Friday, November 30, 2012

Campus Censorship

If you've been away from the world of higher education for awhile, I assure you, the situation on campus is worse than you imagine, maybe worse than you can imagine.  Here's a wonderful little video from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education.  I came across it at Western Voices World News.  The message is of the highest significance, but take note of the wonderful graphic way it's presented.  A very professional piece of work.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Quote of the Day

From Catholic Cartoon Blog
“America, it is said, is suffering from intolerance-it is not. It is suffering from tolerance. Tolerance of right and wrong, truth and error, virtue and evil, Christ and chaos. Our country is not nearly so overrun with the bigoted as it is overrun with the broadminded.” — Archbishop Fulton Sheen

Lincoln Reviewed again

Sorry, everybody, but Abe Lincoln was a nasty piece of work.  Most people praise him as the liberator and friend of slaves, and others condemn him for his speech asserting that he was indifferent to their fate.  Neither has it right.  The thing is, Lincoln was a politician, and far from the most honest of them.  He said whatever his audience wanted to hear. What he really felt about such issues is a tossup.  One thing is sure — His own aims were much more important to him than human suffering.  He was perfectly capable of wrecking the country to save it, and that's exactly what he did.  He saved it as a name and geographic entity.  But he transformed it as a political and social entity and it hasn't been the same since.

I've already presented a Libertarian review of the Lincoln movie, which you should read if you haven't, as it says many cogent things.  But here's another review, from the nationalist perspective, and it's considerably harder on the man and the legend.  It begins:

Lincoln is essentially Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter with bigger words. The latter said the Confederacy was the product of blood sucking monsters to be destroyed with stakes to the heart and decapitation. The former tells us Southerners simply exist to be killed with bayonet and cannonade. Far from being the “moral relativists” of conservative imagination, Hollywood has given us a version of American history characterized by absolute portrayals of good and evil, with shades of gray permitted to righteous egalitarians only divided by what tactics can best be used to exterminate their foes.

In theory, the state is the political expression of the nation, the folk culture that formed it. In modern practice, the state is a vehicle for the managerial elite to pursue their agenda. Occasionally, they throw up some universalistic rhetoric to justify it. Le destin, c’est la politique, said Napoleon. The destiny driving what was once the American Republic is a never ending crusade for egalitarianism, to be pursued even and especially if it destroys the founding population.

Director Steven Spielberg and screenwriter Tony Kushner actually deserve credit for this forthrightly celebratory account of how Lincoln and his Republican party transformed a constitutional republic into a multiracial Leviathan endlessly devouring and despising itself. The mask is ripped off, the propaganda is ever more crude, and the message is clear: we own your country now. (Read the rest HERE.)

Libertarianism ≠ Liberalism

That's right.  Despite the "liber" root, libertarianism has nothing in common with current American liberalism (I say current and American, because the word meant something different in the past, and still has different meanings in Europe).

And it's a shame that the words resemble each other, because that fact furthers the false meme that "libertarianism takes the best from liberalism and conservatism."  It doesn't.  Yes, it makes for a cute paradigm, but truth is more important than cuteness.  The thing is, libertarianism should oppose liberalism in every possible way.  Liberalism is wrong about everything.  In fact, it's conservatism that shares a lot with liberalism these days, particularly the weird variant called "neoconservatism," and far to many libertarians think that we should accept those things, too.  These shared things more or less fall under the classification of "political correctness."  And when libertarians adopt political correctness, they're not libertarians any more.  They've become what I like to call "flaky libertarians."

Here's the deal:  What we're calling libertarianism these days isn't a philosophy dreamed up by a bunch of libertine hippies back in the Sixties, or a bunch of ex-Marxist Jewish intellectuals in New York and wherever the hell the Ben Rand bunch came from in Canada.  Nor are they Republicans who enjoy cocaine. And they're not Democrats who understand economics.  And they're sure as hell not Bill Maher.

No.  Libertarianism was originally put together by that amazing bunch we call the Founding Fathers.  Our founding documents tell you most of what you need to know about libertarianism.  The FF weren't perfect, of course, but they did their best to put together a structure that would maximize liberty in a stable way.  They weren't dreamers, but realists.  They would have considered gay marriage a sick joke.  They very definitely were not in favor of open borders.  They considered gun control the height of tyranny and made that clear in the Constitution.  They knew something that modern libertarians seem determined to forget — That the whole concept of individual freedom is rooted in Western civilization, and that it's not easily transferred to the rest of the world.  They certainly didn't think they could spread their philosophy by force of arms.

DailyKenn is concerned about this tendency of libertarians to accept the memes of liberals, particularly the "racism" one, and explains why they shouldn't:

Freedom begins in the mind

Libertarians take note: Freedom begins in the mind. When you allow authoritarians to control your thinking, you are no longer a libertarian.
Libertarians, like 99.9999% of all Americans, don't want to be caught on the "wrong side of civil rights" issues. And so they surrender libertarian values-- such as individual rights -- to embrace political correctness and avoid being stigmatized as racists.
Therein lies the problem.
The left has learned to use the racist label as a cattle prod that nudges us through the maze of public policy. And so we surrender; not only our libertarian values, but we cave on state's rights, workers' rights, free speech and wide spectrum of other vital issues -- all for the sake of avoiding the racist label.
I'm no racist. Hating, or even disliking, someone based on unchangeable personal characteristics such as ethnicity is, in my opinion, both mean-spirited and down-right idiotic.
I also recognize that the political left is quite adept at using the altruism that is innate to most white people as an effective cattle prod.
I won't be prodded.
Individual rights must be protected at all costs. Such rights are essential to the survival of our republic and Western civilization as a whole.
I will not be prodded to disavow reality. And reality is that blacks commit more violent crime per capita than whites.
Is that racist? Social engineers would say that it is and, in an effort to hush us, they slap us with the racist label. In my case it doesn't work.
Nor will I be prodded into rejecting settled science regarding race and intelligence.
Am I a racist for embracing the reality that our brains are biological organs with race-specific genetic traits, such as intelligence and behavior? Those who wish to prod me into the corral of political expediency and mild Marxist dogma insist that I am. I am not. I simply refuse to pretend to believe nonsense to avoid being stigmatized.
Leftist intentionally confuse honesty as hatred.
It is racial honesty, not hatred, to acknowledge that East Asians, on an average, are more intellectually gifted than white people. It is racial honesty, not hatred, to acknowledge that black people tend to lack the intellectual capacity of whites and East Asians. Prod me, attack me, and inflict the pain of racist branding, but I refuse to be one of the herd.
Freedom begins with the mind. And is expressed in free speech!

Read more here...

