Wednesday, November 15, 2017

An Open Letter to Mika Brzezinski

Lifezette:
MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” co-host Mika Brzezinski said Monday on the show that supporters of the Second Amendment who don’t want to talk about gun control in the wake of Sunday’s mass Texas church shooting are “cowards” — even though two armed Texans reportedly chased the gunman down.
Dear Mika,

I am a Second Amendment supporter who is perfectly willing to talk about "gun control" after the atrocity in Sutherland Springs, Texas. Contrary to what you seem to believe, I'm not alone, either. There are many, MANY of us out here.

But you and your boy-toy, Joe Scarborough, will never allow me — or any of us, for that matter — on your show. Hell, I doubt either of you would even be willing to post anonymous comments here.

Why is that?

Is it because you know, deep in your two-sizes-too-small hearts, that the pro-Second-Amendment side of this conversation has facts, evidence, scholarly research, and SCOTUS decisions supporting our point of view, while you have name-calling?

Is it because you don't want to be intellectually trounced challenged on national television?

Is your self-styled public image as the all-knowing moral compass of America too delicate to risk in a real, honest-to-God unscripted dialogue?

I wonder....

You said, "Like exactly when can we have this conversation? You're cowards."

Let me make this absolutely clear: We're having this conversation right now. We've been having this conversation for upwards of 30 years! We have it again after every terrorist attack and after every time some disaffected loser decides to take out his perceived personal grievances on innocent victims! Every. Single. Time! We never stop having this conversation, because there is always someone like you who says our rights should be restricted and we need to have a conversation.

Here's the truth, whether you choose to see it or not: The conversation has been happening all around you. You have just never truly participated.

And I for one resent being called a coward, when you choose to not participate directly in that conversation you claim you want to have, and which I have been actively engaging in for years.

Who's the coward here? (Hint: I'm here, and I'm not going anywhere. I don't even edit or delete comments, unlike many pro-"gun-control" bloggers. Ergo, it must not be me.)

So any time you feel like you want to have that conversation — REALLY have that conversation, with someone who talks back — feel free to drop by and leave a comment. Hit up my e-mail (it's right up there in the upper-right corner of the blog), and we'll talk. I'll even be polite and not resort to name-calling and/or histrionic wailing! But you'd better bring your A-game, because I will be quoting SCOTUS, citing rigorous scholarly research, using logic and reason, and bringing facts and truths you may find inconvenient and prefer to ignore.

Until then, you can keep your self-deluded moral supremacy to yourself.

Sincerely,

Archer

[via David Codrea]

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Free Speech, Free Association, and the NFL

My thoughts on NFL players' "protest" against the National Anthem


There's a lot of noise coming out about NFL players "protesting" the National Anthem by either "taking a knee" instead of standing, or staying in the locker room instead of being on the field. A lot of great minds have weighed in on this, and even though I'm a bit late to the game (no pun intended), I have a few thoughts to share.

[TL;DR version: Dear NFL players: Nobody is questioning your right to protest. What you do on your own time is your business, but on that field, in that uniform, you are not on your time; you are on ours, and we expect you to conduct yourself accordingly.]

The history on this issue has been documented better elsewhere, but here's a very short version, as understood by yours truly:
  • The first "protester" was quarterback Colin Kaepernick, formerly of the San Francisco 49ers and currently a free agent, who remained seated during the National Anthem last year, to protest racial oppression and mistreatment of "people of color" by police.
  • Since then, other players have joined in, kneeling "in solidarity".
  • This year, President Donald Trump weighed in during a rally in Alabama, saying in part [edited for language], "Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, 'Get that son of a b***h off the field right now, out, he’s fired. He’s fired!'"
  • Currently, whole teams are kneeling or retreating to the locker room during the National Anthem, and the "protest" against racial injustice has become synonymous with anti-Trump rhetoric.
(At this point, I want to offer some serious KUDOS to offensive tackle Alejandro Villanueva, of the Pittsburgh Steelers. A former Army Ranger who served three tours in Afghanistan and was awarded the Bronze Star for valor, Villanueva stood alone with his hand over his heart for the National Anthem; the rest of the team stayed in the locker room.)

More below the fold.

Monday, July 31, 2017

On Mr. Jake Mace — Kung Fu and Tai Chi Master, and Idiot

Anybody out there ever hear of a Mr. Jake Mace, of Phoenix Longevity Arts?

I recently ran across his YouTube channel, and as a practitioner of martial arts I found myself enjoying his take on techniques I know (usually by a different name) and learning a few new things, too.

Unfortunately, he has an "opinion about guns", too.

No, he's not strictly "anti-gun", per se. He's... well...

I'll just let him say it:


My attempt at a transcript (bold emphasis in original)*:
Hey, everybody, it's Jake Mace, with JakeMace.com.

During meditation, my unconscious mind and the universe send me thoughts sometimes, and I wanted to share with you guys one of these thoughts today.

