The latest effort to silence "undesireables" has resulted in accounts for Carl “Sargon of Akkad” Benjamin, James Allsup, and Milo Yiannopoulos being banned from Patreon.

The result of this is Dave Rubin and Jordan B. Peterson leaving Patreon (where they both derive a substantial portion of their income) and starting their own payment service. This, I believe could be the start of something that's been looming on the horizon, namely a "Conservative economy."

In 1986, Rupert Murdoch founded Fox Broadcasting Company. Murdoch did this because he saw the "Big Four" (ABC/NBC/CBS/CNN) being unabashedly Liberal in their reporting and views. So, Fox has made a serious effort to present both sides of an issue. They are clearly Conservative, however they do have real Liberals on their panels and they are allowed to voice their opinion. If there are any non-Leftists on panels on the other four, they are milquetoast centrists who couldn't argue their way out of a wet paper bag and are frequently shouted down. Fox became very popular very quickly because of a simple advertising strategy: "We're Not Them." By being a voice different from the Big Four, FOX attracted almost half of the country because up until then, the needs of that half of the country were not being met.

Now we are starting to see alternative platforms crop up. I discovered MeWe a couple weeks ago. It's a Facebook competitor who openly states they don't collect your information to "provide you with targeted ads." We anxiously await the Ruben/Peterson alliance (whatever it's name will be), and there are other websites and services who tell you, "We're Not Them."

I like the idea of platforms being platforms and not arbiters of what is good and proper speech.

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Qualifications vs. Diversity

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Social Justice Warriors, I don't know why, seem to lack a basic grasp of reality and observational powers. Combined with their recursive thinking that "if they want it badly enough, it will come true," if they can get their "inclusive" agenda, the result will be staggering numbers of dead and disabled people. This will also lead in directions that *I* see, but obviously they don't.

I speak specifically about this article, Making U.S. Fire Departments More Diverse and Inclusive by Corinne Bendersky.

She starts with the first paragraph:

Picture a typical firefighter. Who comes to mind? If you imagined a white man, that’s understandable: 96% of U.S. career firefighters are men, and 82% are white. This homogeneity is striking, especially when you compare it to the U.S. military, which is 85% men and 60% white, and local police forces, which are 88% men and 73% white.

To which my response is, "Aaannnnnnnnndd?" Because there are two distinct factors in play here, both conveniently ignored by the author. They are 1) the prospective firefighter must apply for the position (they must want to do it) and 2) there is a set of physical and mental standards that must be met to adequately and safely perform the job at hand. Those physical requirements, by the way, are written in blood. The blood of those who could not physically perform the job and those killed or disabled because the first person could not do the job.

In 2015, I wrote about the Ground Combat Element Integrated Task Force in my article, Women in Combat. Included in my post was the article Sergeant Major Speaks Out On Women In Combat.

Sergeant Major Justin Lehew, who was part of the GCEITF and wanted it to succeed, had this to say:

With our limited manpower we cannot afford to not train everyone to the best of their abilities. This was as stacked as a unit could get with the best Marines to give it a 100 percent success rate as we possibly could. End result? The best women in The GCEITF as a group in regard to infantry operations were equal or below in most all cases to the lowest 5 percent of men as a group in this test study. They are slower on all accounts in almost every technical and tactical aspect and physically weaker in every aspect across the range of military operations. [emphasis mine]

The report sent to the Secretary of the Navy had this to say, (page 79):

  1. The female Marines integrated into the closed MOS units demonstrated that they are capable of performing the physically demanding tasks, but not necessarily at the same level as their male counterparts in terms of performance, fatigue, workload, or cohesion.
  2. Integrated units, compared with all-male units, showed degradations in the time to complete tasks, move under load, and achieve timely effects on target. The size of the differences observed between units and tasks varied widely. The more telling aspect of the comparisons is the cumulative impacts. The pace, timing, and accuracy of any singular task is not necessarily important, but taken together, and in the context of actual combat operations, the cumulative differences can lead to substantial effects on the unit, and the unit’s ability to accomplish the mission.
  3. Gender and MOS type are the best predictors of occupational injuries. In particular, we found that females are more likely to incur occupational injuries, resulting in reduced readiness compared to their male counterparts. Males, on the other hand, are more likely to incur non-occupational injuries. Additionally, Marines in vehicle MOSs tended to have lower injury rates than those in MOSs that march (i.e., foot mobile) or Artillery MOSs.

Let me spell this out for you: The best female Marine is outperformed by 19 of 20 male Marines. In combat, the slower unit will likely lose in a fight. Integrated units are slower than non-integrated units. This ends only one way: more flag-draped coffins than there should have been.

How does this apply here? I can't say this enough: In physically demanding jobs where lives are on the line, the physical standards to those jobs are written in the blood of those who didn't meet those standards. If a firefighter cannot haul a downed fellow firefighter (or policeman, oil rig worker, et.al.) to safety in time, both will die.

