Saturday, August 18, 2018

Even a blind pig can find an acorn, once in a while

On Religion, War, Politics and other things which don't keep your belly full and your mind peaceful.

(In other words, stuff that isn't all that important!)

While I am far from being an admirer of ANY member of the Clinton family, I have to admit that I agree with The Hillary-beast today, for the first time.  Ever.
 A young girl declined to stand and pledge allegiance to the flag.   Some folks got their panties in a bind over that.  Hillary said (in essence):   "That's okay, you go girl!". 
I say, "that works for me".
(SCROLL to the bottom of the page for the quote.)

IN MY OPINION ... the Pledge of Allegiance is an entirely personal OATH which has been turned into an obligatory rote action by nothing more persuasive than habit and social pressure.  That I choose to recite it means that I believe it. 
Folks that don't believe it may be Americans of Conscience.. their reticence doesn't necessarily mean that they are anti-American; just that there are a lot of commitments included in the text of the Pledge which they may not honestly support.

It has been a long time since I recited the Pledge of Allegiance, but to the best of my recall this is what I use to say (while facing the flag with my hand over my heart, to demonstrate my earnest intent):
I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the country for which it stands; One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
I've pledged allegiance to the flag thousands of times, and I have also sworn to defend the flag 'and the country for which it stands' when I was drafted.     I paid my debt to my country many times over, and I respect my flag.

(I'm not quite sure about God.  I've prayed and asked for guidance from above; still waiting for HIM to return my call.   But I'm patient ... God must have a huge backload of celestial-phone messages. Maybe He's still returning calls from falling sparrows?)

But anyone who has chosen to NOT offer their allegiance gets a pass from me.
 If, for example, you're an Atheist you might refuse the pledge because it includes the phrase "... under God ...".  (IIRC, it was President Eisenhower who added the sub-phrase some 50+ years ago.)

That makes you no less a patriot; it only establishes that you refuse to take an oath which you cannot support theologically.   In a very real way, it makes you more sincere and more aware of the nuances of the oath.    Some folks will disagree; it's one reason why Americans might wish to reconsider the exact wording (eg: excise the Eisenhower Update).

The Pledge of Allegiance is too important to be automatically assumed. 
If you are not fully and personally invested in the responsibilities of citizenship, you should not be hounded or ridiculed  because you either stand by your conscience, or decline to lie under oath.   The Pledge is entirely voluntary,  and those who think it should be obligatory forget the concept under which America was founded: 

"This is a FREE country".

Personally, I may not respect anyone who declines to accept the same dedication to my country as I do.  Also personally, I fought a war (sort of a war; except that men died and I was unhappy, it wasn't much of a war), and all American wars are purportedly waged to re-establish the American Way Of Life.

The American Way Of Life not only allows dissent, but encourages it.
If everybody agrees with me, we don't have a Free Society; we have an ant colony of mindless workers.

I never wanted to live in a homogeneous society.   I like folks who think differently.  They teach me lessons I would never have learned, values I never would have considered, if I lived in a Vacuum.

Your Opinions May Vary. 

If you don't agree with me ... your either an idiot or a villain.

(This is MY blog; I can say anything I want; so can you.)

Where Was She During the 'War on Drugs?': Hillary Called Out for Supporting Girl Who Knelt for Pledge | Fox News Insider: As seen on Tucker Carlson Tonight Hillary Clinton is taking criticism for offering encouragement to an 11-year-old student who made headlines for kneeling during the Pledge of Allegiance. Clinton tweeted in response to a NowThis report on Mariana Taylor, a Maryland sixth-grader who refused to stand for her classroom’s recitation of the pledge, instead adopting the form of protest used by some NFL players to demonstrate against police brutality and racial injustice. “It takes courage to exercise your right to protest injustice, especially when you’re 11!  Keep up the good work Mariana,” Clinton tweeted.

Life in the Big City: Public Defication

This is a shitty story: you might want to just ... pass on bye, don't look, hold your nose and pretend it never happened.

Actually, that seems to be the Best Practice in large cities all over the country.

