Does America still have the guts to stand up to terrorism?

We just remembered the 19th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of 9/11/2001. The terrorists dealt us a terrible blow, but we stood up, stood together and struck back. As I watched the ceremonies on television, I wondered if America still has the guts that we demonstrated back then, because we are under a direct terrorist assault right now that is unprecedented in our history. The next few months will demonstrate if we are still the United States of America, or sheep.

Terrorism is the use of fear and intimidation to accomplish a political goal. Terrorism is exactly what the Democrats/Socialists (at some point we’re no longer going to need to make any distinction there) are using right now to try to keep conservative America quiet and cowed. “Do you think the violence is going to stop if Donald Trump gets reelected?” Biden asks. “The protests are going to continue, and they should,” says Kamala Harris. NY Governor Cuomo warns that “Trump is going to need an army to protect him if he comes back to New York.” You know that it is true: there are many places in the country today–lots of them–where you dare not go wearing a MAGA or TRUMP 2020 hat unless you are prepared to be harassed and perhaps killed or else protect yourself and then face prosecution for doing it. Now, with the passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the temperature of the rhetoric has risen noticeably. “Over our dead bodies! Literally!” Tweeted former CNN host Reza Aslan, and later “if they even TRY to replace RBG we burn the entire f–ing thing down.” Some other recent quotes:

  • “We’re shutting this country down if Trump and McConnell try to ram through an appointment before the election.”
  • “If the democrats don’t fight, the people are going to have to march on Washington and just shut it down ourselves.”
  • “F— no. Burn it all down.”

Particularly regarding the nomination of a replacement for RBG, Democratic lawmakers are making unusually direct threats. Nancy Pelosi is hinting that the Democratic-controlled House may impeach Trump again in order to prevent the Senate from holding hearings for a nominee, and Chuck Schumer is warning that next year “everything will be on the table” if Republicans proceed. Since the House has already impeached President Trump over absolutely nothing and Democrats in the Senate have already stated that they intend to eliminate the filibuster, pack the court and expand their seats in the Senate by seeking statehood for Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C., one wonders what more they could have in mind.

The Democrats are trying to create an atmosphere in our nation just like they have already succeeded in fostering on college campuses, where contrary voices will be silenced and political goals achieved by intimidation if possible, violence if necessary. You’d better do as we say, they are warning, or things are going to get much, much worse.

America has gotten the message. Everyone knows it now, even if they will not admit it. If Joe Biden wins, Trump supporters will be furious (especially since they will be pretty sure that the election was stolen using millions of fraudulent mail-in ballots) but they aren’t going to fill the streets and start hurling things at cops, burning down small businesses and looting Target Stores.

But if Joe Biden loses, hell is going to break out in America’s streets. What we’re seeing now is just a warning: let us win or else.

Does America still have the guts to stand up to terrorism? We will find out in a few weeks.

Five Reasons Republicans should fill that seat

In an election year that is shaping up to be the most pivotal, consequential and contentious in modern history, the passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg has raised the stakes exponentially. Democrats, of course, are demanding that the president and/or Republicans refrain from attempting to fill the empty seat on the Supreme Court, while Donald Trump has promised to announce a nomination within the next few days. While it is true that the Republican-held senate did refuse to vote on election-year Obama-appointee Merrick Garland, there are some important differences in the situation and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has stated that Mr. Trump’s nominee will get a vote this year. I can certainly see why the Democrats don’t want the seat filled now, when there is a chance that Joe Biden (or whoever is controlling him) could fill the seat in a few months, and I’ll admit that in their shoes I’d feel the same way, but there are some very good reasons that Republicans should go ahead, hold hearings and confirm Donald Trump’s next nominee to the Supreme Court as soon as possible:

