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Do you want to know more about the guy who's on the other side of your screen, saying all this stuff?

Then come right in...

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These are my Mission Statements.

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These are my longer "deep-dive" articles on specific subjects so they don't get lost.

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The fun stuff that doesn't fit elsewhere.

Chasing bubbles

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As a young man, I bruised my forehead rather severely. I inflicted this wound upon myself by repeatedly slapping my forhead over the plain-to-read common sense in the pamphlet Common Sense, written by Thomas Paine in 1776. I kept slapping my forehead because it made perfect, common sense to me when I read it over 200 years after it was first published.

This book, Economics in One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt has generated a similar self-inflicted wound.

Mr. Hazlitt wrote this in 1946, ten years after John Maynard Keynes wrote The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money, which is the bible for Keynesian Economics today. Economics in One Lesson lays out plainly yet with elegant prose concepts that explains economics as what I call a "delayed art form." I mean that in this way: In the age old Art vs. Science argument, if you can quantify the elements and reliably replicate action A producing result B, it's a science. Everything else is Art. In economics, action A will more than likely produce something approaching result B, but not always, six months to a year (sometimes even longer) after the initial action. This is because of Microeconomics, the thousands of transactions that occur daily in an economy. It takes time to make all of the transactions that culminates in a person purchasing a product from a business.

Think of putting a decorative cling on your window. Invariably, there will be some air bubbles trapped between the cling and the glass. Even if you are extremely careful, trying to "squeegee" the bubbles to the edge and get rid of them will result in those bubbles moving in almost any direction but where you want them to go.

When God created the Law of Unintended Consequences, He was thinking about economics. Mr. Hazlitt shows plainly using the "broken window" fallacy that when someone, a consumer or a business, is coerced in one way or another to buy a product (in this case, a Baker has to buy a new window because a miscreant broke the original) a great victory is proclaimed because the Glazer (the person who produces glass and windows) has business. But what about the Tailor, or the Plumber, or any other tradesman? Say the Baker was going to buy a new suit because his present clothes are tattered. Or, the plumbing is leaking in his home. The Baker is forced to spend his limited resources to replace the window and thus postpone getting new clothes or his pipes replaced. This story is repeated every time a choice is forced upon a consumer or a business.

Read this book, please. Then you can attend the free, online video course Economics 101 by Hillsdale College and grasp those concepts with a lot more understanding.

 

The scope of this operation

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This is a "year start" disclaimer, just so all of my readers knows where I am coming from.

To tell you the truth, The Conservative Zone is a one man operation. Because I am working 40+ hours a week at my day job, spending time with my family, working on my home repairs and improvements, plus "me" time, I do not have the time I used to have to devote to generating content.

I refuse to sell advertising space to monetize this website because I do not want to have advertisers say to me, "We'd really like it if you would emphasize this or not cover that..." This content of this website is what is important to me. It's not everything that I want to say because I don't have the time to properly research and artfully craft everything I want to say. I would love it if I could spend my day generating quality and interesting content and make a good living at it. I also know that will never truly happen. I realize my voice is not that different from thousands of other Conservative websites.

I do what I can, when I can do it. And that's all I can do.

 

The reason why

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A warship has many functions and purposes. Purposes like showing the flag, force projection, area denial and battlegroup defense are a few of what they do. In the end, it accomplishes all of these purposes by executing (or threatening to execute) its main function, that of delivering ordinance on target.

Every action the ship and crew do enable those weapon systems to be in the proper place at the proper time to accurately deliver that ordinance on target. Outside of the personal effects of the crew, every item on that ship is meant to operate the ship so the mission can be carried out, either undamaged or damaged. Every item on those ships has a function and purpose, as well as a place to stand ready until needed. They are maintained and inspected on a regular basis. The attention-to-detail sailors have to provide on a daily basis would make someone with severe OCD feel inadequate.

Every item and where it is stored on a ship have reasons written in blood from earlier ships taking damage.

Since I enlisted in 1979, six US Navy ships have been seriously damaged, five by enemy action and one by a "TFOA" (Things Falling Off Aircraft). Each of these ships, by their design, their redundant systems and the courage and training of their crew made it back to port to be repaired and return to the fleet.

The film below, Seven Sailors was filmed on the USS Lawrence (DDG-4), a Charles F. Addams Guided-Missile Destroyer. It was filmed in 1968 on 16mm film, which was probably later recorded on videotape and finally to digital format. This is why it is out of focus a bit.