Just in case, if you're reading "women can't be firefighters/Marines/Whatever," you're stupid. If a woman can meet the physical standard (not the women's standard, the same standard as men) and wants to work in that job, I have no problem with it. My day job consists of me routinely loading 40 and 50 pound bulky equipment boxes into and out of my work van. Out of the 40 technicians in my group, 3-4 are female. They can do the job and I don't have a problem with it.

To force gender equality in jobs like this will end very badly. But here's a worse dimension.

About 1975, I read a book, This Perfect Day by Ira Levin. It's the story about a dystopian society, where the computer "Unicomp" (Universal Computer) made most of your life decisions for you. I remember this passage quite clearly, just not word for word. The scene was where Chip (his actual name was Li XE 4827143) was lamenting that Uni had decided that he was to be a molecular geneticist when he really wanted to be something else, I forget what.

"Chip," the counselor said, "You know Uni always makes the best decisions, right? Uni has read all of your test scores and your teachers' notes about you to select the best possible work for you. Can you imagine if everyone wanted to be an actor but no one wanted to work in a crematorium?"

I clearly see that, not too far into the future, if SJW's can force this "gender equality" into any job (not just the physically demanding ones) then not too long after that, you won't get a choice about what you do to earn a living. You will be told what to do and that's that. Think about this: If the job openings for a given job type are to "equally represent" all racial and gender groups, how is that fire department going to find a mixed race Black/Asian lesbian that wants to be a firefighter? Because, you know, if a position requires that specific racial/sexual demographic, how easily can that position be filled?

Forcing diversity, be it racial or gender, without regard to the physical and mental demands of a job will end in failure, the only question remains is, "how catastrophic?"

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The reason why

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This may seem counter-intuitive, but the proper way to tackle the issue of “hate speech” is to have more speech, not to silence the speaker. I have to put that term into scare quotes because it is often invoked for any kind of contradictory speech. By the massive overuse of the term, it destroys any impact it would normally have. Overuse almost normalizes real racists, like Louis Farrakhan, who compared the Jewish people to termites, or Sarah Jeong, recently named to the New York Times Editorial Board, who has Tweeted things like:

  • “Dumbass f***ing white people marking up the internet with their opinions like dogs pissing on fire hydrants.”
  • [It’s] “kind of sick how much joy I get out of being cruel to old white men."
  • “Are white people genetically predisposed to burn faster in the sun, thus logically only being fit to live underground like groveling bilious goblins?”

You can find even more of her best Tweets in the article Racism, Revised.

Can you imagine the outrage if Jeong had said “Black” instead of “white”?

Please, spare me the “it can’t be racism if the race of the person has no power,” implying minorities can’t be racists. Which, of course, defies how Merriam-Webster defines it: “a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race.”

To defeat true hate speech, both factually and sociologically is to allow more speech to fight the hate speech. If we do not curtail the speech of these haters and we let them prattle on long enough, there's multiple things that are going to happen.

First of all we're going to see who they are. We won’t need to doxx them, they will proudly step out into the open and say who they are. This means social conformity pressure can be applied to them.

Second, left to their own devices they will eventually counter their own arguments just through ideological inconsistency. My favorite example of this is Leftists say, “we should remove soda and snack machines because teenagers can’t make good food and lifestyle choices by themselves.” Then they turn right around and say, “Pregnant teenagers should be able to abort their unborn baby without parental knowledge or consent because they should have the choice.” Any rational person will rightly think, “You can’t have this both ways. If teenagers aren’t mature enough to handle the decision on to buy a candy bar or soda or not, how can they be mature enough to decide about aborting a pregnancy on their own?”

Third, the longer we let them shout their hate, the more extreme they will inevitably become. They will instinctively get more and more radical, looking for how much they can get away with, just like a child who tests the limits and resolve of their parents. The good side of this is people who initially followed this person out because the ideas “sounded good” (or maybe a morbid “train wreck” curiosity) will leave in droves as this person becomes less and less rational.

Fourth, I will never condone any governmental control over speech other than the minimum. Right now these types of speech do not enjoy a Constitutional protection:

  • Obscenity (Using SCOTUS’ Miller Test)
  • Child Pornography
  • Incitement for imminent lawless action
  • False alarm (shouting “Fire!” when there is none)
  • Libel/slander.

Those are all well-defined and socially unacceptable in any context.

Now, if a committee (A committee is a life form with eight or more legs and no brain) were appointed by the government to decide on what is hate speech or not, would not the opinions and decisions of that group change over time? If scrutinizing statements A and B to determine if they were hate speech, this year they might decide A is the hate speech and B is not. Yet next year B might become the hate speech and A is acceptable.

I only have to point to the recent “Net Neutrality” regulations as a clear example. The regulations were made official one day, then a few months later after the administration changed, the regulations were rescinded. Would you really want your freedom of speech Rights subject to such whims of men and government?

I will never call for the restriction of a persons’ free speech outside of the already declared terms above. If I were to call for the speech of any person to be curtailed, be they Alex Jones, Louis Farrakhan or Sarah Jeong today, tomorrow I might be the one who is silenced. That will just not do at all.

