Thursday, December 24, 2015

The GOP -- 1854 to 2016 -- RIP

The Republican Party is as dead as the Whigs they replaced.  The party was born out of the northern abolitionist movement along with some other political interests of the day, such as the Free Soilers.  After the death of Lincoln, the radical Republicans did their best to destroy the Democrat party in the South and disenfranchise and punish the losers in the rebellion.  It could be argued that Reconstruction was necessary to some extent, but it helped create the reaction that would be visible in Jim Crow and the Segregationists.   It’s impossible to imagine the difference in America today if Lincoln had not been assassinated, if the radicals could have been checked, and if the South’s return to the Union had been more of a welcoming back of the prodigal and less retribution.
We have to live with the history we have been given. 

There are things I like about the Grand Old Party.  They have done a better job of standing up to federal encroachment on gun rights and religious freedom than the Democrat Party.  They are less likely to support expansion of the welfare state – usually but not always. 

What killed the Republican Party?  To name but a few symptoms of their fatal disease:

  1. Amnesty – an irrational desire to see our country overrun by third-worlders, a refusal to secure the borders, the feeling that we need to import housekeepers, landscapers, and lettuce-pickers to do the low-paying jobs that people with government jobs and people on welfare won’t do. 
  2. Corporatism – Like Democrats, Republicans do not trust or understand the free market.  GOPe politicians favor big corporations that are in bed with government and benefit most from a large federal budget.  This includes, but is not limited to, defense contractors and agri-business giants. 
  3. Interventionist foreign policies – What’s the use of spending billions on cool new killing machines if we can’t use them?  The positive side of this is that Republicans still have respect for the military and tend to treat our servicemen and veterans better than Democrat politicians.  But we wouldn’t need the defense budget we have if we would mine our own business and secure the damn borders. 
  4. The police state – Republican politicians have a tendency to be what are sometimes called “holster lickers”, i.e., a bit too enthusiastic about supporting police in the name of law and order.  They help fund the War on (some) Drugs and the NSA’s continuing violations of our privacy rights.  I don’t hear much from the GOP about how the unconstitutionally of warrantless searches, highway checkpoints and seizures of assets without due process.  
  5. Pork-barrel spending projects, getting money “back to the district”, Medicare Party D, No Child Left Alone, the EPA, etc. 

I won’t miss them that much.  We have a Democrat Party for big-government socialists and nanny-staters.  We don’t need the Socialist-lite Party.  We need a Freedom Party, someone pulling, not from the “right”, but from the mind-your-own business pole to offer an actual alternative for those of us who believe that liberty, opportunity, and personal responsibility all go hand-in-hand.   We know that freedom means, first and foremost, freedom from government. 

Thursday, December 10, 2015

The Problem Is Immigration

The more time that passes, the more Trump’s message resonates with the populace.  The left and the big-government wing of the right, both here and in Europe, need immigration to fuel their government-based economic policies.  They need the underclass to justify the police state.  They need a class of consumers capable of being placated by government cheese, sex, drugs, and circuses.  They are willing – more than willing, eager to accept a level of violence and mayhem that keeps the productive class living in fear.

As Brendan noted in his comment on the previous post, neither criminal activities nor terrorist attacks threaten the vast majority of the ruling elite.  They are protected, living in zones where drive-bys do not occur.  Their children are not thrown into the maelstroms of public schools, subject to teacher-union flunkies working for retirement.  The lives of their children are not destroyed, for the most part, by illegal drugs and the violence that surrounds the black market. They are not working in or visiting the schools, shops, malls, and offices that get shot up or blown up.  They do not fear the ghetto because it is the ghetto.  They do not fear the danger the invaders carry because they will have contact only with the peaceful gardeners, cooks, and housekeepers among them.

Instead, the rulers fear us, the productive middle-class, the blue-collar people, the mechanics and engineers, the electricians, plumbers, truck drivers, accountants, coders, welders, and machinists.  They fear us because we interact with the real world.  We may not understand quantum mechanics, but the best explanation I ever heard of how a nuclear reactor operates came not from a nuclear engineer but from a construction foreman on the Comanche Peak plant in Texas.  He knew how it had to work.

