A Lynching in the Senate

“Show me the man and I’ll show you the crime” –

Lavrenti Behria, head of Stalin’s secret police.

 

There’s a reason why legal proceedings, both civil and criminal (with a very few exceptions such as for murder), are subject to statutes of limitations, meaning that such court proceedings must be initiated within a prescribed and limited time frame.

The reason is because as time passes, evidence disappears or is no longer attainable; people’s memories of events fade and become unreliable; witnesses move away, becoming impossible to find, or they simply die off.

Further, in our legal system the burden of proving the offense, criminal or civil, lies with the accuser—the prosecutor or plaintiff. The defendant doesn’t have to prove his innocence; he enjoys a presumption of legal innocence that must be overcome.

But we seem to have entered an era that proves why there’s an actual need for statutes of limitations. This is an era of hysterical accusation, as typified by the #MeToo movement, in which any allegation of impropriety at any time in a person’s past has the potential of destroying that person’s life without benefit of the protections of any legal proceeding at all. It’s mob-sanctioned character assassination and personal destruction.

This is reminiscent of the Salem Witch Trials, in which completely fabricated and fantastical accusations by hysterical teenagers was enough to condemn women to death unless they could prove their innocence of the accusations, an impossibility. Basically, a lynch mob.

We saw something similar in the 1980s when a completely unfounded hysteria swept the nation about children in preschools being subjected to satanic rituals, including human sacrifices, all of which led to the infamous McMartin Pre-School trials, in which the defendants were ultimately exonerated and the nature of the hysteria finally understood.

The latest iteration of this phenomenon is Senator Dianne Feinstein’s incredibly cynical and despicable act of accusing Judge Brett Kavanaugh of committing the criminal act of sexual assault well over 30 years ago while he was in high school, an accusation she leveled during the last day of the committee hearings concerning his appointment as a Justice to the Supreme Court.

If she knew about this claim for months, as she’s said, why did she wait so long to bring it to light? If this is anything other than a Hail Mary attempt to derail the confirmation process, why didn’t she raise the matter much earlier, when it could have been addressed in an orderly fashion? Why, after examining the “evidence”, did the FBI decide not to pursue the matter?

Why did the alleged “victim” wait literally decades before telling anyone about this assault? Why didn’t she report it to the cops at the time, or at least her parents? She claims Kavanaugh was drunk. How do we know it wasn’t she who was actually drunk, this whole thing being just a figment of her fevered imagination?

Both Kavanagh and his friend – who would be an “accomplice” to this “crime” – have stated that the incident never happened. Why shouldn’t we believe them? How does Kavanaugh prove something didn’t happen over 30 years ago? Why should he have to, since that flies against all the foundational precepts of our justice system? Scores of his high school contemporaries have stated that they don’t believe the accusation, and that it doesn’t conform with his personality. Why should anyone believe the sole accusing “victim” over all the others who have made statements about the matter?

As I said, this is why we have statutes of limitations; so we don’t have a “show me the man and I’ll show you the crime” society.

Think about it. How would you like to wake up one morning and find out that some kid you went to high school with three decades ago has, out of the clear blue sky, falsely accused you of committing a major felony all those years ago? And that to top it off they were making the accusation to local reporters, maybe right here in The Signal for example, so that all your friends and neighbors, relatives and business associates, would have that accusation staring them in the face over their morning coffee.

Well, that’s exactly what happened to Brett Kavanaugh thanks to the shameless manipulations of Feinstein.

This is the closing run of the Dem/socialist clown car that they’ve driven through this whole confirmation process. I thought Kamala Harris and Cory “Spartacus” Booker were absurd, but Feinstein’s managed to take the cake with this.

Remember this when it comes time to vote on November 6th.

 

 

©Brian Baker 2018

 

(Also published today in my local newspaper, The Signal)

 

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A Race in Commiefornia

 

I often say that when it comes to politics the only person I agree with 100% is… me.

I think that Ronald Reagan was the greatest President this country’s had in at least my lifetime – I’ll be seventy in a few months – and even he did things I didn’t agree with.

The same can be said for Steve Knight, our incumbent congressman for the 25th District, who is facing off against Katie Hill, a local Dem/socialist, in this mid-term election cycle.

To give you an example, I think Knight’s off base on his approach to dealing with our illegal alien issue; he’s a bit mushy. He’s not pro-illegal alien, but he’s also not firm in advocating an approach he endorses to address the broader aspects of the issue.