  • As Mitch McConnell has explained, in cases where both branches of government were held by the same party, historically, the nomination has been considered and voted upon.
  • Even more compelling is this: if the shoe were on the other foot and the situation were reversed, is there anyone anywhere in America who would care to assert that the Democrats would not push their nomination through? I didn’t think so. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” should not be applied in a political situation where the “others” are determined to seize power at any cost and have already clearly indicated what they intend to “do unto you.” (See next point.)
  • The Democrats have already promised that if they gain control of the White House and the Senate they intend to (among other things) “pack the court” by nominating and confirming a few more Supreme Court justices to ensure a more or less permanent liberal majority. If they’re going to “pack to court” why are they worried about one more Trump appointee? Just throw in a few more activist judges when you start packing!
  • “Over our dead bodies. Literally.” (That is a quote.) Quite a few Democrat activists are warning that if Trump and the Republicans “even TRY” to fill the seat before the election that they “will burn the entire f—ing thing down.” Another tweeted: “We’re shutting this country down if Trump and McConnell try to ram through an appointment before the election.” The Democrats are threatening violence in the streets if the president and Senate dare to fulfill their constitutional responsibilities. Threats of violence to force a political outcome is nothing less than terrorism and we must not acquiesce to it. Of course, this is a familiar tactic in the Democratic playbook. They are already threatening to “burn the entire f—ing thing down” if Joe Biden is not elected.
  • But most important of all, the Democrats have clearly warned that their plan for victory in this election relies heavily on a mountain of mail-in ballots (only God will know how many will be fraudulent) and a tsunami of lawsuits. More than 600 Democratic lawyers are waiting in the wings to attempt to litigate Joe Biden to victory. Many, if not all of those lawsuits will end up at the Supreme Court. We are close enough to a civil war now; having a 4-to-4 split on the highest court in the land as it tries to settle this contentious election is simply begging for bloodshed.

Justice Ginsburg reportedly told her granddaughter that her “most fervent wish” is that she would not be replaced until “a new president is installed.”* With all due respect, it isn’t the late Justice Ginsburg’s seat to bequeath, nor is the decision up to Nancy Pelosi or Chuck Schumer. The Constitution lays that responsibility upon the President of the United States with the advice and consent of the Senate. Donald Trump is still the president and he will be, God willing, until January 20, 2021.

And if God is merciful to us, Donald Trump will still be president on the 21st.

It has been very encouraging that many Republicans finally seem to be waking up to the situation. The Democrats are playing to win–at any cost–and if they win the consequences for this nation will be grave. They have been playing hardball for decades. It’s long past time that Republicans woke up and got in the game.


*Note: she was not hoping that it would happen after the election is over, but only after Donald Trump is out of the White House.. I suppose if he should be reelected, she hoped that SCOTUS would operate for four more years with only eight justices.

I Am Calling for Impeachment

In a 5 to 4 ruling, the United States Supreme Court rejected a Nevada church’s request to strike down a state restriction limiting attendance at religious services to 50 people, while allowing essentially unrestricted admittance to casinos. Chief Justice John Roberts opined that Nevada’s restrictions on places of worship “appear to be consistent with the First Amendment’s free exercise clause.” In case you have forgotten (as Chief Justice John Roberts apparently has) the First Amendment states (in part):

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;

U. S. Bill of Rights, First Amendment, First Clause

Seriously. This should worry you. If Chief Justice John Roberts and the other four liberal, activist justices can rule that limiting attendance at church is “consistent” with “shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” then they are perfectly capable of ruling absolutely anything. Absolutely anything.

A justice who can make that leap could also rule that forcing the Fox News Network off cable or banning Rush Limbaugh from the radio is “consistent” with the “abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press” clause; or that banning all political protests (except Black Lives Matter) was “consistent” with the “right of the people to peacefully assemble” clause of the First Amendment.

A justice who can rule that way could also rule that banning possession of firearms by American citizens was “consistent” with the “shall not be infringed” clause of the Second Amendment.

Such a justice could also rule that a law allowing police to break into your house without a warrant and search for anything that they can use to prosecute you is “consistent” with the “right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures” clause of the Fourth Amendment.