I for one do not want to be the next Maximilien Robespierre, who orchestrated the French Reign of Terror, the march of thousands to the Guillotine during the French Revolution. Robespierre did that job so well he eventually made that march himself. We should all learn from that lesson before we lose our heads, both freedom-wise and literally.

Winston Churchill defined a fanatic as, “Someone who can't change his mind and won't change the subject.” If you get into an argument with a fanatic, be they Left, Right or Center, always remember that you most likely are not going to win them to your point of view. It would be easier to turn a Cleveland Browns fan into a Baltimore Ravens fan. You will not win despite your best reasoning and most persuasive arguments. I admit, while winning the fanatic to your side would be a wonderful thing, your real target and victory goal is convincing everyone who is watching the discussion and may not be decided on the subject.

Here’s the most important point. If we as a society silence anyone, we are all damaged. That silencing of someone, it doesn’t matter if you agreed or disagreed with what they said, that act will cause you to pause ever so slightly in what you have to say from then on.

Or as I saw on the Web a while back:

Q: How do all Soviet-era jokes begin?
A: By looking over your shoulder.

To silence any person, for whatever reason, puts us all on that path. Think on that very carefully.

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Flynn was set up

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If you don't detail read and analyze the MSM over a long period of time to catch the right snippets to understand what's going on, you have no idea why the postponement of Lt.Gen Michael Flynn, USA (Ret.) is such a big deal. Let's start off with the facts.

1. Flynn was part of the Obama Administration and was a vocal opponent of Obama's Iran Deal.

2. Obama advised Trump not to hire Flynn as his National Security Advisor. Trump told Obama to pound sand and hired him anyway.

3. In late December 2016, during the transition, Flynn went on vacation with his family to the Dominican Republic, where Flynn did not have access to secure phone services.

4. During this vacation time, Obama expelled 35 Russian diplomats from the US, which prompted a call between Kislyak, the Russian Ambassador to the US and Flynn, as part of his role as the US National Security Advisor. Talks like this are part of the job. Flynn took the call because he would be the NSA in 3 weeks and the present NSA would be out of a job.

5. This call was recorded and transcribed by a US federal agency, I don't recall which one (NSA is internal to the US, CIA external). This could not have happened (recording of the call) if it had been on a secure (encrypted) line. This is why the expulsion happened when it did, when Flynn did not have access to those lines and could be monitored. The transcript was made available to the FBI before the next point.

6. On January 24th 2017, 4 days into the Trump Administration, two FBI agents interviewed Flynn in his White House office. Flynn was told "he didn't need a lawyer" and the White House Council was not informed of the interview. There are already a couple of violations of procedure here, namely the FBI not telling the White House (and the WH Council) that they were coming over to interview Flynn.

7. The 302's (FBI paperwork forms for reporting the interview and the particulars) indicated the FBI agents "detected no deception" from Flynn.

This is where things start to happen. Think about this: You're on vacation and trying to relax. You suddenly have to take an unscheduled high-level call mid-vacation and over an unsecure line. Truthfully, do you have the ability to take notes and would you remember every detail of what was discussed during that call? No, most people wouldn't.

Now, almost a month later, you are asked to provide exact details about a call you may only superficially remember, and the people asking the questions already have a transcript of what you said. There is also no lawyer telling you to "shut your pie hole." Wouldn't you call that an unfair advantage?

Because you don't have perfect recall of the conversation and you give an inexact recollection of the call, you are charged with "lying to federal investigators." And when I mean inexact, I mean something as minor as, "during the call, you spoke about the subjects of this, that and the other. In your statement just now, you said the sequence of the subjects were the other, that and this." Flynn was also threatened with being prosecuted under the Logan Act, a law passed in 1799, OVER TWO HUNDRED YEARS AGO and a law that no one has ever been prosecuted under. The Logan Act prohibits citizens from negotiating with other nations on behalf of the United States without authorization. What FUCKING PLANET MUST YOU BE FROM to even conceive that the incoming National Security Advisor is unauthorized to speak with foreign governments????? That's his job.

Then, Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller (I am invoking the "short bus" meaning of the word "special" for that title) promised to bankrupt Flynn by legal fees that will be run up defending himself from these charges, then prosecute and imprison Flynn and his son for this heinous act of not keeping his story straight... unless he "cooperated" with Mueller's investigation. Flynn was already bankrupted from legal fees by this time, because no private citizen has the resources to defend themselves from the unlimited resources and prosecutorial powers of the United States government.

So it comes out a couple days ago that the 302 used to charge Flynn for the process crime of "lying to federal investigators" was discovered to be dated August 2017. For an interview that happened in January? What sort of chicanery is this?

This certainly raises the specter that possibly this 302 is somehow different from the January 302.