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Robinson Jeffers

I was lucky enough as a kid to get hold of a two-volume collection of Kipling, including his better-known poems.  I read it all and enjoyed it, not realizing that poetry was supposed to be boring.  So since then I've always been open to poetry — Although, unfortunately, most of it is boring.
Anyhow, despite having a degree in English, acquired back when you didn't have to press one for English, I have only the vaguest idea who Robinson Jeffers was.  Upon reflection, I realize that I've conflated him with another substantial American poet, Edwin Arlington Robinson, and I always though his name was Edward.  Anyhow, I remember the latter better, because he wrote:

Whenever Richard Cory went down town,
We people on the pavement looked at him:
He was a gentleman from sole to crown,
Clean favored, and imperially slim.

And he was always quietly arrayed,
And he was always human when he talked;
But still he fluttered pulses when he said,
"Good-morning," and he glittered when he walked.

And he was rich – yes, richer than a king –
And admirably schooled in every grace:
In fine, we thought that he was everything
To make us wish that we were in his place.

So on we worked, and waited for the light,
And went without the meat, and cursed the bread;
And Richard Cory, one calm summer night,
Went home and put a bullet through his head.

Which creeped me out seriously when I first read it.  Still does.

But back to Robinson Jeffers.  Turns out that he's somewhat less conventional than the other guy.  Reminds me more of Ezra Pound than of, say, Carl Sandburg.  Thing is, he got in trouble for swimming against the current and picking the wrong people to sympathize with in WWII, like Ezra
Pound and H. L. Mencken.  This from the editors over at Counter-Currents Publishing:

Tragedy Has Obligations

In the 1920s and ’30s, Robinson Jeffers was one of America’s most esteemed and critically acclaimed poets. However, in 1948, his public and critical reputation entered a steep and irreversible decline upon the publication ofThe Double Axe and Other Poems (New York: Random House, 1948), which contains a number of poems about the Second World War and its aftermath that were strongly critical of the Allies and clearly sympathetic to the defeated Axis powers. Jeffers’ publisher Random House insisted that ten poems be dropped from the collection and even published a political disclaimer in the front of the book.  (Read the whole thing HERE.)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Feminists give other crazy people a bad name

These particular idiots are in Toronto, but this could happen anywhere.

It's settled.  Feminism is the silliest phenomenon ever.  Sillier than Scientology.  Sillier than Astrology.  Sillier than teenage vampire erotic fiction.  Sillier than you can imagine.  Okay, the illustration is not a joke.  It's real.  These morons are actually doing this.  There's a Facebook Page devoted to this idiocy. Go there and make fun of them.  Notice how proud some of the commenters are. They believe they've thought up something really clever. Really, I thought the feminist flakiness had peaked with the "take back the night" walking around with candles thing, which was going to convince savage thug rapists that they shouldn't do rape any more.

Feminists, like all thumb-sucking liberals, just hate nasty guns and stuff, and of course the only way the average woman can possibly protect herself from the average rapist is with a gun.  So to be safe, a woman has to be always accompanied by strong men to protect her, or she has to be prepared to protect herself with a handgun.  Not a goddam whistle.  Not a candle.  Not some squirty thing.  Not rhetoric.  Well, this is of course unthinkable to your average ditzy feminist, so forget it.  Rape will be done away with by getting the whipped males in your life to walk down the street like these bozos.  Of course, it's illogical and self-defeating, which makes it a typical liberal philosophical position.  Logic, you see, is White male stuff, and feminists certainly don't want to have anything to do with that.  I've looked further, and these flakes actually have a website HERE.  Maybe you can go make fun of them there, too.  I don't have the energy right now.

Challenge:  Think of something stupider than this.... Give up?  Me, too.


People aren't really sheep, even metaphorically.  Oh, some really seem that way, but as a species, if you're a Darwinist like I am, they're best described as chimps who have adopted much of the wolf-pack lifestyle.  And as chimp/wolves, we exhibit social behavior.  We're a troop/pack of chimp/wolves.  We are social.  And, yes, we are collective in many ways.  Now before my fellow libertarians get all bent out of shape, let's remember that collectivism is relative.  Some species aren't social, therefore not collective at all.  Leopards, I believe, are like that.  Some are so social that the individuals are actually, in effect, organs of a collective organism, like bees or ants.  We're in between.  Where am I going with this?  Oh, yes.  Sometimes we are too herd-like in our behavior, and    it seems a rarity of history that people quash their herd instinct enough to become individualistic and therefore innovative and creative.  Most of the human race doesn't have the will or capacity to be individualistic, and, indeed, it's rarely happened.  In recent times, at least, it's only happened in Western civilization to any extent.  But most Westerners, like everybody else, are herd-creatures.

Keep in mind, though, that the human race is not one big herd.  Oh, no.  We're lots of herds.  And most decision-making is just herd-picking. Most of us aren't comfortable with holding a particular thought or idea until we can find a herd that shares it.  Right now in the US a great big herd is ascendant, and it's called lots of things, but I'll call it orthodox liberalism for now.  It has sub-herds like feminism, neoconservatism, socialism, etc., but it's all moving the same way in lockstep. And if you're not in lockstep with the herd, you're disciplined in various ways to get you back in step.  Sometimes you're shunned, sometimes you lose your job, and sometimes you're just shamed by name-calling.  You know the names.  Racist, bigot, White supremacist, fascist, sexist, yadda yadda yadda.  Another phrase they like using is "On the wrong side of history."  There's plenty of room on the wrong side of history, and I'm quite comfortable there.  Jim Goad is comfy there also, and he says this:

Happy to Be on the Wrong Side of History

November 26, 2012

As the leftist juggernaut blithely steamrollers its way over what’s left of this country, its blinkered acolytes have smugly convinced themselves that they are on “the right side of history” and that any dissenters are troglodytic throwbacks to a less moral and less enlightened era. They freely smear, degrade, disgrace, tut-tut, pooh-pooh, pee-pee, and skeet-skeet anyone who questions whether their shallow tokens of “cultural progress” might be nothing more than cynical window dressing that obscures an increasingly “empowered” governmental behemoth. (Read the rest HERE.)

The Hijab and/or the Whorehouse

As I've said before, feminism is to women what communism is to factory workers.  It has an initial appeal on paper, but when it's put into practice, life seems worse somehow.  The basic tenet of feminism, that there should be no legal or social distinction between the sexes, is the culprit.  For centuries, legal and social distinctions have protected women, by and large, from male power.  At least in societies ruled by halfway decent, responsible men.  When such distinctions are removed, naive females rejoice, because now there's no impediment to their becoming powerful CEO's, college professors, lawyers, cops, secret agents, and all that cool stuff they see on TV.  Nothing but their own innate temperament and capacity, that is.  So they end up, a few years after this grand liberation, working for minimum wage somewhere and trying to take care of a bunch of kids, most likely illegitimate, with the fathers nowhere to be seen.

