TRICKLE-DOWN, II (with a side excursion into investments)

(This is the second of two essays on “Trickle-down economics” that I wrote in 2010 and 2011.  There is some redundancy of principles, but perhaps the different presentation will be worthwhile.)

A comparison: Secenario 1 – the government takes money from them that has it and gives it to them that don’t. Them that has just gotten it spends it on… whatever, and then they don’t have it no more. Them to whom it was spent has it now, so they spends it on… whatever. So on and on.

In this scenario, the money was placed in the hands of a chosen elite, and from there it distilled out across the economic society – or, dare I say, “Trickled down.”

Scenario 2 – the government lets them that made the money keep it. Some of it they spends on… whatever, then they don’t have so much no more. Them to whom it was spent has it now, so they spends it on… whatever. And so on and on. Now, them that made the money didn’t spend all they had ’cause they’s so stinkin’, flithy rich. So what does they do with the rest of it? They invests it.

What does that mean? It means that the money is loaned to them that needs it to start new businesses or expand existing businesses, or buy houses, or take vacations, or send their babies to college, or… whatever. And, as in every case, them to whom the money was given spends it, and them to whom it was spent spends it… and so on and on.  (For more thoughts on investment, see below.)

In this scenario, the money was left in the hands of the organizers (or creators) of wealth, and from there, it distilled across the economic society – or, dare I say, “Trickled down.”

In spite of the apparent equivalency of the bottom line, the two scenarios are vastly different. In the first, there is chattel slavery of anyone the government chooses to call “rich.” In the second, there is liberty.

In the first, decisions on the seizure and redistribution of wealth are made by government flacks who are known, beyond any shadow of a doubt, to be stinkin’ crooks. In the second, some distributions may also be made my corporate flacks who are stinkin’ crooks, but some will be made by those who understand things like honor, courage, integrity, risk, desire, drive, and persistence.

And here is a difference that I have never read anywhere else: In the first scenario, graft is a recognized, institutionalized part of the culture, to be aided, edified, sucked-up to, and bartered for more of the same.

In the second scenario, graft is a crime, and is punishable to the extent that the people have the will to punish it.

 INVESTMENTS

In the second scenario above, the wealthy are allowed to dispose of their wealth as they see fit. Some of that wealth will be invested. This is a phenomenon one does not see in statist, or fascist economies.

It does not matter where the wealth is invested; the principles are the same.

Here’s a shocker: Really rich people don’t put their money in mason jars in the back yard. Nope. They put it in banks, or CD’s, or bonds, or stocks, etc.. Why do they do that?

According to the fascists, the rich want to hurt the poor by keeping all that money out of circulation. That’s why the fascists want to seize their money and “put it back in circulation.” Fascists are all about helping the poor, don’t you know.

In reality, rich people invest their money because it makes them more money! How’s that for philosophical consistency, eh? Rich people want to get richer! Wow! Who saw that coming?

Investment means “renting money,” or, more correctly, “renting wealth,” but I don’t want to drive any Keynesians over the edge. Yet. Renting money works just like renting a TV to some loser who is willing to squander a week’s pay on a big-screen TV just for Super Bowl Weekend. You let him have the TV, but you charge him for the use of it. An investor loans someone his money, but charges him a little for the use of it. (NOTE: The word “LOAN” means that you use something, but you have to give it back. This may be a dreadful shock to people who thought Barack would see to it that they never had to pay for anything again.)

When a rich guy puts him money in a bank, the bank pays him rent on it. That’s what interest is. Where does the bank get the money to pay him interest? Well – follow me on this – they loan the money to their customers, and charge them a bit of interest. How much interest?  Well, it has to be more than they pay the rich guy; otherwise, they’d go in the hole, and then they wouldn’t be bankers; they’d be politicians.

Money, like beans or any other commodity, is subject to the law of supply and demand. Yes, money has a price: the interest you pay when you borrow it. The more money that is available to be loaned, the lower the price, ie, the lower the interest rate. The more rich guys there are, putting money into banks and stocks and stuff, the lower the interest rate for Joe Lunchbucket who wants to add a new bedroom so his first kid doesn’t become a birth control device preventing the second one.

There is only one way to make sure Joe Lunchbucket and his family can borrow the money they need for quality of life improvements – or to make sure the construction company that hires Joe can borrow money to finance new trucks – or to make sure the reformed gang-banger who has a breathtaking skill with a can of spray paint can get a student loan to study art:

  LET THE RICH KEEP THEIR DAMNED MONEY AND INVEST IT!

That’s the only way.

If a politician were really and truly interested in helping ol’ Joe get a leg up, you’d think that politician would try to keep interest rates down, wouldn’t you? But what does our current crop of looters want to do? They want to destroy the rich (well, not right away – they want to use them as “living meat,” like some New Guinea tribes did by keeping captives alive while whittling off the odd chop or roast. Keeps the meat from spoiling.)

But, wait! the fascists whine. The government can just order the banks to keep interest rates low, and loan to anyone who needs it. Yep. Didn’t we just see what happens when you do that?

For cryin’ out loud, you liberal idiots! How many times do you have to chase that skunk under the house before you learn to leave him the hell alone?

TRICKLE-DOWN ECONOMICS EXPOSED

(This is part I of two essays on so called “Trickle-down economics” and the fallacies thereunto pertaining.  These two essays were written several months apart in 2010 and 2011.)

The idea of trickle-down economics is one of the more curious ironies in modern economic thought.   The first element of that irony is the name, itself.  The second is that while the name was meant to belittle the concept, it accurately expresses that which makes the principle good and true.

The left holds the idea in utter contempt, and will use it as a club against anyone who has the nerve to imply that all people might be better off if affluence were possible.  They call the idea “Reaganomics,” as if it were the product of a mind so sick and twisted and preposterous as to actually advocate liberty – albeit for the sake of the state.

Ronald Reagan came up with the idea that if you let people get rich, they’d spend money and it would diffuse over the entire economy and everyone would benefit.  Of course, he wasn’t the first one to think this, but the statists like to pretend no one else was stupid enough to believe that if a private citizen spends money on something, that money will actually go to other people. In the statist world view, when a rich person spends money, it just falls into a hole and vanishes.

At the core of trickle-down is a very simple proposition.  Let’s say some guy buys a 10-million dollar yacht.  What happens to that money?  I will follow a single stream of it.

Some will go to the shipyard that built the yacht, and of that, some will go to the designers, some to the workers, and some will go to the yard, itself.

Some of what goes to the yard will go to pay for materials, transportation, utilities, advertising, and a jillion other things.

Of that which goes for materials, some will go the providers of fiberglass, some to lumberyards, to steel mills, fabric mills, brass and aluminum foundries, and so on.

Of that which does to the lumberyards, some will go to the owners thereof, some to the sawyers, some to the truckers, some to the HR people, some to the secretaries, and so on… and on…. and on…. and on…. and on…. and on.

That money will go to tens of thousands of people in a never-ending cycle.  Every person who gets a cut of it will either save or spend it, and even that which is saved will touch others, because the banks will loan it to entrepreneurs for startups, to young couples for houses, to hospitals for expansion… There is literally no end to it.  Every person who touches any that money will benefit from it.  But we can’t have that!

Enter the government.  Reagan believed that by allowing that 10 million dollars to diffuse freely through the market, everyone who touched it would pay a share of it in taxes, and the government would be better off. Unfortunately, he was exactly right.  Not moral, but right.

In a free economy, all of those people would decide, on their own, what to do with their cut.  Anyone who wanted a cut of the ten mil would have to come up with something of value to those who had the money to start with.  Workers would have to provide skilled labor.  Merchants would have to provide food, clothing, housing, medicine, etc.. There are discretionary things, too: fishing gear, new cars, pets, art, vacations – and, yes, for those statists who suffer a glandular compulsion to shriek of the horrors of freedom, some would go to booze and commercial sex.  (Remember these hookers; we’ll come back to them.)

