Archive for the ‘politics’ Category

Correction: Rodrigo Camarena is a contributor to The Guardian who is based in Mexico City. I falsely assumed he was in Britain.

Rodrigo Camarena of The Guardian thinks that Democrats and their agents in the ATF should gain from Project “Gunwalker” (a/k/a “Fast and Furious”), instead of being held accountable for their criminal activity.

My response:

I thank you, Rodrigo Camarena and the rest of the non-Americans, for arrogantly trying to command the politicians here to put leashes on us so we’re just like you. Few things do a better job of convincing Americans to wake up and stick up for their rights than seeing Europeans getting up on their hind legs to tell us what to do.

Even more preposterous, you presume that a major scandal involving a Democrat administration, in which the bureau chief is about to resign, makes the case FOR the Democrats gaining political advantage. Generally, when government officials are caught doing illegal things, causing the deaths of innocents in a cynical ploy to skew statistics, it’s time to sack them and put them behind bars, to hold them accountable.

Gun shop owners tried to alert the ATF, but were told to let the straw buyers walk. The criminals here were the government agents. If any laws should become stricter, it should be the laws which concern the actions of government agents. Make their activities more transparent by opening records of their operations to the public. Increase prison sentences for law enforcement officials who engage in illegal activities on the job.

But leave the peaceable American civilians alone. They’re not responsible for what Kenneth Melson’s ATF did in their illegal scheme.

Nor are they responsible for the actions of a mentally disturbed man.

The fact is, the right to the most effective tools of self defense is inalienable to all human beings. No one has an obligation to allow themselves to be hurt or killed so that their neighbors might get a false sense of security.

Also, there’s one additional thing that Democrat politicians know, which you don’t seem to. It’s why most of them are too afraid for their political careers to vote for any bill which would infringe on Americans’ rights even further. During the Clinton administration, the “Assault Weapons” (aka scary LOOKING guns) ban caught gun owners unprepared. The Democrats lost control of Congress because of that and many Americans fought long and hard to keep that ban from being renewed—and were successful.

They will NEVER be unprepared for a political fight, ever again, regardless of your fantasies about exploiting the acts of a madman or the crimes of government agents.

Beyond the political contests, there are plenty of gun owners who will simply say “no” to any more legal infringements of their rights. They aren’t the frightened little poodles that inhabit your island.

Hat tip: Sipsey Street Irregulars


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Richard Glover in The Sydney Morning Herald expresses violent fantasies to hurt and kill the “climate-change deniers”.  This is nothing new.  Richard Curtis of Project 10:10 created the film “No Pressure” in which people, including children, are literally blown into bloody pieces for not sufficiently participating in a Big Brother style energy reduction mandate.  As usual, this is passed off as satirical humor, but the prevalence of this violent, murderous fantasy amongst eco-dogmatists should give decent people pause, particularly when one considers how collectivist dogmatists, when they have attained authoritarian power, have caused the deaths of tens of millions in famines and purges, just a few decades ago (Great Leap Forward, Ukrainian Terror Famine, Cambodian Year Zero).  Sure, it’s unlikely that the most fanatical, dangerous elements of the green movement will attain sufficient power to repeat the horrors of the recent past. But it’s not impossible and decent people must pay attention to the likes of Richard Glover and Richard Curtis and any politicians who lend credence to their fanaticism.

Keep your eye on these sickos. They are the real dangerous ones.

Note that instead of calling people skeptics, and instead of addressing the catastrophic anthropogenic global warming (CAGW) hypothesis directly (he indirectly supports it by fantasizing about “deniers” drowning in low-lying islands), he uses weasel words: “deniers” and “climate change”.  All responsible CAGW skeptics acknowledge that temperatures have risen since 1900 and nobody in their right mind denies that climate changes.  Indeed, during the past several centuries, the climate has changed drastically, from the Medieval Warm Period to the Little Ice Age (which puts a lie to Newsweek’s alarmist revisionism, describing the climate of the last 12,000 years as being “stable”).

So, when you make an honest comparison between what CAGW alarmists claim and how skeptics of CAGW respond, the charges leveled at skeptics of “boneheaded[ness]”, stupidity, dishonesty, and being politically motivated don’t make sense.

The Inquisition convicted Galileo of heresy for denying the geocentric view. This false view that the Earth was immovable and the center of the universe was considered “settled science” at the time. Basically, most every “scientist” who opined on astronomical matters at the time went along with the erroneous theory, which was driven by religious dogma not data, because of the political power of the church. Go against the church and you risked punishment, up to and including death.