And when you remove centuries-old legal and social constraints, meant to channel people into civilized behavior, you get what?  Right — uncivilized behavior, or a return to barbarism.  Actually, many of our barbarian ancestors lived far more decent lives,  male and female, than our population of hedonistic kidults do today.  So let's say we get savage behavior, where males no longer have any obligation to behave any particular way towards women, and women get the short end of the stick, permanently.  You see, the feminist pattern is to demand all kinds of obeisant behavior from males who are already decent chaps, and who wouldn't dream of mistreating women.  This kind of guy, you see, can be dumped on without fear of any retaliation.  And once the decent guys have all been intimidated into passivity, the savages come out and howl, their savage urges no longer curbed by the Ward Cleavers of the world.

What I'm getting at here, is that the "progress" of feminism is actually a fallback to prehistory, when women actually were at the mercy of random male whims.  Vox Day is more scholarly than I am, and he calls this phenomenon "Feminism ends in the brothel."  Read it HERE.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Lincoln - A libertarian review

Cartoon by BALOO
First, instead of a review of the movie "Lincoln," a review of the man, reprinted from

The American Lenin
by L. Neil Smith

It's harder and harder these days to tell a liberal from a conservative -- given the former category's increasingly blatant hostility toward the First Amendment, and the latter's prissy new disdain for the Second Amendment -- but it's still easy to tell a liberal from a libertarian.

Just ask about either Amendment.

If what you get back is a spirited defense of the ideas of this country's Founding Fathers, what you've got is a libertarian. By shameful default, libertarians have become America's last and only reliable stewards of the Bill of Rights.

But if -- and this usually seems a bit more difficult to most people -- you'd like to know whether an individual is a libertarian or a conservative, ask about Abraham Lincoln.

Suppose a woman -- with plenty of personal faults herself, let that be stipulated -- desired to leave her husband: partly because he made a regular practice, in order to go out and get drunk, of stealing money she had earned herself by raising chickens or taking in laundry; and partly because he'd already demonstrated a proclivity for domestic violence the first time she'd complained about his stealing.

Now, when he stood in the doorway and beat her to a bloody pulp to keep her home, would we memorialize him as a hero? Or would we treat him like a dangerous lunatic who should be locked up, if for no other reason, then for trying to maintain the appearance of a relationship where there wasn't a relationship any more? What value, we would ask, does he find in continuing to possess her in an involuntary association, when her heart and mind had left him long ago?

History tells us that Lincoln was a politically ambitious lawyer who eagerly prostituted himself to northern industrialists who were unwilling to pay world prices for their raw materials and who, rather than practice real capitalism, enlisted brute government force -- "sell to us at our price or pay a fine that'll put you out of business" -- for dealing with uncooperative southern suppliers. That's what a tariff's all about. In support of this "noble principle", when southerners demonstrated what amounted to no more than token resistance, Lincoln permitted an internal war to begin that butchered more Americans than all of this country's foreign wars -- before or afterward -- rolled into one.

Lincoln saw the introduction of total war on the American continent -- indiscriminate mass slaughter and destruction without regard to age, gender, or combat status of the victims -- and oversaw the systematic shelling and burning of entire cities for strategic and tactical purposes. For the same purposes, Lincoln declared, rather late in the war, that black slaves were now free in the south -- where he had no effective jurisdiction -- while declaring at the same time, somewhat more quietly but for the record nonetheless, that if maintaining slavery could have won his war for him, he'd have done that, instead.

The fact is, Lincoln didn't abolish slavery at all, he nationalized it, imposing income taxation and military conscription upon what had been a free country before he took over -- income taxation and military conscription to which newly "freed" blacks soon found themselves subjected right alongside newly-enslaved whites. If the civil war was truly fought against slavery -- a dubious, "politically correct" assertion with no historical evidence to back it up -- then clearly, slavery won.

Lincoln brought secret police to America, along with the traditional midnight "knock on the door", illegally suspending the Bill of Rights and, like the Latin America dictators he anticipated, "disappearing" thousands in the north whose only crime was that they disagreed with him. To finance his crimes against humanity, Lincoln allowed the printing of worthless paper money in unprecedented volumes, ultimately plunging America into a long, grim depression -- in the south, it lasted half a century -- he didn't have to live through, himself.

In the end, Lincoln didn't unite this country -- that can't be done by force -- he divided it along lines of an unspeakably ugly hatred and resentment that continue to exist almost a century and a half after they were drawn. If Lincoln could have been put on trial in Nuremburg for war crimes, he'd have received the same sentence as the highest-ranking Nazis.

If libertarians ran things, they'd melt all the Lincoln pennies, shred all the Lincoln fives, take a wrecking ball to the Lincoln Memorial, and consider erecting monuments to John Wilkes Booth. Libertarians know Lincoln as the worst President America has ever had to suffer, with Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt, and Lyndon Johnson running a distant second, third, and fourth.

Conservatives, on the other hand, adore Lincoln, publicly admire his methods, and revere him as the best President America ever had. One wonders: is this because they'd like to do, all over again, all of the things Lincoln did to the American people? Judging from their taste for executions as a substitute for individual self-defense, their penchant for putting people behind bars -- more than any other country in the world, per capita, no matter how poorly it works to reduce crime -- and the bitter distaste they display for Constitutional "technicalities" like the exclusionary rule, which are all that keep America from becoming the world's largest banana republic, one is well-justified in wondering.

The troubling truth is that, more than anybody else's, Abraham Lincoln's career resembles and foreshadows that of V.I. Lenin, who, with somewhat better technology at his disposal, slaughtered millions of innocents -- rather than mere hundreds of thousands -- to enforce an impossibly stupid idea which, in the end, like forced association, was proven by history to be a resounding failure. Abraham Lincoln was America's Lenin, and when America has finally absorbed that painful but illuminating truth, it will finally have begun to recover from the War between the States.

Read a lot more of L. Neil Smith HERE.

And now, a review of the movie, "Lincoln," by another libertarian:

The Lincoln Movie: A Review


Posted on November 25, 2012

As I walked away from the movie, an older man behind me whispered to his friend: “that movie should have come out ten years ago. What a needed story for our time.” Needed? I’m not so sure. But the timing was impeccable. With the recent talk of frustrated citizens storming the White House petition website demanding the allowance of secession, perhaps this movie, which portrayed the closest the United States has ever come to a break up, was reinforcement of “unity above principle.” A disturbing political tendency that haunts our current political climate. “Uniting” together as one nation in “times of trouble” has been the public goal of leaders, not only in the American narrative, but throughout countries worldwide, including and especially those countries considered to be overseen by tyrannical or dictatorial leaderships.

