Archive for the ‘Current Events’ Category

Eminem, the New Champion of Children

March 23, 2018

I finally got around to commenting on Eminem vs. the NRA.

Eminem has been commended by all manner of liberals for “standing up” to the NRA. He’s been featured in CNN Rolling Stone and virtually every other news outlet has reported on it.


“And the NRA is in our way/ They’re responsible for this whole production/ They hold the strings, they control the puppets / And they threaten to take away donor bucks so they know the government won’t do nothing / And nobody’s punching, gun owners clutching their loaded weapon / They love their guns more than our children.”

He’s standing up for the kids with his lyrics. What a swell guy, right? In fact, let’s check a few more of his lyrics to see what insight he has for us:

“Oh where’s mama? She’s takin a little nap in the trunk
Oh that smell (whew!) da-da musta runned over a skunk
Now I know what you’re thinkin – it’s kind of late to go swimmin
But you know your mama, she’s one of those type of women
that do crazy things, and if she don’t get her way, she’ll throw a fit
Don’t play with da-da’s toy knife, honey, let go of it (no!)
And don’t look so upset, why you actin bashful?
Don’t you wanna help da-da build a sand castle? (yeah!)
And mama said she wants to show how far she can float
And don’t worry about that little boo-boo on her throat
It’s just a little scratch – it don’t hurt, her was eatin
dinner while you were sweepin and spilled ketchup on her shirt
Mama’s messy isn’t she? We’ll let her wash off in the water
and me and you can pway by ourselves, can’t we?”
-’97 Bonnie and Clyde

A song about slitting his baby mama’s throat and throwing her in the water.
Eminem, always the family man. Hmmm, I wonder what else he has to say.

“I’m a psychopath, I’m never keepin’ it plain
Lyrical murder is somethin’ I’ve been about
Ever since I was a little kid, doodlin’ in the class
Drew a picture of my teacher, bullet in his head, ruler in his ass
With a toilet in front of him, throwin’ up, pissed off”
-Psychopath Killer

You mean a song about shooting a teacher?

The funny thing is that I don’t dislike Eminem. I just wonder when he became such a spokesperson for non-violence. I don’t take him seriously, and neither should you. He’s basically a foul-mouthed comedian, nothing more.

Thank you for reading my post.

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School Shooting

February 23, 2018

I’m exhausted and emotionally drained.  This most recent school shooting, while extremely tragic, has whipped up a frenzy unlike any I have seen.    Sure, people have been outraged by school shootings in the past, but this one is somehow different.  I’m not sure how.

I have argued with long-time friends on social media, most of which started out their post with something like, “F*** the NRA” or “white men strike again” or other such drivel.  My mistake was to try to reason any of these people.

At work, the other professors complained about “easy access” to firearms but then asked if I knew who had a concealed carry permit, and who carried.  I told them, “Yes, I know…but no, I won’t say.”  I realized that even though these professors are generally good people (they are), that if I revealed this tidbit of information, it could be harder for them to get into grad school, get letters of recommendation, and so on.  When, in reality, whether they carry or not is none of the school’s business, once they are not on school grounds.

Instead, I go through my friends list and realize that I have none.  There are virtually no people who support my right to own the AR-15’s I already own.  Between the professors asking me that question, between the ad hominem attacks on my friends list, I realize that our right to own guns is almost over.  We are losing this battle.  In ten years, I bet there is a ban in place.  If there isn’t, we’ll run around like druggies, ostracized by society and struggling to find employment.

Yet, I will surrender none of my guns.  I don’t know if I have any will to fight, but I will try to vote every chance I can.  I will try and respond, when there is some shred of logic in the statements that are argued against me.  I don’t think it will do any good, but I’m not sure what there is left to do.

Thank you for reading my post.

Virginia Tech “Shooter”

February 16, 2018

 
My father sent me a link to this article:
 http://www.wdbj7.com/content/news/Virginia-Tech-student-arrested-after-illegally-possessing-assault-rifles-471815644.html

This kid’s life is over, and for what? He is not a school shooter, or at least has shot nobody at this time. His actual crime was that he shot from a 30 round magazine instead of a 20 round magazine. At a shooting range. Safely. A rifle he stored IN THE POLICE STATION.

After he checked his rifle out of the police station, he went to the shooting range. The police followed him there and watched to make sure he didn’t use a magazine that was two inches longer and held 10 extra rounds.