I don’t know if Donald Trump would be a “good” president.  I am well past the point of thinking that any president is going do much in the direction of making this country better for my grandchildren.  I doubt that I will even vote in the 2016 presidential election.  What I like about Trump is that he has addressed immigration as a problem.  His remarks this week line up with what he has already said about building a wall across the southern border.  We need to stop the invasion.  We need to stop using the words “immigrant” and “refugee”.  They are invaders.  Invaders are an existential threat to our way of life and to our freedom. 

Somewhere between 1% and 10% of Syrian refugees are going to be terrorists. Another 25% (conservatively) are going to be sympathizers, supporters, and enablers.  If we allow in 10,000, we are talking about 100 to 1000 terrorists and 2500 terrorist supporters.  That is the reality.  I am not afraid of those people, but I am angry that this regime is so callous with regard to the lives of American citizens and so willing to use the terrorists and the death and destruction they bring to further restrict, regulate, and deny us our liberties. 

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Trump Terror

Donald Trump calls for closing our borders to all Muslims, and both left and right lose their minds.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

That’s the actual text of the First Amendment, apart from court interpretations.  Most of those, especially on the right, who are upset at Trump, seem to suggest that we cannot legally prohibit American citizens who are practicing Muslims from re-entering this country.  Whether I agree with Trump’s rhetorical point or not, there is absolutely nothing prohibiting Congress from passing a law that says Muslims who leave the borders of the United States will not be allowed to re-enter.  How would we have handled American citizens who visited Japan after Pearl Harbor or who went to Germany once war had been declared?  (We should have declared war on Islam in 2001.)

I’m sure some federal judge somewhere will find case law or pull something out of his or her nether regions that finds such a statute unconstitutional.  Yet that does not seem to me to follow from a reading of the Amendment.  No state religion is being established.  The free exercise of one’s religion within the borders of the United States would not be prohibited – unlike bans on prayer in public schools or Christmas decorations on courthouse lawns or displays of the Ten Commandments.  No rights to speech, publication, peaceable assembly or petition are abridged. 

More than likely an actual law to this effect would have provisions that required a thorough investigation of contacts and activities of those Islamic American citizens who had gone abroad for purposes of business or pleasure and wished to return to the United States.  Given that somewhere on the order of 25% of Muslims are in favor of imposing Sharia law on the United States by any means necessary, such a restriction is quite sensible.   

In any case, had a law of this nature been in place the past few years, the San Bernardino shooting would not have happened.  Unlike additional gun laws or forbidding people on the No-Fly list from (legally) buying firearms, this is an approach that would have saved lives. 

Speaking of the No-Fly list, how is that all that much different from what Trump proposes, aside from the fact that what Trump suggests would target the Terrorist Religion of Choice ©.  

Monday, December 7, 2015

U.S. Per Capita Murder Rate

Washington Times reports that U.S. per capita murder rates are at historic lows.

Obviously "per capita" must ignore the 50% increase in population over the last 50 years.  It also, though, glosses over the demographic shift that has taken place as America has become significantly less "white" due, in part, to the changes wrought by Ted Kennedy's 1965 immigration law.

We know that if we remove certain urban centers such as Chicago, Detroit, Baltimore, et al, the U.S. homicide rate drops down the global ranking.

America has always been a violent country.  What happened in the 1960s to increase homicides?  For one thing, there was a lot of forced integration.  The black family in America began to fall apart as federal aid drove fathers out of the house.  Black neighborhoods were broken up as more cities received incentives from the geniuses in Washington, D.C. to herd people into Soviet-style highrises trying to eliminate "slums".  We scaled up the disastrous "War on Drugs".  

What happened in the 1990s to make things less violent?  Concealed carry got national attention in Florida and other states have followed suit as we have not seen Miami become the Wild West.  Experience has proven that allowing law-abiding citizens to carry firearms is more of deterrent to crime than a catalyst. Many incidents are ended not with gunfire and blood but simply when an aggressor looks down the barrel of an intended victim's weapon.   