However, on many other issues, notably Second Amendment rights (an issue near and dear to my heart), he’s a hard charger, a true stalwart. He opposes Common Core in our schools; is a strong “law and order” guy (no surprise given his background as a cop); believes in election integrity and promotes it by supporting Voter ID laws and opposing “all-mail-in” ballots; he supported Trump’s tax plan, which has led to the economic boom we’re currently enjoying; has voted to repeal Obamacare; supports our alliance with Israel; and in general has proven himself to be a Representative who actually represents the values that I believe are held by a majority of the residents of this district and the SCV.

On top of that, Knight brings experience to the table. He’s an Army vet, former cop, and served in both the state Assembly and Senate. He’s completing his second term as our congressional Representative, and currently serves on three committees in the House: Small Business; Science, Space and Technology; and Armed Services.

Hill is a whole different ball of wax. She has no voting record to which I could refer, never having served in elective office at any level, so I had to refer to her web site (https://www.katiehillforcongress.com/home) to get any useful information about her. In other words, she’s an utter tyro.

Here’s what I found there: “Katie resides in Agua Dulcé with her husband and animals on a small farm… She openly identifies as bisexual… a new kind of candidate, who will work on behalf of all members of this community… is a proven leader… running for Congress to give a voice to the people of California’s 25th district… a proven track record as an advocate for progressive policies… She will continue to be an energetic progressive leader… healthcare that puts patients before profits and the 21st century infrastructure for a sustainable equal-opportunity economy. Katie is running to be part of a new generation of leaders in a new House majority…”.

A “proven leader” how? A “new kind of candidate” in what way? Why do I need to know she “openly identifies as bisexual”? In what way will she “work on behalf of all members of this community” that’s any different from any other partisan political candidate? How would that even be possible, when the chasm between the Republican and the Dem/socialist is wider than the Grand Canyon? Whichever one wins will be representing the interests of the people who voted for him or her. It’s called “winning” and “losing”. I can’t imagine any “progressive” representing any interest with which I agree. “Progressive” is Orwellian Newspeak for “socialist”.

This is borne out by her positions on certain key issues. She’s for “Medicare for all”, which means government-run healthcare. If you like your doctor, too bad. An absolutely budget-busting idea that promises to destroy our economy and medical system.

She’s anti-gun, touting her support of useless gun bans. She spouts the usual “Income Inequality” rhetoric of socialism and class warfare. She opposes school “privatization”, AKA vouchers. On a wide range of important topics, such as foreign policy, defense, and the military, she’s silent.

But the most important part of her message is that of being “part of a new generation of leaders in a new House majority”.

Ah, yes… that hoped-for “new House majority”. That’s the “new majority” that wants to impeach Trump, and that has as members Nancy Pelosi, Maxine Waters, Bernie Sanders and Keith Ellison, among a host of other radical socialists. That’s poised to welcome the latest self-proclaimed Socialist crackpot in Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez – a woman whose sheer and unabashed ignorance is worthy of a column of its own, complete with laugh track – into its ranks. That wants to roll back the recent tax reform, and return to socialist wealth redistribution.

That’s the “majority” to which Hill wants to contribute and be a part of. Even if she objected to some of their policies – and there’s absolutely nothing on her site that suggests to me that she would – can a young first-term neophyte, with no previous elective experience, be expected to stand up to the likes of Pelosi, Waters or Sanders?

Are you kidding me? Are you ready to hear the words “Speaker Pelosi” again?

And in what way do any of those policies conform to the values of the majority of people in this district and valley?

When I started this column I wrote that I’ve never agreed 100% with any candidate. But I’m here to tell you that the inverse isn’t true. In Hill I believe there’s a candidate with whom I disagree 100%.

How about you? How will you vote this November? I know that I’m going for Steve Knight.

Please join me.

 

©Brian Baker 2018

(Also published today in my local newspaper, The Signal)

Deplorables: Making America Great Again

Back when Ronald Reagan was President the mainstream press hated him as much as they hate Trump now, and there was a joke that made the rounds that I think is just as applicable today. It goes like this:

If there had been a press corps a couple of thousand years ago like the one we have today, and they covered Jesus like they cover Reagan, the day after He walked on water the headline would have been: “JESUS CAN’T SWIM!!!”

To quote Yogi Berra, it’s déjà vu all over again. In fact, in the age of Trump, I think an updated version of that punch line would read: “JESUS IS AN ANTI-SWIMMER NAZI!!!”