This film illustrates the necessary attention-to-detail that every sailor needs to have in order to properly carry out their job. No job is too small or menial. When sailors don't do the proper thing, bad things do happen. A person who has never served on a ship will probably think these seven sailors made minor mistakes. As the film progresses you will see how those "minor mistakes" seriously hurt the ability of the ship to survive, let alone carry out its needed mission.

 

Controlled Burn

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Here you go. Example upmtyzillion on how even with all of the facts, Liberals come to the wrong conclusion. Trump’s Chief Strategist Wants To ‘Destroy The State’.

Here’s the fear-inducing quote:

“I’m a Leninist,” Bannon proudly told Radosh in 2013.  “Lenin,” he continued, “wanted to destroy the state, and that’s my goal, too. I want to bring everything crashing down, and destroy all of today’s establishment.” Bannon’s fondness for the Russian revolutionary is telling in light of the the recent scrutiny over Russia’s pro-Trump interference in the 2016 election. Vladimir Lenin was the leader of Russia’s Bolshevik Party whose 1917 October Revolution threw a provisional government out of power, leading to the creation of the USSR.

If you read the sentence immediately preceding that quote, you’ll see what Bannon’s objective is:

…Bannon’s goal is to destroy the American system as we know it and replace it with a populist, Tea Party agenda.

I find it ironic that Liberals have since the 60’s have worshiped the bloody revolution that Lenin instigated to overthrow Tsar Nicholas II to bring about the Communist Party and the “workers paradise” that was the Soviet Union. If you’ve ever wondered why that pessimistic fatalism and a total “don’t give a shit” attitude is ingrained into the DNA of almost every Russian, look at their collective lives under the Tsars and Communism.

Also, “Radical Zero” (as opposed to “patient zero”) and Obama mentor Saul Alinsky in his book Rules for Radicals gives an “over-the-shoulder acknowledgement” to the original “burn-it-all down” guy, Lucifer (AKA Satan).

saul

The Liberals of the 60’s wanted to “burn down the Establishment” until they realized that if they could infiltrate the Establishment, they could gradually bend it to their objectives. We are coming to the end of eight years of having a Radical Leftist in the Oval Office.

IMG 1093

So “burning it down” can be a good thing, with controlled burns. Trumps Cabinet picks show hints of this. From the article:

Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt — Is a climate-change denier with deep ties to the fossil fuel industry. 

Does Mr. Pruitt deny any climate change, or that Man is the major contributing factor in climate change? Remember, Liberals were screaming “GLOBAL COOLING” in the 70’s, and “GLOBAL WARMING” after that up until they realized that no one is listening to them because their predictions were 100% wrong.

And of course the EPA needs SWAT teams to perform paperwork inspections, nor would one of their inspectors would actually cause an environmental disaster through incompetence.

Department of Energy Secretary, Rick Perry — In a 2011 GOP presidential debate, Perry listed the Department of Energy among the agencies he would completely eliminate as president. 

It seems like the functions of departments like the EPA, Department of Energy, Department of Education are to consolidate power in Washington and interfere with the daily lives of citizens. Severe pruning or amputation of these and other federal departments should be seriously considered.

Department of Labor, Andy Puzder —  A fast-food CEO who opposes the minimum wage and whose company has been fined multiple times for worker safety violations.

Forced elevation of wages hurts the people they were designed to help. Simple math and real-world effects clearly show this. Higher base wages than market value force employers to raise prices, lay off people in favor of forced automation and/or requiring the remaining workers to “do more with less people in the same amount of time.”

Concerning the safety violations, I have written before on forcing executives who make bad decisions to pay personally, not the company.

Department of Education, Betsy DeVos — She’s a leading advocate of school voucher programs. 

*GASP*!!!1! You mean parents shouldn’t have the power to choose where their children are indoctrinated taught?

Our history has seen businessmen and farmers temporarily putting their businesses and tools aside for a short period of time to go to Washington and serve the People. In my lifetime, we have seen a political ruling class install themselves in the seats of power and refuse to leave.

Maybe it’s time to divest Washington of the political rulers and restore people who want to improve the country and serve the people rather than line their own pockets.

 

 

An old article

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A few months after I was discharged from the Navy, I was interviewed for a "transition supplement" for the Navy/Army/Air Force Times. A while back, I found an old, yellowed DTF copy (it was dated 1993) and I have finally spent the time to transcribe it and post it here. Enjoy "Like Godzilla Did Tokyo."

 

An Open Letter to Masons

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This letter is specifically for those Masons who shouted me down with cries of "Leviticus!" when I stood to speak for the elimination of most of 6.207 (27) from the Tennessee Masonic Code. It also applies to those who silently support them.

