Archive for November 2004

The Gun

In this story about people running from defeat in America, I got stuck on this quote:

“I do love my country and it hurts me very deeply to see what’s happening here, to see us so far off course,” she said. “But I’ve met a lot of evangelicals and they believe it deeply. They’d rather vote for fetuses and against gay people, rather than voting against war, with thousands dead, against guns, which we know kill people. When you’re talking about deeply held religious beliefs, you’re out of luck.”

There are so many things to fisk in that one statement, but there is one that I must address. “…guns, which we know kill people.” If there was ever a statement that embodied the culture war, that is it.

When I see a gun, I do not think, “This gun will kill someone someday.” I think that the person above does, and it disturbs me to think of what this does to that person’s psyche. When I look at a gun, I think about lots of things. I think about the ingenuity of the person who designed it. I think about the craftsmanship embodied in the elegant machine. But when it comes to the purpose of the gun, killing is furthest from my thoughts. I think, Someday, this gun might save someone’s life.

One of my favorite television programs is Tales of the Gun, and I think it has one of the most insightful introductions that I have ever heard:

The gun has played a critical role in history. An Invention which has been praised and denounced, served hero and villain alike… and carries with it moral responsibility. To understand the gun is to better understand history.

What does this person think when they see a police officer with a pistol on his hip? “One day this cop is going to kill someone?” God forbid that he have to kill someone some day! What do they think when they see a soldier? “That guy is a Killer.” He isn’t a Killer. Killing is incidental to what he does, just like the policeman. He protects. He liberates. He saves.

To understand the gun is to better understand history. The gun is an extension of the personal projectile weapon. It harkens back to the English Yeoman. He is the soldier that won the Battle of Agincourt in 1415. For the first time, a commoner, a peasant, could slaughter charging Noble Knights. They could kill their “betters.” Think about what that means. For the first time, the English Yeoman and the French Noble were equals.

This carried, with momentum. That momentum started with the Magna Carta in 1297 and culminated in The Declaration of Independence in 1776. America exists because the people who were not “the authorities” were armed and able to fight, and yes, kill, those who were in authority. The gun should be remembered not for serving the villain, but the hero. It was the gun that rounded up the Jews for the camps, and it was the gun that liberated them from it. It was the gun that plunged East Germany into communism and the gun that saved West Germany. For every gun that murders someone on the street, there are a hundred, or a thousand, that will save someone’s life.

Guns are a fact of life. They are all around us, all over the world. If you live in fear of the gun, then you must live in total fear. I can think of few things that are more debilitating and damaging that living in constant fear. Go buy a gun. If nothing else, you are buying a gun that you know won’t “kill people”. Use it. Conquer your fear, and learn the difference between Audie Murphy and Adolph Hitler.

Always in the Back of my Mind

Kim du Toit points out something I seldom forget on the “I’m leaving the country” rant:

During the Dark Times (aka. the Clinton presidency), a couple of conservatives like myself were chatting about a similar topic (motivated by the same emotions that the Left are talking about it, just for polar opposite reasons), when we came to a simple conclusion:

There is nowhere else in the world for conservatives to go.

No other country offers as much personal freedom as the United States; certainly, no other country “allows” its citizens to be armed to the same extent, and very few countries offer the same freedom of speech as we enjoy here, to name but two examples.

So while I applaud the motivation of the Left to seek more hospitable climes for the autumn of their discontent, let me also remind conservatives among my Readers (and there may be one or two) that we cannot, ever, allow the Left to gain control of this country’s government again — whether in the guise of the Democrat Party, the Green Party, or the Clinton Adoration Party.

Because for us conservatives, the choices of escape are not only limited, but may well be non-existent.

It is we who have our backs to the wall, not the liberals.

Fucking-A. I need to go buy some more 7.62x39mm this weekend for Ammo Week. About 1000 rounds, in a sealed tin suitable for burying.