Friday, December 4, 2015

Rhetoric, Reason and Numbers -- Updated, link fixed

First, there is usually no point in trying to reason a person out of a position they did not reach by reason.  Reason and logic have nothing to do with fear, manipulation, deliberate ignorance, and mass superstition.  This covers about 95% of the anti-gun arguments.  To combat rhetoric, use rhetoric.

Still there is that 5% or so that get their "facts" from PMSNBC.

Hotair discussed Barbara Boxer's comments about California's restrictive gun laws and how they have lower the rate of homicides.  Check out the chart and some of the links in the article.  The firearms murder rate per 100,000 population in America has dropped drastically over the last 20 years even while more and more states have adopted "sensible" concealed carry laws, and firearms ownership has risen:

 As for the gun homicide rate specifically, that’s dropped by nearly half since 1993 according to Pew’s data. Robert VerBruggen has a column well worth your time at NRO today detailing his state-by-state comparison of gun ownership rates and homicide rates. Logically, if the left is right that more guns in circulation necessarily means more violence, we should see more homicides in states where more people are armed. That’s not what we see, per VerBruggen. States are all over the statistical map. States where guns are more freely available do tend to see more suicides by shooting, but suicide typically doesn’t factor heavily into progressive rhetoric about gun-grabbing.

I have talked about suicides before.  These are tragedies that are very close to my heart and might be the single logical argument for  some form of waiting period.  I think a good night's sleep and a reduction in the use of most legal pharmaceuticals would save more lives than restricting access to firearms.

As for Obama's contention that mass shooting don't happen in other countries, well, he is wrong:

The French have witnessed three mass public shootings this year. January saw two attacks, one on the Charlie Hebdo magazine and another on a Paris supermarket. In the November attacks, 129 people were killed and 352 were injured. In 2015, France suffered more casualties than the U.S. has suffered during Obama's entire presidency (508 to 394).

Obama also overlooks Norway, where Anders Behring Breivik used a gun to kill 67 people and wound 110 others. Still others were killed by bombs that Breivik detonated. Of the four worst K-12 school shootings, three have occurred in Europe. Germany had two of these — one in 2002 at Erfut and another in 2009 at Winnenden, with a total death toll of 34.

Obama isn't correct even if he meant the frequency of fatalities or attacks. Many European countries actually have higher rates of death from public shootings that resulted in four or more murders. It's simply a matter of adjusting for America's much larger population.

Keep in mind that it does not bother people like Obama, Clinton, Bush, or any of the other power-mad politicians to lie.  They will say anything and do anything to maintain power and control over their voters.  They are uninterested in the negative consequences of the laws they pass.  To them it is a game, and they play to win -- popularity, position, power, and prestige.  Those who suddenly want to shout down prayers to God in favor of appeals to politicians will discover this truth the hard way.

If these bleating sheep really wanted to make America a better, safer, more just nation, they would concern themselves with becoming better people, as Micah suggested long, long ago:  Do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God

Finally, a modest proposal.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

More Shenanigans at the University of Missouri

Far be it from me to tell someone how to raise their kids.  Somehow I seriously doubt the football team will be demanding the firing of MU assistant professor Youssif Omar after he dragged his 14-year-old daughter by the hair down a flight of stairs.  Omar was upset that his daughter was not wearing her hajib:

Omar ... grabbed the girl “very violently by the hair” and pulled her outside and down a flight of stairs. [He also] allegedly slapped the girl’s face and pulled her into his car by her hair ...

Honestly, I have no problem with a father disciplining his daughter for violating his cultural and religious standards for dress and deportment.  I am not offended by the fact that a Muslim father thought his teenage daughter should be properly covered.  I am offended by the fact that Omar thought he could get away with physically attacking his child, publicly humiliating her. 

We are not "anti-Muslim".  We are not "afraid" of Islam or its practitioners.  The realistic among, however, realize that Muslims have, for the most part, a different worldview.  The local mosque is not going to condemn Omar.  Muslims are going to make excuses for this man and his actions.  Students are not going to go on a hunger strike to protest the fact that they have a child abuser as an assistant professor.  It's one of the joys of diversity.

Muslims and other groups who refuse to assimilate and accept basic societal values really have no place among us.  That's the reality.