When people are free to act in their own best interests, there’s no telling what they might do.  Scary, eh?  But the government has a cure for that.  The government steps in with a luxury tax, to punish that rich SOB for having 10 million bucks, in the first place.  Instead of all that money going into the monetary wake of that lovely yacht, half of it goes to taxes, which means it goes to the government in exchange for its production of… what?

That means the rich guy only gets half as much yacht, so his lifestyle is cramped.  The shipyard, steel mills, truckers, secretaries, and everyone else in the system has to split 5 mil instead of 10.  The lifestyle of every one of those people is now cut in half, just like that of the rich guy.  The trucker has half as much to spend on necessities and luxuries.  He is considerably less comfortable, and the rich guy has to slum it in a 5-million dollar yacht.  Who got punished?

It sure as hell wasn’t the blood-sucking vermin in the government!  That 5 mil in taxes went to people who never did a stinkin’ thing in their lives but rob those who had more courage, more vision, and more drive than they.  It went to breed more treasury rats to scurry about the land, gnawing at the entrails of the people’s dreams and the desecrated corpse of the people’s liberty. Some of it went to New Orleans, to buy crack and booze and Chicom CD players for the “victims” of Katrina.  And again, some of it went to the hookers who serve the bureaucrats.

To be sure, some of it went to relieve the worthy poor – like the mother of the trucker – the trucker who couldn’t afford to pay his mom’s rent because he was only making half what he should have.  And don’t forget the hookers, whose income has strangely doubled.  Oh, and some went for penicillin shots for the 13-year old Guatemalan sex slaves in Acorn’s cathouses.  That’s a good investment, don’t you think?

The stark fact is that “trickle-down” means nothing more than if people are allowed to make money and spend it, everyone but the statists benefits.  That’s precisely why the statists hate it so much.  They hate freedom because free men will serve their own values, not those of some two-bit thug in an imported suit.  They hate happiness because happy men will find better things to do than enslaving their neighbors.  They hate wealth, because having tasted it, no man with a shred of honor will ever stick his head under the yoke of poverty and dictatorship.

Two things about those hookers:  they’re getting paid for doing what the rest of us are paying to have done to us, and, unlike the government, they are actually providing a service.  (Hookers need fancy clothes, so Frederick’s of Hollywood will get some of the loot.)

(PS – My spell checker told me that “cathouses” is one word, not two.  It struck me as funny that the spell checker would know that – and that I wouldn’t!)

GENESIS OF THE MIDDLE CLASS

(I had actually written the first draft of this before I heard Barack Obama’s insanely stupid comment that the government had created the middle class by applying the GI bill after WWII.  Published on my old blog in Feb., 2014)

Where did we get a middle class?

In the beginning, everybody was dirt poor, and I mean DIRT poor.  Now, I’m talking about the real beginning, before there were enough people to call a “society,” or even a village.  Each person had to produce whatever they needed to live; there were no stores, or even other people to trade with.  There was no upper, middle, or lower class.

People being as fecund then as now, at some point, there were enough individuals that somebody said, “Look here.  I’m really good at gathering firewood, but I can’t make those dandy badger hide skivvies nearly as well as you.  How about I bring you some wood, and you make me a pair of skivvies?”  (Actually, this is an exact quote.  Some translations have it as porcupine quill skivvies.)   Thus was born the idea of trade and the specialization of labor.  It probably didn’t take long before people were trading all kinds of things.

This barter economy went on for a long time because there was no such thing as money.  People traded goods and services directly for goods and services.  Some gradually amassed more wealth than their neighbors, but the differences weren’t great because the limiting factor was how much livestock or whatever one person could manage.

Now here’s a critical distinction:  wealth vs. money.  Wealth is real stuff – goods and property – chickens, firewood, berries, those nifty badger hide skivvies, clubs, flint knives, etc..  In a village where everybody likes his yardbird, the citizen with a mess of chickens would be considered wealthy.  ‘cause he’s got all that wealth, see?

Money is something that stands for wealth.  Today, a dollar bill stands for a certain amount of real, tangible goods.  The bill, itself, isn’t wealth.  It is, in every particular, a universal certificate of value. A barter economy doesn’t need money.

I’ve never travelled with chickens, but intuition tells me they’d be a pain in the butt before you’d gone very far.  A barter economy, in which people trade wealth directly, limits mobility.  It also limits invention because whether its chickens or hide skivvies, having ones’ wealth concentrated in such commodities is very time-consuming.  Also, if you can barter for anything you need, there’s not a lot of motivation to invent.

Back to the story.  Many years after the passing of the guy who started trading firewood, somebody came up with the idea of leaving the chickens at home and travelling with certificates, or chits, as we call them in the Marines.  He’d go to the next village and strike deal to trade 20 chickens for a camel.  To the camel dealer he’d give a chit that was redeemable for 20 chickens.  The camel dealer would send his lackey to Chickenville.  The lackey would present the chicken chit, and haul the chickens back to Camelville.  As long as everybody actually had the wealth that was represented by the chits, it worked great.  A pox on the SOB who figured out he could write chits for anything, whether he had it or not, but it probably happened fairly early in this whole process.

This business of chits, or certificates was revolutionary.  It allowed people to travel much more easily, but sooner or later, the camel dealer would have needed to trade for a new cook pot, which was available in Camelville, but the proportion of the wealth being traded was odd.  A whole camel would buy one hell of a big pot – or more little ones that anyone could reasonably use – and trading just a camel’s leg for a pot of the right size would markedly diminish the value of the camel for later commerce.

But, wait!  The camel dealer has this chit for 20 chickens, and two chickens would get him a perfect pot!  So he goes to the pot dealer (different from modern pot dealers, BTW), and says, “Hey, ol’ Cluckenheimer in Chickenville is holding 20 chickens for me – see, here’s the chicken chit – and I’ll sign two of them over to you in exchange for a pot.”

Do you see what happened right there?  Commerce happened without a single chicken actually changing hands!  Brilliant!  Man, did that ever catch on!  Pretty soon, folks were trading chits for everything under the sun, and, true to human nature, some sharpies started trading counterfeit chits, and even stealing the real ones.  (The convenience was a two-edged sword; you could hide a stolen certificate for a dozen camels considerably easier than the camels, themselves.)  As Sir Walter Scott would observe later, it is an ill wind that blows no one some good, and this mischief with certificates and robbery was no exception.   It led to the rise of a subspecies of HH Sapiens called “factors,” which morphed into bankers.

In exchange for one chicken, the factor would hold the certificate for the others and guarantee its legitimacy.  These certificates were the beginning of money. This development allowed people to accumulate money, rather than the wealth it stood for.  By trading money for wealth, or even for more money, some people rose above the subsistence level.  It was literally possible to have more money than actual, real wealth.

Now here’s where we get to the point of this riveting drama.  For the longest time, there was one class of people: struggling.  Even the best off among them struggled.  After the development of the rudiments of money, there came to be a class that struggled a lot less.  Now there were two.

Eventually, the specialization of labor and the mobility of the population allowed some, but not all of the upper class to actually become even more wealthy, and now there were three.  There were the poor, who struggled with subsistence.  There were the quite wealthy, who had considerable wealth and/or the money that represented it.  And in the middle, there was a – wait for it – middle class that had risen from real poverty, but hadn’t attained great wealth.  This happened at least several weeks before the end of WWII.

The admonitions to take care of the poor that fill the Old Testament stand witness to this shift.  In fact, the Bible speaks of the rich and the poor as being very distinct from the intended audience of the Books.  This group that was neither rich nor poor was the “middle class.  In Biblical days, the vast majority of very wealthy people were actually the ruling class – the royalty, dictators, and high priests – many of whom had seized the wealth of those who had created it.  This actually created a fourth economic class: looters who existed only because there were wealthy producers for them to devour.