The Spectre of Specter

Beldar nails this one right out of the park:

My own opposition to Sen. Specter’s Judiciary chairmanship isn’t based on his pro-choice views. Rather, it’s based on my perception of Sen. Specter as not being a reliable “team player” in general. Dubya expended substantial political capital and showed remarkable party loyalty in supporting Sen. Specter in a tough primary fight; I think he was wise to do so, on grounds that if Sen. Specter had lost in the primary, his successor candidate might well have lost in the general election, handing that seat over to the Democrats. But in marked contrast to other Republicans like Rudy Giuliani and Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sen. Specter refused to risk any of his own political capital on behalf of President Bush’s re-election — and in a battleground state that Dubya lost by only two percent, and might well have won had Sen. Specter campaigned aggressively for him.

Beldar is exactly right. This has nothing to do with Specter’s politics, and everything to do with party politics. There is a big, big problem in the party, hell, both parties, with people crossing the aisle on a whim. On this issue, Specter is thumbing his nose at his entire party, and it is time to make an example of someone.

Specter is, at best, a mediocre statesman. He is good a getting reelected. Sure, that is a vital skill for a politician, but if he can’t play well with his party mates, it is time for him to have a time-out.

I’ll let Beldar have the last word:

The Republican Party simply can’t afford to have this key position in the hands of someone whose loyalty to party and President is intermittent at best. It’s not a question of the Republicans devouring one of its young, but rather of giving an unruly and untrustworthy rebel a bit of a “time out.”

Culture War

I was watching The Daily Show from November 3 (thank God for Tivo) and I witnessed an actual epiphany from Jon Steward. He had on Chuck Schumer (Idiotarian-NY) and it was so amazing that I had to transcribe it to fisk it.

Jon Stewart: Were you surprised that turnout did not work in the Democrats’ favor?

Chuck Schumer: Yeah, we all thought, yesterday, we all thought that Kerry was going to win, the turnout was going to put us over the top, and they did a better job, and the interesting thing is it is in places that you don’t even know about, you know, all these places, the churches, everything else turned out people. I mean, this was an interesting statistic, half of the new Hispanic voters, which traditionally young Hispanic has been Democratic, voted Republican, mainly on these values issues. So we’ve got a lot of thinking to do after we get paddled.

“Places you don’t even know about”. I think that speaks volumes. To the New York Democrat, people outside the cities don’t even register. They are there on an intellectual level, but they have no emotional connection to them. There is a real “us and them” mentality.

Here’s the deal. You can take someone from Sugerland, Texas, and plop him down at the airport in NYC, or Chicago, or Atlanta or Dallas or any big city, and he’ll do fine. I wonder sometimes if you could do the same with a New Yorker. We get New York culture, even if we don’t accept it. I don’t think that the average New Yorker even gets any culture outside New York and Hollywood.

JS: It was — I honestly have to say, this is the first time in my life, I think I understood the culture war. In the sense of, being a guy who lives in New York, and feeling helpless about the ability to control whatever political destiny occurs in my own area, and I realize, it’s sort of their revenge for us controlling the TVs. Don’t you think, in some respects?

CS: Their revenge for like, 50 mile speed limits. You ever drive out in Wyoming at 50 miles an hour?

JS: Right! That’s the revenge. It’s them saying, “you know what, we’re not crazy about Will and Grace, so… so here’s what we are going to do about it.”

CS: More Bonanza reruns.

Jon gets it. Chuck doesn’t. That probably explains why Jon would have a decent shot at winning an election in, say, Atlanta, where Schumer wouldn’t stand a chance. This isn’t about some return to the Sixties in Bonanza. This is about a rejection of the sixties in the communist ANSWER protests. It isn’t that we didn’t see enough photos from Abu Grahib — it is that we saw too many shows where cartoon gays like Will and The Queer Eyes shoved down our throats.

JS: Right. It’s a really interesting phenomenon, and I think, uh, the big shock is there’s more of that than, I think, everyone realized, and that maybe, the thought process of, “yeah, you know, things are not–” the country doesn’t agree with, what I think a lot of us assume are bedrock values.

CS: That’s exactly right. I think seriously there’s going to be a lot of thinking going on. I mean, I’ve been on the phone all day, commiserating, really, with my colleagues, and we’re all scratching our heads and saying, uh, we better do some thinking here, because we really thought we would win this election and the amazing thing is when people say the country is moving in the wrong direction, they think the Iraq war is a mess, the economy isn’t good, and we still lose?