The volume of the hysterical outrage from Dem/socialists and Never-Trumpers is a wonder to behold. Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS) is in full and marvelous bloom. The added irony is that as their outrage level gets cranked ever higher, Trump’s popularity simply seems to increase in direct response. It looks like we Deplorables just aren’t buying the snake oil. In fact, as of July 26 the Rasmussen Daily Presidential Tracking Poll had Trump’s approval rate at 46%, which is higher than Saint Obama’s numbers at the same point in his presidency.

Now, I have to admit that I had very grave doubts about Trump during the 2016 election cycle. If you’re interested you can go into the Signal archives, or my old blog entries, and read my columns from that time. I was a hardcore Ted Cruz guy. But as Election Day in November came rolling near, and it became clear the choice was a binary one between Trump and Hillary “Whiny” Clinton, I reluctantly threw my support to Trump, since I viewed Whiny as a disaster-in-waiting for the country.

Much to my delight, Trump’s turned out to govern as the single most conservative President since Reagan. Who’da thunk it?

I know, I know… I’m just a Deplorable who “cling(s) to guns or religion” per Saint Barrack; a racist, xenophobic, homophobic, gun-loving, small-government, nativist, greedy, ignorant Nazi. Bummer.

The problem for the TDS crowd is that we Deplorables just don’t care about the things that whip them into such a lather. Did Trump have girlfriends back in the day? Who cares? The guy was a rich guy in show biz. Didn’t they all? I voted for a guy to be President, not saint.

“But, but… Mueller!…” Yeah, what about Mueller? A year and a half of wasted time and taxpayer dollars on an “investigation” that’s wandered very far afield of what it was supposedly investigating; that’s lost any semblance of objectivity (Strzok, Page, McCabe); and has only managed to indict a bunch of Russian internet trolls located halfway around the globe. How utterly underwhelming.

“Treason!” That’s the latest meme from the loony left. They don’t like how he’s carrying out foreign policy, so now they’re accusing him of “treason”. Seriously! Check out the Boston Globe, Chicago Trib, Baltimore Sun, Congressman Ted Lieu, Anderson Cooper on CNN, among many others. Talk about unhinged. This is exactly why normal people can’t take TDSers seriously.

One of the most ironic “treason” accusations came from former CIA Director John Brennan. The irony stems from the fact that in 1976 Brennan voted for Gus Hall for President. Hall was the nominee of the US Communist Party. How this guy ever got a security clearance is beyond me. When I was in Army Intelligence that would have been an immediate disqualifier. Instead, he rose to become CIA Director.

Between that and the Mueller “investigation”, not to mention James Comey’s outright malfeasance with the investigation into Whiny’s home brew email rig, there’s certainly credence to Trump’s complaints about the operations and objectivity of the intelligence apparatus, at least to my mind. The Intel community sure has changed since I was a member.

Trump has a summit with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un? “Terrible” per the TDSers, though Saint Barrack bowing and scraping to every tin pot dictator in sight was a great thing. Trump gets Kim to make concessions? “Meaningless”. What did they expect? That Kim would ask to be annexed as a state?

Trump pressures other NATO members to start hauling their own weight? “Outrageous”, per the TDSers. But guess what? That sounds like a GREAT idea to us Deplorables!

Meanwhile, the economy’s cooking, people are taking home more money, they’re paying less in federal taxes, there are more jobs than applicants, unemployment’s at record lows, the stock market’s at record highs, we’ve pulled out of the Paris Accords “climate change” scam, we’ve had a great new Supreme Court Justice seated in Neil Gorsuch with another terrific nominee in Brett Kavanaugh awaiting confirmation, and we’re really on our way to “Making America Great Again”.

It’s time for the TDSers to grow up and put their big boy pants on. The election’s over. Whiny lost and is never going to be President (thank God). Trump’s not going to be impeached and removed from office.

That’s just the way it is.

 

 

©Brian Baker 2018

(Also published today in The Signal)

A Leftist Lies. Shocking, I’m Sure

 

On 20 June The Signal published a column by Anthony Breznican, entitled “Family separation is cruel — but familiar”, which I found to be very interesting and informative.

For those who don’t know who he is, Breznican is a local hard-left activist, and I think his column offered a telling insight into that mentality.

He starts out by telling a story about a conversation he had with his two little kids, aged 9 and 5, while on the way with them to a demonstration in downtown LA about the separation of kids from illegal alien border jumpers. Per Breznican, as he tells it: “I said these are people following the rules. They are asking for help, not sneaking in.”

He goes on to say: “Rather than keeping the families together while we figure out their situation, like we used to, we are separating the children from the parents, and putting them in detention camps.”