A friend on Facebook made a post which reminded me of something that I once said long ago; I had forgotten it until that moment.

For non-Masons, I have to explain something first so you have a context. After each degree, a Mason memorizes a series of answers to questions in a question-and-answer lecture that relates to the degree they just went through. In order to advance to the next degree, the Mason must be able to proficiently answer the questions. During the teaching, the instructor asks the question, then gives the answer. At the examination to determine if the Mason is proficient, he has to recite the answers with minimal, if any prompts.

Some lodges teach rote memorization, e.g. "say these specific words in this specific order" and the instructors never teach the meaning of what they are learning. As an example, one part went like this: "I will not reveal the secrets of this degree... without without due trial, strict examination or legal information." In the Masonic world, these three word pairs have very specific meanings as to what you are supposed to do to the brother to determine if a brother is entitled to receive certain knowledge. If you received your instruction from a "rote" instructor, you probably don't know what those methods are or what would determine a pass/fail. If you received instruction from my lodge, the instructors (including myself) would talk about what those words meant and what you had to do. We found that this extra knowledge helped in the retention of the memorization and inspired the Mason to learn more.

So what does rote memorization has to to with Leviticus? I'm glad you asked.

I have read my Bible from Genesis to Revelations. I prefer the New International Version because it is derived from the original texts and is heavily footnoted to provide context. In the Old Testament it was made clear that you could not enter the Kingdom of Yahweh (God) if you were not spiritually clean. If you sinned, the only way for you to atone for your sins was by making the appropriate sacrifice to God. In Leviticus, the exact steps you had to take in the sacrifice was laid out as well as the animal/thing used as the offering. There were five specific areas of offerings. Burnt offerings, grain offerings, fellowship offerings, sin offerings and guilt offerings. Each type of offering had a different purpose and required a different sacrifice depending on the social/financial status of the one performing the offering.

As an example, if you unintentionally broke one of the Ten Commandments this would fall under the heading of a "sin offering." If a high priest or the whole congregation was guilty, a young bull would be required. If the sinner was a leader, a male goat would be required. For a common person, the sacrifice had to be a female goat or a lamb. The poor could offer a dove or pigeon and for the very poor, a tenth of an ephah, or about 2.25 gallons of flour.

Leviticus Chapters 18-20 lists various sins. Some of them listed in Chapter 18 are repeated in Chapter 20 with punishments.

They include:

  • Giving (sacrificing) your child to Molech (the god of the Ammonites).
  • Not stoning a man to death for giving his child to Molech.
  • Anyone who turns to Mediums or Spiritualists.
  • Cursing a parent.
  • Sleeping with another man's wife (adultery).
  • Sleeping with his fathers wife.
  • Sleeping with his daughter-in-law.
  • Homosexuality ("If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman...").
  • If a man marries both a woman and her mother.
  • Having sex with an animal (man or woman).
  • If a man marries his sister.
  • If a man has sex with a woman during menstruation.
  • Cursing the deaf or putting stumbling blocks in the way of the blind.
  • Endangering your neighbors life.
  • Mating different kinds of animals.
  • Planting one field with two kinds of seed.
  • Wearing clothing made of two different kinds of material.
  • Eating meat with the blood still in it.
  • Cutting the hair on the sides of your head or trimming your beard.
  • Mutilating or tattooing yourselves.
  • Using dishonest measures.

In today's world how many people do you know of who sacrifice an animal every time they broke one of the above laws? Pretty much zero. And many Christians will say why through rote memorization. They say the correct thing ("Jesus sacrificed Himself on the cross for all of the sins of Mankind") but there is no knowledge, no realization of what that exactly means.

Here's what I realized and said many years ago: "Jesus' sacrifice on the cross rendered inert all of the laws laid out in the Old Testament."

Knowing our history is important. that's why the Bible contains the OT. However the laws contained in the OT are no longer requirements to be followed and strictly obeyed.

This is clearly spelled out in Matthew Chapter 22. In verse 36, the Sadducees asked, "Teacher, what is the greatest commandment in the Law?" Jesus' reply in versus 37-40 reads,

Jesus replied, " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on the two commandments."

Every law in the Old Testament became irrelevant the moment Jesus breathed His last saying, "It is finished."

Here's my final kick in the gonads to my hyper-religious former brothers:

If you demand adherence to the laws laid down in the OT, you negate Jesus' sacrifice. He died in vain because you prefer the old laws and don't think His sacrifice was good enough for you.