Today, Galileo is held in high esteem as the father of modern physics. But during his life, he suffered for applying rational skepticism which challenged the political order of the day.

Compare the geocentric theory with the CAGW theory, the alarmist view that gases produced by human industry are driving global warming which will cause catastrophic disasters—melting ice caps, rising sea levels, crop failures, mass starvation, extinctions. So far, the early CAGW predictions of 50 million climate refugees by 2010 (which they then tried to toss down the memory hole, pretending it never happened), and others, have not been accurate. (Going back a couple decades, we can laugh riotously at even older predictions which are preposterous in hindsight.)

And yet, despite the failures of the CAGW alarmists to accurately predict the past 15 years and their duplicitous revisionist claims that colder winters, more snow, fewer hurricanes were actually predicted (playing the “heads I win, tails you lose” game), Richard Glover doubles down by dismissing “deniers” as “boneheads” who somehow have already been shown to be wrong.  Really?  Where?

Warren Meyer has put together a presentation and a layman’s guide to highlight the errors of CAGW alarmists.  Anthony Watts puts up some great articles as well at Watts Up With That?  Many other bloggers and more traditional journalists cover these topics as well.  Unfortunately for Richard Glover’s lazy strawman, none of these people fit the caricature of the Neanderthal “denier” who reflexively denies all scientific data.  Indeed, you’ll find a lot of careful arguments using the alarmists’ own data against them.

Ironically, Richard Glover asks, “Is it possible to get the politics out of the climate-change debate?”  Certainly, but he won’t like the results. All the fat grants which give scientists incentives to produce politically favorable results will dry up.  The laws and regulations, which are created via politics, will no longer unduly punish people for living a modern lifestyle.  The free market will not be assailed by anti-capitalists (from socialists to Mussolini-style fascists) under the guise of “saving the Earth”.

Oh, and if you’re going to keep politics out of the debate, then keep entertainers like Cate Blanchett and James Cameron on the other side of the line dividing serious people from those who make pretend as a career.

But let’s just give Richard Glover and his ilk the benefit of the doubt for just a minute.  For the sake of argument, assume that the CAGW predictions of several degrees C increase in a matter of decades are accurate.  If that is the case, then his notion that “a carbon tax that seeks to subtly redirect some of our choices” will stave off such a drastic outcome is ridiculous. You might as well take ice cubes from your freezer outside to cool the atmosphere for all the good these modest austerity measures will produce.

The reality is that only massive destruction of the industrial capacity of all nations, a forced return to the pre-Industrial lifestyle of our ancestors (a la Pol Pot’s Year Zero and Mao Zedong’s Great Leap Forward) will ever drive down emissions sufficiently to reverse the warming.  So, basically, hundreds of millions will die and the survivors will have to be satisfied with having the consumption level of a contemporary Third World resident. (Except, of course, the Al Gore types who will run around in limousines and jets.)

In contrast to the smug self image of basing one’s opinions on rational, factual science, New Age religious views and the fantasies played out in fictional stories like Fern Gully and Avatar—which ascribe imaginary spiritual, magical attributes to nature—often drive childish people to wish away the complexities of the real world, including a highly unpredictable natural world and the matter of individual rights of human beings.  And, when people aren’t being childish and ignoring uncomfortable facts, but still disregard the rights of others and try to shout down skeptics as heretical, fantasizing about violence and murder, they are following in the footsteps of totalitarians.  Even Richard Glover admits that his tattoo idea is “Nazi-creepy”, and yet the rotten sicko still wrote his article and sent it to be published.

Update: Minor grammar corrections.

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I criticized Corcoran on the comment section of his article on the day of the shooting. However, on Jan 12, he posted a “flow chart” (his website is down, but you can see it on the RSS feed):

TJIC: Next question: do you think that a schizophrenic individual shooting up a politician, a judge, and a dozen civilians in Arizon served any purpose at all, or advanced civil rights in any way?

If you answer “yes”, stop here. Your conception of “useful” differs radically from TJIC’s.

Step 6: Congratulations – you agree with TJIC that the Arizona shooting was a tragedy, of which no good will come.

Next question: do you think that an armed revolution, including assassinations, is morally legitimate in the US today?

If you answer “Yes”, stop here.

If you answer “No”, congratulations, you agree with TJIC.

If he had said that on the day of the shooting, I probably wouldn’t have bothered to comment.

Radley Balko:But he isn’t remotely libertarian, an ideology where the non-initiation of force is a pretty fundamental principle.”