And of course, from there he goes on to rant against Trump and Steve Knight, our local congressman who’s running for re-election.

Several things jumped out at me. The first was about the parental wisdom of taking such little kids, especially a 5-year-old, to a political demonstration. I’m a parent and grandparent, and wouldn’t have dreamed of doing such a thing, even though I’m also very politically active. I think it’s a really, really bad idea, regardless of one’s political affiliation.

But more importantly, and illustrative of the mindset of the hard left, is the disconnect from actual facts that we see in the things he told his kids.

Exactly what “rules” have the border jumpers been “following”? In what alternate universe are they “not sneaking in”? They certainly haven’t gone through any legal process to arrive here on our border. If they had, they wouldn’t have been detained in the first place, would they? And they wouldn’t have been separated from their kids… which is exactly the same thing that happens to ANY lawbreaker who’s arrested for any crime, as I wrote in my last column.

Further, this separation policy isn’t anything new at all. The policy was set in place as a result of a consent decree signed in 1997, while Clinton was President, to satisfy the judgment in a law suit filed in federal court, and these separations have been going on since then, under Clinton, Bush, and Obama. So, sorry Breznican, but “we used to” separate families for quite a while, in fact.

There have been periods when the percentage of those caught jumping the border and detained was lower, such as under the “catch and release” doctrine, particularly under Obama, and look at how well that worked. Pretty much not at all, because once released, those illegal aliens for the most part never showed up in court for their hearings, disappearing into the vast sea of the illegal alien underground. It was basically a de facto open border policy, which is exactly what the left really wants, of course.

To summarize, and put it plainly, in order to indoctrinate his young kids into his ideology, Breznican has flat-out lied to them. That’s what I found so illuminating about his column.

Now, it doesn’t exactly come as a surprise, since the American left uses flagrant lies to advance their agenda as a matter of course. That’s just SOP. But it was certainly fun to see it so blatantly illustrated in that column.

Well, I guess Trump’s stolen the left’s thunder now, having changed the policy under executive order so as to not separate kids from their parents. So, instead of being transferred to some form of foster care suitable for young kids, I guess they’ll be accompanying their illegal alien parents to detention.

How ironic. Breznican should be careful what he wishes for. But I have faith in him. I’m confident that with a little… manipulation… of the truth he and his cohort of fellow American socialists will still find some way to carry on with their smear campaign against Trump and, by extension, Knight.

It’s what they do.

 

 

©Brian Baker 2018

 

(Also published today in The Signal)

 

Evil Termites

 

Because our gasoline is so very expensive (due to gross over-taxation) I usually gas up at the independent station at the intersection of Magic Mountain Parkway and Bouquet. While I was there the other day filling the tank on my happily un-PC gas-guzzling SUV, I noticed a billboard – a sign – on the south side of the intersection. It read:

“CHOOSE CHILDREN OVER GUNS

Our Congressman Steve Knight Has an A from the NRA

Call Him and Ask Why”

Below that was a line naming the sponsors of the sign, a local Dem/socialist activist group.

When I moved here in 1984, like many people one of my main motivations was to escape the leftist swamp of LA city. The Santa Clarita Valley was an oasis of conservatism. Pickup trucks abounded. My wife’s BMW was a rarity. Cows grazed on the grounds next to College of the Canyons, a common sight when one took the Valencia Boulevard off ramp from I-5. Where the mall is now was nothing but vast onion fields from which hot air balloons launched on Sunday mornings if the wind was calm.

If you’ve ever wondered where Cinema Drive got its name, there was a small multiplex theater located on the intersection with Valencia Boulevard, with a little Sutter’s Mill restaurant on the other side of the street, one of the very few eateries in the area.

We were regularly mocked and ridiculed by the nabobs in LA, particularly those in tony enclaves like the Westside and Beverly Hills. “Redneck cowboys” and “hicks” was a pretty common theme.

Meantime, we “hicks” were enjoying a “small town” quality of life that attracted other like-minded people, and so our valley grew in population, which drew further development in the form of businesses relocating to the area, and amenities – such as the mall and restaurants – opening, further enhancing the area’s desirability, and drawing evermore people eager to enjoy the area’s ambience.

Of course, some of those people happened to be some of the same folks who previously scorned and mocked us, and recently included a Westside lawyer who carpetbagged his way here just in time to qualify himself to run for Congress as our local Representative. But I’m sure that was all a big coincidence… right?