Think about that the next time you open your pie hole to shout "Leviticus!"

They got what they wanted

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In the Star Trek (TOS) episode The Savage Curtain, Abraham Lincoln gave some advice to Captain Kirk: "Give your enemy what he wants. Just don't give it to him the way he wants it." I apply that advice to my opponents when I wargame.

The #fightfor15 crowd has won some significant victories to have government force the private sector to double the minimum wage. California and New York have made this state law. But like in all things Economic, the results of actions happen after a delay and can be somewhat unexpected. This one has been foretold since the discussion began. Now the buzzards have started coming home to roost: Thanks To 'Fight For $15' Minimum Wage, McDonald's Unveils Job-Replacing Self-Service Kiosks Nationwide.

The consequences of paying your employees more are either A) charge your customers more (higher prices) or B) have less employees. These changes and their consequences are clearly shown to those who look at the actual numbers and do the math. Frankly, either choice upsets the business-customer equilibrium. If prices go up, sales go down. This is a well-established economic fact, proved by hundreds of years of research on this subject. However, reduction of staff without a "force multiplier" (something that enhances the effectiveness of the employee) will also result in lost sales because the level of customer satisfaction will decrease.

The "force multiplier" discussed in this article are self-service kiosks. This means you will walk up to a kiosk, put in your order, swipe/touch your card and your food will be ready in a few minutes. This will cut the number of employees at an average McDonald's from 15 to about 8-10.

But wait! There's more! There are also machines in development (actually in testing) that will automate the entire store. One or two people will be required to put the materials (buns, meat, fries, condiments, etc.) in one end of the machine. The machine will then process the food order (via the kiosks) from the customer and proceed to cook the food, then assemble, package and deliver the order to the customer without any human assistance.

Congratulations! You now have four employees working full time at $15/hour, when you used to have 15 employees working various hours (30 hours/week average) at $7.50/hour. If you've done your math, you can see a 30% decrease in payroll ($7.25/hour x 30 hours/week x 15 employees= $3,375/week payroll vs. $15.00 x 40 x 4= $2,400). The bad news is that the $1,900/week "saved" has to go to pay off the cost of the machine as well as maintenance and repair costs.

So you have reduced employment opportunities for young people by over 60%. Because at least one or two of those four workers will have to have experience and knowledge in maintaining and repairing the new machine. If that machine stops working for whatever reason, the staff on hand won't have time to call the service technician and wait for him to drive across town to get their store working.

I promise you, the 16-year-old that used to get his first job at McDonald's will not have the knowledge or experience to run and maintain that equipment reliably. His opportunity to have that "first job" where he could learn all the necessary skills for his future jobs (arrive on time, dressed properly, do the job as you are told, etc.) just evaporated, and #fightfor15 killed it.

Any job has to add value to the product or service in order to justify the price the customer has to pay for that product or service. If a worker by using his skills does not add a value to the product greater than what they are being paid, the business cannot remain producing that product or service.

The #fightfor15 crowd has gotten exactly what they wanted, a $15 minimum wage. But by losing 60% of that job pool, they aren't getting it the way they wanted it.

Not as bad as you think

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I am writing this from a point of personal experience. I would like to declare that a Trump presidency will not be as bad as you think.

There are actually several reasons, the first is the “alt-right” are not Nazis, nor are they going to turn into Nazis because this is not 1934 Germany. The National Socialist German Workers Party was the full name for the Nazis, who were Socialists. You might want to click on that word to see what Socialists really are.

If you look at the times and conditions on how Hitler rose to power, that kind of government and those economic conditions are not present in 2016 United States

Second, the German people were experiencing a systemic economic collapse because Germany was being forced to repay the Allies for war debts and damage incurred in The Great War. This collapse was manifesting itself with hyperinflation of the German Mark, where the inflation was so fast workers were paid twice a day so they could give the money to their wives to go out and buy food before the prices went up.

Third, the German government has very few similarities, if any at all, to the US government. Also, social makeup was built on obedience to power. Hitler’s title, “Führer” is the German word for Leader. As a German, you obeyed whomever was the leader. It didn’t help that after Hitler came to power, those who were critical of him disappeared.

In great contrast, the US as a country, a government and a society was built on maximum individual freedom. Even in the US military, while obedience to the orders from your superior officer is required, every action any service member does is subject their review and that member is obligated to disobey orders that run counter to what is right.

Fourth, which I can speak from personal experience, is that power constrains. As Worshipful Master of my Masonic lodge, I was basically President of the lodge. A lodge will take the direction the Master desires, within certain limitations.