I live in the U.S.A. and a lot of people around me — friends, and family members — they own guns, and they use guns. A lot of them have guns, but they don't use guns; they just feel safe having a gun in the house protecting them — "protecting them".

And the way that I've always thought about guns, comes from the path of a martial artist, Chinese kung fu and tai chi guy, who thinks about guns like he thinks about any other weapon in the martial arts.

And so when I have brand new students join my program, they first learn empty-hand skills, of some grappling and some striking, some fitness, conditioning, breathing, meditation, and stance work.

And then once they have that down they go on to the bo staff. The bo staff is the first weapon that they learn how to use, and you guys have been getting our bo staff DVD and bo staff from JakeMace.com.

Once they learn the bo staff they go on to many other weapons in a proper order: nunchucks, short stick, then they go on to the broad sword, sometimes they go on to daggers, chain whip, and the highest state of weapon is the straight sword, called the
jian. The Chinese martial artist values the straight sword as the elite of the elite in terms of weapons.

And in my opinion the reason why this is is because back in ancient China, of all the modern-day weapons that were available to the ancient warrior, the straight sword was the most advanced form of weaponry of the time.

I've been to the
Bing Ma Yong, the Terracotta Warriors in Xi'an, China, and you can see that China was the first ones to bronze and chrome out their weapons, so that when they would go against an opposing army it was no contest! The chromed out steel weapon or bronze weapon is infinitely stronger and more modern, and therefore better at killing, than a futile weapon of the other countries at that time.

But China has a tumultuous past, and many of those ancient warriors died out through the ages, through the millennia. And so in today's world, guns and bombs are the most advanced form of human weaponry.

And so it blows my mind when a lot of human beings, especially in my social circle in America here, have guns, because guns should be valued as a weapon that is more advanced than even straight sword. And so I feel that if you're going to own a gun, and use a gun in life, you should have to earn your keep by learning bo staff, nunchucks, stick, dagger, broad sword, chain whip, sai, etc., etc., on up the chain, and prove your worth to get to the gun level.

And the reason why this is important is because when you are able to buy the most elite weapon just because you give somebody money, and you now own a killing tool right in front of you, you don't have any of the discipline, and the focus, and the training, that goes behind the responsibility of owning a killing tool of that magnitude.

So I'm curious right now, what do you guys think? In the comments down below, tell me your thoughts. Do you think that anybody should be able to get a gun, the "most modern form of killing" in today's age? Or should a gun owner have to prove themselves with horse stance, empty-hand fighting, grappling, stick fighting, bo staff fighting, chain whip, dagger, and on up the chain, and then, when they're a 5th Black Master of whatever style that they're studying, they have a ceremony, bow to the teacher, and the teacher presents them a certificate of mastery, with a gun on top. Because now you have the focus, training, determination, and responsibility that goes behind owning the gun.

Because if you guys are like me, the more skillful the martial artist that you meet, the better the fighter that you meet, the martial artist with more deadliness in their hands and more training in their experience, is usually the most responsible with that training possible.

I can't tell you how many gun owners are so proud of their guns, they want to show them off to all their friends all the time. Well, I'll tell you what: a martial arts master doesn't go into their friend's situation, into a social situation, and show of all their punches and kicks and throws and grappling, OK? They're humble about it, and they keep their killing abilities safe and humble on the inside. I think gun owners should do the same thing.

So tell me in the comments down below what you guys think. I really want to know what you guys think. Hit 'Like', subscribe to my channel, and get yourself the training, because as martial artists, we have to prove ourselves on up the chain, from empty-hand, weapon, to ultimate killing tool, because if we don't train, we won't have the responsibility and the focus needed to handle a weapon of that magnitude.

Thanks for watching guys. I can't wait to see you back here for our next video, and also on any of my social media, like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
In short, he's OK with you having a gun for self-defense, but only after you've also trained for a couple decades in empty-handed defense and a plethora of traditional martial arts weapons (bo staff, nunchaku, three-section staff, butterfly sword, broadsword, chain whip, straight sword) to develop your focus, discipline, and humility** the exact same way he has. Then, and only then, would he "allow" you to own a gun.

Needless to say, anyone older or more frail, or who doesn't have time or money to devote several hours of every day — for several years — to training (read: anyone with school, a job, life, or family), need not even apply. The Carol Bownes of the world, who need a means of self-defense right now, are equally on their own.

In his mind, the prerequisites of gun ownership — focus, discipline, and humility — can only be learned via martial arts. So if you instead chose to spend your child- and young-adulthood in school and college and earned an advanced degree in a STEM discipline, learning skills like logic, advanced mathematics, critical thinking, analytics, etc., you still don't have the focus or discipline to own a gun. Nope, you don't know kung fu, so even though your life's work keeps his lights on, keeps his car running, and — oh, yeah — keeps the spectacle of the Internet alive so that he can continue posting videos ... you aren't worthy of owning a tool to defend your life.

There's a word for this mindset: elitist.

