EPA Announces New Regulations Designed to Halt Invasive Washington Press Corps

The Environmental Protection Agency has rolled out extensive new regulations to stop the spread of the free press in order to stop it before it becomes a danger to the Washington, D.C. ecosphere.

“We need to look at the lifecycle of the press corps in terms of how it interacts with the other parts of the ecology here in our nation’s capitol,” said EPA Assistant Deputy Undersecretary for Political Pest Control Dee Deetee. “Clearly, right now, having a press corps that asks questions and threatens the status quo is unhealthy and unsustainable to the power structure in Washington, so every effort must be made to disrupt their hunting grounds and keep them from spreading to close to important power centers within Washington.”

Ms DeeTee stressed that these tough new controls on the press are only limited to certain areas of Washington, and that the press would be free to roam around unfettered asking questions about Marco Rubio’s boat payments and Scott Walker’s sweaters.

“It’s about balance,” she said. “Where Scott Walker buys his clothes is of equal importance to the long-term sustainability of both the EPA and Washington as a whole than such trivial matters as who killed who in Benghazi. We need to look at the bigger picture here, and what we, as the EPA, can do to prevent the spread of questions to places where they’re unwanted and un-called for.”

Reports that the IRS is underwriting the cost of this new effort remain unconfirmed at this time.

 
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July 5th, 2015 by exurbankevin

Happy 4th of July

One of my favorite songs from one of my favorite bands.

 
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July 4th, 2015 by exurbankevin

Only Nixon can go to China, and only a Republican can clean up military procurement.

There’s a new report out from a former F-35 test pilot, blasting the military’s latest and “greatest” jet fighter’s ability to do, well, anything.

The F-35 jockey tried to target the F-16 with the stealth jet’s 25-millimeter cannon, but the smaller F-16 easily dodged. “Instead of catching the bandit off-guard by rapidly pull aft to achieve lead, the nose rate was slow, allowing him to easily time his jink prior to a gun solution,” the JSF pilot complained.

And when the pilot of the F-16 turned the tables on the F-35, maneuvering to put the stealth plane in his own gunsight, the JSF jockey found he couldn’t maneuver out of the way, owing to a “lack of nose rate.”

The F-35 pilot came right out and said it — if you’re flying a JSF, there’s no point in trying to get into a sustained, close turning battle with another fighter. “There were not compelling reasons to fight in this region.” God help you if the enemy surprises you and you have no choice but to turn.

These results should come as no shock to anyone remotely familiar with past attempts to create a “one size fits all” fighter for America’s military. 50 years ago, Robert McNamara, John F. Kennedy’s Defense Secretary, decided to combine the Air Force’s requirement for a long-range strike aircraft with the Navy’s need for a fleet defense interceptor. The results were… less than optimal.

Excessive weight plagued the F-111B throughout its development. During the congressional hearings for the aircraft, Vice Admiral Thomas F. Connolly, then Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Air Warfare, responded to a question from Senator John C. Stennis as to whether a more powerful engine would cure the aircraft’s woes, saying, “There isn’t enough power in all Christendom to make that airplane what we want!”

Shockingly, when you design a plane around a compromise, you get a plane that’s good at nothing and bad at everything.

This is just more one tale of woe in long string of military procurement failures that have happened in the past ten years. The Future Combat System was put out of our misery back in 2009 after the reality of Iraq and Afghanistan showed us that a heavy, well-armored combat force still had a vital role to play on today’s battlefield. The Littorral Combat Ship program has been dead in the water for years, with costs spiraling out of control and a mission that has yet to be defined. And the Army has spent decades deciding whether it wants to buy a new rifle or not, with millions of dollars of money spent on chasing an elusive dream.

Enough. It’s time to bring some sanity to how we buy weapons for our military, and only the Republicans are up to the task. Caspar Weinberger cancelled the Sgt. York anti-aircraft gun AND the RAH-66 Comanche. The fact is, the military needs some tough love, and it has to come from someone who loves the military and wants it to stay strong, not from someone who can’t pronounce the word “corpsman” correctly or who can’t tell the difference between a Russian ship and an American ship. Republicans need to show their commitment to fiscal sanity by demanding sanity from ALL branches of government, including the military.

 
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July 3rd, 2015 by exurbankevin

The Suicide Bombers of the Free Speech Movement

Another “Mohammed Cartoon Festival” is in the works, this time in Phoenix, Arizona. Unlike the last one, which was held on the property belonging to a Texas educational institute and therefore “gun-free“, (funny how the jihadists didn’t get that message…), the organizers of this festival are encouraging participants to come armed.

Jon Ritzheimer is the organizer of Friday’s “Freedom of Speech Rally” outside the Islamic Community Center in Phoenix.

It’s the mosque that Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi attended for a time. They’re the men who drove from Arizona to a Dallas suburb to shoot up a Prophet Mohammed cartoon contest there. Both were killed by police early this month.