The Master puts forth ideas on what the lodge can do for the lodge or the community. If it’s a good idea, he will have no shortage of brothers willing to help and participate. An example of this would be a quarterly breakfast for first responders in their community. If it’s a dumb idea or counter to the principles of Masonry, a Past Master will probably privately advise the Master of the “inadvisability” of such an idea. If the Master presses forward anyway, he will likely find himself alone at the event.

The US federal government is the same way. The President can try to take a controversial action. His cabinet could be in total agreement and the bureaucratic heads of the appropriate departments can be just as enthusiastic to carry out the orders. However, if anybody anywhere in the entire chain from Cabinet members to the people tasked with carrying the orders out, decides that it’s stupid and detrimental to the country, it won’t get done. This is not to say the consequences of disobedience won’t be severe to them, however it can be done and all the President can do in the end is scream at the top of his lungs from the White House.

Trump could jump up and down on his desk in the Oval Office and scream, “Kill all the Muslims! Deport all the Mexicans!” all day long. He could sign Executive Orders until they fly out his ass and tell his Cabinet to carry out his orders. If those orders managed to make it down to the agents who would carry them out, I wouldn’t be surprised that most of the agents would suddenly be unable to find anybody in those targeted groups.

How will Trumps time in office unfold? I have no idea. I do know it won’t be as bad as many fear.

I demand a game 8!

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I heard Limbaugh came up with this from a Renegade Republican podcast.

With all of the butthurt Liberals whining about Trump winning the Electoral vote while losing the popular vote, I thought I would present the issue and purpose of the Electoral College with an analogy.

Baseball. Specifically the World Series.

Because the WS is like the Electoral College. You have a series of up to seven games, which are played until one team wins four games. The score in each game determines the winner for that game only. The runs acquired in one game cannot be "transferred" to a subsequent or prior game to change the result of the other game. Nor can the total of runs in all the games can be totaled (the "popular vote") and that process used to determine the winner.

Because if we use the total runs method, we need to have an 8th game since both teams scored 37 runs across the seven games.

Be thankful for things like the EC. They protect you when you don't realize it.

Change your thoughts, change your world

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I have been listening to a lot of podcasts that talk about changing what goes on inside of you to change what goes on outside of you. As a consequence of this, I am changing my "stock answers" To reflect a more positive life view.

The first one was when someone asked, "How are you doing?" I used to respond, "Still above ground, despite my own best efforts." This was to reflect my personal history of struggling with my suicide attempts.

I now respond to that question with, "I'm blessed." This simple phrase allows me to celebrate that I am a survivor. I am thankful for my life, my family, my friends and all of the good things in my life.

When a salesperson asks me, "Can I help you," I used to respond with, "No thanks, I'm beyond help." The fast-on-their-feet sales staff would then ask, "What are you looking for?" To which I would respond with my hands shoulder length apart and say, "I'm looking for a bag of $20 this big."

Now I thank them and tell them I will find them if I need help.

I still have to fight to say "I'm blessed." But a calm, warmth and a subtle happiness comes over me when I say that.

Try it. It might change your life.

To all my friends

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This is an open letter to all of my friends, because I do not classify my friends by their skin color, their sex, their sexual preferences, their political views or any other method Liberals use to divide us. If we enjoy each others' company and respect our similarities and differences, that's good enough for me.

In the past eight years while Obama has been in the White House, I have been critical of him whenever warranted, as well as supportive of him when he does the right thing. I did the same with Bush 43 and I will do the same with Trump.

I promise this to all of my friends who are scared about the impending Trump Presidency and how it may negatively affect your lives. I will be there and not abandon you. I will be just as publicly critical of Trump when he infringes on the rights of any Citizen of this country. My political ideology is not tied to a political party, it's tied to what's right.

This is one of my personal mission statements. I believe in the maximum freedom of the individual citizen. I believe in the fact we are all human beings. Our differences should be celebrated and used to strengthen the whole, not divide us. Laws should provide justice when someone is wronged, not used as weapons to bludgeon Citizens and advance a political agenda.

I watch both major parties equally.

The veracity of my vocabulary

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I have said for years, I can insult you and several of your preceding generations using words perfectly acceptable at a ladies' tea cotillion. A Liberal made me prove it tonight.