Here is my take on today's events: Judge Emmet Sullivan understands the charges are totally bogus and is trying to help Flynn retain his integrity and honor by refusing to accept the guilty plea. The sentencing has been delayed until April 2019 to give Flynn's legal team the necessary time to fully uncover the truth about how a trap was set specifically for Flynn. This trap was set by people who want to destroy every aspect of Flynn's life. Personally, financially and professionally.

Here's the good news: The truth is already starting to come out. People know things and suspect more things. Otherwise Sullivan would not have postponed the sentencing. When (not if) the truth comes out, Mueller and his minions will be liable for a massive libel/slander lawsuit from Flynn and serious criminal misconduct charges from federal investigators. Like a couple orders of magnitude above what happened to Mike Nifong.

Stay tuned people. Things are going to get interesting....

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Platform vs. Publisher

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Our major Social Media sites, for all intents and purposes, is committing a slow suicide. I am speaking specifically about Facebook, Twitter, Google and their various subsidiaries. Let me explain why.

There are laws out there that define and regulate “platform” and “publisher” differently. They have different purposes, different objectives and different liabilities.

A “platform” by its very nature has no agenda, no bias and on its’ own no regulation. Think of a stage in a park or the town square, where anyone can get on it and proclaim to all the world whatever they want to say. It is a true state of freedom-of-speech. You can say whatever you want to say and everyone in the area can pay attention or ignore you as it pleases them.

A “publisher,” however, is a totally different thing. A newspaper is a publisher. It provides a product that others can purchase. The owners of the newspaper, because they front the money for the printing press, the ink and the distribution, has the absolute right to control what goes into their product. It is within their power to publish or not publish anything they want. They have the legal ability to negotiate a contract with someone who wrote an article and obtain an “exclusive-right” license for that article, if the author agrees to that contract. “Exclusive-right” meaning only the publisher can use it, the author can no longer decide when and where it is published. If the publisher has that “exclusive-right” for that article, they can publish it in the newspaper… or never publish it, effectively silencing that author on that subject.

If the author were to take that article (or a similar one) to another publisher, then legal entanglements might abound over copyright, Intellectual Property and contract laws. You might want to read the story of “Famous Amos” and his cookies. Because of licensing issues, he cannot every use his name or likeness on any products he makes now.

In summary, platform == no control, publisher == total control.

Facebook, Twitter and others have repeatedly proclaimed “WE ARE A PLATFORM!” The facts, however, indicate otherwise.

Twitter has admitted that they “shadow ban” Conservatives, YouTube has curtailed Conservative channels, Facebook routinely not publishes and bans Conservative pages.

By performing these actions these Social Media sites have crossed that line from platform to publisher. Publishers do not enjoy the same the legal protections as platforms. When Social Media claims to be a platform but acts as a publisher, the end will not be beneficial to those companies.

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Been Busy

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If you have been frantically waiting for a new post from me, my apologies. Between working 50+ hour weeks, family and home stuff, I have been taking night classes to upgrade my skill set. That will be over soon and I'm (slowly) working on several deep dives as well.

Sorry to make you wait, I should be posting new content soon after Christmas.

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Hey Dad, I miss you bad

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Yesterday marked the 17th anniversary of the passing of my Dad. It was a Sunday morning, I was in the hospital, he was in Hospice at my Sister's. I wanted to talk with him one last time when my nephew told me he had passed in the night. From the time I left home in 1979, my parents and I talked by phone at least once a week. It didn't matter if I was in Illinois, California, Hawaii, Japan or Guam.

My Dad was many things in his life. I know he was proud of me for joining the Navy to be a Sailor like him. I sure he would have been proud of me when I became a Master Mason, then Worshipful Master.

There is a whole lot more that I wanted to tell you about my Dad, but I can't. The tears won't let me see the screen. This pretty much describes how I feel about my Dad.

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Medicare for All will kill us all

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There are bills in the House (H.R. 676) and Senate (S.1804), proposed by Democrats, under the banner of "Medicare for All." These bills, if passed would provide Medicare coverage to every "non-elderly" person (the elderly are covered under Medicaid) in the US, without regard to citizenship status. Let me put it into plain language why this would wreck 1) every citizen, 2) the federal government, 3) the healthcare industry and 4) the economy as a whole.

According the The Urban Institute (no right-wingers allowed there), they released a report, The Sanders Single-Payer Health Care Plan.

These are the highlights of their report:

Federal spending will increase about $3.6 Billion a year. This is Table 1 on page 4, "Increase in federal spending ($billions), 2017-2026, $32,003.5" That's $32 Trillion over ten years, or $3.2 Trillion a year.

The entire Federal budget right now is $4.1 Trillion to give you an idea how much the federal spending will increase.

The last bullet point on page 3 reads thusly:

Analysis by the Tax Policy Center indicates that Sanders’s revenue proposals, intended to finance all new health and nonhealth spending, would raise $15.3 trillion in revenue over 2017 to 2026. This amount is approximately $16.6 trillion less than the increased federal cost of his health care plan estimated here. The discrepancy suggests that to fully finance the Sanders approach, additional sources of revenue would have to be identified; that is, the proposed taxes are much too low to fully finance the plan.