It's a basic "might makes right" mentality. If you don't already have the might, you never will.

What's interesting to me is not only how devoted he is to elitism and "might makes right", but also how far off he is from the very principles of kung fu he professes to teach. Taking kung fu as a tangible skill, it is very much like a gun: a smaller, less-physically-strong defender can prevail over a larger attacker, or even several attackers. Often, just the difference in carriage — the confidence and posture with which the intended victim moves — is enough to deter an attack even before it starts. The defender doesn't even need to be a "master"; in many cases, mere proficiency is good enough.

I did leave a comment or two on that video (hey, he asked for it, didn't he?). However, YouTube's comment filter being what it is — a giant ball of mystery fail to anyone outside YouTube Corporate HQ — you cannot view my comments unless you are logged into YouTube or Google as me. Therefore, here are the screenshots for posterity (click to embiggen):
If you feel like leaving your own, maybe you'll have better luck getting through YouTube's insanely stupid filter.

Or, you can not feed the troll. That's OK, too. :)

Stay safe, and don't give your money to charlatans pretending to be experts.
------------
* - Wow. Writing out that transcript and putting [strong] tags on his emphasized points makes him sound even more off-base than I originally thought, and that's saying something.
** - We won't even get into how "humble" a person could be, when they make their living showing off on YouTube.

Monday, May 1, 2017

On Wealth Redistribution

Because I hate wasting good material at an away game.

To expand on a comment left at this post at The Captain's Journal, to whit, that the reason for big push for wealth redistribution — that invariably guts the middle class — is to burn the generational bridge between the poor and the elite.

All wealth redistribution schemes benefit the elitists, either directly or indirectly. What they don't get from the middle class, they get from the poor when the poor spends what they get from the middle class.

Either way, the rich get richer, the middle class is made poor, the poor get poorer after enjoying a (very) brief windfall, and the path to real wealth is destroyed, effectively turning America into a caste society.

You've heard it said, "Never let anyone tell you nobody wants to take your guns." While true, that's not the whole story; they want your wealth and everything you've earned or made for yourself and your family, too. They want it all.

And as with anything they use the government to get, they'll send men with guns to demand and enforce it.

That is the reality behind wealth redistribution, and why it must be resisted at every step.

Stay safe.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

St Louis Crime Stats

       St Louis City is trumpeting a drop in crime in 2016. All but two of the crime categories; robbery, assault, rape, attempted murder, etc., were up. Property crimes were dramatically down, mathematically driving the decline. (BTW, this implies a bike stolen from a yard has the same weight as murder.) Somehow, murders remained the same (better hospitals - poorer marksmanship?)

        I suspect St Loo did something similar to LA: they cooked the books. Years ago, the Los Angeles police refused to take reports of crimes, claiming a non-existent budget shortfall as the reason. To no-ones surprise, crime did dramatically decrease - in the reports. Murders were a bit harder for the pencil-whippers, as it was difficult to ignore all those nasty corpses leaking all over the place. LAPD, affectionately known as LAP Dogs, had to report that murders were higher that period. The Chief at that time failed in his bid to become mayor, but soon became a much loved and corrupt inner city city councilman.

       Here in the Loo - Chief Dotson was quick to blame it all on the official whipping boy of failing gubermints everywhere: Itz da guns!

        Dotson also attempted a run for mayor, largely on his record as a "crime fighter." However, the hard-left city board of aldermen vowed to fire him from his top-cop job if he ran. He quit the race. He'd have been a poor choice for mayor - the other likely candidates are worse.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Oregon DAS Enacting More Anti-Gun Rules — Legal Opinion Bleg Revisited

Long-time readers may recall me blegging for a legal opinion a while back. I was — and still am — trying to determine a clear answer to the question:

Is it legal or illegal for a state employee to carry a licensed, concealed firearm into state office buildings?
A couple of updates since then:
  • DAS policy #125-06-321 seems to have disappeared off the Interwebz. Perhaps it has been rescinded?
  • Other agencies have enacted their own agency-specific "no weapons" policies to replace it.
Now, I get this from the Oregon Firearms Federation: Kate Brown Prohibits Self Defense For State Workers:
The Department of Administrative Services, at the direction of Governor Kate Brown, has adopted a policy prohibiting all state employees from having a licensed firearm for self defense on "all property and facilities owned, leased, rented or otherwise occupied by the Oregon state government including grounds, buildings, parking structures and lots, vehicles and other equipment and any site where an employee enters on behalf of the employee's employment with Oregon state government except for an employee's home (including employees who live in state housing)…"

This policy extends to
"All employees, including limited duration and temporary employees, board and commission members, volunteers, and others working in an agency…" [emphasis in original]
[blink blink]

Apparently either the Oregon Department of Administrative Services did not learn from its past mistake, or they are getting pressured by the Brown Administration to re-enact anti-gun policies.

But is it a legal policy, as in "supported by applicable law"? Further analysis below the fold.