It’s always been interesting to me how leftists move to conservative areas to enjoy a better lifestyle than the place they’re leaving behind, but then try to impose the same political agenda that turned their prior home into the very swamp they’re trying to escape.

They’re like evil termites. They wreck the home they live in, then fly off to find some new home to wreck.

Anyway, I decided to check further, and confirmed that the dreaded NRA did, indeed, give Knight a 93% back in 2016, which sounds like an “A” to me. Great! Even more reason to vote for him (as if there was any doubt to begin with)!

I have no idea why our local lefties think this is somehow a negative. Do they think the NRA is some faceless, shadowy, monolithic conspiracy of evil villains scheming to somehow subvert the will of the people while sacrificing little kids to their nefarious agenda? A bunch of solitary old childless misanthropes sitting around in their bathrobes plotting to cache an armory in the dream of overthrowing the government? Illicit gunrunners and covert international weapons dealers swindling their way to vast riches?

What nonsense. Time for a reality check. It’s an organization of millions of like-minded everyday people, some of whom are probably your neighbors, who think that the Second Amendment literally means they have a right to own guns; who have families – including kids – of their own; who actually believe they have the right to have the tools necessary to protect their kids and family; and who want to share the shooting sport experience with those family members, as hard as that might be for leftists to grasp.

And as far as I know, not one single NRA member has ever been involved in any mass shootings anywhere.

The whole meme of “CHOOSE CHILDREN OVER GUNS” creates a false dichotomy that should more believably and accurately be stated as “CHOOSE CHILDREN AND GUNS”.

These election-year anti-gun jihads usually don’t work out too well for the left outside of urban metro areas. Just ask Al Gore and John Kerry. If there’s anything that can motivate those gun owners who are usually pretty lazy about voting, this is it.

As Napoleon Bonaparte reportedly said, “Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake”. I hope that sign stays right there through November.

 

 

©Brian Baker 2018

(Also published today in my local newspaper, The Signal)

 

Let’s Hear It For Censorship

I know I’m doing something right when I’ve got leftists setting their hair on fire.

A little over a week ago my local newspaper, The Signal, published a column written by me entitled “Some ideas to address school shootings” in which I took local pol Katie Hill to task for immediately trying to politicize the recent school shooting tragedy in a blatant bid for votes: “I’m running for Congress to put an end to these senseless tragedies.”

Anyone following the development of the story knows that since Hill’s and my columns have run more revelations have come to light, including the fact that there was a cop on scene who did precisely nothing while the shooter was gunning down helpless kids and teachers. He was soon backed up by other sheriff’s deputies who joined him in doing nothing. In fact, the shooter apparently left the school grounds and headed out to a fast-food joint before cops even entered the building.

All of which supported my premise that, at least in this case, the only hope those victims could have had would have been if one of their fellow victims had been armed and able to return fire, robbing the killer of complete control of the battle space, and seizing back the initiative.

The response to my column from local leftists was prompt and energetic, both online and in the published letters. Patrick Comey (“Stop the name calling”) and Roselva Ungar (“Consider censorship”) both took offense at my characterization of the “ethically and morally bankrupt Dem/socialist party”, which makes me wonder where their sanctimonious outrage was when local writers such as Gary Horton and Charles Vignola were characterizing the Republicans as “jihadists” and “blackmailers” when those writers didn’t like certain GOP policy proposals.

Got hypocrisy? The rules are for thee, but not for me?

Further, in her letter Ungar asks The Signal “to consider censoring, or at least limiting, any writer whose language does not adhere to a respectful use of language.” I guess that must only apply to writers with whom Ungar doesn’t agree. Otherwise, everything’s just hunky-dory.

Censorship: the go-to device for wannabe tyrants. If there’s any question as to why I characterize the left as “ethically and morally bankrupt”, here’s yet another illustration for you.

 

©Brian Baker 2018

(Published in the print edition [only] of The Signal on 2 March)

 

 

School Shootings? Try This

On February 17 The Signal published a column by Katie Hill, a local Dem/socialist political hopeful, entitled “A call for action”. In it she wrote the following:

“The vast majority of Americans agree that measures like universal background checks, waiting periods, and disqualifying terrorists, domestic abusers and those in mental health crisis from buying weapons are all simple solutions we can take action on — TODAY — that would save lives from being lost tomorrow.”

Yes, well, all of those things are already in place, so what is she really advocating?

Or is this just one more example of a member of the ethically and morally bankrupt Dem/socialist party cynically mining a tragedy for cheap political points?