Now, the "additional revenue" (that will only be about 45% of what is needed) is made up by:

From the top of page 6: ...[The Sanders Campaign] propose a 2.2 percent income-based premium on households, a 6.2 percent payroll tax imposed on employers, additional revenues from revisions to the estate tax, increases in taxes on capital gains and dividends, new limits on deductions for high-income taxpayers, and increases in income taxes that largely affect high-income people. They anticipate that low-income individuals would save because the amounts they would be required to pay in new taxes would be less than what they are required to pay today in premiums, cost sharing, and other tax payments.

Similarly, employers that now provide coverage would pay less because their obligations under the proposed approach would be limited to the 6.2 percent payroll tax paid by employers. In contrast, across all employers (i.e., including those who offer health insurance and those who do not), employer-paid premiums for health insurance benefits currently average 8.3 percent of total compensation. Higher-income individuals would be expected to pay considerably more toward health expenses than they do today. [Emphasis mine]

So, it's more "soak the rich," but what happens if the rich leave? Seriously, what happens if Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, The Koch Brothers and all the rest of "the rich" get tired of this crap and just take the cash they have in the bank, leave the country and live overseas?

This is a math issue. "Medicare for All" will almost double federal spending. The proposed tax increases will cover half of that. Our current federal government annual deficit is $800 Billion. That's how much we borrow on the "good faith and credit" on the United States, every year. If we were to start this, without any additional taxes or cuts, that annual deficit would jump to $2.4 Trillion a year. Not gonna happen, no way, no how. Our debtors would stop buying our bonds (that's how we borrow money) that day. The federal government would not be able to pay it's bills and it would collapse, likely bringing the entire US economy with it.

The only way I see this happening is we have to increase taxes more and cut payments to providers. That is the only way to bring this into balance.

Here's something you may not know, Medicare only pays between 60% to 75% of what private insurance pays. Let's say my disabled son (who is on Medicare) and I go to our PCP for an exam, get some blood work done, etc. If, between my co-pay and my private insurance pays the doctor $100 for my visit, the doctor only gets between $60 and $75, for the same services. In essence, my visit makes my son's visit profitable for him.

Serious question time: would you have an average of $85 per visit (($100 + $70)/2), or $70 since we would both be on Medicare?

That would be, assuming that the reimbursement rates would be the same. If the federal government was the only payer in town, what would you do if they decided to cut the rates? Go from $70 a visit to $40? If the doctor wanted to stay in business, he would take cash and not Medicare.

What will you do if you have no money because your taxes doubled to pay for Medicare, but your doctor won't accept Medicare? You die, killed by the Democrats.

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Is this what you want?

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I and others have said for years that the ACA was designed to be from the very beginning to be a clusterfrack of Biblical proportions. I remember real experts (not "government" experts) who repeatedly said, "regulating the healthcare insurers was the worst possible place to cut costs." If the full ACA had been implemented, the people would been begging for anything other than the ACA... Which is when the Democrats would have rolled out a real single-payer, nationalized health-care system.

Just so you know, because I knew this when the ACA was passed, the "individual shared mandate" in 2015 was $325. If Trump and the Republicans had not ended the mandate, on April 15th, 2017 (after Obama was out and Trump/Hillary in) would have been $695, about a 125% jump. the numbers are on the top of page two in this Congressional Research Service document.

Why do I bring this up? Because when government has control of health care, they have almost total control of you. They can do almost anything they want under the guide of "improving health outcomes." That can mean "sin taxes" on sugar, meat, eggs and caffeine, plus more sin taxes on alcohol, tobacco and anything else the government declares is "bad for you."

You think I'm joking? You think I'm being a conspiracy theorist? How about this. The UK, with its' NHS and nationalized health care system, is considering regulating food portions: Pizzas must shrink or lose their toppings under Government anti-obesity plan.

We are already on the way there. Have you noticed that every menu board, every printed restaurant menu has the calories for every item, "so you can make healthy food choices." And the government mandates the font, font size and font color of all of those calorie counts. It's not a big step to go from mandating calorie counts on menus, to the UK's plan to limit portion sizes.

Let's think this out for a minute. At McDonald's, a Big Mac and a large fry will run you 1,050 cal. Let's say for a moment the Big Mac and large fries are outlawed, what will you do? Probably get something like two Bacon McDoubles and a medium fry. This will cost you 10 cents less, the problem is the second choice has 1,240 calories, so anti-obesity-wise, it's heading in the wrong direction.

The next (Leftist) logical control step is to nationalize restaurants. That means McDonald's, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, Chipotle, Subway and all of the other places will become a cafeteria system where you get your government-mandated three meals a day. The good news, all of the employees will become government workers, so they'll get $15/hour. The bad news is, you walk in, scan the RFID chip in your hand, the computer in the back of the store retrieves the diet portion of your EHR (Electronic Health Record) and you are served what you are supposed to have. You don't have to (or can) say anything. Oh, and no meal trading like elementary school. The police stationed there will see to that.