Why? Because as a kid on a student visa, he was allowed to have a rifle, but not an “assault” rifle, as defined by a 30 round magazine instead of a 20 round magazine.

The rest of the article is a sludge-fest. He drives an old police car. He did research on bullet-proof vests on his computer.

I look back on my life at Virginia Tech. I always wanted a police car (which I currently drive). If I had stayed, my graduate work would have been in ceramic armor plates. I would have done lots of research on armor.

THIS COULD HAVE BEEN ME.

Your stupid, antigun terminology is going to ruin this kid’s life, just like it could have been mine. I guess that’s the real problem will all of this. You are willing to sacrifice the rights of some for the pretend security of others. “You can’t make an omelet without cracking a few eggs,” some might say. Well, I say, screw your omelet. I’m not willing to be an egg you crack, and neither should you be willing.

Thank you for reading my post.

Trying to Find Reliable Sources

January 26, 2018

I don’t have a well-researched post tonight.  I did have a piece of a story I found on Reddit, but I have no way to verify the incident, so I won’t write a full post on it.

The post was about a man who fell asleep on a plane, developed an erection while he was asleep, and was then sued for sexual misconduct.

I spent a bunch of time looking for the article, but couldn’t find it, so it may be fiction.  Unfortunately, it is believable with today’s ridiculous witch-hunts.

Also, my wireless card may have died on this laptop, but I am going to have to reboot to find out.  Therefore, I’m not wasting any more time working on this.

“S-Hole” Countries

January 19, 2018

Trump allegedly made some derogatory remarks about “s-hole countries.”  Since then, the press has ran with it like a 10 year-old who has learned a new curse word.  There was even a congress critter who feigned tears in pretend outrage.

You know, if they raised taxes to support acting lessons for politicians, I’d probably agree to it.  At least then they wouldn’t suck at everything.

The news has been screaming that Trump is a racist, and this statement is offered as evidence.  It is a funny argument:

  1.  Trump never said anything about the people or the culture of these countries.  He merely referred to some countries as “s-holes.”  This could be due to pollution, political unrest, or any number of reasons.
  2. If people are leaving these countries, there is something undesirable that is causing people to leave.

Interestingly, nobody bats and eyelash when they show the dreadful conditions of some of these countries on the television.  Nobody seems to consider extreme poverty, war, pollution, and disease part of these cultures, and yet when someone says, “hey, this is an s-hole” he is accused of being racist and attacking a culture.

I’ll address immigration another time.

Thank you for reading my post.

 

*I forgot to hit the ‘Submit’ button on this post yesterday!*

The Danger of the Psychiatric Evaluation

January 11, 2018

There has been some talk in recent weeks of the 25th amendment and what it might mean to President Trump.  For those of you who are not familiar with the 25th amendment, it states:

“In case of the removal of the President from office or of his death or resignation, the Vice President shall become President.”

There are talking heads on the television that would love to use this amendment as a means of removing Trump from office, stating that his “mental health issues” have made him unfit for the office of president.  Therefore, under the 25th amendment he can be removed.

While I agree that a president should be removed from office if they are incapacitated and unable to perform their duties, I caution against using this amendment lightly.  The liberals, still bitter from their year old election loss, would love to have a psychologist or team of psychologists pronounce Trump mentally incapacitated.

This places far too much power into the hands of “experts” and not enough into the hands of the average person.

This is all a thinly-veiled appeal to authority.   If our presidents can be removed from office by a special interest group (such as a panel of psychologists), why vote?  If the final say rests on “experts” rather than the people, let’s not pretend there’s a republic.  Do away with the vote, and we’ll let the “experts” pick for us.

As is typical with elitist liberals, they declare themselves experts in a field, then try to use it to gain a political advantage.  Rather than allowing for a vote, they would rather place the important decisions of the country into the hands of a few “experts.”

Thanks, but no thanks.  I’d rather have a president with an itchy Twitter finger than to be ruled by “experts.”

Thank you for reading my post.

 

Check Your Privilege

December 15, 2017

If you are straight, white, cis-gender, male, able-bodied or any combination of these, chances are you have heard (or will hear in the future) the phrase, “Check Your Privilege.”

This expression is used when you make an assumption about some social situation and have not, in the eyes of the opponent, properly addressed the plight of those who are marginalized in some way.