A friend made a post concerning the basics of health care. I commended him on a thoughtful, well-written post. I had to disagree on him concerning the concept of "forcing" those who decline/can't afford to have health care to pay the tax. This one Liberal and I then proceeded to banter back and forth like a tennis match. I tried to stick to the issues. This ...person... repeatedly attacked me personally. When I had enough, I gave this liberal a mild tongue-lashing, about a 3 on my insult scale. R. Lee Ermey is an 8 on that scale. Here's what I wrote:

[Liberal], I have been polite with you. I have spoken about the issue with you politely. I have been respectful to you as a person. Yet you have repeatedly insulted me personally without cause. Since it seems that your whole repertoire consists of insults rather than coherently expressed thoughts back by appropriately verifiable facts, if you want to be insulting, I can certainly stoop to the level above you.

You are a pusillanimous, insignificant and self-important blowhard. You are so narrow minded you can look through a peephole with both eyes simultaneously. You are a vacuous, mealy-mouthed cross-dresser who thinks they know more than they actually do. The lint in my pants pocket is worth more than your opinion or you personally. You are such a closed-minded low-grade moron, each of your friends and family have probably lost at least 15 IQ points because they have been forced to endure multiple sessions of your immense ignorance. Everyone who has personal contact with you agrees with you simply because it gets you away from them quicker than voicing a differing opinion. I personally would rather give myself a root canal with a power drill and a 2" paddle bit in a 7-Eleven restroom than interact with you personally.

I didn't use any curse words above simply because you're not worth it.

I worked for UnitedHealthcare for years. I know the ins and outs of medical insurance. I know about diplomacy and international affairs because I've been a part of it. I've done things in my life you wish you had the courage to put on your bucket list. What most people term as "due diligence" is my initial research.

If you shut up and listen to what people with a different opinion or viewpoint than yours say to you with an open heart and mind, with the intent to understand rather than the intent to reply, you might actually learn something, instead of letting that echo chamber between your ears do all the talking for you.

Like I said, this was a 3. Don't make me go to eleven.

Oh, the irony

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For all of my Liberal readers who want to suddenly rebel against a Trump administration, when Obama has spent the past eight years weaponizing the government (because the EPA needs SWAT teams), when they suddenly realize that the government has lots of guns, and they don't have any.

So, if you're Liberal and have suddenly come to appreciate the wonderful advantages of the Second Amendment and the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, this article is for you: A Handy Guide For Liberals Who Are Suddenly Interested In Gun Ownership.

I will say that all of the information and suggestions contained in the article are good and true. How the author delivers the information in a wonderfully biting and ironic commentary is well past epic. Here is an example:

Now it gets really complicated. And that’s entirely your fault. See, traditionally Democrats don’t like the 2nd Amendment and historically have done everything in their power to screw with it. Your gun laws are going to vary dramatically based upon where you live. It might be really difficult and expensive for you to exercise your 2nd Amendment rights, or it might be relatively easy.

     

But you’re scared right now! Well, that’s too bad. Because for the most part Democrats have tried to make it so that citizens have to abdicate their responsibilities and instead entrust that only state can defend everyone… That doesn’t seem like such a bright idea now that you don’t trust who is running the state, huh?

If you think you need to be armed, either against Trump's government or the local gangbangers, I actively encourage you to learn all you can, purchase what you believe is necessary to protect yourself and your family and use said weapons in a responsible and judicious manner.

This is what you get...

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I have been wondering what to say about Tuesday's election since Wednesday morning. Here on Saturday, I sat down to write this and it hit me.

Shame on you. ALL OF YOU. Both sides of the aisle you.

Because this is what you get when very few people read the Constitution, the very framework of our government. This is what happens when you don't know what it means, or why it was written the way it was, and more importantly the intent and purpose of the men who wrote it.

Democrats are bitching and moaning about "Hillary won the popular vote, SHE should be President!" I hate to break the bad news to you, but the United States is not one country. It is fifty individual countries bound together in common cause. Fifty different experiments in freedom. The States are not provincial territories, subservient to Washington, D.C. They are individual entities who each have their own way of doing things. The way they do things in California will probably not work in Iowa, and vice versa.

We are The United States of America. This country is the United States, which is on the American Continent. To call ourselves "Americans" is a misnomer, because Canadians, Mexicans, Guatemalans, Brazilians and all the others can lay claim to the term "American" as well. America (North, Central and South) reaches from the Arctic Circle all the way down to the Straits of Magellan. This is why I 99% of the time refer to this country as the United States, not America.

The Founding Fathers designed this country to have long periods of political discussion, culminating in an election. At that point, our Constitutional Representative Republic (we are not a democracy) would move forward on one course, until the political discussion started up again and another course change after the next election. The Legislative and Executive Branches are staggered in their terms to insure that it is impossible for there to be a radical change in leadership in one election. The President is elected every four years, the entire House is up every two years and Senators are elected for six year terms, which are staggered so only one-third of the Senators are up for election every two years.