A justice who can rule as these five lawless judges did in this case is capable of ruling that allowing you to be tried for a criminal offense again and again until the jury finally finds you guilty is “consistent” with the “nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb” clause; or that torturing you until you confess is “consistent” with the “nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself” clause; or that a law allowing the government to seize your belongings and hold them until you prove yourself innocent of some charge* is “consistent” with the “nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law” clause of the Fifth Amendment.

For too long American have accepted that the Constitution says what the Supreme Court says it says, but this disastrous error has allowed activist judges and justices to do virtually anything they like and call it law. The Constitution says what it says, and there is no one reading this post who cannot judge what “shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof” means.

Supreme Court justices who can rule that limiting attendance at church while encouraging attendance at a casino is constitutional should be impeached. Their arrogant disregard for the clear text of the First Amendment and the Constitution is the very essence of “bad behavior.”

*We’ve already got this: see “Civil Asset Forfeiture”
https://fee.org/articles/the-governments-war-on-property/

Mars!

I just finished watching both seasons of the Nat Geo series “Mars” on Netflix. Spoiler Alert: I’m going to give some details, so don’t read any further if you’re afraid I’ll spoil it for you.

It was actually pretty interesting. It seemed very believable. The dialogue was fine. The acting was quite good. The sets and effects were well done. It was somewhere around the second or third episode, though, that I realized that the whole thing was really about Climate Crisis, Global Warming and preservation of our fragile earth from the exploitation on greedy capitalists. As the series continued, the comparisons between humanity’s plunder of earth’s natural resources and the desperate attempts of “science” to protect and preserve the pristine Martian world from the same horrible profit-motives that have wrought havoc on the earth’s fragile ecosystem became rather heavy-handed and obvious. When a “commercial” enterprise made it to Mars and began heedlessly trying to exploit the red planet, it became a little hard to stomach and I started skipping forward a bit. But this isn’t intended as a review of the series. I just wanted to point something out and see if anyone else noticed it.

The ending of Series 2 was predictable: a juxtaposition of earth, now in the midst of a terrifying and calamitous Climate Crisis of Global Warming, the result of the unrestrained capitalism of the energy industry; and Mars, a new planet, pure and untouched, under the protection of those Priests of Pure Science, who are gathered together to celebrate the appearance of liquid water near the Martian poles, the first evidence of the success of their “terraforming” efforts!

Does anyone besides me see the hilarious but unintentional irony of hand-wringing over “global warming” created on earth by the energy industry, immediately followed by the starry-eyed wonder of intentional “global warming” created on Mars by the “responsible” scientists?

I’m sure the writers and producers didn’t.

The Unarmed Man with a Knife

“Instead of standing there and teaching a cop, when there’s an unarmed person coming at them with a knife or something, you shoot them in the leg instead of in the heart is a very different thing. There’s a lot of different things that could change,” Biden said in a meeting with community leaders at Bethel AME Church in Wilmington, Del.

[https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/joe-bidens-terrible-gun-advice/]

I actually had to look that up because (and I hate to admit this) I couldn’t believe that even Joe Biden said that, but apparently he did. The article quoted above provides some very apt, very common sense analysis on why this is patently stupid advice, so I’m mostly going to stay away from that, but I will say that in my opinion, the article was just a little too soft on the “patently stupid” observation. It takes about two seconds for a man (even an unarmed man) with a knife to charge you from ten feet away and mortally wound or instantly kill you. If you are not in mortal danger, you don’t use deadly force. If you are in mortal danger, you shoot to kill. Even leaving aside the stupidity of risking your life, shooting to wound would leave the shooter open to the charge that he was not actually in fear for his life and therefore the use of deadly force was not justified.

Off to prison you go!

But I sat down at my keyboard tonight to record one simple observation: of all the stupid, nonsensical, totally incoherent thoughts that former Vice President Joe Biden has expressed, surely this one has to rank near the top. An unarmed man with a knife or something? Something like a sword? Something like a handgun, maybe? Or a hand grenade? Maybe the unarmed man has a chainsaw? Or perhaps the unarmed man is armed with a semi-automatic “assault weapon” with a “high-capacity magazine”?

