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A Right Is A Right Is A Right! Right?

Alphecca brought us this:

Or vice versa. Former Georgia Rep. Bob Barr examines the hypocrisy of Eric Holder and the left:

Imagine if voter ID laws were as rigorous as gun regulations found in many of America’s major cities. In order to vote in such a scenario, citizens would be forced to take a day-long class (at a cost of $100 or more) about the basics of the U.S. government and electoral process. They then would be required to take a competency test (only available at inconvenient locations during normal working hours) on the current election’s issues. Finally, after paying a non-refundable processing fee of $100 to score the results, they would then be forced to wait months for the actual voter registration card — which could be rejected for any reason — to arrive in the mail. If a voter decided to seek the help of a tutor to help ensure his non-refundable processing fee was not wasted by a possibly failing grade, he would have to be prepared to shell out another $100.

Much, much more at the link.

Which, of course, opens the whole Pandora’s Box about Rights.  What IS a Right?  What Is a Privilege?  And most importantly…

WHO DECIDES?

There are some folks who believe DRIVING is a RIGHT.  Germany just extended college education FREE to all!  Does that make college education a RIGHT?

I know, I know – who PAYS for all of this?

pandoraPandora’s Box, indeed!

Ethics

We have been watching Madam Secretary, a new TV show this season on CBS.  At first, the idea of the show distressed me, because I was thinking it was a stalking horse for you-know-who, especially if it was produced in the manner of The West Wing (a show some years back with Martin Sheen as the Prez).

Fortunately, it doesn’t appear to a stalking horse.  However…

Episode 3 (shown last week) dealt with ethical issues.  In short, the Secretary’s husband, a university professor, was placed in the middle of a diplomatic crisis when an American (who was caught spying for the U.S. in Pakistan, from info from a Snowden-like leaker) was scheduled to be executed.  The professor could stop the execution by giving a Russian diplomat’s daughter an ‘A’ instead of her earned ‘C’, so the Russian would be convinced to give their version of an American missile to Pakistan (under the table, of course).  (Ah, diplomacy!)

The professor’s course was (ironically) in Ethics, and he said he would be violating all he stood for by giving this bribe so the spy’s life would be spared.

The Secretary of State (who was trying to manipulate the Pakistanis, the Russians and her husband) finally convinced her husband he would not violating his ethics if he allowed the Russian’s daughter to take an incomplete (after the approved time for grades), thus her grade point would not be affected, and she could retake the course.

And ultimately, the American would be freed.  And he was.

Now, I recognize this is only a television show.  And I recognize in the real world, many times things are shades of grey, rather than black and white.

But, this is being sold as okay?  Ethical?

At least we know where the ‘real’ Madam Secretary’s ethics stood.  She was fired as an attorney on the Watergate Committee for “lying and unethical behavior”.

And the second episode of the TV show was entitled “Another Benghazi”.

Hardly a stalking horse!

Government Competence

and other oxymorons, like military intelligence and jumbo shrimp.

(From The Silicon Graybeard, in part…)

Is it just me, or is it really the case that there are no adults left in charge in the country?  These guys are worse than the faculty lounge crowd, they’re more like the student council!  There are so many examples, I don’t know where to start, but WTF happened to the secret service?  Didn’t they used to be competent?   We have agents being sent home for being drunk from the Netherlands, from Miami  and there was that rather big incident with the Colombian hooker.  We have the president in close proximity with a guy with convictions for assault and battery, who was carrying an illegal firearm. And, of course, we have this story, which is sucking up most of the air.  (Holbert at Townhall.com)

The NIH is finding cultures of deadly diseases lying around in old boxes, and the CDC exposed employees to anthrax, so no worry about them letting ebola into the country.

No, no, no.  Everything is fine.  They’re smarter and better than us.  We just don’t understand how lucky we are to have them.

For those who continually fall back on government as the savior they sometimes aren’t, that last part is sarcasm.

Ms. Clinton likes proclaim she was a Goldwater Republican in college – then she grew up.  I think those who clamor for government handouts when they are perfectly capable of working themselves are the true children.  And, like children, they worship their parents who can do no wrong in their eyes.