There had been a very gradual shift in the structure of human society from the days of our wood-swapper.  The middle class was not created by the rich, and it sure as shootin’ wasn’t created by any government!  It was created by poor folks who slaved and worked and saved and took risks and lifted themselves by blood, sweat, and sheer force of will.  Some of them continued on the trajectory and became wealthy. .  The rich didn’t voluntarily build up some of the poor for the purpose of creating a middle class.  The middle class was not created by gutting the rich and giving their wealth to the poor, and Obama’s statement that it was is a measure of the man’s willingness to lie through his teeth.  (Or of his sheer, jaw-dropping stupidity.)

The existence of a middle class is an indication of a healthy economy and society only insofar as its existence proves that growth is possible – that it is possible to have wealth beyond what is needed for subsistence.  The middle class is not a primary, or essential part of our society or our economy.  It is, rather, proof of the moral substance of our form of government, and its decline is presaged by the decline of that government.   “Preserving the middle class,” as our president is fond of ranting about, is absurd.  The only way to help the middle class is to leave them alone!  If one would increase the size of the middle class, one should concentrate on eliminating things that keep the poor from advancing, or, specifically, protect and promote the things that allowed a middle class to exist.

Two things, other than hard work, made the birth of a middle class possible.  One was the existence of wealth, in the first place.  Careful, now; that’s wealth, not money.  A society must be able to produce wealth sufficient to meet the primary needs of the people, and a little more for those driven to accumulate.  If a society produces no wealth, there can be no advancement from poverty.  Had there been no wealth to be gathered, what could possibly have motivated the poor to work like that?

The second thing was freedom.  Freedom allowed those with the drive, intelligence, and a measure of luck to rise above poverty.  In essence, they had someplace to go and the freedom to go there.  Had there been no freedom, those in power would certainly not have allowed anyone but themselves to have any wealth, at all.

The surest way to destroy the middle class is to destroy those two things – destroy that to which the people might aspire, and destroy their freedom to build themselves up by honest effort.  Destroying the rich will accomplish both, and we will be back in that medieval state in which the terms “rich” and “poor” are replaced with the terms “powerful” and “powerless,” with the powerless living in horrid squalor while the powerful suck the life out of them in a ghastly ritual of economic cannibalism.

The sheer, staggering moral stature of the American Republic has always been proven by the fact  that the rich and the powerful were two distinct groups.  When the statists have destroyed the rich, there will be only the powerful.  The rest of us will exist only at their pleasure.

And that, brothers and sisters, is precisely their objective.

BUCKSHOT AND PURE DAMNED FOOLS

(This was written in Feb., 2013, after Vice President Joe Biden, or Shotgun Joe, gave the nation some really terrible, dangerous, criminal advice about home defense.)

The Vice President of the United States, one Joe Biden, if the press is to be believed, said, in public, that Americans should buy double-barreled shotguns for personal defense, and that if threatened, they should go outside and fire a couple of blasts, which should scare away most intruders.  This has to be some of the worst advice ever given by any human being.  I will address a few points very briefly, but the main thrust of this essay will be a discussion of shotguns, in general, as primary weapons for personal defense.

First, it is illegal in most areas to promiscuously fire live ammunition into the surrounding environment.  This happens to be a law of which I approve, because guns, in general, including shotguns, discharge projectiles at sufficient velocities to kill or main HH Sapiens and other creatures, as well as to damage property. (“It’s only property!  Don’t be such a materialist!  Yeah, how about the baby that was sleeping under the window you just blew out?)  These projectiles have to come to earth somewhere.   (Biden may not be familiar with life on a planet that has gravity, such as the planet Pelosi, for example.  Incidentally, this would explain as well as the Botox theory that entity’s gravity-defying facial structure.) When those projectiles come to earth, they are quite capable of doing serious injury to people.  The liberals love to howl and snivel, “If it only saves ONE child…”  Let’s change that to, “If it only kills ONE child, it’s okay as long as you don’t use an AR-15.”

Second, humans have two primary responses to fear:  flight and fight.  If your intruder happens to have a flight response, you’re good, except for all that innocent bystander trivia. However, if your intruder happens to have a fight response, you have several problems.  (1), you have just announced your presence and your position.  (2) You have just announced the fact that you are armed.  (3) You have just launched into the atmosphere deadly missiles, in an unknown direction, giving your intruder a very plausible opportunity to say, “I thought she was shooting at me, so I shot back.” (4) You have just emptied your weapon, leaving you at your attacker’s mercy, even if he doesn’t have a firearm. (Are you ready to spar with a possibly drugged-up criminal, probably in the dark, with the lives of yourself and your family at stake?  If so, you’re as much an idiot is this Biden entity.)  and (5) You have just wasted two rounds of ammunition that you might need shortly if it turns out your intruder is actually a gang.  Oh, and (6) You have just violated Heaven knows how many local statutes about reckless endangerment, and, if there is a shred of justice left in America, will be facing jail time.

Third, a 12 gauge shotgun is most emphatically NOT easier to handle than an AR or any other weapon of that class.  In fact, the AK rifles and SKS rifles are works of sheer genius in that they are very easy for inexperienced people to operate. Why do you think you see so many mindless cretins carrying them around the world?  My goodness, even a Jihadist can operate an AK!  Those rifles are superb militia weapons because they are as nearly idiot-proof as any on the market.  A shotgun has much, much greater recoil than an AR, making it a very poor choice for a person of advanced years, small stature, or physical infirmity, such as arthritis.  The double-barreled shotgun, especially, is awkward and time-consuming to reload. The shotgun is longer than an AR, especially an AR with a compact stock, and much more difficult to swing or point in a confined space, such as a hallway or entryway.  (This is not as much a factor if you figure on going out in the yard to indiscriminately spray buckshot around.)

In short, Biden’s advice is criminally insane and/or subhumanly stupid.  It is proof positive of his utter incompetence and incapacity to handle the job, even one described by my cousin, John, Nance Garner, thusly:  “This job isn’t worth a cup of warm spit.”  The fact that Obama nominated him and still supports and promotes him is, likewise, proof positive that Obama is equally moronic and vastly more corrupt; Joe can’t help being what he is, but Obama likes him by choice.  This administration is unfit for public service at any level, and the only proper response, at this point, is impeachment and incarceration, if not execution for treason.  I would apply this judgment to all in the legislature who have supported them.

Last, and most significantly, the reelection of these cretins by a majority of the American population is proof positive that America is doomed.  Unless you happen to be surrounded by close friends and fellow travelers, look left.  Look right.  Both of those people would rather see you dead or in chains than be held accountable for their own actions.  Prepare accordingly.

Now.  Let’s discuss the role of the shotgun in personal defense.  I love shotguns. At close to intermediate ranges – up to about 50 yards – they are extremely effective against unarmored targets. With some modification, they can be made into very practical and flexible close quarters weapons, but off the shelf, most shotguns are, at best, compromises in this regard.

Vocabulary:   A shotgun is a smoothbore shoulder-held weapon.  “Smoothbore” means it does not have rifling – those spinney little grooves inside the barrels of “rifles.”  This limits the accurate range and velocity of the projectiles.  A modest rifle cartridge will push a bullet in the neighborhood of 1700-2000 feet per second, and be accurate to several hundred yards.  A really hot 12-gauge round runs about 1500-1600 fps, and is accurate to 50-75 yards.  Velocity gives you range and shocking power.

A shotgun can fire a solid projectile, called a slug, but the vast majority of defensive and sporting shotgun ammunition fires “shot,” or pellets.  These pellets range in size from 1.3mm to 9.4mm.  “Birdshot” is on the smaller end, while “Buckshot” is on the bigger end.  (Buckshot gets its name from its use in hunting deer.)  Shotgun ammunition is available in many different loadings.  The “heavier” loads have more shot and more powder, making them more effective for defense, but also increasing the recoil significantly.  Remember Newton?  For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction?  If you drive a lot of shot real fast, the reaction – “recoil” – is going to be more than if you drive less shot more slowly.  The “lightest” 12 gauge ammunition will kick MUCH harder than an AR-15, or even an AK.