Nikolas Cruz, the Parkland shooter, bought his guns legally, meaning he was subjected to all the background checks required by law, both by Florida (https://gun.laws.com/state-gun-laws/florida-gun-laws) and by the feds. He passed.

Real life isn’t the movie “Minority Report” wherein the cops can predict who’s going to commit a crime and then swoop in and arrest them ahead of time, before they commit the crime. Further, until someone actually does something that disqualifies them from gun ownership — and there’s a long list of such actions — they can’t be prevented from owning a gun just on the mere speculation that they might do something.

Ms. Hill wants to “take action”? Well how about taking action on some things that might actually help address the problem? The first step is to stop making schools “gun-free zones”. You might as well put up a sign that says “target-rich environment”. You’re actually advertising the fact that a school is what’s known as a “soft target”, meaning it’s defenseless.

Then consider hiring people capable of putting up an on-scene immediate response to a shooter, and let them be armed with concealed weapons. No matter how fast the local cops can react, it still takes them time to get there. When seconds count, they’re only minutes away. Consider hiring retired people with military experience. They work cheap — like the crossing guards at intersections — and they know how to respond to the sound of the guns.

Further, once potential bad guys know that they won’t be hitting a soft target anymore, I suspect this problem will pretty much evaporate. If nothing else, when one of these nut jobs is busy trying to defend himself from someone shooting back at him, he’s not using his time to shoot innocent kids.

Those are some suggestions for how we can “take action” and actually make an impact, rather than just trying to score political points based on emotion and hysteria. How about it, Ms. Hill?

 

 

©Brian Baker 2018

 

(Published 20 Feb 2018 on my blog and in my local newspaper, The Signal)

How Did We Get Here?

I found Maria Gutzeit’s 28 November column “Watching the world burn” (link) to be very interesting and well-written. But I think her wish for a society free of partisan politics, though admirable and well-meant, is at its heart naïve and unrealistic.

The problem, I believe, is that we’re currently engaged in a cultural civil war in this country that’s every bit as profound and fundamental as the one that took place in the 1860s, though so far pretty bloodless. Thank God for that, at least.

Historically, political rancor, and even violence, is nothing new in this country. Elected representatives were known to whack one another on the head with their canes right on the floors of Congress; Burr killed Hamilton in a duel over politics; and, of course, there was the afore-mentioned Civil War itself.

World War II was the event that created a rare period of national unity which lasted well into the post-war era of the ‘50s and early ‘60s, when the world was rebuilding from that war’s destruction. That was the “Leave It To Beaver” era for which so many wax nostalgic, or mock mercilessly, depending on their political inclinations.

That era came to an abrupt and dramatic end with the riots at the 1968 Democrat Party convention in Chicago, which underscored the rise of the counter-culture that rejected the ethos of the later-named “Greatest Generation” – their parents’ generation – in favor of a radicalized vision of what American culture should be.

That counter-culture, firmly rooted in the ideology of collectivist socialism, ironically found its home in the very Democrat party it had so violently rioted against, and in the subsequent almost half-century rose to positions of prominence and power within that party. As a result of their de facto takeover of that party they’ve managed to radically alter its underlying principles to the point that they now reflect much of the agenda of those original radicals who rioted in Chicago.

We see much of its strategy deriving directly from Saul Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals”, a primer for the counter-culture of the ‘60s and ‘70s, which is essentially a blueprint for political disruption and manipulation. This is evidenced by class warfare pitting the “haves” against the “have-nots”, and the demonization of the “one-percenters”, as well as the creation, proliferation, and perpetuation of “victim” groups, which then go on to even compete against each other for prioritization, leading to further fragmentation and balkanization of the society and culture.

In such a noxious and confrontational political climate, our national motto, “E Pluribus Unum” – meaning “out of many, one”, a message of unity – has been effectively reversed for all intents and purposes into its mirror-opposite, “out of one, many”.

In her column, Maria writes: “The win will come when we all sit down and acknowledge common goals and work on that without uttering the words ‘democrats’, ‘republicans’ or ‘politics’… Imagine if we focused on electing people to improve and implement good policy, rather than ‘win’ for ‘our side’.”

While I think that’s a very nice thought, I also think it’s about as realistic as a kid’s Christmas wish list as he tells it while sitting on Santa’s lap at the mall. The reality is that “politics” is how we determine public policy in this country, and there’s at least one very sizeable portion of the body politic that seems determined to completely redefine the social and cultural fabric of our society. To destroy it in order to replace it with a system that is completely alien to traditional American ideals and constitutional principles.