“… government is not the solution to our problem, government IS the problem.”  –  Ronald Reagan

 

♫ FEE-LINGS! WHOA -O-O FEELINGS! ♫

I can’t find a single study from Bloomberg’s groups that aren’t loaded with errors. They have an anti-gun agenda and will lie to achieve it.  –  John R. Lott, Jr.
How Bloomberg’s Million-Dollar Desire For Gun Control Is Backfiring
[While I think there is a fair amount of lying going on they don’t think of it as lying. They just don’t understand facts are independent of their feelings. If they feel something then, in their view of reality, it is true. I’ve had people flat out tell me this. I would point out that what someone was saying was in direct contradiction to verifiable facts. And I would get a response of something to the effect, “Well, it’s true to them and that is what matters.”

There is also a very telling anecdote about liberal “research” in this same article:

In 2006 I was at a cocktail party in Arlington, VA, talking to a liberal journalist about his soon-to-be-released book on Iraq when John Lott joined us. John listened for a moment and then said to the author, “I’m curious. You say you just finished a book on the Iraq war. I always find it so hard to finish a book. I get so deep into the research I have a hard time stopping to write. I’m guessing you had a hard time leaving Iraq. There is so much to investigate and understand.”

The author said, “I didn’t go to Iraq.”

John paused with this quizzical look on his face before asking, “Oh, how did you do your research?”

The author said, “I didn’t have to do much. I mean, I already know what I think.”

Feelings versus facts. It’s a type of mental disorder.—Joe]

There’s a thesis in popular conservative/libertarian culture that liberals (or at least the current flavor of liberal, the progressive) act(s) based on feelings more than facts, even if the facts deny their feelings.  “Oh, those cute polar bears are dying in records numbers, due to global warming!” – even though recent data shows their populations have increased and so have the square footage of ice on which they live.  Not to mention they are extremely dangerous to humans, cuteness aside.  “If it just saves ONE life.”  or “It’s for the children.”, facts aside are other feeling-based statements.

I cannot speak for all conservative libertarians, but, I have on occasion questioned my use and ownership of firearms, looking at how doing so affects my community, my family and myself.  And I stuck to my principles.  And didn’t buckle to ‘feelings’ about some whack-job shooting up a school by disarming myself.

I did the same process after the accident that killed my daughter.  However, I ultimately didn’t give up my driver’s license, my vehicle, or insist others do the same “for the children”.

I see that as counterproductive, and unscientific.

h/t The View From North Central Idaho, John Lott

We Are Told, Part Deux

From Joel, in part:

‘Sovereign Citizen’ Terrorist Group May Be Growing in U.S.
American law enforcement officials view sovereign citizens as the No. 1 potential terrorist threat in the United States, according to a 2014 study.

For those who ask, “Uncle Joel, in your deep wisdom and experience, could you please explain the ‘Sovereign Citizen’ movement for your audience?” I must reply…

No. I really can’t. I’ve hung with these guys and I can’t tell you what it’s about. It’s sort of a cargo cult law-as-ritual thing where if you add this particular incantation to a legal document any judge in the land is forced to throw up his hands, exclaim “Curses, foiled again” and let you off to do as you will, and everybody knows about this one guy who did that and it worked. Somewhere. Fringes on flags in courtrooms have something to do with it. People have sat me down and tried very earnestly to explain it, but I’m hopeless as a lawyer. Or a whacko.

So Sovereign types as the #1 terrorist threat in the land? Having a hard time buying it. And the article’s narrative isn’t helping…

Certainly there are enemies of the Constitutional Republic.  Both foreign AND domestic.

Remember the Sons of the Gestapo, who pulled off the train derailment of The Sunset Limited in Arizona a few years back?  More like the Sons of the Pioneers!

Or perhaps the result of an agent provocateur in place, stirring up the faux-militia crowd.  You know, a community-organizer sent by government to enrage the weak-minded of the patriot crowd.

Remember your Criminal Law – When the idea of the criminal act originates with law enforcement, it becomes entrapment!

We DO have enemies – both foreign and domestic, including those who would foment crimes to solve them to make their stats look good!