JS: It really seems like none of it trumped the idea of dudes kissing.

Jon, Jon, Jon, you were soooo close. It isn’t the idea of dudes kissing. It is the idea of the dudes busting in the door to the living room, and saying, “we’re queer, and we’re here, and there’s nothing you do about it, and if you say anything about it you’re a homophobe, and that’s a hate crime, big boy,” and then making out on your living room couch.

After Schumer makes the old, “America agrees with us, but those wily Republican’s always manage to find a wedge issue” line, Stewart steers him back in:

JS: But doesn’t this election almost say, isn’t this the one that almost blows away the assertion that your positions are closer to the average American, because this was the voter turnout, closest to the highest turnout. Isn’t that really the issue now, is to have to go back and go, “oh God, we are the media elitists that they say that we are.”

CS: It’s a good question, but I for instance don’t think that we drew the meat and potatoes issues or the issues that have always been the strongest. If you look at the polls the people were, even the middle class people, said they can’t stretch their paycheck to pay for drugs and stuff, we didn’t draw that issue, I mean, you need a sword and a shield.

JS: I couldn’t tell you how many times I, “Five million people lost their insurance, fourteen million people are shorter,” you know, how else do you draw it other than saying it out loud?

CS: I think we have to come up with sorta, not only just saying it, but saying, “here is what we are going to do to make your load a little lighter.” I don’t think we have done that very well, and we have to do it better.

JS: Let me say this: good luck with that.

That last line was dripping with sarcasm, because I think in that moment, Jon saw that Schumer still didn’t get it after he spelled it out to him. Jon is on his way to not being part of the problem, and it frustrates him that the Titanic has hit the iceberg, and Schumer is still wrenching the helm into the floe.

It isn’t that people don’t get what you are saying, Chuck, they just don’t agree with you. They have figured out that when they are having trouble stretching a paycheck, the solution isn’t to have you take more of that paycheck and spend it for them.

When the message of the electorate is, loud and clear to the media, “you don’t get us,” and the only news (and I use the term loosely) program that seems to hear the message is The Daily Show, the media have a deep deep problem, and the only way to get them to hear is to keep paddling them in the electorate, and the pocketbook by tuning out of them and into Fox News.

There is a culture war going on, but I think that we can still negotiate our way out of it. In that sense, I recommend that the other side send Jon Stewart as an ambassador. He seems to be one of the few who seem to at least be able to translate our language.

Weekend at Arafats

Given how fudged up PA politics are, am I the only one who suspects that the only reason that Arafat is still “alive” is that the people who know how bad he really is want to be set for the fighting when he is officially announced?

(Via Common Sense and Wonder)

Fisking Moore

It is more of a micro-fisking. Frank J gets Michael Moore’s newsletter, which is probably the only noble sacrifical thing that ronin has ever done, and quotes him thus:

4. In spite of Bush’s win, the majority of Americans still think the
country is headed in the wrong direction (56%), think the war wasn’t worth fighting (51%), and don’t approve of the job George W. Bush is doing (52%). (Note to foreigners: Don’t try to figure this one out. It’s an American thing, like Pop Tarts.)

Think about something, Mikey: given all of that, you still couldn’t win the election. You couldn’t even make it close.

Most people thought:

  • The Country is headed in the wrong direction
  • We shouldn’t have begun the war we are in
  • Bush is doing a bad job

And they still said, “you know, I think I would rather have four more years of wrong direction, bad wars, and bad president than to vote for a Democrat. In fact, as bad as all that is, I think that we really need to get rid of a few more of the Democrats we still have. Starting with Daschale.”

What a maroon. This shit writes itself.

Not Dead Yet

07-minister.jpg

PA Official: “Chairman Arafat is not dead. Those reports are false. In fact, I just had a nice cup of tea with him, and he regaled me with amusing anecdotes about the filthy sons of monkeys and pigs. Can a dead man do that? Perhaps we will go to a beach party tomorrow, and he can do things like water ski and tan on the beach to convince you filthy infidels that he is not dead.”