I thought this was ... well, Urban Legend until I moved to a Big City in the 1970's:
San Francisco Launching New 'Poop Patrol' to Deal With Dirty Streets: While San Francisco has been doing its best to become a model progressive city by doing dumb things like banning plastic straws, its streets have gone to hell. Human excrement on sidewalks has become such a pervasive problem that the city is launching a “Poop Patrol.” Heather Knight reports at the San Francisco Chronicle:
In the  1970's, I moved to Portland, Oregon, from a rural farm community because I was "getting ahead" and could "find a good paying technical job". 

When I arrived there, and began walking the "mean streets" ... I understood what the term "Mean Streets" really meant.

My unfortunate awaking occurred when  I was walking across the Burnside Bridge, and noticed a scruffy-looking man squatting on the bridge with his pants down; he was "doing his business".   Being naive, I tried to ignore him while I passed him.  He glowered at me, defiant as if I was imposing on his privacy as he publically voided his bowels on one of the most heavily trafficked bridges in the City of Seven Bridges.

If the bridge didn't have guard rails, I might have kicked him off the bridge.  But of course I was too "civilized" to do more than hold my nose and hurry past him and his ever growing pile of shit. (I suspected that these citizens hold it until they couldn't any more, which contributes to the amazingly tall piles of shit.)

There's little more to the story.  I left my good-paying job in "The City", moved to a quiet little College Down on the Willamette river.

I checked; my town draws its water from creeks  rapidly flowing down from the surrounding mountains, well  upstream from the Willamette.    There are three processing stations which purify the water before it reaches the taps in my kitchen.

 But there are bridges across the Willamette River in my current town, and I've seen a lot of hobos huddling near the bridges.

I pity the residents of the State Capital (Salem, which id "downstream"), which draws a lot of water from the Willamette River.

Perhaps the effluvium from their drinking water explains ... at least in part ... some of the really crappy legislation which our state Senators and Representatives impose upon us.

As for me, I double-filter any tap water I use for cooking (boiling temperatures at least), and triple-filter and boil any water I use for drinking.

The plants in my home, though, seem to thrive on it.   I never need to fertilize them.

Arizona Guv - "Lock 'em Up!

Arizona Governor recommends arrest and incarceration of gun owners, without charging them with a crime.

Ducey won’t budge on ‘crown jewel’ of gun legislation – Arizona Capitol Times:
Gov. Doug Ducey is doubling down on his push for a law to let judges take guns from some people considered “dangerous” ....  (it would also allow. ...  law enforcement take an individual’s weapons while he or she is locked up for up to 21 days for a mental evaluation.) 
[emphasis added] 
See the link for full text.

It's more complicated than the above abridged text suggests, but the core of his intent seems to be to LOCK 'EM UP on suspicion,  for 3 weeks, even though no crime has been committed and the detainee has not been charged with a crime.

No word on whether this period of incarceration would appear on the suspect's criminal record.

The article also fails to make clear what degree of consanguinity must be established before the "offended" may be arrested and his/her firearms confiscated.

Damn newspapers never get it right; it may be a tempest in a teapot, or it may be as inane as it seems on the surface.

Friday, August 17, 2018

For Goodness Sakes, it's a BEAUTY CONTEST!

In a very public "Shallow Hal" moment, the reigning Miss America trashes the organization which voted her "Most Likely" ... apparently, she was Most Likely to be "Bitchiest".

Somewhere in between some anonymous tenor singing: "Here She Is, Miss America; the girl who was only one of a thousand faces ..." and "I'm so honored, there are so many girls here who are more deserving ..."  she evoked her Full bitch Mode.

Miss America Cara Mund slams org, Gretchen Carlson: They 'erased me':
In a twist of irony, the most recent Miss America winner is accusing the Miss America Organization – one that's recently taken public steps in the name of female-empowerment –of bullying and silencing her. In a five-page letter addressed to "Miss America Sisters" and obtained by USA TODAY on Friday, Cara Mund, Miss America 2018, calls out Miss America CEO Regina Hopper and chair Gretchen Carlson for having "silenced me, reduced me, marginalized me, and essentially erased me in my role as Miss America in subtle and not-so-subtle ways on a daily basis." 
Mund blamed the sponsors.   Amazing! 

Gun Control - in Arizona???!