The Lincoln movie was everything I expected it to be and more. Lousy historical scholarship, a sense of positive bubbling emotion for one of our country’s worst presidents, and a praiseworthy cast. Tommy Lee Jones was outstanding as a supporting actor and, in my opinion, stole the show. Sally Fields too did well in portraying the wife of President Lincoln, a role that demanded her to be a frustrated and constantly ill woman, full of contradicting and bi polar emotions. Of course Daniel Day-Lewis was a spectacular choice for the seemingly depressed, yet always thoughtful President who faced a unique crisis in American history. One might have been left, at the end of the two and a half hour movie, feeling rather frustrated with the South and their ever-so-racist ways. But glad with all the hard work that Lincoln did in his second term on behalf of the slavery issue.

Unfortunately however, history tells a different tale about the Lincoln we have learned to cherish in our propaganda ridden secular schools. Lincoln, according to Thomas Dilorenzo, was a master politician. Murray Rothbard described a politician as a liar, conniver, and manipulator.

In 1832, Lincoln begins his career as a politician with a bang, saying things like:

“I presume you all know who I am. I am humble Abraham Lincoln. I have been solicited by many friends to become a candidate for the legislature. My politics are short and sweet, like the old woman’s dance. I am in favor of a national bank…in favor of the internal improvements system and a high protective tariff.”

Central banking, corporate welfare, high taxation; portrayed as an “old woman’s dance.” The perfect and masterful politician indeed. (Read the rest HERE.)

Neither fish nor fowl

But foul.  Sex/gender distinctions.  Totally bad and evil according to the PC-whipped Zeitgeist. Indeed, the idea of "gender roles" of any kind are just awful, except of course when a little boy wants to wear a dress.  Then it's A-OK and we have to support it to the hilt.  Probably the Swedes are the flakiest and most gutless when it comes to complying with such nonsense.  Now, to any sane person, much of this seems like child abuse.  It does to me.  But what's really weird is when adults think such stuff is okay, and even desirable.  Like a lot of left-wing utopian blather, "gender equality" is bogus in terms of logic and reality, and when actually tried out in the real world, fails utterly.  In the hothouse environment of the academic ivory tower, though, the taxpayer is always there to subsidize ideas that don't work, and the press is always there to cover up the tragedies resulting from "progressive" thinking like this.

Paul Gottfried tells us what gender-neutral thinking leads to in the world of academe:

Gender-Neutral Societies Suck

November 26, 2012
Having spent over half my life in the professional company of academics, I can state with certainty that gender-neutral societies suck. Admittedly the university is not yet antiseptically free of gender references. It continues to offer the kind of BS known as “Women’s Studies,” a pseudo-discipline usually taught by creatures who bear less likeness to what I regard as a female than my flirtatious dachshund named Minne.

But the yap-yap about “recruiting more women” for teaching and administrative posts does not hide the fact that nowhere else have gender identities been so thoroughly blurred as they are in universities, all in the name of “gender equality.” One can hardly tell the sexes apart in academic nuthouses, although the women there seem strangely masculine and the “men” far less so. But these blurred gender identities may be the cost of moving toward an “equitable society.” Such a society can presumably exist only if we are willing to push the experiment up to the point where we start to treat everyone as if they were the same. There is still some bending and wrenching to be done before we reach that bliss.  (Read the rest HERE.)

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Gun Control in Japan

You'd never know it from watching their cartoons, but Japan has very strict gun control.  It also seems to have a low crime rate.  Some of our ditzier liberals claim there's a cause-and-effect there, but of course there isn't.  Japanese have a very law-abiding temperament, and are extremely civic-minded, and are therefore likely to denounce any lawbreakers they observe to the authorities.  Gun control is irrelevant to that. Japanese immigrants to the United States, where the gun control laws are much less strict, also have a very low crime rate.

But even if it was demonstrated that this gun control did in fact lower Japanese crime rates (which it doesn't, remember), it still wouldn't work for the United States, because, frankly, it would be completely impossible to implement or enforce, and this is related to the different Japanese temperament, and their whole attitude towards authority, which is different than any Western attitude, especially the American attitude.  Neale Osborn explains:

Why Japanese-style Gun Control Simply CANNOT Be Successfully Implemented In The US 
by Neale Osborn 

Special to L. Neil Smith's The Libertarian Enterprise

(This article was also published on NewsVine.)

Feudal Japan made possessing a sword without membership in the Samurai class a death penalty offense. Today, Japan has some of the lowest crime rates and some of the strictest gun control laws in the world. And the Victim Disarmament crowd often espouses adopting the Japanese-style laws to "put a stop to crime and violence" here in America. Since these people tend to be the same people who claim to support individual rights, I thought it would be good to see WHAT it is they are supporting. So, let us look at the socity that the victim disarmament groups hold up as the prime example of why we, in America, need to ban guns "for our own good". Japan.

First, to make the anti- crowd happy, let's show what Japan's current laws are. (Link)

"The only type of firearm which a Japanese citizen may even contemplate acquiring is a shotgun. [5] Sportsmen are permitted to possess shotguns for hunting and for skeet and trap (p.27)shooting, but only after submitting to a lengthy licensing procedure.[6] Without a license, a person may not even hold a gun in his or her hands.

The licensing procedure is rigorous. A prospective gun owner must first attend classes and pass a written test.[7]Shooting range classes and a shooting test follow; 95 per cent pass. [8] After the safety exam, the applicant takes a simple 'mental test' at a local hospital, to ensure that the applicant is not suffering from a readily detectable mental illness. The applicant then produces for the police a medical certificate attesting that he or she is mentally healthy and not addicted to drugs.[9]

The police investigate the applicant's background and relatives, ensuring that both are crime free. Membership in 'aggressive' political or activist groups disqualifies an applicant. [10] The police have unlimited discretion to deny licenses to any person for whom 'there is reasonable cause to suspect may be dangerous to other persons' lives or properties or to the public peace'. [11]

Gun owners are required to store their weapons in a locker, and give the police a map of the apartment showing the location of the locker. Ammunition must be kept in a separate locked safe. The licenses also allow the holder to buy a few thousand rounds of ammunition, with each transaction being registered. [12]

Civilians may also apply for licenses to possess air rifles—low-power guns that are powered by carbon dioxide rather than by gunpowder.