The expression can be meant to open up a real discussion, as if to say, “check your premises.”   However, more often than not, it is used to silence you by pointing out past oppression, slavery, or mistreatment by a group of people who look like you.

Embedded in the privilege discussion is that you haven’t worked as hard as someone else, or perhaps you didn’t earn all that you have.  It is implied that if you had been born under different circumstances, you would have not been so fortunate.

You may hang your head.  You don’t know about slavery, having never experienced it.  You may not have escaped the inner city to get your college degree.   You may have never experienced life from a wheel chair.

If you insist that you worked hard for you position and the things you have, you are a racist/homophobic/sexist/ablest jerk.  You may even find yourself with no defense to these statements.

Forget all of it.

The proper response to “Check Your Privilege” is “Or What?”

People don’t run around saying these things to actual Nazis or Klansmen or Terrorists.  Those people don’t care about being called a racist.  They don’t care whether their ancestors had slaves- they would have them today.

You are (hopefully) not one of these people.  You own no slaves, and want none.  You don’t actively say you won’t hire women.  You don’t beat people for being gay or how they dress or what gender they identify.  You don’t actively want life to be difficult for anyone for conditions to which they have no control.

When someone says “Check Your Privilege,” the only weapon they have is your own guilt.  Your own guilt for the very common thought, “I’m not good enough.”

Is it any wonder that these discussions occur in college classes, where most students and faculty suffer from “impostor syndrome”?  Impostor syndrome is when you constantly feel like you have risen above your competence level, and is experienced by practically everyone with an above average IQ.

Is it any wonder that, over the years, I’ve lost more former college students to suicide than car accidents?

But you have a defense.  Their only weapon is your own guilt.  Don’t give it to them.

By replying “Or What?” you acknowledge that their statement is an empty threat.  It is an unbacked attempt to silence you.  There will be no answer, at least no logical one.  They counted on your guilt, and you won’t have given it to them.  The best they can do is to resort to more obvious ad hominem attacks, such as calling you uneducated, backwards, etc.  You know, standard liberal drivel.

In Objectivism, this concept is called, “The Sanction of the Victim.”  It is best demonstrated in Atlas Shrugged, during Hank Reardon’s trial.  He goes before a panel of judges; they expect him to grovel and confess his sin- the sin of being a businessman.  Instead, he refuses to acknowledge any wrongdoing.  To paraphrase, “it is bad enough to whip a man, but to force him to first manufacture the whip used against him is a special kind of evil.”

Don’t give it to them.  Don’t deliver them a weapon to use against you.

The NRA Disappoints Me Today

October 6, 2017

I am a lifetime member of the NRA.  I have been for a long time.  I have been a member in one form or another since I was about 12, and used to read Insights Magazine years ago.

Today, the NRA announced that they would support changing the legal status of “bump stocks” after the Las Vegas shooting.

I personally own no bump stocks. I haven’t the resources to feed a rifle with a bump stock, so I don’t have anything to lose by new legislation.

The problem I have is with the philosophy of the antigun crowd, as well as (apparently) the leadership in the NRA.

Guns are just devices.  They are metal, wood and plastic crafted into certain shapes with certain functionality.  They have no morality, they have no feelings or intentions.  They are neither good nor evil.  Because they are a physical item, they are property.

The governnment has no business telling folks what the shape of their property can be.  They have no business telling people that this pile of plastic is somehow allowed, as long as it is not like this other pile of plastic.  They have no business telling an existing business to stop creating, designing, and manufacturing a product.

Rather than stand up to the government, the NRA rushed to the government as fast as it could and begged, “Please sirs, take these away.  We won’t complain.  Just let us keep another hunk of metal and plastic instead.”

No, do not compromise my property rights because you think you are doing me a favor.  No, do not compromise because you are afraid of looking “too extreme.”

When a merchant and a consumer compromise, everyone wins.  The consumer gets the goods and the merchant gets the money, at the agreed rate of exchange.  When rights are compromised away, the individual loses.

So then, I’ve said that they handled it poorly.  How could they have handled it well?  They could have said nothing, for there is nothing to say.  Someone out there used guns to hurt people.  We, the average NRA member, did not.  There is nothing to say. I don’t expect a statement from Ford, UAW or NASCAR for every car accident.  Why would I expect it from the NRA after a shooting?

Thank you for reading my post.