We all know that Joe Biden is a walking gaffe machine, but this is just too much.

Singularity

Those familiar with my website are aware that I usually reserve these posts for commentary on political matters. However, today I wish to discuss what is possibly a very serious existential threat facing, not just the United States or even humanity, but our planet and, perhaps, our solar system.

It has come to my attention that a micro-singularity exists somewhere near the floor in my workroom beside my bench. Under the right circumstances, small objects that are dropped or that fall from my bench are drawn into this tiny black hole and pass out of existence in our physical universe. Many small washers, screws, nuts, springs and other important parts have already been gobbled up, and I have, in fact, noticed a direct correlation to the likelihood of an object being captured in this fashion and the level of difficulty there would be in replacing it.

This phenomenon seems to be occurring with greater frequency, and computer modelling indicates that the singularity is increasing in size at an exponential rate. Larger objects, such as wallets, car keys and power tools are at increasing risk. Unfortunately, it does not seem likely that our dog or cat will be threatened until just before the earth is swallowed up.

I am willing to make my workroom available for study and research to any qualified physicist or other suitable scientific professional, provided that a grant offering adequate compensation is forthcoming. In the meantime, I suggest that less important matters such as the Climate Crisis be sidelined until it is determined if there will even be a climate this time next year.

Don’t Buy Shari’s Berries

One of the nice things about having your own website is that if you want to share a really bad experience with a company, you have the ability to do so. I’m probably admitting that I’m a lousy husband, but a long time ago I considered ordering Shari’s Berries for my wife after hearing them touted by both Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, but when I looked into it I decided that there are no strawberries on the face of the earth that are worth $5 each, unless, perhaps, they are coated with gold instead of chocolate. My son is not as miserly as I, and for this Mother’s Day he ordered a box of them for his mother, who by happy coincidence is also my wife.

They were shipped on Thursday and were supposed to arrive on Friday before Mother’s Day, but FedEx delivered them at 6:13 PM on Saturday. When we opened them, we found that they were boxed up with a single cold-pack, which was liquid and lukewarm. The berries were also lukewarm, almost liquid and smelled unappetizing. But stuff happens, I know, so I wasn’t too upset. There was a “Quality Guarantee” card in the box that says:

“At Shari’s Berries, we’re committed to the highest standards of quality and service. If you are not completely satisfied, please call our 24-hour Customer Satisfaction Department at 1-877-BERRIES or email us at customercare@berries.com.”

I called and was connected to their system, which told me:

“All of our agents are busy helping customers deliver smiles. Your call wait time is greater than 20 minutes. Need help with your order right now? For faster assistance check out our convenient customer service portal online at www.1800flowers.com/customer-service. We are experiencing long hold times right now. We know your time is precious, so we would be happy to hold your place in line and call you back when a customer service specialist is available. To receive a call back please press 1. To continue to hold for a specialist please press 2. For a brief description of this service please press 3.

I don’t like talking to people on the phone, so while I was waiting I tried the website, but there was no help there. I did see a “chat” link, but clicking it produced no result at all and the only other option there was a phone number, and I was already there. The first time I pressed “2” to continue to hold and I found myself in “silent purgatory” with no music or any indication that I was still on an active call. I held that for about ten minutes and then hung up to try again. The second time I called and got the message, I pressed “1” to request a call back. Instead, I was put right back into the queue with light classic music (one of the Brandenburg Concertos, I think) and the repeating message described above. I held for one hour and seven minutes, pressing “1” each time to request a call back. Well, one time I did press “3” just in case it did something different, but after that brief message it shunted me right back to the message above.

After that one hour and seven minutes I pressed “1” for the final time and, instead of hearing the Brandenburg Concerto I found myself shunted back into “silent purgatory.” I left the line open for another half-hour before hanging up and sending them an email briefly describing the situation and asking for a call back. I also had to tell my son what was going on. He was disappointed to say the least.