Civilians can never own handguns. Small calibre rifles were once legal, but in 1971, the Government forbade all transfers of rifles. Current rifle license holders may continue to own them, but their heirs must turn them into the police when the license-holder dies.[13] Total remaining rifle licenses are 27,000.[14] Even shotguns and air rifles, the two legal types of firearm, are becoming rarer and rarer, as few people find it worthwhile to pass through a burdensome gun licensing process. The number of licensed shotguns and air rifles declined from 652,000 in 1981 to 493,373 in 1989.[15]"

Sounds a little extreme to those of us who love freedom, but let's take the next step. Let's see HOW they enforce these laws. From the same link,

"Illegal gun possession, like illegal drug possession, is a consensual offense. There is no victim to complain to the police. Accordingly, in order to find illegal guns, the Japanese police are given broad search and seizure powers. The basic firearms law permits a policeman to search a person's belongings if the officer judges there is 'sufficient suspicion that a person is carrying a fire-arm, a sword or a knife' or if he judges that a person 'is likely to endanger life or body of other persons judging reasonably from his abnormal behavior or any other surrounding circumstances'.[32] Once a weapon is found, the policeman may confiscate it. Even if the confiscation is later admitted to be an error, the firearm is sometimes not returned.[33](p.29)

In practice, the special law for weapons searches is not necessary, since the police routinely search at will. They ask suspicious characters to show them what is in their purse or sack.[34] In the rare cases where a policeman's search (for a gun or any other contraband) is ruled illegal, it hardly matters; the Japanese courts permit the use of illegally seized evidence. [35] And legal rules aside, Japanese, both criminals and ordinary citizens, are much the more willing than their American counterparts to consent to searches and to answer questions from the police. [36]

'Home visit is one of the most important duties of officers assigned to police...' explains the Japanese National Police Agency. In twice-a-year visit, officers fill out Residence Information Cards about who lives where and which family member to contact in case of emergency, what relation people in the house have to each other, what kind of work they do, if they work late, and what kind of cars they own. [37] The police also check on all gun licensees, to make sure that no gun has been stolen or misused, that the gun is securely stored, and that the licensees are emotionally stable.[38]

The close surveillance of gun owners and householders comports with the police tradition of keeping close tabs on many private activities.[39] For example, the nation's official year-end police report includes statistics like 'Background and Motives for Girls' Sexual Misconduct'. The police recorded 9,402 such incidents in 1985, and determined that 37.4 per cent of the girls had been seduced, and the rest had sex 'voluntarily'. The two leading reasons for having sex voluntarily were 'out of curiosity' for 19.6 per cent, and 'liked particular boy', for 18.1 per cent. [40] The fact that police keep records on sex is simply a reflection of their keeping an eye on everything, including guns. Every person is the subject of a police dossier.[41]

Almost everyone accepts the paradigm that the police should be respected. Because the police are so esteemed, the Japanese people co-operate with their police more than Americans do. Co-operation with the police also extends to obeying the laws which almost everyone believes in. The Japanese people, and even the large majority of Japanese criminals, voluntarily obey the gun controls.

There is no right to bear arms in Japan. In practical terms, there is no right to privacy against police searches. Other Western-style rights designed to protect citizens from a police state are also non-existent or feeble in Japan.

After the arrest, a suspect may be detained without bail for up to 28 days before the prosecutor brings the suspect before a judge. [42] Even after the 28 day period is completed, detention in a Japanese police station may continue on a variety of pretexts, such as preventing the defendant from destroying evidence. Rearrest on another charge, bekken taihö, is a common police tactic for starting the suspect on another 28 day interrogation process. 'Rearrest' may (p.30)occur while the suspect is still being held at the police station on the first charge. Some defendants may be held for several months without ever being brought before a judge. [43] Courts approve 99.5 per cent of prosecutors' requests for detentions.[44]

Criminal defense lawyers are the only people allowed to visit a suspect in custody, and those meetings are strictly limited. In the months while a suspect is held prisoner, the defense counsel may see his or her client for one to five meetings lasting about 15 minutes each. Even that access will be denied if it hampers the police investigation. While under detention, suspects can be interrogated 12 hours a day, allowed to bathe only every fifth day, and may be prohibited from standing up, lying down, or leaning against the wall of their jail cells. [45] Amnesty International calls the Japanese police custody system a 'flagrant violation of United Nations human rights principles'. [46]

The confession rate is 95 per cent. [47] As a Tokyo police sergeant observes, 'It is no use to protest against power'.[48]Suspects are not allowed to read confessions before they sign them, and suspects commonly complain that their confession was altered after signature. The police use confession as their main investigative technique, and when that fails, they can become frustrated and angry. The Tokyo Bar Association states that the police routinely 'engage in torture or illegal treatment'. The Tokyo Bar is particularly critical of the judiciary for its near-total disinterest in coercion during the confession process. 'Even in cases where suspects claimed to have been tortured and their bodies bore physical traces to back their claims, courts have still accepted their confessions'. [49]

In Japan, the legal system is, in effect, an omnipotent and unitary state authority. All law enforcement administrators in Japan are appointed by the National Police Agency and receive their funding from the NPA. Hence, the police are insulated from complaints from politicians or other citizens. [50] There is hardly any check on the power of the state, save its own conscience.

What does the breadth of police powers have to do with gun controls? Japanese gun controls exist in a society where there is little need for guns for self-defense. Police powers make it difficult for owners of illegal guns to hide them. Most importantly, the Japanese criminal justice system is based on the Government possessing the inherent authority to do whatever it wishes. In a society where almost everyone accepts nearly limitless, unchecked Government power, people do not wish to own guns to resist oppression or to protect themselves in case the criminal justice system fails.

Extensive police authority is one reason the Japanese gun control system works. Another reason is that Japan has no cultural history of gun ownership by citizens. (p.31)"

Can you imagine any American Civil Liberties associatiom even the ACLU itself (a notably anti-gun organization itself) that would tolerate these police powers? PLEASE NOTE that these powers are not limited solely to firearms. Household visitation is for EVERY Japanese household, not just where a gun license has been issued. Now, Japan has a violent history. As you can read for yourself, Japan has had a long and violent love affair with swords, considering them the soul of a warrior, and allowing a Samurai warrior to kill peasants out of hand. Prior to the introduction of the gun, peasants were not completely disarmed, but they were primarily armed with spears for the frequent and bloody internecine wars the various lords engaged in. Then, Japan was introduced to firearms. Again, from the link.