A “riot gun” is nothing more than a shotgun with a short barrel, generally 18 inches.  The barrels were not shortened to make the shot spread, but to make them more easily handled in confined spaces, such as jails, alleys, and trenches. A “pump” shotgun is a magazine-fed weapon with a sliding pump that you have to pull to the rear and shove back forward in order to throw the spent shell out of the weapon and put a live one into firing position.  A “semi-auto” shotgun, like any other semi-auto, uses the propellant gas (from that loud explosion) or the recoil, itself to drive the action backward, and a spring to shove it back forward.  NOTE:  the operations on a pump or semi-auto firearm are identical. The only difference is in whether you have to cycle it, yourself, or the weapon does it for you.  “Automatic” shotguns, like “automatic” rifles, are illegal, and have been for many years.

MYTH 1:  You can’t miss with a shotgun.  Bull. Given that over 95% of all civilian shootings occur at ranges under 15 feet, the pattern (spread of the shot) is less than an inch.  A .45 (diameter .45”) projectile gives you a margin of error between hitting and missing of about +/- 3/16 inch. So a shotgun gains you, at most, a half-inch of margin.  That is insignificant, and damned sure doesn’t make it impossible to miss someone!  People will tell you that if you have a short barrel, the shot spreads more. The minimum legal barrel length for shotguns is 18 inches.  The most common length for “sporting” use shotguns is between 26 and 28 inches.  The difference in shot spread, at common combat ranges, is, at most ¼ inch.  Also, the shorter the barrel, the lower the velocity of the shot.  You see, in a longer barrel, the gasses from the gunpowder have more time to accelerate the pellets.  If you cut a barrel down to the point that you have an appreciably wider pattern, you will lose so much velocity that the impact will be much less, and your chance of stopping the fight proportionately less.  (By the way, if anyone tells you to cut your shotgun down, even to 18 inches or more, you get away from that moron!  Cutting down any shoulder weapon is illegal, and, even if you are justified in shooting an intruder, will get you in prison – really, really, really prison!)

MYTH 2:  The sound of a pump shotgun being racked (that means pulling the pump back and forward) will scare off any intruder.  This is dangerous, even catastrophic advice.  Even if a person is sober, about half the population has a “fight” response when frightened, and will attack you when you rack your shotgun. Since you have just announced the fact that you are armed and plausibly have violent intent, you have invited what is otherwise a criminal maggot to enter under the full protection of the law if he burns you down.  If your intruder happens to be drunk or stoned, all bets are off, and you can find yourself with more close-up trouble than you can possibly imagine – or manage. I actually fired a load of 12 gauge, #4 buckshot (thirty-odd pellets, about 6mm, or .24 caliber) into the mud between a punk’s feet.  He sneered at me and said, “Man, if you choot me, I’ll tsue you!”  I said, “Why, you damnfool, if I shoot you, you’ll die.”  He’s standing there, splattered with mud, ears ringing, staring into the smoking hole in the end of that 870, (on which I had just racked the slide, by the way) and was utterly unimpressed.  Never, NEVER count on bluff!

MYTH 3:  A 12 gauge buckshot round is a 100% reliable, one-shot stopper.  Police blotters are filled with stories of people soaking up two or even three loads of buckshot and continuing to attack, or at least to function aggressively.  True, a shotgun is much more effective than many other weapons, but do not for a second believe that one round is going to end the fight.  Consider, for a moment, how our military personnel have been known to function – even get up and run around and carry their comrades on their backs – after being hit multiple times by rifles and shrapnel.  Criminals come from the same gene pool, and have the same physiology, even if sober, and on drugs – eee, forget it!  Figure on having to shoot any attacker at least twice, no matter what you shoot him with.  This means, of course, that a double-barreled shotgun, which can be loaded with a maximum of two rounds, it totally unsuited as a primary defensive weapon.  Of course, it’s a lot better than a ball bat or kitchen knife, but if you have a choice, don’t go for any one of the three.

MYTH 4:  Shotguns are easy to use and require no training or experience.  This is usually related to the “can’t miss” myth, and/or the “just rack the slide” myth. No matter what kind of weapon you choose, LEARN HOW TO USE THE DAMNED THING!  Loading a shotgun requires manual dexterity because you can’t just drop the empty magazine and slap in another one.  You have to load the rounds one at a time by stuffing them into a small slot in the belly of the beast.  You’re scared, stressed by being in a life-threatening situation, it may be dark (they love to cut the power before kicking in the door) you might be taking fire, your kids may be screaming in terror, (or worse, trying to run past you to get out of the house)…. The list of things that can make loading a shotgun one round at a time very difficult is long, indeed.  What if your hands are cold, or you have arthritis? In my opinion, a shotgun, especially a pump, requires more training than does an AR.  And don’t forget the tactical aspect, either.  Because of the length of a shotgun, you will need to ingrain patterns of movement that prevent you from bashing the muzzle into a wall and possibly dropping the weapon.  Again, whether you choose a butter knife or a shotgun for defense, learn it and practice with it.

In my opinion, a shotgun is not the best choice for a primary home defense weapon, and a double barreled shotgun is a piss-poor choice.  Talk about difficulty in reloading and vicious recoil!  The length of the weapon is a primary consideration.  For example, it is utterly impossible to use one in your car, and even in a house, getting it around corners and through hallways can be awkward even if you practice a great deal.  Consider the very short range of many civilian confrontations:  under 5 feet.  Even with a riot gun, that puts the muzzle well within his reach.  Can you keep a strong, fast, athletic man who is too stoned to care from jerking that thing out of your hand?

On the plus side for shotguns is the undeniable stopping power, and remember, your objective in a fight is NOT to kill the guy, but to STOP THE FIGHT.  Put him on his back, NOW!  Render him incapable of pressing his attack, NOW!  A shotgun is not a guaranteed, 100%, one-shot stopper, but it’s better than most handguns.  The ability of a projectile to penetrate anything comes from its mass.  A big bullet will penetrate more than a small bullet moving at the same speed.  The pellets in a birdshot cartridge are much smaller than the pellets in a buckshot cartridge, and thus have less penetrating ability.  This makes birdshot more attractive if there is a chance of your fire going through a wall and hitting someone on the other side.  Birdshot is utterly devastating on a human body, and is no less a stopper than buckshot, unless… UNLESS!… your opponent is wearing body armor, or even very heavy clothing, such as motorcycle racing gear or a heavy leather coat.  The impact will be as great, but the shot may not get into his muscle and nervous system, which means there is less chance of stopping the fight.  Of course, you could try the government’s approach and use signage to create an armor-free zone around your home.

I would much rather have a semi-auto shotgun for home defense because it could be, if necessary, operated with one hand.  It won’t be a picnic, because that sucker’s still gonna kick, but if you absolutely had to, you could hold it in one hand and get off several shots in a very short period of time.  They won’t be as accurate as if you use both hands, but if one hand is otherwise occupied or injured, it could be done.

So the bottom line is: pick a weapon with which you are comfortable, get a good coach, use realistic training scenarios, and PRACTICE LIKE YOUR LIFE DEPENDS ON IT, because…   I hope that’s obvious.  And one, purely personal note, pray for all you are worth that you never have to shoot another human being

 

HATE CRIMES – A CLUB THAT CAN’T BE DODGED

We have all read stories of murder trials that have gone on for years.  Some of us have been involved in such trials as witnesses or as survivors of the victims.  The parade of evidence, examination, reexamination, and counter examination of witnesses can take hundreds of hours, and the smallest point of law or semantics can present seemingly insurmountable obstacles to the march of justice.  How many times have we seen people be acquitted on the basis of a technicality, sometimes as insignificant as a missing comma in a statement or an indictment?