I tried again the next day at 1:45, having received no call back. This time the message told me that my call wait time was now “greater than two hours.” It’s Mother’s Day, and I guess lots of disappointed berry recipients are burning up the lines just like I was yesterday. I hung up.

Tried again on Monday, again on Tuesday, again on Wednesday. Same result. “Your wait time” is anywhere between “more than two hours” and “more than sixty minutes.” Still no answer to my email. Still no call back. Still nothing. I am telling my son to dispute the charge when it shows up on his statement, and I will continue to call and post results here, but I think I have made my point. Shari’s Berries is a company with some serious problems in the customer service department. If you order these ridiculously overpriced treats, be prepared.

UPDATE: They never did call me back or email me. (They could probably tell from my email that they didn’t want to talk to me at all.) Instead, they called my son, who ordered the berries. They apologized and said they were sending another shipment right away. They did. The shipment arrived yesterday. This one had two cooler packs inside, but they were both totally thawed, liquid and lukewarm, as were the strawberries. Again, completely inedible. I’ve sent them another email with a copy of the tracking card. I also told my son if/when they contact him, he should just demand his money back and, if they won’t refund it, dispute the charge with his credit card company. I’ll continue to update you here.

The Upside of Covid-19

It’s true that the pandemic has been a catastrophe for the entire world, but there is one silver lining. The death counts from the flu, emphysema, cancer, automobile accidents, suicides and a host of other common causes of mortality have plummeted!

No, we all know the reason that deaths from other causes have dwindled. It’s because of “guidance” from the CDC and good old-fashioned dishonesty that is chalking a host of other deaths up as due to the coronavirus when it was (or simply may have been) in the system of someone who died from other, unrelated causes. A few months ago, based on computer models that showed that millions of deaths could be expected, the “experts” demanded that our entire nation grind to a halt and “shelter in place” in order to save America from the Wuhan Virus. As more data has become available, though, it’s now starting to look like the voluntary self-immolation of the United States economy was–well, shall we say, premature? Now those “experts” have a vested interest in inflating the numbers of deaths from the coronavirus in order to protect their reputations.

Of course I’m not serious about the silver lining, but there are a couple of “good” things about this pandemic.

First, it has clearly demonstrated the folly of making monumental economic decisions based on computer models. Computer models are basically programs that manipulate data and draw “possible” conclusions from that data. They will never be any better than the data put into them and the skill and intentions of those who write the programs. In the case of Covid-19, we cannot (at this time) make any observations about the intentions of the model creators, but the data, from the very start, was deeply flawed and so were the conclusions drawn from the models. It’s now becoming clear that although it is unusually contagious, the death rate from the Wuhan Virus is not, under most circumstances, nearly as high as the models originally predicted.

More importantly, it has clearly demonstrated that there are a lot of people who govern us that are simply waiting for an excuse to seize and wield extraordinary, authoritarian powers over our daily lives. In states all across this country (usually “Blue” ones) governors effectively declared themselves King and have issued a wide raft of decrees that are supposed to keep us “safe” and save lives. In many cases, these emergency orders are arbitrary, stupid, counterproductive and dangerous, but the would-be dictators are wielding the police powers of their state to shutter business, close churches, order people from the streets, close beaches and harass mothers who allow their children out of the house to play with other children. They have issued decrees such as:

  • In some states, boating alone to fish or kayak was forbidden. In other cases, two people may boat together, but not three or more–regardless of the size of the boat.
  • Liquor stores may open for drive-through or parking lot pickup, but churches may not hold in-car services in the parking lot.
  • Marijuana stores may open, but not gun stores.
  • People may jog or run on the beach, but not stop or sit.
  • “Essential” stores like Wal-Mart, Home Depot or Lowe’s may open and practice “social distancing,” but small convenience stores may not.

We could go on and on, but let’s just draw the conclusion and finish up. This pandemic has given all of America a chance to see what life looks like under the control of leftists and statists (Democrats, mostly) when they gain power. Their goal is obvious: to gut the thriving Trump economy that seemed likely to propel him to a second term. But I think they underestimate the intelligence of the American people. As folks in Blue states watch the people in surrounding Red states go back to work, they are going to understand that it is their own Democratic state governments that have placed a boot on their necks. Come November, they won’t forget.

