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

Confederate Flag Musings

I was at the Crossroads of the West Gun Show in Phoenix a few days ago checking out various firearms and other items on display. Such expositions are a great place for freedom-loving people to conduct business and support their civil right to bear arms. However, there were a few displays of one particular symbol of subjugation and rebellion that made me angry.

The Confederate flag.

First, let me tell you that this is a flag that I hate. Yes, I used the word hate because of the history behind it. The Confederacy, their leaders, and their flag are a shameful part of American history that should serve as a cautionary tale to future generations. The CSA seceded from the USA in order to continue slavery in Southern states and to expand it into the New Mexico Territory. The Confederate flag is the flag the South fought under.

Second, the Confederacy was run by the Democrat Party! When you hear the term “Solid South” it means entirely (white) Democrat Party political leaders. This party supported the continuation and expansion of slavery, which caused a new party (Republican) to emerge  in 1854 that was opposed to slavery. The Democrats in the south decided to secede from the USA and fought under the “Stars and Bars” until the Civil War ended.

What got my attention was one vendor displayed the Confederate flag next to the American flag. What was worse, it was at the same height! All this at an event which celebrates one of of our civil rights, the Second Amendment. Given the history of the Confederacy and it’s denial of civil rights, this is an odd juxtaposition. What’s more, my guess is the exhibitor wasn’t a registered Democrat and doesn’t believe that black people have less rights than non-blacks.

And yet the Stars and Bars flies at a gun show…

This is foolishness on display and it hurts those of us who believe in civil rights. As Alfonzo Rachel says in this piece, waving the Confederate flag sabotages the message that conservative, pro-gun citizens want to get across. When educated, professional people like myself see the Stars and Bars, I want to distance myself from it. That same holds true for black vendors and attendees at the show who cherish freedom as much as anybody else.

Time to lower the Confederate flag and put it away for good.

 
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December 10th, 2014 by exurbandoug

He knows if you are sleeping, or drinking a Big Gulp

He knows if your gun’s ok, so be good for 5 bills’ sake.

Baltimore to offer $500 if you squeal on your neighbor’s illegal guns.

In an effort to reduce violent crime, Baltimore officials and Metro Crime Stoppers are giving $500 rewards for tips that lead to illegal gun forfeitures.

If a tip leads to a felony gun arrest, the tipster could receive another $500 officials said Tuesday under one of the five billboards around the city they plan to use to advertise the yearlong program.

No word yet if this is the billboard they’re planning on using for this program.

big_brother_sm

 
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December 3rd, 2014 by exurbankevin

Another tradition soon to be lost

It is traditional for ex-Presidents to stay out of the spotlight after their term(s) in office are over and let the next President have his/her shot at things without someone second-guessing their decisions.

Does anyone REALLY think that our current Narcissist-In-Chief will follow that tradition, rather than jump into the spotlight and try to make the story all about him?

Me neither.

Update:

Why is Sharpton in the White House? Simple. Obama is looking for tips for his post-Presidency. Obama started out as a  “Community Organizer” and that’s where he’ll finish as well. With consistent sky-high approval ratings in the black community, he’s going to be a kingmaker among Democrats for years to come.

 
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December 3rd, 2014 by exurbankevin

I have seen the future of academia, and it is North Korea

Keep this article in mind the next time someone tells you that the “science” of global warming is settled because “95% of scientists agree it’s so, therefore, it must be so”.

It was the fall of 2011, and I was teaching English at Pyongyang University of Science and Technology in North Korea. Two hundred and seventy young men, and about 30 teachers, all Christian evangelicals besides me, were isolated together in a guarded compound, where our classes and movements were watched round the clock. Each lesson had to be approved by a group of North Korean staff known to us as the “counterparts.” Hoping to slip in information about the outside world, which we were not allowed to discuss, I had devised a lesson on essay writing, and it had been approved.

I emphasized the importance of essays since, as scientists, they would one day have to write papers to prove their theories. But in reality, nothing was ever proven in their world, since everything was at the whim of the Great Leader. Their writing skills were as stunted as their research skills. Writing inevitably consisted of an endless repetition of his achievements, none of which was ever verified, since they lacked the concept of backing up a claim with evidence.

We are entering a dangerous time in the West, when the principles of scientific research that have allowed us to take a preeminent role on the world stage are falling prey to the superstitions and creeds of multiculturalism, relativism and post-modernism.

I have the feeling we’re going to miss scientific inquiry once it’s gone…

 
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December 2nd, 2014 by exurbankevin

Channelling Heinlein

“With national governments in collapse at the end of the XXth century, something had to fill the vacuum, and in many cases it was the returned veterans. They had lost a war, most of them had no jobs, many were sore as could be over the terms of the Treaty of New Delhi, especially the P.O.W. foul-up — and they knew how to fight. But it wasn’t revolution; it was more like what happened in Russia in 1917 — the system collapsed; somebody else moved in. The first known case, in Aberdeen, Scotland, was typical. Some veterans got together as vigilantes to stop rioting and looting, hanged a few people (including two veterans) and decided not to let anyone but veterans on their committee. Just arbitrary at first — they trusted each other a bit, they didn’t trust anyone else. What started as an emergency measure became constitutional practice in a generation or two.”

