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A little narrative change from the New York Times.

The past is always changing, as they say.

Also, I wasn’t surprised this horrible, trumped up hate campaign–like the Goetz incident in the mid-80s–led to this gentleman’s radicalization.  When the full weight of the media, the DOJ, and the prospect of a life sentence was attempted on this guy for defending himself, and when felonious Trayvon was at the same time made out to be a saint, it was pretty obvious that anti-white hatred was becoming far too explicit and normal during the Obama years.

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Here we are.  A year before we were blessed with the first GPS Fusion President.

Let’s consider the big picture.  Trump has won some and lost some, faced massive resistance from both parties, and emphasized some parts of his agenda to the exclusion of others.  He has hired people largely not in sync with his agenda and is also dodging a special counsel investigation of dubious provenance.

Nonetheless, much positive is happening, and the elites of both parties ignore these things at their peril:

One, his pro business instincts and the prospect of tax reform have ushered in a massive economic growth cycle, complete with a huge rally in the stock market, but also the expansion of jobs, wages, and industry in the neglected “flyover states” who vouchsafed Trump’s victory.  We went from dogged opposition to the Keystone Pipeline to expanding plants and foreign investment in areas of the country that really need it.

ISIS, whose satanic atrocities and massive expansion on Obama’s watch worried people in America, Europe, and the Middle East, is very much on the run, crushed by aggressive action, loosened rules of engagement, and moral clarity at the top.  While the Mideast is a cesspool with little hope of reform, we were told it would take years what has taken only months under Trump’s leadership.

Illegal immigration is down.  Enforcement and deportations are up.  The wall isn’t built, and this is worrisome, but, as with ISIS, the moral clarity of the president’s leadership has let would-be illegals and those “living in the shadows” realize it’s time to go home.  This is a rare instance where the rank-and-file government workers in organizations like ICE and the Border Patrol were previously held back and frustrated by the uncertain trumpet and diffident leadership of Trump’s predecessors.  They simply needed to be let loose.

And Trump has taken a leading role in the culture wars.  He’s the mirror image of Obama in this respect.  When Obama would wring his hands over his virtual “son” Trayvon and the grievances of cop killers in Dallas, Trump has none of it.  He speaks out against political violence on all sides, against the America-hating primma donnas of the NFL, against the intolerance of Islamic fanatics and its terroristic votaries, against the trashing of our past and our history, against the dishonest media, and for the rights of all Americans to prosper and live in safety in a country recognizable as the same one they were born into.  In this sense, he has been the most effective, and it’s hard not to see him victorious on many fronts if only by giving symbolic strength to the basic views of the millions of people who gladly voted for him.

So we’ll see.  He faces an uphill battle.  He is opposed by judges, professional bureaucrats, Republican legislators, the elites of both coasts, special prosecutors, and some of his closet advisers.  But he won under these circumstances, and his policies, translated into reality, appear to be working to enhance our collective safety, prosperity, and overall flourishing.

Law as Magic

In the wake of the horrible mass shooting in Texas, few will stop to consider how two quick-thinking and armed citizens put a stop to it.  Instead, we’re told prayers are not enough, but instead we need more laws.  More laws to restrict otherwise law-abiding people.  More laws against the evil gun totems that somehow load, carry, and shoot themselves into unarmed crowds.  More laws to make firearms less available and more expensive.

Setting aside the merits and demerits of these proposals, what is little discussed is how laws become translated into reality.  In between every brilliant law and those whom it aims to control are several layers of bureaucracy–surly obese women looking forward to retirement, aged computers, people making plans for Flag Day.

Here a perfectly sensible law that required the Air Force to report people convicted of serious domestic violence, which the shooter did do and ultimately led to a bad conduct discharge from the Air Force.  But, for unknown reasons, the Air Force never sent this information in the nationwide background check system.  So the shooter proceeded to buy a gun he was prohibited from owning because of his criminal background.

Laws, good or bad, cannot enforce themselves, but new ones on such wide ranging areas as health care and assault weapons are promoted as if they will, by their very passage, change reality overnight.   When bad things happen, the existence of a large body of relevant and under-enforced laws is ignored.  Laws don’t do anything by themselves.  They’re limited by resources, money, information, meddling judges, and, ultimately, by the quality and commitment of the people charged with following them.