"Guns arrived in Japan along with the first trading ships from Portugal in 1542 or 1543. Confident of the superiority of Japanese civilisation, the Japanese dubbed the Western visitors namban, 'Southern barbarians'. [52] The Portuguese had landed on Tanegashima Island, outside Kyushu. One day the Portuguese trader Mendez Pinto took Totitaka, Lord of Tanegashima for a walk; the trader shot a duck. The Lord of Tanegashima made immediate arrangements to take shooting lessons, and within a month he bought both Portuguese guns, or Tanegashima as the Japanese soon called them.[53]

The Tanegashima caught on quickly among Japan's feuding warlords. The novelty of the guns was the main reason that the Portuguese were treated well. [54] Lord Oda Nobunaga noted that 'guns have become all the rage...but I intend to make the spear the weapon to rely on in battle'. Nobunaga was worried about how long—15 minutes—it took to prepare a gun shot, and how weak the projectile was. The Portuguese guns, among the best of their era, were matchlocks (ignited by a match), and Japan's rainy weather made the gun's ignition system unreliable. [55]

Despite some initial problems, the Japanese rapidly improved firearms technology. They invented a device to make matchlocks fire in the rain (the Europeans never figured out how to do this), refined the matchlock trigger and spring, developed a serial firing technique, and increased the matchlock's calibre. They also dispensed with pre-battle introductions. [56] Superior quality guns were produced; during the 1904 Russo-Japanese war, 16th century matchlocks were converted to modern bolt-action and performed admirably. [57]"

So, how did they go from fascinated with firearms to almost none? read on, my friends.

"Yet as Japan grew more pre-eminent in firearms manufacture and warfare, she moved closer to the day when firearms would disappear from society. The engineer of Japan's greatest armed victories, and of the abolition of guns in Japan, would be a peasant named Hidéyoshi. Starting out as a groom for Lord Nobunaga, Hidéyoshi rose through the ranks to take control of Nobunaga's army after Nobunaga died. A brilliant strategist, Hidéyoshi finished the job that Nobunaga began, and re-unified Japan's feudal states under a strong central government. [67]

Having conquered the Japanese, Hidéyoshi meant to keep them under control. On 29 August 1588, Hidéyoshi announced 'the Sword Hunt' (taiko no katanagari) and banned possession of swords and firearms by the non-noble classes. He decreed:

The people in the various provinces are strictly forbidden to have in their possession any swords, short swords, bows, spears, firearms or other arms. The possession of unnecessary implements makes difficult the collection of taxes and tends to foment uprisings... Therefore the heads of provinces, official agents and deputies are ordered to collect all the weapons mentioned above and turn them over to the Government. [68](emphasis added)

Although the intent of Hidéyoshi's decree was plain, the Sword Hunt was presented to the masses under the pretext that all the swords would be melted down to supply nails and bolts for a temple containing a huge statue of the Buddha. The statue would have been twice the size of the Statue of Liberty. [69] The Western missionaries' Jesuit Annual Letter reported that Hidéyoshi 'is depriving the people of their arms under the pretext of devotion to religion'.[70] (p.33)Once the swords and guns were collected, Hidéyoshi had them melted into a statue of himself.

The historian Stephen Turnbull writes:

Hidéyoshi's resources were such that the edict was carried out to the letter. The growing social mobility of peasants was thus flung suddenly into reverse. The ikki, the warrior-monks, became figures of the past...Hidéyoshi had deprived the peasants of their weapons. Iéyasu [the next ruler] now began to deprive them of their self respect. If a peasant offended a samurai he might be cut down on the spot by the samurai's sword. [71]

The inferior status of the peasantry having been affirmed by civil disarmament, the Samurai enjoyed kiri-sute gomen, permission to kill and depart. Any disrespectful member of the lower class could be executed by a Samurai's sword. [72]

Hidéyoshi forbade peasants to leave their land without their superior's permission and required that warriors, peasants, and merchants all remain in their current post.[73] After Hidéyoshi died, Iéyasu founded the Tokugawa Shogunate, which would rule Japan for the next two-and-a-half centuries. Peasants were assigned to a 'five-man group,' headed by landholders who were responsible for the group's behaviour. The groups arranged marriages, resolved disputes, maintained religious orthodoxy, and enforced the rules against peasants possessing firearms or swords. The weapons laws clarified and stabilised class distinctions. Samurai had swords; the peasants did not.[74]"

So, we have established that first, feudal tyranny was a necessary startiing point for Japan's victim disarmament culture. Second, an unquestioning submission to government interference in private life is a must. And last but certainly not least, acceptance of police powers that are intolerable to most Americans. From the looks of things, to me, at least, there is no real way to successfully adopt the Japanese gun ownership model without also adopting Japan's cultural respect for government "authority" combined with a near total loss of individual freedoms such as privacy, no warrantless searches, and a severe restriction on police powers.

Japan, despite being nominally a democracy, is actually a tyranny. It is a Constitutional monarchy (much like England) with even less power for the monarch, but far MORE power for the government. It is my opinion that short of a centuries long (and massively oppressive) program of societal reprogramming, a Japanese-style gun control system could never be successfully implemented here. Nor would it result in the lower crime rates of Japan. For the simple fact that no American will tolerate the massive amount of police intrusion into our lives the Japanese consider perfectly tolerable. As Japanese scholars themselves note (from same link):

"The Japanese historian, Nobutaka Ike, observes in modern Japan a 'preference for paternalism'. [100] An American historian writes: 'Never conquered by or directly confronted with external forms of political rule (except for theMacArthur occupation), they remained unaware of the relative, fallible nature of authority. Authority was a "given", taken for granted as an unalienable part of the natural order'. [101] A Tokyo University historian describes 'an assumption that the state is a prior and self-justifying entity, sufficient in itself. This results in a belief that...the state should take precedence over the goals of other individuals and associations...'. [102]

The differing meanings of the phrase 'rule of law' highlight the contrast between American and Japanese views of authority. In America, observes Noriho Urabe, 'rule of law' expresses the subordination of Government to the law. In Japan, the 'rule of law' refers to the people's obligation to obey the Government, and is thus 'an ideology to legitimize domination'. [103]

The Japanese individual's desires are 'absorbed in the interest of the collectivity to which he belongs', whether that collectivity be the nation, the school, or the family. [104] There is no theory of 'social contract', and no theory that individuals pre-exist society and have rights superior to society. [105] The strongest sanctions are not American-style punishments, but exclusion from the community. [106] When Japanese parents punish their children, they do not make the children stay inside the house, as American parents do. Punishment for a Japanese child means being put outside. The sublimation of individual desires to the greater good, the pressure to conform, and internalised willingness to do so are much stronger in Japan than in America.[107]"

We, in America, do NOT, as a rule accept this concept of government being our infallible boss. Upon reading the entire article linked, and following many of the included links in said article, I can see no way to successfully implement Japanese-style gun control methods in America. And it CERTAINLY cannot be done if any shred of the Bill of Rights remains intact. Not that I, of course, have any desire to do so!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Skyfall — More than just a review

We decided that the best time to see Skyfall would be at the first showing on Black Friday.  A lot of other people in town decided the same thing, so it was a tad crowded.  I've waited a day for the movie to sink in before trying to review it, and I still think what I did to begin with.  It's the best, so far, of all the Bond movies.