Jesus and Socialism

We’ve all seen Democrats and others using the language of religion and Christianity to push their version of social justice. “Jesus commanded us to take care of the poor!” they declare. We’ve also seen the phenomenon of activist Catholic priests and nuns openly working to advance socialist revolutions in various countries in Central and South America. I’ve thought about that a lot, and it actually occurred to me the other day that I do recall reading about socialist sentiments in the New Testament.

Before I get to that though, I just want to ask all “religious” socialists out there a couple of questions. Your neighbor next door lost his job, and he can’t make his house note. So you go to your bank and draw some money out of your account and give him $1000. I think we can all agree that this would be in line with the teachings of Jesus on loving your neighbor and caring for the poor.

But how about instead of going to the bank and drawing the money out of your account, you go across the street to your other neighbor, hold him at gunpoint and force him to open his safe. Then you take his money and give it to your poor neighbor so that he can make his house note. What do you suppose God thinks about that?

We are not talking about God’s commandments, Christian charity or charity of any kind when we use the coercive powers of government to take from someone else so that we can give to others. That’s just stealing, and that is exactly what socialism is.

“Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment. Then saith one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, which should betray him, Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor? This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein.” [John 12:3-6 KJV]

There we have the first socialist: Judas Iscariot.

Socialists want to help the poor…with something that belongs to someone else. Bernie Sanders doesn’t want to sell a couple of his homes and give to the poor. All those super-rich Hollywood liberals who want America to become a socialist worker’s paradise like Venezuela don’t want to sell their mansions and cars and jewelry and give to the poor. The Democrats don’t want to sell their stock portfolios and homes behind walls in gated communities to help the poor. They always want a big slice of your money so that they can give it away to the needy in exchange for more votes and more power.

Not because they care for the poor, but because they are thieves, they hold the bag and they carry what is put therein.

If you want to help the needy, by all means, do so. But do it with your own money, and that is pleasing to God. Stealing from others to help the poor is just stealing, and you are doing it to help no one but yourself.

One a Month…

Real quickly, let’s establish once and for all that in Virginia Democrats are either ignorant of both the Virginia and United States Constitutions and the principles of limited government–or just don’t care. Virginia’s Democrat-controlled senate just passed SB 69 which establishes a “one gun a month” policy limiting Virginia citizens to purchasing only one handgun in a 30-day period. Assuming that it is passed by the Virginia House of Delegates, Governor Northam is expected to sign it into law. (This will reinstate a previous VA law placing such a limit on handgun purchases.)

For those who may not be familiar with Virginia’s Constitution, take a minute to Google it and read Article I, Sections 2 and 13. Like the United States Constitution, the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Virginia also explicitly recognizes that the source of all government power is the consent of the people. It also recognizes the right of all the people to be armed for the defense of their liberty just as clearly as the 2nd Amendment in the U.S. Bill of Rights–if not more so.

So, just thinking clearly for a second, where do you suppose that the Democrats currently in control of Virginia’s State Government believe that they derive the authority to limit Virginia citizens to one handgun a month, or to place any limit on how many guns of whatever type and capacity Virginia citizens may purchase? The Constitutions (US and VA) are limits on the power of government, not the rights of the people. Among the enumerated powers granted to the governments (US and VA) I am unable to identify any section that grants those governments the power to limit the lawful, clearly described rights of their citizens to keep and bear arms.

But logically, if the government does have the power to limit citizens to only one handgun a month, then doesn’t that mean that the government also has the power to limit them to only one handgun a year or only one handgun in their lifetime?

Or no guns of any kind at all?

Remember, in our nation and our states, we do not derive our rights from the consent of government. On the contrary, our governments derive their just powers (only their just powers) from the consent of the governed–us. In other words, if we choose, we the people have the power to limit our government to only one law a month, but our governments do not have the power to limit us to only one anything a month.