So, shame on you Democrats, because with your riots you clearly demonstrate that you are basically little, petulant children. These riots are nothing more than a collective temper tantrum because you didn't get your way. You are directly responsible for Trumps election for the sole reason of your name calling of everyone who disagreed with you. Democrats have for decades collectively called anyone who disagrees with them misogynists, homophobes, sexists, racists and more. The people who have received these denigrating labels for years without justification for the sole intent to shame them into the Democrat camp finally had enough. So, they elected the person who is (to the Democrats) the penultimate misogynist, racist, sexist homophobe.

You think I'm alone in this view? Here you go. This is a six-minute profanity-laden tirade from Jonathan Pie who explains clearly what I just said. If you don't believe me, maybe he can get this point through to you.

Don't be snickering over there Republicans, because you're next.

You Republicans are acting so smug. You just elected "an outsider" who is going to "change everything." Let me pop that bubble right now. He won't radically change things because he can't. You sons-of-bitches need to read the Constitution as well. The "most powerful man in the world" has a whole lot less power than you think, and if you knew his duties under the Constitution, you would know that. The president's main duty is carrying out the laws of the country. Laws passed by Congress. Unlike President Obama who has done his best to enact his own agenda. "I have a phone and a pen" and all that.

But here you are, parading around that Trump won. You are no different than the Black lady who was put on TV Election Night in 2008. She was yelling, "AW, LAWDY, OBABA WON! WE GOTS US A BLACK MAN IN THE WHITE HOUSE! HE GONNA GIVE ME A FREE PHONE AND A CAR AND BETTER HOUSING!" Shut up and work with those who disagree with you, if they are willing to respectfully work with you.

And a last note, to all y'all (which is a proper plural noun in the South). The president does not control the price of gas, or how much you're paid in your job, or where you live or any of a hundred other things that are credited to (or blamed on) him. He can influence the conditions under which things might move a certain way, but his influence is one of many conditions which all contribute to the final result.

Please realize the actions of the President of the United States has very little to do with your day-to-day lives. When it comes to solving your problems and making your life better, look away from Washington and to yourself, your family and your friends. It is the choices you make that determines the overall course of your life. Not Obama, not Clinton, not Bush, not Trump.

Many of us have forgotten this and we all need to remind each other to meet everyone we encounter in our lives where and how they are, not where, who and how we want them to be.

As Bill and Ted said, "Be Excellent to each other!"

Ex Post Facto

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The Supreme Court recently released a decision that I agree with, yet vehemently oppose the basis of. Here it is, Voisine, et.al. v. United States.

This ruling basically upheld the Constitutionality of the 1996 Lautenberg Amendment to the Gun Control Act of 1968. These two men, Voisine and Armstrong, pled guilty to misdemeanor domestic violence charges and were caught possessing firearms some time later.

I actually support the court in their decision to uphold the law as it stands. The petitioners cries of “it wasn’t on purpose that I hit my partner” rings hollow because these men pled guilty to the original charges. If they wanted to bring up their lack of mens rea (the guilty mind, e.g. intent), the time and place for that was before the guilty plea.

However, the law which formed the basis upon which everything else is built is corrupted because it is a bad law.

A bit of history: In 1968, Congress passed the Gun Control Act of 1968. The initial idea for this was in response to the assassination of John F. Kennedy. It never went anywhere until the assassinations of Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr. This law created the Federal Firearms License, the banning of firearms sales through the mail and many other aspects of the reality for gun owners today. One of the major parts of this law was the permanent “chilling” of a citizens RKBA (Right to Keep and Bear Arms) under the Second Amendment if they are convicted of a felony. I have spoken on the subject of chilling rights before.

There are two basic kinds of crimes, misdemeanors and felonies. What separates these two is the level of punishment. A misdemeanor is punishable by confinement of no more than 11 months and 29 days (less than a year). A felony is punishable by confinement over a year. From 1968 until 1996, you lost your RKBA (Right to Keep and Bear Arms) under the Second Amendment only upon your conviction of a felony.

In 1996, The Lautenburg Amendment amended 18 U.S.C. 922 (that part of the United States Code that came from the GCA of 1968) to specifically include misdemeanor Domestic Violence convictions in the list of things that chill your RKBA. This amendment specifically added 18 U.S.C 922(g)(9). Out of the tens of thousands of misdemeanor offenses that you can be punished for, this one alone will cause you to lose your RKBA.