Ritzheimer anticipates possible problems because of the rally and says people should bring their guns.

“People are also encouraged to utilize (their) second amendment right at this event just (in case) our first amendment comes under the much anticipated attack,” the event’s Facebook page says.

Let me state my biases up front: I work in a gun store. I carry a firearm with me wherever it’s permissible by law. I think people who CAN carry a gun, SHOULD carry a gun.

I enthusiastically support artistic expression and turning sacred cows into ground chuck roast. I spent ten years making a living as an advertising photographer, so free speech and artistic freedom aren’t just concepts to me, they were how I put food on the table.

I was one of the few people in my (mostly Christian) circle of friends who saw “P*** Christ” as a valid work of art, not as something to be banned. Blasphemous? Yes. Art? Also yes. It wasn’t a particularly good work of art (it was as subtle as a hand grenade),  but turning the sacred into the profane has been a part of art since art itself has been around. But paying for it with my tax dollars? That’s another matter.

I digress.

Also, I’m a Christian. I think my brand of belief is superior to Islam, and I’d be happy as a clam if the mosque in question shut down because of poor attendance.

But this cartoon festival is a bad idea, for any number of reasons.

I’ve been around Phoenix gun owners for a long, long time. The vast majority of them know how to safely enjoy their guns no matter where they are, but I’ve seen enough disregard for basic gun safety at other gun-related political events to know that it’s not a question of IF something bad is going to happen at an event like this cartoon festival, it’s WHEN

Then there’s the fact that cartoon festivals like this are to free speech what carrying a slung rifle at low ready is to Second Amendment rights. Yes, you CAN perform such actions, but NO, you probably shouldn’t. Advancing your cause by acting in an abnormal manner does nothing to make your cause seem more normal. In fact, it does the exact opposite, because it makes it appear to outsiders that extreme behavior is the norm within your cause. If you want your cause to become the norm, you must act normally while advocating for your cause.

Appearances matter. To the layman not involved in such things, a cartoon festival blasting Islam and the antics of the Westboro Baptist Church seem just about the same. Both are filled with self-righteousness and are meant to provoke an extreme response. Neither of them are particularly good at making their point.

The bottom line is, we must present ourselves and our viewpoints as some other than extreme if we want our communities to become aware of the threat of home-grown extremist Islam.

Exit question: We in the gun culture like to use Robert A. Heinlein’s famous quote, “An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his actions with his life.” How does wearing a t-shirt that says “F*** Islam” jibe with that statement?

 
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June 4th, 2015 by exurbankevin

A special dedication for a certain former Secretary of State

All men have secrets and here is mine so let it be known
we have been through hell and high tide
I can surely rely on you
and yet you start to recoil
heavy words are so lightly thrown
but I’d still leap in front of a flying bullet for you

So what difference does it make?
so what difference does it make?
it makes none, but now you have gone
and you must be looking very old tonight

The devil will find work for idle hands to do
I stole and I lied, and why? because you asked me to
but now you make me feel so ashamed
because I’ve only got two hands
well, I’m still fond of you

So what difference does it make?
so what difference does it make?
it makes none, but now you have gone
and your prejudice won’t keep you warm tonight

Oh the devil will find work for idle hands to do
I stole and then I lied just because you asked me to
but now you know the truth about me
you won’t see me anymore
well, I’m still fond of you

But no more apologies
no more apologies
I’m too tired, I’m so very tired
and I’m feeling very sick and ill today
but I’m still fond of you

 
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April 29th, 2015 by exurbankevin

Speaking as a disabled veteran of the culture wars,

I wholeheartedly endorse everything Frank J. Fleming talks about in this article, 5 Rules for Victory in the Culture War.

I watched “Christian culture go from something that was *almost* accepted by the mainstream (The Jesus Freak movement) into something that is openly derided and mocked by the trendsetters and culture mavens of our society. At some point along the way, we Christians decided we wanted to sell 10,000 records that said things in our language rather than sell 100,000 records that challenged others to believe in God.

Hopefully, by following Frank’s rather, er, frank advice, the culture of conservative independence can learn from the mistakes that Christians have made in the past.

 
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March 30th, 2015 by exurbankevin

A Tea Party Wedge into Silicon Valley?

Kudos to Orrin Hatch for taking the message of free markets to those who thought that Obama was pro-free enterprise and are now jaded enough to try something new, like freedom.

Small to mid-size companies are attractive targets to patent trolls because they don’t have the resources to defend themselves in court. And no fledgling company can ever expect to attract investment dollars if it’s mired in costly patent litigation. Indeed, patent trolls are crippling growth across all sectors of our innovation economy—from small businesses to America’s largest companies.

Freedom. It’s a beautiful thing.