We have a body that we can see, proving that a murder has been committed.  We have physical evidence that we can see – guns, knives, bloody clothing, and photos of the crime. We have forensic evidence that we can read – DNA, blood testing, and autopsy reports. We have the statements of witnesses, pro and con, that we can hear.  And yet getting to the truth of the matter can be agonizingly difficult.

Think about that:  with all of that information – sensorialy verifiable information, we can’t get to the truth about a crime.

Then along come the politically correct anointed ones with the concept of a “hate crime,” and millions of people who ought to know better are hornswoggled into going along with them.

“Hate” is an attitude, or a frame of mind.  It is something we think.  Hate happens in our heads.  It can affect certain bodily functions, such as pulse and blood pressure, but it is entirely, 100%, an internal, invisible thing.  Even if a person’s face goes red, there is no way to tell if it is from embarrassment, simple anger, sunburn, or hate.  Hate can affect behavior, but it can also be kept entirely buried in one’s mind, never exposing itself in any way.  Hatred can be carried, invisibly, from one generation to the next, without anyone ever knowing it’s there.  Has there ever been a case of a person carrying hatred his entire life and never acting on it?  It is possible that people around you right now hate something about you, but have the basic moral awareness to keep it to themselves?

Simply put, hate cannot be detected, at all.  Neither can the absence of hate.

Even if a person does something really vicious, how can we know whether it was motivated by hate, simple anger, mental instability, intoxication, or any one of a plethora of factors?  The concept of a hate crime implies that hate makes a crime more vicious than does mere rage or lust.  It also claims, explicitly, that hate can be detected beyond a reasonable doubt.  That is the classic standard of proof in the American legal system, isn’t it?  “Beyond a reasonable doubt.”

So we can spend months or years trying to prove what or who caused all those perforations in the body of the victim, and never know for sure, but we can tell beyond a reasonable doubt what the alleged perpetrator was thinking at the time?  I’m sorry, but that’s bloody stupid.

There is only one reason for the establishment of “hate crimes” in the American legal system:  to give prosecutors something with which they can charge a person that can never be proven or disproven.  Do you think you can prove you were not acting out of hate?  The person you are accused of assaulting is of a different race or religion than you, and we’ve seen a few cases of people like you acting out of prejudice or animosity against that group, so you must have been acting on hate.  No?  Prove it.  The prosecution has all the customary tools – evidence, witnesses, a body – and can prove, as well as we can ever prove anything – that a crime was committed.  Furthermore, it is well known that people like you hate people like the victim.  Therefore, you will be charged with a hate crime.

Certain groups are protected by hate crime laws, most notably Blacks, Jews, and homosexuals, though there may be others.  (Muslims currently enjoy the status of being beneficiaries of hate crime laws.)  This has nothing, whatever to do with the nature or character of those people or of the groups with which they identify!  It has to do with the manipulation of the legal system, and by extension, the very cultural fabric of America, by the anointed ones. With this simple mechanism, they have guaranteed themselves the political support of a huge class of artificial victims.  Cynical?  You’re damned right it is.  It allows the fascists – for the concept that some people are just automatically better and smarter than others is at the heart of fascism – to attack whomever they don’t like with a club that can’t be dodged.  If they charge you with assault, they have to provide evidence, but if they charge you with a hate crime… well, you’re done for.

Laws about “hate crimes” are nothing more or less than laws against certain thoughts.  They are laws against an attitude.  If the government can outlaw one type of thought or attitude, what’s to keep them from outlawing any other?  For that matter, what’s to keep them from defining any thought or attitude as hate?  Since a thought can’t be verified as being present or absent, it’s the perfect scam for enforcing politically correct absurdities on anyone they don’t like.

And I really hate that!

TRUMP, CLINTON, AND LENINGRAD

TRUMP, CLINTON, AND LENINGRAD – THE FALLACY OF THE LESSER EVIL IN WARFARE

As is so often the case, I draw counsel on current events from examples in military history.  Today’s subject is the deep distaste many anti-Democrats feel for Trump, and the principle that, “The lesser of two evils is still evil.”  Trump doesn’t drive me into apoplexy, but I’m certainly not that fond of him, and I sure don’t trust him.  I also recognize the validity of the proverb about evil.

So what do we do, given that other people are largely in control of our choices?  If I may build a scenario…

Building a third party, whether on the bones of the Libertarian Party, which I don’t like, or the Constitution Party, which is very small right now, will take 4 to 16 years.  If we focus on that third party now, Hillary will win in ’16, and we will never have another chance.  The gravestone of our republic can read, “HERE LIES PRINCIPLE.  WE STOOD ON IT, AND IT IS BURIED WITH US.  NOW OUR ENEMIES STAND ON IT.”

I do not propose meekly voting for evil of any magnitude, but perhaps I can present a principled way of looking at this matter.

In 1941, Nazi Germany invaded the Soviet Union.  The stunning ferocity of the initial German attack literally destroyed Russian command, communications, and all organization above the platoon level.  German troops raced across Russia like sprinters.  At first, Stalin ordered massive counterattacks which were slaughtered.  The Russian army lacked the training, material, weapons, and manpower to even blunt the Blitzkrieg. Fortunately for Russia and the world, Marshall Zhukov understood the nature of his enemy, but more important, he understood the nature of the weapons with which he would fight him.

He retreated.  He waged a fighting withdrawal across the charred landscape of his native land.  (In fact, Zhukov’s orders to burn everything that might be of any use or comfort to the Germans was the origin of the phrase, “Scorched earth.”)  The Germans stretched further and the Russian lines became more compressed, but all the while, the Russian industrial monster (aided in no small part by the US and Britain) was building a head of steam.  It could be said that Zhukov was embracing “the lesser of two evils,” in allowing the Germans to occupy so much of Russia, but his alternative would have been fatal.

If withdrawal was the lesser of two evils, what was the greater?  Had he thrown all his troops and tanks into a counter attack, they would have been destroyed out of hand.  Russia would have fallen by late ’42, at the latest, and all those millions of German troops would have been redirected to North Africa, Italy, and France.  All of those fighters and bombers could have been directed against Britain and the bomber offensive.  All of those natural resources in the Soviet Union could have been turned against the Allies.  I submit that the temporary loss of territory was an evil of utter inconsequence compared to what might have happened otherwise.  (And before a student of Barbarossa calls me on this, I most certainly do NOT mean to make light of the suffering of the Russian people, nor of their sacrifice.)

By contrast, consider the battle of Stalingrad, in that same campaign.  The German 6th Army had pushed the Russians almost all the way through the city, but in November of 1942 – while El Alamein was raging in a far warmer clime – a Russian counterattack rolled up the 6th Army’s flanks.  Hitler forbad a retreat, and, trapped against the city, the vaunted, veteran 6th Army was captured almost en masse.  Of the 91,000 Germans taken prisoner, only about 5,000 survived the war. Hitler had chosen the greater of two evils, and better men than he paid the price.

Hitler was very good at embracing the greater evil. I give you the German Afrika Korps at El Alamein, in the fall of 1942.  Irwin Rommel had whipped everything the Allies had thrown at him, but Hitler’s meddling had contributed to the Korps being pressed back into a defensive posture at El Alamein.  Rommel could have withdrawn and saved the bulk of his army, which would have allowed him to keep fighting.  However, Hitler forbad it, Rommel was stuck, and the Afrika Korps defeated.  There were other campaigns, such as the Allied invasion of North Africa, but the defeat of Rommel’s army was the key to victory.