In consequence, we see the politicization of almost everything, even sports, which used to be one of the few remaining bastions of political neutrality. Instead, we see the NFL immersed in their “taking a knee” controversy. We see popular media – TV, movies, and even books – showcasing political correctness at the expense of entertainment value. Higher education has become, at many universities, a venue of indoctrination rather than enlightenment.

In this adversarial climate, I believe the wish for reconciliation and cooperation, though well meant, has very little chance of being realized.

 

 

©Brian Baker 2017

(Also published today in The Signal)

Sometimes Crazy Is Just Crazy

In the wake of the recent horrific Las Vegas massacre the leftist anti-gun coven has kicked their hair-on-fire hysteria into overdrive. In the immortal words of former Obama chief-of-staff and current Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, “Never let a good crisis go to waste”.

Contrary to their hysterical assertions, gun violence and deaths are in fact at historical lows. For the last 30 years violent crime rates, including murder, have been decreasing at a rate in direct correlation to the easing of restrictive gun laws, particularly for concealed carry, in those jurisdictions that have enacted such policies. In contrast, where gun laws are the most restrictive, those jurisdictions suffer disproportionate violent crime rates, including murder. Chicago, DC, and many other urban areas illustrate that fact.

The actions of this madman are no different from those who have driven their cars into crowds and committed mass murder, including recently in Las Vegas, but I don’t see anyone talking about banning cars. Why is that? Cars are at least as “dangerous” as guns, with a higher death toll.

I’ll answer my own rhetorical question: it’s because we don’t discuss abridging the rights of the vast mass of law-abiding citizens because of the actions of some lone nut job…. EXCEPT when it comes to guns.

Is there an unfortunate price to be paid for people to enjoy those rights? Yes, sadly there is. But that’s unavoidable in a free society, and the only way to avoid it is to eliminate the freedoms themselves.

That’s an unacceptable price. If we’re not willing to do it with cars, why should we do so with guns? Just because leftists don’t use or like them?

But there’s an even more important underlying issue, too. The Second Amendment isn’t about hunting. It’s there to assure that citizens have the ability to protect themselves if the government fails to do so, either by failing to respond in a crisis, or by trying to impose tyranny.

We saw this illustrated most vividly during the Los Angeles Rodney King riots in 1992, when the Korean shop owners protected their businesses, and themselves, with their own weapons – including semi-automatic “assault rifles” – when the cops and National Guard refused to enter the area for several days. The Koreans were on their own, and if you’re stuck in what is essentially a war zone, you want to be able to bring the most firepower to bear that you can if you have to.

But the Founders’ ultimate purpose in the Second Amendment was to make sure that the citizens had the ability to prevent their own government from trying to impose tyranny, and the only way to do that was to make sure that said government couldn’t outgun them. Never forget that they’d just fought a successful revolt against their own previous legitimate government, and they weren’t foolish enough to think it couldn’t happen again, right here at home.

In order to realize that potential, it’s important that the citizens have the same firepower as the average grunt they could be facing across the firing line. And that’s not some scoped bolt-action hunting rifle.

The “militia” to which the Second Amendment refers is not the active duty military, what our Founders called the “standing army”, of which they were very leery. In fact, as defined under 10 U.S. Code Section 311 (Link) the “militia” is composed of the National Guard (as anti-gunners dutifully note) as well as the “unorganized militia” which is composed of all law-abiding people of military age “who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States” (which the anti-gunners always manage to conveniently forget). That’s all of us, folks: you, me, and Joe Sixpack.

The AR-15s used by the Vegas madman, contrary to the hoplophobes’ characterizations, aren’t “weapons of mass destruction” or any of the other hyperbolic descriptions. In fact, they’re no different from any other semi-automatic firearm, in that they only fire one round per trigger pull. Further, as they’re the most commonly-owned rifle in general circulation, the Supreme Court decision in the landmark case of “D.C. v. Heller” assures their legitimacy.

Calling these guns a “full-on grade military arsenal”, as Gary Horton did earlier this week in his rant column against guns, is like calling Johnny Depp a real pirate. It makes no sense at all. In fact, if you ever found yourself on an actual battlefield and all you had was an AR-15, your life expectancy could be measured in minutes.

In Vegas, the killer used a “bump stock”, an after-market device that attaches to the rifle, to increase the rate of fire of his guns. Frankly, I’d never heard of this device before, and I’m pretty knowledgeable about guns. Whether or not this is an illegal modification of the guns is, I believe, a legitimate topic for discussion. But other than that, the jihad against AR-15s is a cynical exploitation of this tragic event to piecemeal advance the anti-gunners’ ultimate objective of trying to completely outlaw gun ownership in this country.