These government agents, too, are enemies of the Republic.

Sons-of-bitches!

ATF Approves Post-86 Machine Gun Form 1 … kinda

Courtesy of The Firearm Blog and Free North Carolina:

A while back we blogged about an individual who took the Prince Law Office’s determination that, as a result of the ATF clarifying that “unincorporated trusts” are not “persons” under the Gun Control Act, it may have opened a way for trusts to manufacture new Post-86 machine guns. As I have written about before, machine guns are and have always been legal in the US, but those made and registered after 1986 are not legal for civilians to own, so we may only keep trading the ones already on the market.

Well a member of ar15.com submitted a form 1 for a machine gun (application for registration of an NFA firearm one produces) and it was approved… but don’t rejoice yet.

On September 10th, 2014 the stamp came back approved, bearing that green and all too familiar $200 stamp that would allow for a new machine gun to be made, but the man was immediately contacted by the ATF and was told that he must return the stamp and that it was/is not valid. The applicant says he is taking the issue to court, which could be very interesting for the NFA community. The man says the following in the massive thread:

“Stand by, because we will surely need contributions to a legal fund if it goes to court.  All things considered, this looks like a realistic opportunity at taking back out rights to Machine Guns. If this fight starts moving forward, it’s going to take a monumental amount of commitment to see it through. Hold fast, everyone. We’re going to need all hands on deck for this one.”

While I wish the man the best and hope that somehow this opens the door for new MGs here in the USA, I do not see that happening. Of course the powers that be don’t want you to have cheap and readily available legal machine guns, so we will not get cheap and readily available legal machine guns but here are a few reasons why I am pessimistic:

  1. The ATF tried to say that “unincorporated trusts” were not persons under the 1968 GCA in order to implement a set of rules that would have required all trustees to fill out form 4s, undergo NICS checks, and get CLEO signatures. If you remember, the public outcry during the comment period stopped this (or at least pushed it back). This came back to bite them in the ass, big time, because of, well, this whole bit of shenanigans.
  2. The ATF flip flops all of the time. In just my memory as a young man, I have seen them approve devices like the Akins Accelerator (a spring assisted bump fire device) and then force them all the be recalled/have the springs removed, remember when they banned all shoestrings in the USA and then had to clarify that it was only when said strings were attached to firearms, and I remember when they said SBR engraving was not necessary and then decided that it was. This organization seems to have little oversight on the highest levels and, like many other government agencies, can make or rescind decisions on the fly.
  3. There are 186,619 transferable machine guns in the USA, and this number is as fixed as fixed gets. The 1986 FOPA banned the new production of fully automatic firearms for civilians, and that’s that. What is perceived as a loophole by addressing a technicality, will not undo this act of congress.

Do I hope that one day we can all run down to our local gun stores and buy new machine guns? Absolutely! Do I think it will happen? Not at all. In fact, I get asked this all the time by just about every gun savy person who knows I am into machine guns. “Wadaya gunna do when they unban these? Your collection will be worth nuttin’!” Well sure I and many other people will take a hit, but I see the greater good in 3 gun matches with bursts of mighty automatic fire, sub-gun matches becoming mainstream, and the Texas Bellagio being visible from space.

In other words, YRMV – Your Results May Vary…

A Right To An Opinion

Lotsa folks opine on the Internet, Facebook, blogs, et al.

One of the best things about this Nation is our right to free speech – to speak our mind, regardless.

Witness those vile Kansas ‘church’ folks who protest military funerals, or the Klan, or the New Black Panthers.

I tend to gravitate toward folks on the Internet like-minded to me.  That makes sense, because I’ve enough blood pressure issues w/o stroking out after reading WaPo, or the Nation, or other collectivist crap.

But, having no military experience (not for lack of trying) in these issues, I defer to folks who have some.  Sometimes we agree, sometimes not.

rangerOne of my go-to guys is AmericanMercenary.  Not just a rank-and-file grunt (not that there’s anything wrong with that), but an Army Ranger!

He recently wrote regarding the ongoing issue of women in military combat elite units.  My understanding is some other nations have tried it and kept it, some eventually rejected it (in combat roles).

