Tuesday, November 19, 2019

A Load-Bearing Wall

Nancy Pelosi is attacking those who suggest the impeachment inquiry might be a bad idea

"The weak response to these hearings has been, 'Let the election decide.' That dangerous position only adds to the urgency of our action, because POTUS is jeopardizing the integrity of the 2020 elections."

God forbid the voters should get to decide on their president. 

The Electoral College is a good idea, and it's a long-standing process.  It has worked, and it's the law.  Trump played by the rules and won.  Whatever a person thinks of Trump, that's the way it works.  A lot of people haven't liked various presidents, but, as Americans -- with notable exceptions in the cases of Lincoln, Kennedy, Garfield, and McKinley, plus some failed attempts, we have lived with them.  It is unwise in the extreme to pursue a different path for at its end lies "le Rasoir national", as the French once called it. 

I do not have to like Trump anymore than I had to like Obama, Bush, or Clinton to realize that trying to overturn a legitimate election is a recipe for disaster.  The Republicans tried with Clinton.  I despised and still despise Clinton, but it was a bad idea.  It is an even worse idea this time.  In Clinton's case, most people looked at the process as a joke, but at least there was a semblance of order about it.  Congress more or less played by the rules with a special prosecutor.  News was controlled by the mainstream media with very little resistance outside of talk radio.  Chaos was minimal.

This time, Trump has direct access to his supporters via the internet.  A majority of Americans no longer trust the national new syndicates.  A lot of us get our information through various channels via the internet.  We are already deeply divided in our attitudes toward the federal government.  The divide is not Republican versus Democrat. 

I, for example, no longer consider myself a Republican, thanks mostly to the Bushes, John McCain, and Mitt Romney.  If those idiots are right, I'd rather be wrong.  I am a nationalist because I'm not a globalist.  I believe in America First and in limited, tightly-controlled legal immigration.  I think there is a deep-state that consists of long-entrenched globalists in positions of power in the federal government.  Their concern is not what is best for the majority of Americans, but what is best for them and their corporate cronies who benefit from all those billions in federal government expenditures.  That includes the defense contractors, the big agricultural conglomerates, investment bankers, and others who love the subsidies they have lobbied for themselves.  Those are the players who see Trump's rise to power while spouting populist and nationalist sentiments as a threat. 

It really doesn't matter that much whether Trump means what he says entirely -- though he does appear to really believe some of it.  What matters is that he has given voice to something a significant segment of the American populace has sensed for a long time.  That's what makes him dangerous.  What they don't seem to understand is that a lot of us see their resistance to Trump as a threat to us, and we would see his removal outside of an election loss as a coup. 

If Trump is impeached, there could well be protests against the House.  If he is removed from office, I honestly think we could see an uprising, and it could get violent.  I would not be surprised by anything at that point because the Rule of Law is the Load-Bearing Wall. 

As entertaining as I might find it to see Nancy Pelosi, Adam Schiff, Mitt Romney, and numerous other politicians from both sides of the aisle dragged out of the Capitol and strung up on lampposts, it would not be the best outcome for our posterity.  I do not want that load-bearing wall removed.  It would be the end of much that I have loved and looked to all my life.  Pelosi's attitude is wrong and short-sighted, even from a political standpoint.  I hope she comes to her senses and ends this travesty before the wall falls down and leaves us all in the rubble.

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Knives Are Not Good for Defense

That's a provocative title.  Notice, I didn't say self-defense, and I love knives.  I have dozens (at least) of all kinds, from expensive custom beauties to cheap, mass-produced junk.  I don't go anywhere without a knife, other than places where they run me through a metal detector.   

The point is that a knife is not a good defensive weapon.  A club or a stick can block and parry.  Knives cut, slash, and stab.  We're not talking about swords but about something you carry folded up in your pocket or hanging unobtrusively on your belt.  Can you get someone to stop hurting you by cutting them with a knife?  Absolutely.  The problem is that it is an offensive action on your part. 

My father told me about a street fight he got into back in the late 1920s.  Ninety years ago.  That's hard to believe.  He was closer to the Civil War than we are to that street fight.  Anyway, it was four or five on two, and Dad was one of the two.  As things were not going well, Dad's friend pulled a knife and started cutting people with it.  I imagine Dad did, too, but he never admitted it. The fight ended with some townspeople arriving with law enforcement.  Dad, I believe, found himself in some legal difficulties and was advised to leave the state for a couple of years. 

These days, I doubt the law would be so accommodating.  He would, most likely, have been severely fined and ended up with a criminal record if he managed to avoid jail. 

Can brandishing a knife get someone threatening you to back off?  Possibly, but it's not as good as a firearm.  Most of the time, when a firearm is used in a self-defense situation, it is not fired.  A three-inch pocket knife, while capable of causing serious injury and even death, does not carry the same intimidation factor as the business end of a firearm -- even something as anemic as a snub-nose .22 revolver.  No one wants to get shot with anything.  No one with any sense wants to get cut, but the number of sensible people likely to initiate an attack against another sensible person is relatively small.  I am not a lawyer, but I doubt that it is a good idea to "brandish" anything. 

Never draw a firearm unless you have reason to be legitimately "in fear for your life".  The same is true of a knife -- only I personally would never draw a knife unless I knew I had to use it.  I have advised my granddaughters that, if they are ever in a life-threatening situation, the first indication an attacker should have of the presence of a knife is his own blood coming from a wound.  Again, that's not legal advice, that's grandpa advice to smallish females. 

I have a concealed carry permit, though I no longer need one in my state.  I often carry a firearm, but, as I said, I always carry knives -- sometimes three or four, if you count multitools like the Wave and SAKs.  I carry edged tools because I like them.  They are handy, very often useful -- even essential, and they could, if absolutely necessary, be used to neutralize a threat. 

If some thug tries to choke you in an elevator or traps you in a restroom stall or tries to drag you into an alley, or if you are attacked by a party of thugs -- as happened a few years ago to a couple not far from here one night, you might have to resort to stabbing and slashing.  It may be your only choice, and I would rather have the choice, if it came to that, than not have it.  Used correctly in a life-threatening situation, a blade might save your life and get you out of that situation.  Then land you in court.  Still, better to be tried by twelve than carried by six applies to knives as well as guns.  

Friday, January 4, 2019

Cui Bono?

Cui bono?

This is a latin phrase used sometimes in criminal prosecutions.  It means, Who benefits? 

If you want to know why something comes to the forefront, why some issue is being pushed or promoted, ask that question first.  A parallel americanism is "follow the money". 

For example, transvestites and drag queens aren't new.  Why have transgender issues suddenly become the cause du jour?  Maybe because there is money to be made?  Up until four or five years ago, the idea of allowing young children to transition using hormones would have struck most people as unethical.  My trans friend, who is about my age, and only began the process in recent years, thinks giving hormones to teenagers, let alone those who have not reached puberty, is a bad idea.   Yet, it is becoming more acceptable.  Who makes money off of it other than the news and entertainment (but I repeat myself) media using it to sell soap? 

Pharmaceutical companies supply the chemicals, which, I would guess, will cause life-long medical issues requiring -- surprise, more drugs.  But I'm sure it's all driven by compassion and morality -- and building demand for your product.  A heroin dealer will always give you the first hit for nothing.   Besides, public opinion has to be manipulated before the insurance companies can be intimidated into footing the bill.

It doesn't matter what the issue is -- health care, immigration, war, gun control, climate change, movies, music -- the question is always the same.  Cui bono?

Am I cynical?  I am.  In this age of self-styled cynics, the problem is most of the professional ones  aren't nearly cynical enough.