Source:  https://www.nraila.org

 

 

 

NFL and the National Anthem

September 29, 2017

Currently, NFL players are protesting injustice by refusing to stand for the National Anthem at the beginning of the football games. The football players are claiming that the United States is unjust and that this protests the injustice. Therefore, kneeling at the National Anthem is part of their freedom of speech. Critics say that it is disrespectful to this country and its veterans, and that the football players should stand. President Trump has weighed in as well, stating that the NFL should fire such players.

This issue can (and will) be resolved by the free market and property rights.

First, the right to free speech extends only as far as your property. I may speak my mind, whatever I think, on my own property, using my own paper and my own broadcast equipment. I cannot force someone else to give me a platform from which to speak. I cannot demand a TV network use their property to spread my message. I cannot go to another person’s property and demand they listen to me. In fact, the only way an idea gets past my walls is if someone else allows me to speak in theirs.

Second, I certainly cannot expect my freedom of speech to include going to my place of employment (say my company owner’s property) and demand that he listen to and repeat my message.

The NFL players have signed contracts stating that they will stand for the National Anthem, with their hand over their hearts. If they refuse, their employer has every right to fire them, just like Walmart can fire the cart pusher for not pushing carts. It is not an issue of “freedom of speech” at all.

Personally, I think that a bunch of football players, making a small fortune are interesting folks to talk about “injustice” and “privilege.” They should stand in support of this country, its flag, and its veterans. They, of all people, should recognize the affluence afforded by this society that we can watch them play a game, and willingly throw money at them to do so. A less fortunate country would not have time for such unimportant activities as watching a sport.

Having said that, let’s let the free market decide. Yes, they have their freedom of speech to run their mouths, but the NFL can certainly request their dismissal, and the individual teams can fire the players.

From an informal examination of my Facebook friends, I think keeping these “protesting” players will do more harm than good for the NFL. My friends who have come out in support of the protest never watched football anyhow, and aren’t about to start, regardless of who is protesting. My friends who watch football are the ones who are angry and are boycotting football.

My bet is that the NFL will have a choice: continue to allow the protests, and watch their bottom line sink, or reprimand the players and salvage what will be a dreadful year for the organization. Perhaps baseball will be more popular next spring.

Thank you for reading my post.

Charlottesville Incident

August 18, 2017

I am sick of hearing about it.  I really am.  I am sick of not knowing what actually happened, but there are only a few raw videos available.  At the very least, I know I cannot trust anything I see on the news or on the internet.

The bottom line is this:  as a defender of free speech, I wend up defending the vilest of folks.  Nazis, KKK, etc had a right to free speech, and the right to peaceful assembly.  So did the Black Lives Matter and Antifa folks.  I don’t know who started fighting first.  I’ve seen skirmishes in raw video started by both sides.

Unfortunately, all this incident has become is a catalyst for witch hunting anyone who does not support the mainstream conversations, be it a defender of a Confederate statue, or a Trump supporter or an actual Nazi.

In Objectivism, we would refer to this a package deal.  A package deal is when you get one thing, but then implicitly accept everything that is packaged with it, regardless of whether or not it belongs in this group.  Package deals are a form of character assassination; by lumping people together, perhaps inappropriately, we can misrepresent them.  Case in point; if we point out that Nazis and KKK members voted for Trump, we can discredit all Trump supporters as Nazis and KKK members.

Notice it happening right now.  This is not a philosophical discussion for academic purposes.  It is a real-life event.

Be wary of groups of people listed by the press.  Often, they will list groups of people they want grouped together to start building those associations in your mind.

Unfortunately, we will see much more of this in the near future.  The narrative is that if you did not support Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders, you are a racist.  It was a pathetic cry from the left during the election, but thanks to the logical fallacy of the package deal, plenty of people are going to start to believe it.

What can we do?  Point it out.  Even if every Klansman voted for Trump, the inverse statement is not true; not every Trump voter is a Klansman.  Likely, every chemtrail conspiracy theorist voted for Bernie Sanders, but not every Bernie Sanders supporter thinks the corporations and government are brainwashing you from planes.

Also, don’t argue.  Point out this as a logical fallacy, politely.  If they get angry, or if they continue on, end the discussion.  Walk away.  You don’t have to defend yourself against someone whose premise is that you are a racist.  You don’t have to get in the last word.  Just leave.

Thank you for reading my post.  Next week, I will likely post about the Confederate Monuments, as I don’t think this discussion is going away.