Trying to evaluate something like this is tricky.  First, you have to decide whether you're going to look at a movie as an independent work of art, or as a semi-fictionalized version of reality.  The second way is certainly the most interesting, and usually the most fruitful, and that's the way I'll look at Skyfall.

First off, this movie has to be largely fiction, because Bond was an active agent at least as far back as 1953 (When the first book was published), so he'd be at least in his eighties by now.  So either the action in the film took place many years ago, or it happened to an agent other than Bond.  We have to analyze the movie and its meaning with an eye to that.

To begin with, then, it's not much of a spoiler to tell you that the movie concerns M more than any movie or book has before.  As explicitly as possible, without being totally obvious about it, the movie reveals who M actually is.

To back up a bit, the first M that we can be sure of was, of course, James Moriarty, who successfully ran the Double-O division without anybody suspecting that he was a crime lord.  Whether he did so until his death at Reichenbach Falls, or whether, on the contrary, he secretly survived to later become M, is a matter of controversy.  It's generally agreed that he was succeeded as M by Mycroft Holmes, who was followed by William Murdoch of Toronto.

At this point, I should state that an additional fictional element to the books and movies is that M runs  the British Secret Service, otherwise known as MI6, which reports to the British Government, ultimately to the Prime Minister.  This is not true, and is a fiction originally devised by Ian Fleming to avoid giving secrets away. In fact the Double-O service is quite small, and operates parallel to MI6 and other British intelligence services, reporting not to the Government as such, but to the Crown, currently in the person of Queen Elizabeth II.

The 00, as I'll call it henceforth, was originally devised to be an intelligence service of last resort for the Monarch, in case the elected government ever went wrong.  In effect, it cooperates with the other services and is regarded as an elite force.  This decision, though originally recommended by Moriarty, has proven to be the right one, because 00 was never penetrated by communist agents as the other British intelligence services were.

So, the M portrayed by Judy Dench in the last few movies is probably the M who served in the 80's and maybe the 90's also.  Clues in Skyfall have confirmed what many of us have believed for quite some time — the Judy Dench M is in fact former field agent Emma Peel.  Little is known about the M's who served between Mycroft Holmes and Emma Peel, but many believe that Holmes was followed by Jane Marple, and that the M in charge of 00 during WWII was Mervyn Bunter.  It is also thought that the M who supervised Bond after the war was the former Interpol agent Kentaro Moto.*  Upon Moto's retirement, many believe that Harry Lime, who had actually faked his own death a second time in Vienna, himself became M, (commonly called "Mother" by his agents) until his retirement and that he was most likely immediately followed by Jules Maigret, and later by Peel.

And it is suspected, though not proven, that the current 00 M is Hamish MacBeth.

Now that I've settled all of that, my guess is that the action in Skyfall did in fact take place ten or fifteen years ago, and that the M involved was in fact Emma Peel, and that of course it was not the long retired James Bond in this case, but a younger successor, perhaps even Clive Reston.  But beyond all the speculation about identities, the series is, much like Star Trek, now reset, and the stage is set for many more enjoyable movies in the series.
*Interestingly, Kentaro Moto was portrayed on the screen by Peter Lorre, who years before had starred in THIS MOVIE!  If that doesn't prove something, I don't know what would!

Believe it or not.

Too clever and well done not to post.  I came across it here:

Friday, November 23, 2012

Colorado Reefer Madness

As you may know, out here in Colorado we voted to basically legalize marijuana.  This made all the lefties very happy, and of course we also voted to reelect Obama.  Kinda goes together.  Both votes were sort of kumbaya hippie things to do.  Problem is, we don't have states rights any more.  Daniel Day-Lewis saw to that a long time ago.  So, somehow, the very act of saying that marijuana isn't against Colorado law is seen as some kind of impermissible revolt against the Obama administration and now even this United Nations is getting into the act. Maybe soon we'll have the UN equivalent of Ben Butler out here in Colorado, enforcing United Nations drug laws, and arresting Colorado women for prostitution if they show disrespect to the Blue Helmets.

This from the Colorado Observer:

From the Cheap Seats: The UN Weed Ban
November 21, 2012

Note to some of those who loved the election results: Beware dudes, Big Brother is watching you. So put down the Cheetos and listen up.

Remember how great it felt to punch the buttons for Obama and legal weed?

You remember, Mr. Choom, with his spacious view of the world, the one in which the United States hosts the United Nations and does what the U.N tells it to do? Utopian one world government, no wars, no CO2, everybody gettin’ along, the Postal Service making money.

You remember, that’s why you got up before noon so you could catch a free ride from the Obama babe who offered to take you to “the voting place, wherever?” Funny how she doesn’t call anymore.

Anyway, it now turns out that the UN isn’t quite so hot on legal weed.

Something called the International Narcotics Control Board and some dude named Raymond Yans, who works for it, in Vienna, where they speak Austrian, wants the feds to roll in and tell the homies in Colorado to knock it off with this silly democracy business and ditch Amendment 64. When Colorado voted to make pot legal, we sent “a wrong message to the rest of the nation and it sends a wrong message abroad,” Yans said, possibly in Austrian, which was then translated into English by the Associated Press.

Anyway, Obama’s lawyer dude, Eric Holder, is supposed to take “all necessary measures” to make sure grass doesn’t grow freely in the US of A, if you get the drift.

And we know that Obama likes the UN, so what’s the deal, man? Dude, we don’t know. We thought the UN was a bunch of people who, like collected money on Halloween and stuff like that, for poor kids in Arkansas or some other foreign country.

Good thing we can count on Hickenlooper to tell Obama and UN to back off. Right?

Although Hick does seem awfully quiet. Hmm… Questions, questions.

Go ahead, have some more Cheetos, maybe it will all just go away.

Thanks to for finding this!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Just for fun — Thanksgiving video?

Unfortunately, I can't figure out how to embed this, because it's a popup.  If anybody knows how, do contact me.  Meanwhile, just click on it:

Thanks to JACK CASSADY,  cartoonist, for sending this.

Ah, here's the original, non-popup video.  Thanks to anonymous for sending it.  BTW, there's a commercial first, so the original link above may still be more handy.