– Robert Heinlein, “Starship Troopers“, published in 1959.

“Sam Andrews, a former Defense Department contractor who is now a weapons engineer in the St. Louis area, set to work. Under the auspices of a national group called the Oath Keepers, Mr. Andrews accelerated plans to recruit and organize private security details for businesses in Ferguson, which are receiving the services for free. The volunteers, who are sometimes described as a citizen militia — but do not call themselves that — have taken up armed positions on rooftops here on recent nights.”

“‘It’s really a broad group of citizens, and I’m sure their motivations are all different,’ said Mr. Andrews, who is in his 50s. ‘In many of them, there’s probably a sense of patriotism. But I think in most of them, there’s probably something that they probably don’t even recognize: that we have a moral obligation to protect the weakest among us. When we see these violent people, these arsonists and anarchists, attacking, it just pokes at you in a deep place’.” 

– The New York Times, “On Rooftops of Ferguson, Volunteers Patrol, With Guns“, published on November 29, 2014 

Turns out that RAH was off by 20 years, but other than that, looks like he nailed it. Again. 

 
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November 30th, 2014 by KevinC

The Long Slouch Through Our Nation’s Institutions Continues

Mrs ExKev is watching a special on Fox about how radicals like Ward Churchill and Bill Ayers influence the thinking and policies of our nation’s universities. 

Me? I’m not watching it. More liberal readers of this blog may be surprised to hear this (as they all pretty much believe we on the right watch Fox like Winston Smith watches his telescreens), but I don’t like watching Fox News, or CNN or any TV news. Why would I sit and have someone read the internet to me? 

I digress. 

What struck me about this special was how ineffective this tactic of indoctrinating the youth has been for the left. Yes, a generation of young people has sat in college classes and absorbed a lot of socialist nonsense through osmosis, but the end result of all of that has been: 

a) The Obama Presidency
b) The coming candidacy of Mrs. Bill Clinton
c) The possible candidacy of Elizabeth Warren

Not exactly the Inklings, there.

The biggest issue that I see with the left’s takeover of our schools isn’t in leadership (probably because today’s colleges stand as much chance of producing leaders as the Dallas Cowboys have of producing touchdowns…), but rather how a liberal arts degree from a good school is a ticket into the ever-expanding world of government bureaucracy. 

The problem isn’t with what our college students are learning, the problem is what they’re doing with their degrees, and how they’re producing (or more likely, NOT producing) something to enrich our country and our culture. 

 
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November 29th, 2014 by exurbankevin

Legal Immigrants Just Took It In The Shorts

My family did it right. We played by the rules, and emigrated to the U.S. in 1983. It took us a lot of time and money to get our immigration visas to the United States, and I love it here. It’s an amazing country, and I’m honored and proud to live here.

However, this country is now looking to take those same rules and throw them onto the trash heap of history for no apparent reason at all, and that makes me INCENSED. 

There is one political party who claims to be for “the little guy” and wants to help those oppressed others against those who rig the system in their favor.

Well, the system has now been rigged against me. Where is that political party now? They’re doing the rigging. 

Friend of the little guy, indeed.

 
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November 21st, 2014 by exurbankevin

The problem with a cult of personality is…

…that its appeal is, well, personal.

People who follow that personality aren’t a part of the equation when the person they follow isn’t a part of the equation, either.

Evangelical Christians know this from hard experience: Time and time again, a preacher arrives on the scene who dazzles everyone and promises his followers the Sun, Moon and stars in return for their faith (and a small cash donation), and time and time again, that preacher is shown to be a fraud with feet of clay and a heart of stone.

And now the secular messiah, the Kwisatz Haderach, the Lightbringer, is being shown to be just another hustler pushing himself up while pushing others down.

Democrats should have been more suspicious of the notion propagated by many partisan analysts over the last six years which postulated that the president’s electoral coalition of minority voters, young people, and single women is the new Democratic base. 

Surveying the four national elections that have occurred in the Obama-era, analysts will find virtually no evidence to suggest that the Obama coalition is synonymous with the Democratic coalition. When Barack Obama is on the ballot, his coalition of voters shows up at the polls. When he isn’t, they don’t; even despite his personal appeals.

Evangelical Christianity has the advantage of divine inspiration and 2000 years of history to help it weather the slings and arrows of outrageous preachers. The Democrats have neither of these. Gonna be a long, hard road ahead before the can rebuild from the damage that Obama has done to them.

 
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November 12th, 2014 by exurbankevin