I probably won't see this, but unless this is stopped and now, my grandchildren and great-grandchildren will. Because when government takes control of part of your life, your ability to choose for yourself disappears.

Surrender Your Dignity

There are some things that come free yet have too high a cost.

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Making the case for us

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I am all for personal choice and personal responsibility. When it comes to the self-defense of yourself and your family, you should have access to the tools you deem necessary to perform said self-defense.

Because I do not support causes or people who do not believe I should be able to defend myself and family as I see fit, I make it a point to not purchase movies with actors who promote gun control. BTW, their definition of "gun control" is, "the government and our bodyguards have guns, you don't."

So, any movie where pro-gun control actors like Chris Evans, Matt Damon, or Liam Neeson appear in a movie where their character uses violence or a firearm, I will not buy the DVD, I will not rent it, I will not watch it in a theater and I will not stream it. They have the freedom to make their point, I have the right to not purchase their work product.

So I find it screamingly ironic that another gun-control advocate Jamie Lee Curtis, who is starring in the latest chapter in the Halloween movie franchise, makes my point for me against gun control. In the trailer for the film, viewers can hear Curtis' character mention the need to protect her family and they see her with numerous guns, including a revolver and a lever action rifle, the latter of which she fires multiple times.

A citizen always has the obligation to protect themselves and their family. Government has zero obligation to protect you. This is why 911 is also known as "Dial-A-Prayer" because when seconds matter, the police are minutes away if they come at all.

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Kavanaugh as it could have been

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For those of you who haven't heard, after a long and terrible scorched-earth campaign to destroy Judge Brett Kavanaugh and his nomination for SCOTUS came to a screeching halt when he was confirmed by the Senate on a 50-48 vote. It was along party lines, with Manchin (D-WV) crossing the aisle to confirm, while Murkowski (R-AK) voted "Present" and Daines (R-MT) did not vote at all. Justice Kavanaugh was sworn in right after the vote.

This nomination will now forever cast a cloud over a man whom from what I have seen has led an exemplary life. Not a mistake-free life, however it seems like he has always tried to uplift and empower all who surrounded him. You can't raise a child who said, "Daddy, we should pray for the woman who is accusing you" and not be an upstanding man, husband, father and citizen. These unfounded accusations will now be forever shackled to him like a ball and chain.

The sad thing is, if the radical Leftists and the MSM had a shred of integrity, decency or respect for others, this could have gone totally different.

Let's warp into an alternate time-line where the Democrat party of today is like the one in the 1950's. Decorum, respect, non-radicalized, not prone to histrionics.

First of all, the Democrats talk about his voting record. They question him thoroughly on why he reached certain decisions. When Dr. Ford sends her confidential letter to Senator Feinstein in July, Dr. Ford is immediately contacted by Feinstein, who says, "Dr. Ford, I need your permission immediately so the Committee can investigate your allegation. If we cannot investigate, your allegation will not be investigated and your voice will not be heard." Senator Feinstein then forwards the letter with her response to the Committee Chairman. Dr. Ford gives her permission and Senator Grassley then orders a special investigation of the allegation. Judge Kavanaugh is informed of "a serious allegation" against him, but no details (since there are none at that point). The press can be told that an allegation is pending, but no details. Dr. Ford is questioned, her statement and list of possible witnesses recorded. Dr. Ford's background is also investigated because it can greatly enhance (or hurt) her credibility. Once the FBI has completed its' investigation and the entire Committee and Judge Kavanaugh has all of the new information, the allegation is made public, Dr. Ford testifies in early September presenting her allegations and any corroborating statements and evidence. Judge Kavanaugh then gets a day or two so he can formulate his response to the allegations.

Notice that my message has been consistent. Dr. Ford deserves to be heard, her statements and evidence to be given the benefit of the doubt. She is then asked questions by the Committee to clarify any points that are unclear. Judge Kavanaugh also deserves his opportunity to address the accusations against him and stand for the hard questions the Committee will undoubtedly have for him. The Committee then votes passing it's recommendation to the full Senate. Then the Senate votes, conferring or denying his nomination.

You see, this is how adults do things. That's the way it should have been done.

However the radical Leftists, driven into a rabies-like frenzy, let slip their attack dogs. Kavanaugh, killed (metaphorically, not actually) every one. He has a bite or two, he's going to have to undergo the treatment for rabies, but he's still standing and the other side isn't. Multiple House and Senate races that were easily predicted for the Democrats to hold or gain in the elections next month are now cast into serious doubt. This rabid, spittle-flying, screaming, nonsensical hate-filled diatribes from the Leftists have done this. They and their efforts have angered enough regular people that the Democrats just might snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

If the Democrats had stuck to the issues and avoided the politics of personal destruction, they would have had a chance to defeat Kavanaugh's nomination. There were many reasonable people and groups out there talking about his rulings and record. I have no problem with that. The bad news is, the reasonable people were drowned out by the crazies. This means every Democrat office holder will pay the price to some degree later.