To that end, I want to acknowledge and thank Representative Steve Knight for his courage and conviction in standing firm for the rights of gun ownership. It’s thanks to people like him that we have any rights left at all.

The reality is that there isn’t any law at all that would have prevented that maniac from committing his insane act. None. We don’t know why he did it. We probably never will. I don’t think it matters. Sometimes crazy is just crazy.

He wanted to kill a bunch of people. He rented a hotel room and used guns. He could have rented a van and mowed them down. Timothy McVeigh rented a van and used fertilizer. The 9/11 jihadis bought airline tickets and hijacked jet aircraft.

Sometimes crazy is just crazy.

 

 

 

©Brian Baker 2017

(This column was published today in the print edition of my local newspaper, The Signal, as part of a pro/con debate on the issue of gun control in light of the Las Vegas massacre)

Like Clockwork

 

Leftists hate the Constitution and Bill of Rights. Last week it was the First Amendment; this week it’s the Second. Under attack, one after the other, like clockwork.

In the wake of the horrific events last weekend in Las Vegas, a massacre perpetrated by a madman, anti-gun leftists (are there any other kind?) wasted not a minute in raising the hue and cry to exploit the tragedy for their own political agenda.

In the Wednesday, 4 October edition of The Signal (link), Gary Horton’s column entitled “America the unexceptional” typified their hysteria.

I anticipated the now-standard emotional hyperbole from the Left every time something like this happens. It’s as predictable as the sun rising in the east. But really, Horton’s exceeds even those expectations.

Horton: “It’s time for a moment of silence and thought in America.”

An empty, hypocritical platitude. The shooting took place Sunday night. The column was published Wednesday. In order for his column to have been in that day’s edition The Signal’s editors would have had to have it in hand Monday. Which means there wasn’t any “moment of silence” from Horton. Oh, no.

Like some grisly vulture, I have no doubt that within hours at most, like the rest of his leftist ilk, he was at his keyboard scrawling his bile before the bodies had even cooled.

I noticed that his little chart of the gun death rates in various countries seemed to be real selective. Why is that, I wonder? For example, Switzerland has virtually universal gun possession, yet their rate of gun deaths is about 1/3 of that in this country. Under his inane thesis, shouldn’t their death rate be at least as high as ours? Or could it be that the underlying problem is something other than possession itself of guns?

To that point, how come I never see leftist loons bleating for car bans every time some nut commits mass murder by driving his car into a crowd?

Horton: “Freedom to amass personal military arsenals – or a simple freedom to simply gather un-assaulted in public spaces?”

As I already illustrated, it’s not an either/or issue. They’re not mutually exclusive at all. But let’s consider a practical element. Now, I know this is alien territory to Horton and those like him, what with their leftist unfamiliarity with practicality and all. But let’s give it a shot. Let’s say Horton could get some law passed banning …. something. He’s not even clear on what he actually DOES want to ban (as usual with those guys), but let’s say he could waive his magic wand and pass some kind of ban.

Then what happens?

Does he actually think every gun owner is going to waltz into the local cop shop and hand his guns over? If he does, that’s laugh-out-loud funny.

Is he going to stop murders, or even mass murders? Killers are already ignoring the law just by doing their killing. Does he think they’re going to worry about a gun control law? And what about all the people who kill – including mass killings – with other implements?

Under his loony thesis, this country should be drug-free! Yet heroin and cocaine flood the streets. Not to mention (though mention it I will) all the illegal aliens who shouldn’t be freely walking around. After all, it’s “against the law”, right?

Even more problematic is the underlying idea, as expressed by Horton in this case, that any right enjoyed by this country’s citizens is hostage to the actions of a very tiny fraction of that population that abuses the right. Well under one percent of legally-owned guns in this country are ever used in a crime, yet Horton et al would severely restrict, if not outright outlaw, private gun ownership, a fundamental right.

We’ve seen the same thing happen regarding the First Amendment right to free speech with calls for banning so-called “hate speech”. Such “hate speech” laws have actually been enacted in some “free” countries, to sometimes devastating effect.

The real threats to liberty – and yes, our security – come from the opportunistic and cynical policy proposals advanced by leftists like Horton, who swoop down on every tragic event to exploit it for political gain, and to advance their own divisive and destructive agenda.

Don’t ever let them succeed.

 

 

©Brian Baker 2017