While I understand the whole equal rights thing, I don’t think political correctness is a good reason for policy change in this instance.

But my blogfriend(tm) American Mercenary disagrees with me!

Who knew?

Bring it on.

Once again the “fairness at all costs” crowd has succeeded in opening up more opportunities for women to act like men.
I remember Don Brown teaching us in college that women shouldn’t be patrol officers, because they are inherently weaker and one day may be raped in the back of their patrol cars! (1973).
A friend of a friend is a retired city detective, an expert in sex crime investigation, a crack shot and can bench press over 400 pounds!  She is also a very nice lady.
If you can do the job, go for it!
HOO-AH!

Thank God For That BENIGN Solar Power!

(from my friend Borepatch)

There’s a novel solar energy plant in California. The plant works by concentrating the energy of the sun using mirrors and making steam. It also has the side effect of killing birds by frying them in mid-air. It may be happening as frequently as a bird every two minutes. They call them streamers because the feathers ignite in a puff of smoke as they fall from the sky.

If these birds were being covered in oil there would be an international effort to rescue them and mitigate the future deaths. Network news would be covering the effort with video at 6! Since they are dying at a green energy facility, you have to come to Borepatch to even hear about it. Global News of Canada has the details.

Oh, okay…

At least we still have the windmills!  Oh, wait a minute…

Wind Farm Bird Deaths Stir Concerns In The U.S.

h/t HuffPo

Pahk Ya Cah? Can’t! They’ll be BLOOD IN THE STREETS!

(from JayG, in part)

More great news from the land I escaped…

Boston Puts Brakes On Haystack Parking App

A new app that allows people to find parking spaces in Boston is being shut down in response to a vote by the city council.

A new ordinance outlaws services that allow people to sell or save public parking spaces.

Got that? The app helped people find parking spaces, so what was the response from Boston? BAN IT. Smell that? It smells like Massachusetts. It gets better, though:

“They are dealing in hypotheticals. We’ve had no reported issues. We’ve heard this rhetoric, ‘There’s going to be blood in the streets,’ and that hasn’t happened. We’ve had over 1,000 successful transactions, and we haven’t seen any of that.”

Ah, yes, blood in the streets. We’ve never heard that prediction before. Ever. And even if we had, it certainly came true, right?

Of course, he’s referring to more citizens owning legal firearms.  And they have, and the whole blood thing hasn’t materialized.

And violent crime has dropped where gun ownership has increased.

Even in places like Chicago and Detroit!

Personally, I believe governments should think long and hard before banning anything in a ‘free’ country. – Guffaw

The JPFO/SAF FLAP

First, let me state I support both organizations.  You may see links to them (along with other fine organizations) on this blog.

Frankly, I’ve not had the time (okay, the inclination) to study this issue in depth.  Mea culpa.

Thankfully, Erin Palette of Lurking Rhythmically has done quite a fine, succinct analysis.  You may see it here.

The issue appears to be The Second Amendment Foundation is considering acquiring the financially-troubled Jews For The Preservation Of Firearms Ownership.

Like Ms. Palette, I’ve no opinion on this issue.  Go to the link to see her analysis.

The kerfluffle appears to be some folks don’t like the SAF, and think they would somehow water-down or edit the JFPO’s message…

 

h/t Lurking Rhythmically

"One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas - how he got in my pajamas I dunno!" - Groucho Marx as Captain Spaulding in Animal Crackers

This election is not about who gets voted off the island.
It’s about who is at the tiller of this Republic’s Ship of State. - Guffaw

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The Four Rules

1. ALL GUNS ARE ALWAYS LOADED.

2. NEVER POINT YOUR MUZZLE AT SOMETHING YOU ARE NOT WILLING TO DESTROY.

3. KEEP YOUR FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER UNTIL YOUR SIGHTS ARE ON THE TARGET AND YOU ARE READY TO SHOOT.

4. KNOW YOUR TARGET AND WHAT'S BEYOND.

Certified EVIL!

FEAR

"I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain." - Bene Gesserit, from Frank Herbert's Dune

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