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My whole point about Kavanaugh

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I got into a "heated discussion" the other day on FB, one of the reasons why I deactivated my account. My whole point was that Ford needed to be heard, Ford should be offered the opportunity to speak and present her allegations and what she had to support her accusations. Kavanaugh also needed to be heard and either accept or deny her allegations. He chose to categorically deny any events she claimed happened with him. He never refuted she wasn't assaulted, just that he was not the one who did it.

This article says what I was trying to say very clearly: The Problem With #BelieveSurvivors.

This, I believe, is one of the most important and balanced points to be made:

Even as we must treat accusers with seriousness and dignity, we must hear out the accused fairly and respectfully, and recognize the potential lifetime consequences that such an allegation can bring. If believing the woman is the beginning and the end of a search for the truth, then we have left the realm of justice for religion.

Religion in this context does not leave room for the accused, except on the torture device deemed appropriate by the mob calling for the blood of the accused.

Here is another important truth:

The best reporting of the #MeToo movement has shown that when journalists examine all the possible holes in an accuser’s account, find corroborating witnesses and documentary evidence, and give the accused the opportunity to respond, they make the victim’s story more powerful. (Men can sexually assault men, women can sexually assault women, and women can sexually assault men. But the vast majority of these allegations are of males assaulting females.) [emphasis mine]

More powerful as in believable, more credible and most importantly, more likely to convict. Without any evidence on the side of the accused and hundreds of people saying "In my experience, the accused is the polar opposite of that the accuser is describing," meaning everything I know about this man is the opposite of what you describe. Face it, someone who does something heinous like sexual assault will more than likely not stop until caught and punished. And maybe not even after that. Bill Cosby was brought down because he sexually assaulted dozens of women over the years.

We are, after all, the land that holds as one of our cornerstones the presumption of innocence in the face of an accusation. The accuser must prove the accused did the deed, according to the standards of the venue. A criminal proceeding is "beyond a reasonable doubt." A civil proceeding is "the preponderance of the evidence" and so on. To have the accused prove innocence is to try to prove a negative, i.e. something didn't happen. Try to prove the sun rises in the east at noontime.

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I Stand For These Ideals

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A rather heated discussion in another corner of the Internet has caused me to put these words to paper, as it were for all there to see. I thought it would be a good idea to post them here as well. I have also saved this to my Personal section.

I STAND FOR FREEDOM OF CHOICE. You should be the ultimate decision-maker for your life. This includes the freedom to choose stupidly. Do not limit my choices or force your choices on me without my permission.

I STAND FOR FREEDOM OF VOICE. What you say should never be stifled or silenced, no matter how unpopular or uncomfortable what you say is for others. The exceptions to this are slander, inciting violence, child p0rn and the like. I have the freedom to listen or not. Don’t make that choice for me. I also expect that if I call for a person to be silenced, I will be silenced in turn.

I STAND FOR FREEDOM OF PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY. If you go and do something, always be prepared to face the consequences, good or bad. Do not prevent my negative consequences from happening to me. This is how most of us learn.

I STAND FOR A PERSON TO BE AFFORDED A BASIC LEVEL OF RESPECT AND DIGNITY. Everyone we meet deserves this basic and common courtesy. Your respect for them and their dignity can always go up based on their actions, however even if you despise another person, if you must interact with them, still grant them a basic level of respect and dignity. It says way more about you than them.

I STAND FOR A PERSON TO BE TAKEN AT THEIR WORD. I will believe what you say until proven otherwise, which goes for both sides. An accusation is equally offset by a denial. This balance can be changed one way or the other by evidence or corroboration.

I STAND FOR YOU TO HAVE THE FREEDOM TO BE WHO YOU ARE. I don’t care about your sex, gender, skin color, sexual/gender preference, height, weight, religion or lack thereof. I am attracted to your soul, not your meat sack. Be nice to me, you’ll get the same in return from me.

I STAND FOR MINIMAL GOVERNMENT. It is a simple and clear power balance between the people of a country and their government. The more power the government has, the less power the people will have. We need government because there are certain things and duties a government can do that an individual or group cannot. There is too much government when it adversely affects all our lives.

I STAND FOR ALL TO BE EQUAL UNDER THE LAW. No person should ever be afraid to seek justice under the law. Those in the law should never deter those who seek justice. All people have been wronged must have the opportunity to prove and seek damages from those who wronged them.

I STAND FOR SUPPORTING POSITIONS, NOT PARTIES. I do not praise or condemn someone based on their party or ideology. I praise or condemn them based on their words and actions. And I can and do praise and condemn the same person on different subjects.

These are my core principles. It has taken years of careful and introspective thought, study and meditation to arrive at them. They will not change. There is no use to even try.

Do I fail at these? Every day. I am not afraid to admit it. But I would rather have standards that with my maximum effort I almost achieve, than those standards I can achieve and do not have to exert myself. Sometimes I come out on the short end of the stick, I do not change them to suit my situation.