As I’ve argued here and elsewhere, I think the most effective action at this point is time is massive, non-violent civil disobedience. Not because I think that violence against particular individuals in government is an aggressive initiation of force—as has been documented on this website and elsewhere, many in the government have been employing the use of force against people who have done nothing to hurt anyone else—but because (1) such an act will be widely perceived as an initiation of force, ignoring what the government has done to people, and (2) the net result will be a pointless waste, accomplishing nothing positive.

But at some point, if the government gets sufficiently awful and if peaceful attempts fail, I will change my mind about engaging in violence, as was done in the American Revolution, so long as attacks don’t involve the killing of innocents. I hope like crazy that we never get to that point in my lifetime.

With that in mind: I am TJIC.

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In response to the ghouls who are trying to exploit the mass murder at the political gathering in AZ, blaming the politicians and pundits for the tone of their rhetoric being too combative:

Yes, the quality of political debate is abysmally bad. That is a direct result of how the exercise of political power has more intensely affected the lives of citizens. Voters recognize how all the government programs, laws, regulations, taxes, etc. are dominating their lives and threatening their futures more and more each day, so they are understandably alarmed and getting more desperate to stop the “other side” from taking advantage of them.

“All of this is the predictable result of putting moral questions up to a vote, of rulers making election contests into mock battles, pitting one “side” against another. (Warren mentions the “Coke vs. Pepsi” mentality, which is spot on.)

“Around the 2010 election, I read somewhere [added: here via Beck] that an election is nothing more than two or more armies getting dressed up, marching to the battle field, then counting which side has the most soldiers and awarding the spoils of victory to that side without actually drawing blood. And, as Billy Beck has pointed out for many years: “All politics in this country now is just dress rehearsal for civil war.”

“My solution? Stop voting. Stop giving your permission to politicians to wield power over your neighbors. Work with your neighbors to solve problems via reason and persuasion, instead of resorting to force. Government, by definition, is the use of force.

(My comment here and here.)

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I predict that the politicians who win the elections tonight will all violate their promises. They will exploit their power to give one group special privileges at the expense of all of our individual rights. It looks quite a bit like 1994 and we all saw how the “Contract With America” turned out to be mostly useless.

Projecting forward, I think Obama’s people are going to exploit the image of Republicans as being obstructionists to try to boost his ratings for 2012. And, there’s a good chance the GOP will offer up yet another pathetic candidate who will sap the enthusiasm of voters who would have voted against Obama.

Never underestimate the ability of Republicans to screw up any advantages they have at a given point in time.

But that’s just one reason I have no intention of setting foot inside a polling station again. Richard Nikoley and Mike Soja offer some roundups of arguments against voting.

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Good morning, Anita Hill, it’s Ginni Thomas. I just wanted to reach across the airwaves and the years and ask you to consider something. I would love you to consider an apology some time and some full explanation of why you did what you did with my husband. So give it some thought and certainly pray about this and come to understand why you did what you did. OK, have a good day.

Apparently, Anita Hill turned that message over to the campus DPS, who forwarded it to the FBI.


I don’t know if Anita Hill lied to the Judiciary Committee two decades ago, but bringing her forward to make a public spectacle was inappropriate. They had interviewed her, found no real evidence, and should have dropped it at that, regardless of Nina Totenberg. And, while I don’t agree with most of the Democrats’ political objections to Clarence Thomas, I have other objections to many of his opinions, particularly the law-and-order cases when he helps to winnow away individual rights.

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Billy Beck makes some observations about Glenn Beck, with which I tend to agree. I don’t get the ubiquitous hostility and charges of craziness directed at him. His emphasis on faith at the Lincoln Memorial rally pretty much proved most of the pre-event hysteria dead wrong. It wasn’t a “right-wing” political festival. Instead, it was a boring gathering of milquetoast religious speeches, something which isn’t going to do any good to further the individual rights of Americans.

I’ve never listened to or watched Savage or Levin. I can’t really argue too much about Billy’s opinion of Hannity. For one thing, he tells people who phone him “great Americans” without knowing anything about them, other than the fact that they call him a “great American”. But he’s still smarter than Bill O’Reilly or any of the chumps at MSNBC. (Yeah, I know, that’s not saying much.)

I was, however, surprised to see faint praise for Rush Limbaugh. I don’t agree, because I don’t think you can put your finger on “the bounds of his logic” because he so often makes ridiculously specious arguments with no logic. When Limbaugh is on the right side of an issue, or making a valid point about freedom and individualism, most of the time he’s backing into it by accident, or at the very least, unable to universally apply such principles across party boundaries.

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