Let us now examine an analogy from US history.  In the summer of 1864, the US Army of the Potomac (one of several US armies in the field against the Confederacy) pushed into northern Virginia, “aaaa-gin,” to quote Forest Gump.  Ulysses Grant commanded the Army of the Potomac.  Robert E. Lee commanded the Army of Northern Virginia, facing Grant.  Lee had made a number of horrendous tactical errors earlier in the war – Malvern Hill and the first and second days at Gettysburg, to name two – but his greatest feat of genius was the fighting withdrawal he directed before Grant’s advance that summer.  Lee’s 45,000 ragged veterans inflicted more than 60,000 casualties on the Army of the Potomac in 30 days.  (Can you imagine what the American press and the American people would do if faced with 2,000 casualties a day for a month?)

Unlike Zhukov, Lee was denied the ultimate victory, partly because Grant understood the nature of his enemy, and the nature of the weapon he was given to fight him.  However, had Lee attempted to stand rigidly before Grant’s massive sledgehammer, the ANV would have been destroyed by August.  If withdrawal was the lesser evil facing Lee, what was the greater?  Remember to look at this from the perspective of Lee and the Confederate nation.  The Wilderness campaign gave them another 10 months to try to find an ally – to find an unbeatable weapon – to pray for Lincoln’s defeat in November.

Okay.  Now, in 2016, the American people find themselves in the positions of Zhukov, Lee, and Rommel.  If Trump is the lesser of two evils, what is the greater?  I submit that another eight years of Democrat rule will finish this nation for good.  Woluld Trump destroy the nation in that time?  I don’t think so.  He will get some things wrong, but he will get some things right, too, whereas, Hillary will get nothing right.  So, what, exactly is the greater of two evils, and by what factor is it the greater?

Can we not view electing Trump as analogous to Zhukov’s fighting withdrawal?  If such a withdrawal allows us time to build an effective alternative party and come roaring back in ’20 or ’24 with a truly principled candidate, is Trump really that evil in the end?  Unlike Zhukov, we don’t have the landmass to trade for time.  We have Trump, and four or eight years.  Unlike Lee, we don’t have emissaries in France and England, pleading for recognition and support.  Like Rommel, though, our backs are to the sea.  Can we not see that electing Trump is voting for a relatively small evil, for a relatively short time?

The Samurai had a saying, “To shed his blood, you must be cut.  To take his life, you must be cut to the bone.”  I don’t believe Trump would, “cut us to the bone,” but even if he did, could that possibly be an evil on the scale of the rows of headsmen a Clinton presidency would bring to be?

Let us look at the election, then, not as an end of the war, but as a holding action – a Leningrad that buys us time to bleed the enemy and prepare a counterstroke.  Don’t think of it as voting for Trump, but as voting for time and space to build an army.

BUCK FEVER – D’SOUZA VS. HILLARY

I went to see D’Souza’s, “Hillary’s America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party” on opening weekend in Albuquerque.  The movie pulled no punches and engaged in no innuendo about Hillary Clinton, her husband, or her foundation.  It is really a two-part presentation.  The first part starts with D’Souza’s mock trial and outrageous sentencing, his introduction to prison, and the insights he gained into crime while talking with other prisoners.  The principles explained to him by a prisoner named “Rock” are the basis for his analysis of the Democratic Party, and of Hillary Clinton, in particular.

The film tells the history of the Democratic Party, from Andrew Jackson to the present, and it is brutal.  It deals almost exclusively with the party’s record on oppression of minorities, specifically Indians and Blacks, and through dramatizations paints a very emotionally powerful story of naked evil.  Most of the material presented was familiar to me – fugitive slave laws, the Trail of Tears, Preston Brooks’ near-fatal assault on Charles Sumner on the floor of the Senate, John C. Calhoun’s defense of slavery as, “A positive good,” and more.  Historical characters such as Ida B.Wells, Senators Ben Tillman, Stephen Douglas, and Theodore Frelinghuysen are relative bit players, alongside Andrew Jackson, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Dailey, and Saul Alinsky.  Margaret Sanger gets special treatment as a really disgusting, vile monster.  Taped conversations and one video with Planned Parenthood personnel flesh out the film’s premise that Democrats have always hated Blacks to the point of disguising genocide as women’s health.

Much of the historical tale told in the film will be new to anyone who hasn’t specifically studied that part of American history, but it is true. The media are having a fit over it, but they are wrong; it’s the true story, if told with considerable emotion.  Scenes of lynching and murders are not easy to watch, and make the movie marginally suited for young children.

The second part of the film deals with the Clintons.  It features excerpts from testimonies and interviews with Bill’s sexual victims, and Hillary’s teenaged adoration of Saul Alinsky.  She is portrayed as thoroughly evil, conniving, dishonest, brutal, crude, and possibly murderous.  We hear the taped statement by her of how getting a child rapist set free destroyed her faith in lie detectors.  We hear excerpts from Alinsky’s interview with Playboy Magazine and from his books, and learn that he was not the social justice warrior he is made out to be; he was a common thug, an amoral two-bit Chicago punk who amounted to no more than a cancroid on Al Capone.  At least, he would have amounted to no more than that had it not been for his being adopted as the patron saint of the Democratic Party.

D’Souza blows away the myth of the “big switch,” in which the racists supposedly left the Democratic Party and joined the Republicans. (About one percent of Democrats changed parties.)  He eviscerates such sacred icons as the New Deal, FDR, Woodrow Wilson, and Johnson’s Great Society.

In short, it is a two hour bath in one of the most revolting sewers in all of human history, the Democratic Party, and its current star lump of feces, Hillary Clinton.  In the end, it calls her out in the most direct, unequivocal terms possible as a thief, at best, and a power-mad, slavering, murderous monster at worst.

Now, having said all that, I have a very huge bone to pick with the film.  During all of the part that deals with slavery and the oppression of Blacks before, during, and after the War Between the States, I was tempted to think D’Souza was simply pandering to Blacks.  I’m sure the media will accuse him just that, and of the sorriest level of cynicism and mockery.  However, upon reflection, I realized that he was speaking to a very specific audience, and talking about a very specific part of history.  He wasn’t pandering; he was focusing, and he did a great job of it.  Unfortunately, in his effort to hammer on a specific part of a vast story, he ignored a part of that story that didn’t fit his narrative – something liberals are famous for, and something he should have known to avoid.

To wit, he portrays all Southerners as slave-whipping monsters, and slavery as the sole cause of the War Between the States.  He gets up to his eyeballs in the myth of Abraham Lincoln as Saint Abraham, the Great Emancipator.  There is not a syllable about states’ rights, though that is a critical part of the conflict between Republicans and Democrats.

The script actually says that not a single Republican ever owned a slave.  In fact, it says that twice, to emphasize the point.  There is no mention of the fact that there were more anti-slavery societies in the South than in the North, or that fewer than 1/10 of the Southern population owned slaves.  When he points out that Northern bankers – factors, they were called – and industrialists profited enormously from slavery, they were cast as Democrats every one.  Surely, in D’Souza’s vision of ante-bellum America, the Democratic Party was the party of Hell’s demons, and the Republican Party that of God’s angels.

I’m darned sure no apologist for the Democratic Party, but that’s baloney.  There were some sorry, sorry pieces in the Democratic Party, but there were some sorry, sorry ones in the Republican Party, too, not the least of which was The Rail Splitter, himself.

D’Souza reserved his most outrageous hatchet job for Nathan Bedford Forrest, who he says founded the KKK specifically as a terror organization.  He shows Forrest donning a red hood, then shows a man wearing that hood leading the Klan for years, clearly implicating Forrest.  Well, that’s baloney, too.  Forrest was a slave trader for a time, though he’d given it up well before secession, and he owned slaves.  No apologizing for that.  When the war started, he raised a regiment of cavalry at his own expense, and told his slaves that if they would volunteer to fight with him, they’d be free at the end of the war, no matter how it turned out.  Not one of those Black men deserted, and several survived the war.  Not one of them ever spoke ill of Forrest.