Typical anti-gun hysteria, but not so common in Free States where the response time to a 911 call is typically measured in longer time units than "mere minutes away".

Gun Control - Fryer for Arizona:
I agree with most Arizonans when I say: YES to a ban on semiautomatic guns, high capacity magazines and assault weapons. YES to criminal background checks on all gun sales and on transfers between private parties. YES to preserving and strengthening state concealed carry permitting systems, and limiting firearms in public places, including schools and college campuses. YES to buy back programs. YES to waiting periods. YES to smart guns, safety training, safe storage, and child access protection laws. YES to a ban on sales to terror watchlist, the mentally ill, stalker and domestic violence misdemeanants, and violent criminals. YES to community-based violence intervention programs. YES to requiring and investing in research into our gun violence epidemic.
Most curious that she ignores that "gun free zones" are the target of choice for people who have "mass murder" on their agenda.

Oh ... wait; Democrat.
Never mind, I understand now.   It's as if she actually believes that Criminals and Terrorists will be dissuaded by more gun laws. 

(Note to Arizonans: Anyone But Fryer! You don't have enough idiots making your life-dependent decisions for you?)

PS:   I've not been so impressed by the "Terrorist Watch List", since it's a Shadow Government thing.   I would think Democrats would be campaigning for more information on who gets listed, why and how.  But I suspect that they like it just the way it is, because it undermines the privacy and security on everyone that's listed there ... and as long as their name isn't on it, the Big-Government/Anti-Constitutional Democrats LIKE IT!

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Most Crime Guns Are Stolen

GFZ ... one of my favorite websites ... reports on a study of crime guns.
You'll never guess the results.

The gun control study that really happened and you never saw – Gun Free Zone:
 I like how they put that: Perpetrator was carrying a firearm owned by someone else. That shows you just how pervasive media spin is.  That category is stolen or straw purchased guns.

Yeah, but you and I will get blamed for the pervasiveness of "Gun Crimes".

Monday, August 13, 2018

"Everytown" campaign to limit Constitution

EVERYTOWN FOR ... whatever .... wants to undermine MY RIGHT to defend my person, my family, and my property from would-be criminals who are younger, stronger and more violent.

(Yes, they want to undermine your 2nd Amendment rights, too.   But I take their attack personally, so this is all about me.  If you feel the same way, you can write your own damn article.)

EVERYTOWN uses loaded phrases such as "common-sense public safety measures"  to obfuscate their intent to limit my American freedoms.

They think that "local governments" should have the power to legislate against my constitutional rights.

They blame the only organized effort to support the constitution (cough NRA cough) for the fact that *only* 40 states defend my rights, even if EVERYTOWN apparently thinks I'm too irresponsible to deserve those rights.
 (I wonder why the other 10 states don't think I'm competent to make my own decisions.  My country liked me just fine when they drafted me in 1969 and sent me to Viet Nam. Oh, and they gave me a gun, too!)
Here's what Everytown for not-me has to say:

Sunday, August 12, 2018

California Scheming: 9th Circuit Court Findings (Microstamping by firearms)

Microstamping in California!

As nearly as I can tell, the Ninth Circuit Court has decided that California can legally impose "broad" restrictions on "acceptable" firearms.

(NOTE:  the following two paragraphs are ALL "Copy & Paste" quotes;  see the links for details.  I haven't yet had the time to drill-down to the logic of either the order or the interpretation by a 3rd party blogger.   I offer minimal interpretation or commentary at this time. Some phrases are high-lighted for your attention, not because they are embedded in the original text.)
GUN WATCH: Ninth Circuit Panel Rules CA Unsafe Handgun Act not Covered by Second Amendment: The key to the decision is the Ninth Circuit's hostility to a broad reading of the Second Amendment. The Circuit, in it's en banc rulings, such as Peruta, Tiexeira v. County of Alameda, and in a three judge panel, Silvester v. Harris, has consistently worked to restrict Second Amendment rights to the narrowest possible box.
 An analogous reading of the First Amendment would be that the State can restrict certain publications on the grounds that they might impact public safety. For example, that violent video games could be banned. The Supreme Court has rejected that argument for the First Amendment.