Government service is filled with people with little acquaintance with the Darwinian effects of things like merit based demotion and discharge, bonuses, the profit motive, and competition.  The old trade for government service was job security for wages.  Now the wages of government workers are higher, even though a great many are populated by low talent and low motivation people, affirmative action cases, and other mediocrities.  And, when it all goes to hell, as it has here, you end up with 26 people who would not have been able to be killed but for the failure to enforce an existing, sensible law.

One law that would be worth something is a law that “drains the swamp.”  And this law would end public service unions, affirmative action, restore IQ-based civil service exams, cut salaries and numbers, and allow the summary shit-canning of people who mess up so royally that 26 preventable murders take place due to their lackadaisical approach to keeping guns out of the hands of convicted, violent criminals.

Trump Gets It

What people don’t get about Trump and the reason he keeps winning is that he cares about all of the people that the Ruling Class do not care about.  He’s cared about them since the 80s, has spoken up for them.  He understands their anxieties, passions, prejudices, and problems.  Yes, he’s a super rich guy.  But he has human sympathy and connection with ordinary people, and this is evident from many things, not least his untutored, authentic manner of speaking and his expressions of sympathy and solidarity for cops, blue collar workers, and soldiers.

While the Left has lately pretended to have patriotism, let’s not forget they’re the ones “taking a knee” and doing other things that are anathema to ordinary people.  And for those of us who are a little older, the shameful, hateful, and fanatical anti-military and anti-American rhetoric against the Vietnam War still echoes today.

Trump’s dust up with this Rodeo Clown looking Congresswoman, Frederica Wilson, will, like so many other things, prove the fundamentally anti-fragile nature of his appeal:  attacks make him stronger and frequently backfire.

The Vegas Massacre–whose horror is manifest–got me thinking about the appropriate limits on the Second Amendment.

To me one useful lens is “checks and balances.”

Machine guns, magazines larger than 30 rounds, belt fed guns, nuclear weapons, tanks, artillery, armor piercing ammo, etc. probably tip the scales very much against large unarmed crowds and law enforcement and only marginally improve the main purpose of the Second Amendment:  allowing the people collectively to resist an oppressive government and to protect themselves from one another.

We need something like an arms control principal among ordinary people vis a vis the government and vice versa.  We should aim for parity.  A single person with a machine gun can do a hell of a lot of damage.  More so with bombs.  A single person with an AR-15 can do some damage, but a cop or civilian with a handgun or their own AR-15 can stop them reasonably quickly.  Without semi-automatics, the people would be hobbled in any attempt to resist the government.  It is powerful, but not too powerful, to do the job, and it does the job best when wedded to a unified group of people within our broader nation.

Rights of all kinds–speech, guns, protections of the criminally accused–break down in disunified, diverse communities.  Without some prepolitical common understanding and sense of community and mutual loyalty, the costs of these rights–and they all have costs–will begin to increase compared to the benefits.  The scope in which they’ll be exercised begins to run aground.  Freedom of religion among the founders meant various stains of Christianity and Judaism.  Not politicized Islam.  Free speech meant pamphlets, books, plays, not internet porn.  Firearms meant ordinary weapons of the infantry, which were somewhat useless when not employed by a group, not the ability of a single person to kill hundreds en masse on an industrial scale.  Gun rights also meant a reciprocal obligation to serve in the militia, uniting the people with law enforcement and military.  Like the jury system, this give a sense of the ordinary people to law enforcement through the posse commitatus system.

So that’s something of a theoretical approach that I think provides some guidance on limits.  I personally think the current law (minus perhaps “bump stocks”) is appropriate.  Higher burdens for machine guns, which already exists, make some sense.  If they were as available as ordinary arms, I expect the spree shooters would have a much higher body count.  I have no problem with background checks, as dangerous criminals and severely mentally ill people should not have guns.  And, while everyone on the right ragged on Hillary for her silencer comments, I think she has a point.  This and similar shootings would be harder to stop if the person had silencers.  I’m not sure their widespread availability is a net positive.

I do think the left’s dismissing out of hand the ability of armed people to resist the government is incredibly ignorant.  Our military has been unable to control Afghanistan because so many people there with basic AK-47s have resisted our sophisticated military.  If enough people were so united against the government at home, it would grind to a halt.  Law enforcement is used to and only really equipped for operating in a 99% permissive environment at present.  As we saw in the Chris Dorner episode in California, when it’s actively resisted it can accomplish little.  In such a case, firearms have an additional important purpose of preserving personal safety in times of disorder.