After the war, Forrest was approached by a group who said they were starting a fraternal organization of ex-Confederates, the purpose of which was to help their members find jobs in the new nation, and help them adjust to the new world that had been laid down on the ashes of the old.  That organization was to be called the Ku Klux Klan, and they asked Forrest to be their spokesman and first leader.  Forrest agreed, but within a few years, he saw what the Klan had become (perhaps what it was meant to be all along).  He resigned and wrote a letter to Andrew Johnson telling him what the KKK really was and advising him to outlaw it as a seditionist group.  Johnson, who was a Southerner and a Democrat, had stayed with the US government when his native Tennessee seceded.  Johnson was really more of a populist who hated the wealthy planters, and refused to outlaw the Klan.  D’Souza never mentioned that, nor that the radical Republicans who created the punitive, or “congressional” reconstruction of the South, likewise refused to take action against the Klan.

One of the last scenes of the film, other than a rendition of the Star Spangled Banner, is of a pair of supposedly freed slaves throwing a Confederate “battle flag” off a building into the street below.  D’Souza’s historiography was sorely lacking even in that final spit in the face to Southerners; the flag was a naval jack, not an army battle flag, and it wouldn’t have been used for that purpose, anyway.  Anyone wishing to identify with the Confederacy would have used the CS National Flag or the square, white-outlined army battle flag.

As much as I enjoyed and agreed with D’Souza’s depiction of the Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton, I must confess that his poor historiography and his shameless editorial slanting of selected parts of the history cast doubt on the legitimacy of the rest of the film.  I seriously doubt the film will hurt Clinton’s campaign, at all, because those who are desperate to complete Barack Obama’s destruction of America will find it very easy to label the film part of the ongoing, vast, right wing conspiracy against the poor, innocent, saintly Clintons.

Dinesh, you had a perfect shot.  Your game was standing still, broadside to you, at short range.  You had a superb rifle with solid ammunition…. And you jerked the trigger like a shaved-headed boot.

You wasted what was probably the last shot you’ll ever get.

VALUING DIFFERENCES IS ROTTING OUR NATIONAL SOUL

Rather than valuing superficial differences in each other, let us place value on important things we have in common, and ignore those trivial differences that are being used to drive us apart.

I first noticed people using the phrase, “valuing differences,” in the mid-80’s, I think.  It seemed innocuous enough –just one more bit of the academic blather that was swamping business and manufacturing in those days.  I was working for Digital Equipment Corporation, which most who read this will have never heard of.  At the time, DEC was the 2nd largest computer maker in the world, and originated the ideas of virtual addressing in computer memory, without which no modern computers could function.  Their VAX series of mid-size computers set a standard that stood for more than 30 years.  DEC no longer exists.

DEC was based out of the Boston area, and by the mid-80’s, the corporate offices of personnel, HR, and pretty much everything but engineering, manufacturing – or anything else that had to do with uncompromising reality – had been taken over by the progressive/liberal/fascists from Harvard and Boston U.  I’d never heard the term, “Political correctness” then, but one of the first bits of progressive feces they dumped on us was, “Valuing differences.”

I need to go down a different track for a minute and talk about epistemology, or the study of how the human mind works – the theory of knowledge, as some call it.  Our minds organize things by two main operations:  integration, or sorting things by similarities, and differentiation, or sorting things by differences.  Imagine what it would be like if everything in the world were the same.  We could never tell one thing from another.  Steak would be like arsenic, male would be like female, good would be like bad, and so on.  Sounds pretty stupid, doesn’t it?

But imagine if there were no similarities – if every single thing was totally unique, and had nothing in common with anything else.  We’d have to have a different word for every, single particle of existence!  This sounds as stupid as the other!

The fact is that the human mind functions by sorting things by both differences and similarities. Take dogs, for example.  All dogs have certain features or characteristics that make them similar, or, more specifically, things that make them all dogs.  They also have certain features or characteristics that make them all different, as boxers are different from poodles.  As we sort for more and more detail, we find less gross similarities and differences.  We can tell our own dogs from others of the same breed.

This sounds hopelessly complicated and abstract, which is precisely what professors have tried very hard to make it.  In reality, though, it’s dirt clod simple. Everything that exists is like certain things, and unlike certain other things.  That’s all there is to it.  Honest. (This includes abstract things like ideas and principles.)

Now along come the mavens of political correctness, and tell us that we are no longer allowed to sort people by similarities and differences.  In fact, we were only allowed to consider differences, and we had to value them.

Time for another little side trip into philosophy.  A “Value” is something that a person will act to gain or to keep.  (Yes, that is straight out of Ayn Rand.  Don’t be afraid.)  Therefore, to value something is to take action to gain or to keep it.  If we value honesty, we will take specific action to have it in our lives, as a personal trait as well as a trait we seek in others.  That’s pretty simple, isn’t it?  By the way, the progressives love to pretend that “value” means money, and never anything else, and to ridicule the very concept and anyone who speaks of it.  Well, money can be a value, for sure.  Music or dance, painting or sculpture can be of great value to a person.  In fact, something that seems to be utterly incomprehensible to progressives is that if we give money for something, whatever we bought is of greater value than the money.

So back to “valuing differences.”  We [at DEC] were never told that we should value people who were different, or that we should value people in spite of differences.  In fact, we were expected to value only differences, with no regard to anything else.

One of the more despicable parts of this lunacy is that we were told we must never value people for the things we had in common, because that was prejudice, discrimination, and bigotry.  To value another person because they enjoyed the same music we did was an abomination, but as bad as that was, it wasn’t the worst part.  The worst part was that we were not allowed to examine other people for their character traits or personalities. The differences we were ordered to value were purely superficial – race, gender, sexual preference, age, handicap, ethnicity, height, weight, etc.  To even mention honesty, intelligence, generosity, humility, work ethic, or any of the really important aspects of a human being was not only forbidden, it was punished.  Yes, supervisors were written up and fired for attempting to hire applicants based on technical expertise.

I was a technical writer and course developer in the training department.  My job was to write the training manuals that were used to teach others to run the complex, expensive machines we used in the factories.  I had always believed that the precise use of language was crucial to making the manuals understandable and effective.  However, one day in the late ‘80’s, I was a “does not meet requirements” performance appraisal because my grammar was too good, and the precision of my writing was, in fact, racist, genderist, ethnicist, and every other negative –ist in the book.  I was actually ordered to dumb down my writing – in those exact words!

We were, literally, forbidden to judge each other on the content of our characters.  We were ordered, under threat of losing our jobs, to value whatever it was in others that made them different.  In the years since, these principles have been refined to the point that we are now taught to value others because they think differently, and shun those who think similarly to ourselves.

Thus, we are to value dishonesty, profligacy, bigotry, ignorance, promiscuity, and, most especially, political or moral traits that we hold repugnant.  “Valuing differences” in 2016 means we must value – that, we must take action to bring into our lives – people who actively work to destroy that which we cherish.  When Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama say that our diversity is our greatest treasure, they don’t mean the different ways we might approach problems in chemistry of physics.  They mean our skin color, gender, etc.

How can it possibly be to our benefit as a society to seek out and edify those who are dishonest or ignorant or even savagely bigoted?

Here’s what I consider a better way.  We must seek first the things we respect and value in others, but we must carefully seek only those things related to character!  To seek others of the same skin color is foolish because brilliance and every other virtue may be found beneath skin of any shade.  If we seek honesty without regard to skin color, will we not be brought closer to people of different races?  If we seek artistic creativity, regardless of such superficial features as gender or sexual preference, will we not find ourselves surrounded by more of the things we treasure, and in the company of fellow travelers with whom we can share them?