I am perfectly willing to discuss the finer points of my core principles and how they can be enacted for the betterment of all. If we discuss it with politeness and respect, we might find out that we agree more than we disagree. I can also agree to disagree.

If you want to call me wrong, insensitive, stupid or worse, do us both a favor, don’t say it and don't visit here anymore. If you do say it, I’ll block you so you can't. I promise you won’t hurt my feelings either way.

In the end, if you want to post about why I’m wrong, write to yourself “I STAND AGAINST” where I say “I STAND FOR” and then the subject. Then think about it before you post. Do really want to say “I stand against freedom of choice” and the rest?

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How many degrees is safe?

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I have said this for years, "A right-wing dictatorship demands your physical obedience, you can think what you want. A left-wing dictatorship demands a unity of thought. You must think and behave as you are told."

One thing the old Soviet Union did, was to "unperson" certain people, a lot like George Orwell's 1984. If a person of power or close to the Premier "fell out of favor," he not only disappeared from public view, he was erased from all records. They were airbrushed from photographs, newspaper archives were reprinted. Don't believe me? Soviet Censorship of Images During Stalin's Regime.

The Leftists, in their normal behavior pattern, continue to eat any and all of their own who dare set one toe off the ideological reservation. In an effort to silence points of view the Left does not like, they now attack anyone who even slightly support the unpersons, or worse yet, give them a voice.

This comes from this article, Now #MeToo is coming for your thought crimes. This article talks about Jian Ghomeshi, who was accused and acquitted of sexual assault charges. But you see, the mob had decided he was guilty, evidence or lack thereof be damned. This spilled over onto Ian Buruma, editor of The New York Review of Books. What, exactly was Buruma's crime? Publishing an apology essay from Ghomeshi, Reflections from a Hashtag.

We have seen the recent unpersoning of Alex Jones from all social media platforms. Wil Weaton, was also recently unpersoned because his best friend Chris Hardwick was accused (not convicted) of sexual assault. Wil's tweet was:

I'm shocked, and I'm sure you'll understand that before I'm ready to make a public statement about my best friend to 3 million+ people, I need some time to process what's going on and put words to my thoughts. Thanks for listening and understanding.

— Wil 'this account mocks fascists' Wheaton (@wilw) June 15, 2018

I'm sorry, did he say anything other than "please give me time to properly express my thoughts?" And because Leftists are cannibals, (ideologically and metaphorically, I have no direct or indirect knowledge that any Leftist is actually a cannibal) for the sole reason that Wil did not denounce his best friend fast enough to please the mob, he was excoriated publicly. I don't follow him so I have no idea about how his social media presence has changed from this. I do know several friends who regularly attend the JoCoCruise (I have no idea what this is) have remarked about Wil attending in the past. I don't see him on this years cruise celebrity list. I have also heard my friends who go on this say "If Wil is on the cruise, I won't go."

All this leads to the post title, "How many degrees is safe?" It has been said that we are all connected by six degrees of separation. You can, through a chain of five "friend of a friend" connections, be connected to every other person on Earth. So when Chris Hardwick was unpersonned, and because Wil Wheaton didn't unperson Chris fast enough, how many of Wil's friends were unpersoned? and so on, and so on. It sounds like a pyramid scheme.

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Someone got pranked

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And it wasn't me. I received this in the mail the other day. It seems that I ended up on the wrong mailing list. I don't know how this happened, but I am going to have some fun with it.

First of all, this movement will never remove Trump from office. Oh, Trump may be Impeached if the Dems win the House, however if you have actually read the Constitution, you'll know that's only half the job. The other half is 67 Senators must vote to remove Trump from office based on the evidence presented by the House. The actual chances of that happening is pretty slim without a lot of turncoat Republicans.

impeach trump letter

Another thing, since we are a nation of laws, we find evidence of a crime first, then follow the evidence to whomever committed the crime. We do not investigate people until we find a crime, that's what Lavrentiy Beria (Stalin's Secret Police Chief) did. Beria is the one who originated the quote, "Show me the man, I'll find you the crime."

I find this highly ironic (as well as idiotic). The summary on the right side is ironic because this is exactly what Trump is doing. By rolling back bureaucratic red tape and cutting taxes, Trump is "restoring power to the people" over their own lives. "Real progress on our biggest problems" are things like jobs and opportunities for those who want them, not interference from Washington.

I also received this "call to action" flyer that I'm supposed to fill out and return. I think I will.

impeach trump cta

For "Defend Democracy," my response will be, "I vigorously defend the Republic that is the United States. Democracy is mob rule and that I cannot support."

For "Congress," I'm going to say, "If you mean 'act as a Constitutional check and balance to Trump's Presidential power, I fully agree. If you mean 'endlessly hound and investigate until Trump is driven from office,' no."

Lastly, for "Return power to the American people" I can only say, "I already see Trump carrying out that agenda. The majority of Americans are prospering because of it. So why is it you want him out of office?"

For the cost of a stamp, I hope they keep sending me more stuff. That will cause them to expend resources with no possibility of a return.

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