Gun control proposals strike me as profoundly unserious on the whole, ignoring ordinary violence, the likely continued availability of guns to criminals in the time of a ban, and the prospect of not-so-civil disobedience if they’re confiscated.  Banning guns, confiscating guns, and employing gun control upon the 99% of law biding gun owners would create massive resistance, violence, resentment, and problems.

Outlier events like Vegas and Sandy Hook are horrible, only partly preventable, and obviously very damaging for our sense of safety amid our historical freedoms, including gun rights.  And while there’s no doubt sufficiently motivated people could do much the same with homemade bombs and cars, guns present an undeniable independent risk too.  We should consider the balance of harms based on the two basic purposes of the Second Amendment, which are relevant today.  There’s something silly about saying cops are racists and oppressing blacks and others and, by the way, only they should have guns.  I don’t buy the former point, but among right and left, a certain amount of fear of the government, or what it may become tomorrow, makes sense. A Constitution is, above all, a limitation on government action, even though such limits are sometimes costly.

Ordinary semi-automatics, so-called assault weapons, seem to keep things in balance. Widespread availability of more powerful weapons like machine guns seems to enable crazies to do far more damage than usual, and seem unnecessary relative to the needs of the organized community to resist the government.  So a higher hurdle for such weapons–which is the case under existing law–makes a lot of sense.  They simply throw the scales so far out of whack, and their corresponding benefits, even for the Second Amendment’s purposes, are minimal.  This is the old NRA and GOP position–enforce the laws we have–and it makes sense and it’s defensible politically.

Take a Knee

While the Steelers criticized Army Veteran Villaneuva for standing during the anthem as an offense to team unity, do these players not understand when they disrespect flag and anthem for their particular grievances that a lot of people consider it disrespectful of unity of the team that is our country?

The left is such a transparent joke. One minute they say that confederates are all traitors to our amazing USA and that their monuments should be defaced. Then it’s the USA is racist and its symbols deserves no respect.

Minorities need to decide if they want to be loyal to the country or not. Increasingly it looks like “or not” with the Malcom X/Marxist view ascendant. Obama of course with his leftist racial agitation had much to do with this.  Don’t forget Trayvon and Officer Crowley and his mealy mouthed speech after the Dallas police massacre.  Trump is a reaction to that among all of the people who simply are sick of it.

I think there is an elephant in the room, easily visible in the media, movies, and music of our black neighbors:  a lot of blacks are angry, alienated, and don’t particularly like white people or America, which they see as a white country.  Sports fans pretend they have something in common with these mostly black  guys on the field, who do have a lot of athletic skill, but really have nothing in common with their fans.  When these protests happen, it exposes the huge gulf in values and outlook between fans and player. And as the fans get wise to how much contempt they and their value system are held by the players, some will just decide not to support or watch the game as much.  After all, you need food, clothing, and shelter.  You don’t need to spend hours on end watching pro football. The players, whose precarious position depends on the fans’ support, may find this entire exercise very costly for their enterprise and individual fortunes.  No one wants to pay money to have someone spit in his face.

These protests are useful for making clear what was always pretty obvious to me, but which our media, sports figures, Hollywood movies, TV, and the simulated “racial healer” version of Obama presented to the country in 2008, are all designed to obscure.

Loyal Americans of any race should be treated well and with respect.  But disloyal Americans of any race should be ostracized and made to feel the contempt, pressure, and standards of the majority.  In this sense, as “divisive” as Trump’s remarks regarding the NFL may be, they are the most useful and necessary type of division:  he is dividing the loyal from the disloyal, real Americans from those who simply live here.

Web Round Up

Looks like the globalists are winning the White House war on foreign policy. Some good observations here and here.

Hurricane Harvey has devastated Houston, a city I lived in briefly about 10 years ago.  While the evacuation decision appears to have been a mistake–at least for people in flood plains–it’s not as simple as it looks.  My observations on that day and my attempted evacuation are here.

Steve Sailer notes that immigration has been a huge part of the paving over of Houston, which makes it more vulnerable to floods and impossible to evacuate.

The Kakistocracy Blog has a good point on why Republicans foolishly fail to distinguish ordinary businesses and monopolistic leftist behemoths, who aim to hurt conservatives and everything they hold dear.  It’s increasingly obvious why European Conservatives had a dimmer view of capitalism than Americans.  It’s also obvious that the libertarian bent of Silicon Valley is now coming to a close, replaced by ordinary leftism and its campaign against all things labeled “hate,” whether hateful or not.

Jim Kalb has a useful article on the defects of our education system, namely its implicit assumptions about what is and isn’t important, how life ought to be lived, and what values should prevail.