If the leaders of our culture – the builders of our society and national character – we interested in making a better world, they would encourage us to value important similarities, and ignore trivial differences.  Sadly, those leaders and builders have no desire for anything but the unearned power that comes from creating artificial conflicts and then forcibly quashing them. When Obama says we are not as divided as some may think, he has no idea of the truth he speaks.  There are thugs and savages among us, but the great majority of Americans are far more alike than different in the things that matter.  Do we not value our families?  The security of our homes?  The sanctity of our churches?  The freedom to live where we wish, pursue the professions we love, and enjoy the hobbies that give us rest?  Do we not all value being safe in our cities, on our streets, in our workplaces, and in our homes?

Let us seek that which is good and even noble in each other, and ignore the trivial differences.  Let us also identify the differences which are not trivial, and not take to our bosoms the thief, the liar, the murderer, the drug dealer, the slave trader, the politician who will sell his soul for a cheap favor, or the bureaucrat who will sell his for an hour with a teenage sex slave.

Let us recognize in each other the similarities and differences that are truly important, and allow others to do the same.  Let us recognize the barbarians and call them by their real names, and allow them the same choices we demand for ourselves – the choice to live as decent human beings or as something else.

CHURCH, STATE, AND FREEDOM

As long as individual freedom is in the conversation, it is not possible to separate politics from religious precepts.

No person can legitimately consider themselves a Christian who supports or sustains the Democrat platform., including those so-called Republicans who are Democrats in all but name.

It is not possible to infer the values or morals of people based on their party membership. There are a significant number of fascists (or statists, or collectivists, etc) in the Republican party, and the Democrat party is almost wholly consumed with fascism. Even the terms “Liberal,” and, “Conservative” have been misused and corrupted to the point of uselessness. However, there are still some Republicans, such as the Tea Party branch, who yet cling to the premises of individual liberty.

Without the exercise of our free will, or agency, there can be no such thing as moral or ethics, for both require a choice to be made. Man’s decision-making mechanism consists of his sensory complex, which give him information about his surroundings, his preceptual complex, which allows him to identify and categorize sensory input, his conceptual complex, which allows him to evaluate his precepts into conceptual genii and species, and his abstractive complex, which allows him to make decisions based on concepts. The fifth element in Mankind’s free agency is his physical body, which allows him to act on his decisions.

If this mechanism is interrupted or blocked at any point, Mankind’s free will is totally, 100% abrogated. The core premise of all collectivist theology – for it is as much based on faith as any other religion – is that some people know better than others how to live, and their superior minds give them not only authority, but a moral imperative to control the lives of those others. The entire platform of the Democrat party, as well as those Democrats who call themselves Republicans, is based on that prime directive of fascist dogma.

Thus, as long as individual freedom is in the conversation, it is not possible to separate politics from religious precepts.

No person can legitimately consider themselves a Christian who supports or sustains the Democrat platform, including those so-called Republicans who are Democrats in all but name.

LAWS DON’T PREVENT CRIME

Americans have always called their nation a government of laws, not of men.  In the minds of most of us, The Law holds a high and sanctified place in our view of the world, and this is as it should be.  The concept of law is one of the highest achievements of Mankind.

How sad it is that The Law is almost universally misunderstood and, because of that, misused and abused.

For the purposes of this discussion, I will use “The Law,” capitalized, to refer to not only the abstract philosophy, or principles upon which all written law is based, but also to the entire body of written laws, to the Executive, which is charged with enforcing laws, and the Judiciary, which is charged with ensuring that cases brought before it are decided in accordance with the law.

Laws are the field markers, or center stripes that guide the individuals in a society.  They tell us what is allowed, what is frowned on, what is strongly condemned, and what will get us stood up to the wall.  (For those victims of latter-20th-century schooling, “…stood up to the wall” is a metaphor for a firing squad.)  We love to talk about how laws make us safe and prevent certain behavior.  We love to propose laws that will make our society safer or more fair.  In this July of 2016, one of the most common cries we hear is that we need certain gun control laws to prevent mass murders.

Well, that’s all baloney.  Laws don’t prevent anything, don’t protect anyone, and have no effect on the fairness of our society.  Here’s an example: We have a law against murder.  Are there still murders?  Point proven.  However, it deserves a bit more discussion.

Metaphysically, no law is more than words on a paper – “The ink stains that are dried upon some lines,” for those who like things to rest gentle on their minds.  Words on paper have no ability to stop anyone from doing anything.  No law can do more than explain the consequences of certain actions.  When something is “outlawed,” all it means is that if you do it, you’ll suffer whatever punishment the law specifies.  It won’t keep you from doing whatever it is.  No gun control law will have any effect, whatsoever on violence.

The only power any law has – or The Law has, for that matter – is in the respect shown that law by individuals.  The vast majority of people respect The Law enough that they won’t break the laws. (It is true, though, that most people have a rather selective respect for The Law; they will break laws they consider illegitimate or inconvenient, and almost all people will break at least some laws if they think they can get away with it.)

Other people have little respect for The Law, and will break the laws without thinking about it. These people are going to do whatever they please, and The Law and the laws can go to the devil.  This is where the Executive, in the person of the police, gets involved.

If a person has broken a law, it is the job of the police to identify that person, apprehend him, and bring him before the Judiciary.  It is the job of the Judiciary to evaluate the evidence and determine if (A) a law was broken, and (B) if this was the person who broke it.  If both questions are answered in the affirmative, the Judiciary refers to the text of the law that was broken and assigns a punishment.  Thus, the law breaker suffers a consequence for his action.  If that consequence is jail time, the law breaker is off the street for a period, and his neighbors are safe from further actions by him.  This – THIS –  is the only way The Law can prevent any crime, or make anyone safer.

The police, for all their courage and dedication – which are generally prodigious – cannot stop or prevent crime except by this process.  The astute reader will note that, even though the brigand is in jail, the crime has already been committed!  If it were the crime of murder, the victim is dead and can’t be brought back.  All the laws in the world won’t serve to reanimate a murder victim or emotionally restore a rape victim.

Allow me a brief excursion down a related path.  The American model of The Law has always been that a person is innocent until proven guilty.  This was quite the radical proposition when first codified, as almost the whole world assumed guilt until innocence was proven.  “Innocent until guilty” means, in the context of this essay, that no person may be detained or inconvenienced until a law has been broken and that person is a suspect.  If a person is thinking about committing a crime, has a crime actually been committed?  Obviously not, which means the police are not allowed to detain or inconvenience that person.  The police are forbidden, by law, to prevent a crime by interfering before it has been committed.  (“Hate crimes” are crimes against certain thoughts, but that’s a different subject.)

The implication of that fact is staggering, and will come as a shock to many.  The police cannot protect us unless an officer happens to be at the point of the infraction at the precise time the infraction is committed.  In other words, in order for the American people to be protected by the police, every citizen would have to have a full-time police escort, all day every day.  This could be the best thing that ever happened for the zero population growth kooks.

Again, the police, for all their courage and dedication – which are generally prodigious – can do nothing more than take statements of witnesses, mop up the blood, and try to find the miscreant – all of which happens after the completion of the crime.

When the fascists rage about the need for more gun control laws to make our cities safer, they are indulging in the grossest misrepresentation of The Law.  The only way The Law, or individual laws, can affect our safety is by moderating the behavior of those who actually respect the law in the first place.  That large and growing segment of our population who have no respect for The Law will continue apace their depredations, and the rest of us will suffer accordingly.

Instead of passing law after law after law after law after law after law…  and so on, those who claim the mantle of leadership in our society should concentrate on teaching a decent respect for The Law and for the rights of others.  Only this respect will serve to moderate the behavior of anyone, and without it, we could pass a thousand laws a day (NOTE TO LEGISLATORS:  this is not a suggestion!) and the only effect it would have would be to inconvenience the law-abiding and interfere with their lives.  The scofflaws would, well, scoff.

Tragically, there is zero likelihood of anyone at any level of government in the United States understanding this simple fact and actually practicing any sort of leadership.  And now, after all this waste of time, blood, and treasure, we come back to the words of The Virginian.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”