Affirmative Action Affirmed

Susan Rice et famille. Obama and Clyburn are working hard to ensure that Affirmative Action will still be available for Rice's two kids there.  Makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, doesn't it?  Steve Sailer contemplates such social justice HERE.
Not only does Affirmative Action dictate that incompetents like Obama be elected to make the White liberals feel good about themselves, and that he proceed to exercise even more AA to appoint the ditzy Susan Rice as UN Ambassador and send her out to lie to the public on TV, apparently there was a codicil added when I wasn't looking that also prohibits that such AA hires be criticized. Ever.  Just ask Jim Clyburn.  According to him, calling Susan Rice or Obama or Jim Clyburn or Robert Mugabe "incompetent" is racism pure and simple.  And I'm not sure what we're allowed to say about Jesse Jackson, Jr.  We certainly can't say he's incompetent.  Maybe he's "differently sane."  Maybe it's something his babysitter did to him years ago (wink, wink).

Well, of course The Crazy Old White Guy McCain is being called everything from Ku Kluxer to Martin Bormann for his comment that Susan Rice isn't too bright, and his companion in this kerfluffle, Senator Graham, is only slightly less smeared for his opposition.  And I think it's just fine that they're pointing out that she's either a damn liar or incompetent for her idiotic statements on the talk shows.  But Justin Raimondo, from the left (the lonely, honest faction of the left), reminds us that there are even better reasons why Rice is an appalling UN Ambassador and would be an even more appalling Secretary of State.  He says:

Susan Rice Is Bad News

Her appointment will outrage conservatives — for the wrong reasons
by Justin Raimondo, November 21, 2012

The largely partisan debate over what really happened in Benghazi has centered around the public pronouncements of UN Ambassador Susan Rice, whose comments on the Sunday talk show circuit attributed the death of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three others to a riot precipitated by the “Innocence of Muslims” video. Withindications the administration may be considering Rice to replace Hillary Clinton at the State Department, Sen. John McCain has gone on the warpath, declaring her unfit to hold office and vowing to block her nomination: the Fox News media machine echoes his ranting (or perhaps I should say McCain is echoing their ravings). And so the stage is set for another one of those Red Team-Blue Team showdowns that underscore the evolution of politics into pure entertainment, and have nothing whatsoever to do with whatever policy differences the two sides may have.

McCain’s grandstanding is unfortunate, not least of all because it obscures the real reason the Senate should reject the Rice nomination, if and when it is announced: she’s one of the most militant [pdf] of the New Interventionists who infest the Obama administration’s foreign policy shop. With Rice at the helm, the State Department would become an increasingly belligerent mouthpiece for the militant regime-changers who increasingly dominate our foreign policy councils.  (Read the rest HERE.)

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Origins of Hamas

Cartoon by BALOO

Before you get too indignant about the Hamas rockets being fired into Israel, and stick a few more "We Stand With Israel" stickers on your home page or your T-shirt, listen to what is said here about who encouraged the formation of Hamas in the first place and why:

More Right-Wing Ignorance and Craziness

Recently Marco Rubio made a fool of himself by stating that he didn't know how old the Earth is.  Honestly, these right-wing Republicans are so ignorant and medieval and out of touch with science!  And here's the latest right-wing idiot statement from some mouth-breathing redneck racist bigot:

Check out this idiot’s blinkered, science-hating answer, which flirts with creationism and encourages the crazies and all that:
Q: Senator, if one of your daughters asked you—and maybe they already have—“Daddy, did god really create the world in 6 days?,” what would you say?
A: What I’ve said to them is that I believe that God created the universe and that the six days in the Bible may not be six days as we understand it … it may not be 24-hour days, and that’s what I believe. I know there’s always a debate between those who read the Bible literally and those who don’t, and I think it’s a legitimate debate within the Christian community of which I’m a part. My belief is that the story that the Bible tells about God creating this magnificent Earth on which we live—that is essentially true, that is fundamentally true. Now, whether it happened exactly as we might understand it reading the text of the Bible: That, I don’t presume to know.
(Read the rest HERE.)

Watch your mailbox!

Received in e-mail:

Just wanted to let you know - today I received my 2012 Social Security Stimulus Package. It contained two tomato seeds, 1 package cornbread mix, two discount coupons to KFC, an 'Obama Hope and Change' bumper sticker, a prayer rug, a machine to blow smoke up my rear and a 'Blame it on Bush' poster for the front yard.

The directions were in Spanish.

Yours should arrive soon.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Republicans — Stupid or Crazy?

Or both?  The latest trend, which is the same old trend, among Republican deep thinkers is that they need to become even more like Democrats.  Oh, they don't phrase it that way, but they say they have to appeal to Blacks and Hispanics, yadda yadda yadda, and one of the ways to do that is to jump on the amnesty bandwagon.  I guess they could be more pro-illegal immigrant than Obama is, if they really put their minds to it.  The theory is, of course, that Hispanic voters' problem with Republicans is that they want immigration laws enforced, and Hispanic want other Hispanics to be able to come here illegally with impunity. Two things wrong with that.  First, most Hispanics probably don't obsess about the issue as much as Republicans think they do, and a good chunk of them like the rest of us probably do want the immigration laws enforced.  The second thing wrong with it is that Republicans really don't want the laws enforced, any more than Democrats do.  So when you get past all the rhetoric, the idea is that Republicans should become worse than Democrats on immigration.

That won't work either.  Despite all this Ellis Island blather, most of the illegal Hispanic immigrants aren't here for the American Dream.  They're here because their own countries, mainly Mexico, are furiously trying to get rid of them.  The even publish comic books giving instructions on how to sneak over the border and what to do next.

But I digress.  All this talk is in reaction to Romney's loss, of course, but Romney himself has a different idea, and a better one.  The guy has a bit of a tin ear, but what he said is essentially true.  Obama supplied "gifts" to his base, and the 47% who don't pay income tax but who do receive Government bennies aren't impressed by talk of cutting the taxes they don't pay and cutting the handouts they receive.  This is absolutely correct.  Yes, he should have said "handouts," instead of "gifts."  And Jindal and Christie and others feign great indignation at such "insults," but they're just kidding everybody, probably including themselves.  Pat Buchanan says it better than I can, of course:

“What the president’s campaign did was focus on certain members of his base coalition, give them extraordinary financial gifts from the government and then work very aggressively to turn them out to vote, and that strategy worked.”

Thus did political analyst Mitt Romney identify the cause of his defeat in a call to disconsolate contributors.

Republicans piled on. “Completely unhelpful,” Gov. Bobby Jindal told Wolf Blitzer. We don’t advance the “debate by insulting folks.”

“A terrible thing to say,” Chris Christie told Joe Scarborough. “You can’t expect to be the leader of all the people and be divisive.”