 
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March 16th, 2015 by KevinC

Not to rain on your free-speech parade, but…

Just about a year ago, the Nigerian Islamic terrorist group Boko Haram kidnapped, raped and sold into slavery an entire school of 12-15 year old girls, due in large part to their Christian faith.

The reaction from the Obama administration was swift and self-righteous: It immediately asked millions of Twitter users to express their outrage over Boko Haram’s barbarity and show their solidarity with the kidnapped girls by using the #BringBackOurGirls hashtag on Twitter.

And it was a rousing success: People all around the world felt better about themselves, knowing that they had typed eighteen characters into a text box as a way to make a courageous stand against the rape and subjugation of underage girls.

Rosa Parks would be proud.

Shockingly, all of that self-gratification did wonders for the self-esteem of rich white liberals, but did nothing to free the kidnapped young girls. All the girls from the Chibok school are now dead or trapped in the hell of “marriages” to radical Islamists.

And believe it or not, it gets worse than that. Last Friday, while some free speech advocates were talking a stand against shooting editorial cartoonists (and perversely, some professional journalists were taking a stand against free speech), Boko Haram casually, and with malice a forethought, shot up an entire village and killed up to two thousand people.

That’s right, 2000 (or more) innocent lives lost. This is the worse terrorist attack since 9/11, and yet few people have heard about it or seem to care. What is it with Democratic Presidents ignoring genocide in sub-Sarahan Africa, anyways?

I digress.

Getting outraged over the killings at Charlie Hebdo magazine is a good thing, because it’s making people realize the greatest threats to our social freedoms don’t come from some bluenose Puritan Christian carrying a Bible, but rather from an Islamic jihadist with a suicide vest carrying an AK47.

Get outraged, but get active, because when we have foes who would use more than just words to eliminate free speech, free speech must be defended with more than just words.

 
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January 16th, 2015 by exurbankevin

Let Me Give You A Hammer.

Hammer

Let me give you a hammer.

It’s my own hammer. A regular carpenter’s hammer, nothing special, but it is mine, and I like it.

I’m giving you my hammer because I need you to build a bridge for me. It’s a very useful and very needed bridge, and building it will be beneficial to you, me, and thousands of other people.

You say “Fair enough, but after the bridge is built, I get to keep your hammer, because it can be used to build other things that you, me, and many, many other people need.”

I like this deal because all it costs me is my hammer, and not only do I get the bridge I need, I’m going to be getting other cool and useful things for me as well. So I let you keep the hammer, and you build a bunch of great and wonderful things.

But that hammer is now no longer under my control, and I soon find out that it’s being used to build a lot of things that I don’t like, things that go against my best interests and the interests of my community.

It’s not my hammer anymore. I’m not the one who is swinging it. I’m not the one who determines where or when the hammer will fall.

Worse yet, I find out that hammer has a claw on the other end, a claw that is very useful at tearing things down and ripping things apart, a claw that is eventually used to rip apart all that I hold dear. The hammer that I gave you to build something great has now become the instrument of my destruction.

Laws are hammers.

Use them only if you are sure the power to wield them will stay in your hands.

 
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January 5th, 2015 by exurbankevin

I hate wasting good stuff on an away game.

Michael Bane went off on Obama/Holder/Sharpton/et al’s current machinations to re-make America in their own image, and I chimed in.

Walter Russell Mead’s work on the death of the Blue social model has been outstanding and the guide post I’ve used these past two years. The elaborate social/cultural machinery of the technocrats have built of the past 100 years is falling into disrepair, and we’re going thru a period of social upheaval not seen since the days of the 19th/20th century Anarchists, and the Chartists before that.

Yee-haw!

We are self-sorting ourselves into Blue America and Red America. The U.S. has one of the most internally-mobile populations in the world (I’m certainly proof of that!). Unlike Europe, where your birthplace is your destiny, if  you don’t like your life in your part of America, you can easily and fairly painlessly move to someplace new. Yes, there are pockets of poverty where this is harder to pull off than others, but I know people of who have moved out of some of the poorest urban and rural places in this country and re-made their lives to great success. Simply put, when F. Scott Fitzgerald said “In America, there are no second chances”, he was lying through his teeth. America was founded by second-chance people, was defended by second-chance people and it will be second-chance people who will make it great once again.

Having seen “blue colonization” up-close and personal in Arizona, where the town of Prescott is now populated primarily by refugees from California, I tend to subscribe that the people leaving the hellholes of Blue states are the ones who don’t like it there, and want a change. Despite all the influx from the west, Prescott is no more liberal now than it was 20 years ago; the liberals of California tend to go to places like Portland or Seattle where their views can be reinforced.

The question is, what will replace old-school Progressivism? Are we going through the French Revolution, or the American Revolution? God help us if it’s the former.

That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

 
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December 27th, 2014 by KevinC