Simple assault is basically an unwelcome contact with another person. It can range from one person touching another person on the arm when they have told the first person not to touch them, all the way up to a semi-serious beating (no weapons used, no broken bones or other serious injuries). Simple assault becomes Domestic Violence when it is done against a family member or the family member of someone the assaulter is in a relationship with.

Example: Everyone meet Ray (Hi Ray!). Ray and his wife Becky have been in a feud with their neighbor Jill. One day, it all comes to a head and Ray went and beat the crap out of Jill. Becky, who saw the assault, started to freak out over the violence. Ray tries to hug her to calm her down and Becky said, “Get away from me!” Ray grabs her anyway and holds her until she calms down. By this time the police get there and Ray is arrested and charged with assault against Jill and domestic violence against Becky. Ray gets 6 months in the County jail for each conviction, however because one of the convictions was domestic violence was against Becky, he can no longer own or possess firearms, even though he beat Jill and didn’t hurt Becky. An extreme example? Kind of, but relevant and realistic nonetheless.

Just so you can be aware, here is the entire list of actions that will get your RKBA revoked, with the Lautenburg Amendment bolded:

18 U.S.C 922 (g) It shall be unlawful for any person—

(1) who has been convicted in any court of, a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year;
(2) who is a fugitive from justice;
(3) who is an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance (as defined in section 102 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 802));
(4) who has been adjudicated as a mental defective or who has been committed to a mental institution;
(5) who, being an alien—
    (A) is illegally or unlawfully in the United States; or
    (B) except as provided in subsection (y)(2), has been admitted to the United States under a nonimmigrant visa (as that term is defined in section 101(a)(26) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(26)));
(6) who has been discharged from the Armed Forces under dishonorable conditions;
(7) who, having been a citizen of the United States, has renounced his citizenship;
(8) who is subject to a court order that—
    (A) was issued after a hearing of which such person received actual notice, and at which such person had an opportunity to participate;
    (B) restrains such person from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner of such person or child of such intimate partner or person, or engaging in other conduct that would place an intimate partner in reasonable fear of bodily injury to the partner or child; and
    (C)(i) includes a finding that such person represents a credible threat to the physical safety of such intimate partner or child; or (ii) by its terms explicitly prohibits the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against such intimate partner or child that would reasonably be expected to cause bodily injury; or
(9) who has been convicted in any court of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence,

to ship or transport in interstate or foreign commerce, or possess in or affecting commerce, any firearm or ammunition; or to receive any firearm or ammunition which has been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce. 

Another thing that this amendment did was to violate the Constitution, specifically Article 1, Section 9, Article 3, “No bill of attainder or ex post facto law shall be passed.” The term “ex post facto” is Latin for “after the fact,” where a law is passed today that criminalizes an action committed before the law became effective and people are subsequently punished under that law.

As an example, say last year you chopped down your neighbors’ tree because it irritated you immensely (its leaves landed on your property, it blocked the afternoon sun on your porch, the neighbor refused to trim the tree, pick one or more). For some reason, at the time it was not against the law for you to do so (it was partially on your property, whatever). Your enraged neighbor then starts petitioning the government and gets a law passed last week criminalizing what you did. Today the County Sherriff knocks on your door and arrests you for violating that tree-chopping law. That is an example of ex post facto.

The document about the Lautenberg Amendment above says this about this “not violating the ex post facto law.”

[T]he court [Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit] explained that the Lautenberg Amendment, by prohibiting post-enactment possession, did not criminalize conduct that occurred prior to its effective date. As such, the court held that the Amendment was not retrospective and, therefore, not violative of the Ex Post Facto Clause. This explanation referred to Hiley v. Barrett.

This “reasoning” is utter bullshit for this simple reason: If someone committed a crime in 1976 (20 years before the law became effective) and completely paid their debt to society in 1977, yet when this law became effective in 1996 they lost their RKBA rights. Their reasoning this isn’t ex post facto? The Lautenberg Amendment does not punish you for your firearm possession between 1978 and 1995, only your possession after 1996. The loss of rights for a person today, for having committing an act before this law was passed, who paid the debt assigned upon conviction at that time is the very definition of ex post facto. “I did something bad years ago and I was punished for it. Today, I am penalized more for something where I have already paid my time.”

These two reasons are why 18 U.S.C. 922(g)(9) is a very bad law. This section needs to be abolished, or domestic violence needs to be elevated to a felony status. The ex post facto part of it needs to be revoked as well.