The upshot is that California can impose restrictions on "Acceptable Handgun Characteristics"; some of which may make it more difficult for handgun manufacturer to keep handgun prices affordable; others which may be technologically unfeasible, and finally most or all of these new regulations may require mandatory registration (in case nobody noticed the nuances of the legislation).

 Here is the summation of the opinion of the court, From Pena v. Lindley:
California requires that new models of handguns meet certain criteria, and be listed on a handgun roster, before they may be offered for sale in the state. Two provisions require that a handgun have a chamber load indicator and a magazine detachment mechanism, both of which are designed to limit accidental firearm discharges. The third provision, adopted to aid law enforcement, requires new handguns to stamp microscopically the handgun’s make, model, and serial number onto each fired shell casing. Plaintiffs asserted that these three provisions have narrowed their ability to buy firearms in California, in violation of the Second Amendment, and that the handgun roster scheme imposes irrational exceptions, in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
Note that some of the provisions eliminate category your standard 1911 frame; others (microstamping) require technology which has not yet proven feasible by current production technology.

Two Comments:
(1) it's convenient, as a state, to be able to require technical tweaks which are not yet possible for the manufacturers to conform if you want to make it more cumbersome (impossible) to own a new firearm:
(2) I'm glad I don't live in California

Well, why SHOULDN'T we treat Gun Violence as an "Epidemic"?

Many people (most often physicians) are suggesting that we can stop "Gun Violence" by treating it as an epidemic. here's just one example:

Can we stop the gun violence epidemic? Yes, by treating it as a health crisis | TheHill:
After each new episode in our nation’s worsening gun violence epidemic, the same two things happen: First, our screens and social media feeds are saturated with hauntingly familiar images — and then we’re told that it’s too soon to talk about gun laws. We need to break this cycle.
Obviously, this physician has decided that he's tired of seeing shooting victims in the Emergency room, and his solution is to "... talk about gun laws ...".    We can't blame him for wanting to grasp at straws.  But we can blame him for only seeing the obvious.

Let's talk about "gun laws".

We have thousands of  laws restricting access to guns, and yet the "Gun Violence Epidemic" continues.   By now, most rational people who can stand apart from their preconceptions will have accepted that if "gun laws" are the solution to gun violence ... they aren't working.  Which is curious, because we have more laws (national, regional, local, etc.) restricting access to guns than any other physical object.

This, in spite of the Second amendment which mandates that access to guns "... shall not be infringed"!

But this physician is suggesting the the "epidemic" of gun violence can be resolved by simply imposing more gun laws, which will not be obeyed by criminals..

So instead of talking about "gun violence", shouldn't we be talking about "criminals"?

Oh.   That's too hard. Therefore Physicians (and Politicians, and a lot of other groups) would rather talk about LAWS than to seek a true solution.

If we're to talk about "Gun Violence" as a National problem which must resolved, we should look at the cause of Gun Violence.

It isn't the ready availability of guns; millions of law- abiding Americans own guns and have never broken a law.  Where necessary in their home area, if guns must be registered they dutifully register their guns.    If certain kinds of guns are forbidden by law, they don't own those guns (except under special license ... still legally).

Summation:The problem with "Gun violence" isn't GUNS, it's VIOLENCE.

And we cannot resolve the problem of VIOLENCE by restricting access to guns; because that isn't working!

What's the solution?

This Gun Violence Thing isn't a legal problem, it's a societal problem. (Preaching to the choir much?)

Cities need to clean up their slums, provide jobs and support for their citizens who are floundering.
States need to keep track of  unemployment figures, and welfare figures, and unwed-mothers who need help to raise their children in a fatherless home where the only authority figure is a mom who has to work so many hours a day that the older children are responsible for raising their younger siblings.

You Can Help:
Examine the budgets for your municipality, county, state .. see how much each contributes to crime prevention, and welfare.   Compare that with the dollars spent on creating new industry, jobs.  Perhaps they can spend more on those areas (eg: tax breaks for companies who hire "at risk" citizens) compared to what they spend on crime prevention (police, prisons etc.).  You may find that your tax dollars are better spent on social programs than on prevention programs.

Talk to your representatives.  They won't lift a finger on an issue that isn't a "hot button", such as Crime and Gun Control.

You may just find that they occasionally listen to their constituents.