Category Archives: Deep Thoughts

Deep thoughts, omphaloskepsis, and other random musings.

Goodbye, Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday!

Thanks as always to The Other McCain, Whores and Ale, Pirate’s Cove and Bacon Time for the Rule Five links!

So, last Saturday was a key anniversary.  Twenty years prior, a bunch of Bronze Age savages attacked America as it had never been attacked before.  On that day, the New York Fire Department and the New York Police stepped up, and did so heroically, many of them dying trying to save the lives of the innocent.  America was, for a time, united.

So what happened?

Now, today, twenty years later, we have a senile, third-rater meat-puppet President who only appears when his dementia meds are briefly moderated enough to make him coherent for a short time, so he can repeat the canned statements that some shadowy figures are “instructing” him to make.  We’ve pulled out of the third-world shithole that sponsored the 9-11 terror attacks, and allowed the Bronze Age savages who sponsored the 9-11 terror attacks to waltz back into control.  Said withdrawal, of course, being one of the worst cluster-fucks in military history, one which left hundreds of Americans and American allies behind to face the wrath of the Taliban.

The aforementioned meat-puppet President is almost daily announcing egregious violations of the Constitution that would have been unthinkable twenty years ago.  He is doing this at the behest of… somebody, because, you know, fuck the separation of powers, fuck Federalism, fuck the Constitution’s restraints on government, and fuck the autonomy of the citizenry.  His (handler’s) economic policies and the prolific spending of his socialist allies in Congress have reignited inflation the likes of which we haven’t seen in decades, and are in the attempt of doubling and tripling down with trillions – trillions of dollars of new happy-bag Free Shit giveaways.

Twenty years ago, a bunch of Bronze Age savages attacked America as it had never been attacked before.  Their goal was to bring down the nation that was a beacon of freedom and prosperity the likes of which the world had never seen.

Have they won?

Rule Five Freedom of Association Friday

I found this piece by Theodore Dalrymple at The New English Review to be an interesting take on freedom of association.  Excerpts, with my comments, follow:

Some years ago, I sat next to a pleasant Norwegian lady who had just moved to London. Her father had been against the move.

“How,” he had asked her, “can you bear to live in a fascist country in which they still permit men-only clubs?”

“And how,” I replied, “can your father bear to live in a fascist country in which men are not allowed to belong to men-only clubs?”

Unlike many modern people, the Norwegian lady saw the point: that a society in which people are not permitted to form voluntary associations whose membership they choose must be a highly dictatorial one.

But in England, a group of prominent women, including Cherie Blair, the wife of the former Prime Minister, has signed a petition to “force” the Garrick Club to admit women as members, which it has so far refused to do.

We’re seeing the same kind of agitation in the States, of course.  Busybodies want to use the political force of government to compel private clubs to admit all and sundry as members – private clubs, mind you.  Freedom of association is also freedom of disassociation, right?  But not in the eyes of people like Cherie Blair.

The Club, which is nearly two centuries old, is named after David Garrick, the famous eighteenth-century actor, and has long had theatrical and literary associations. Dickens, Thackeray and Trollope were members, for example.

The petition contains the following words: “We believe that membership of the Garrick cannot be consistent with a commitment to equality and diversity.”

This suggests to me that the women, though prominent lawyers, are not very intelligent, or at least not very careful with their words: for by definition a club is committed to inequality and, if not quite to uniformity, at least to exclusivity.

A club to which everybody could be admitted would not be a club at all, but more like a voters’ roll, a street meeting or a mass demonstration.

Leaving the liberty issues aside for a moment, how would one presume these women would be treated by the existing membership, having used the force of government to, as it were, crash the gates and force their way in?  Do they anticipate a warm welcome?

Mr. Dalrymple continues here with the really interesting bit:

The petitioners’ resentment blinds them to the obvious corollary of their complaint: women’s only clubs or associations could not exist, at least if any men wanted to join them.

According to their principle, private voluntary associations ought to be forced to accept as members anyone who felt himself to be unjustly excluded.

A Christian or Moslem club or association could not admit only Christians or Moslems, for to do so would be to discriminate on religious grounds.

A law to prevent discrimination in private associations would mean that the very idea of private associations would have no application, and a certain kind of illiberal liberalism would have achieved the point of dictatorship.

I have, however, thought of a swift remedy for the petitioners’ resentment: a two-week sojourn in Afghanistan.

That would cure these gals of a lot more than their resentment, and that’s for sure and for certain.

But that’s not the point.  A free society, one that actually realizes the goal of individual liberty, is incompatible with the kind of intrusion-by-government-force that these women propose.  In a truly free society, men are free to form or join men-only clubs, women, women-only clubs.  Christians can form clubs to admit only Christians, and so on.  That’s freedom of association, and if someone whose sex/faith/whatever falls outside of that club’s stated roster, they can always engage in another essential aspect of a free society and mind their own damn business.

And that’s the crux of the issue.  I never for the life of me will understand the compulsion some people have to be buttinskis.  So someone formed an exclusive club that you can’t join unless you have hazel eyes, or unless your last name begins with “Z.”  So what?  Form your own damn club that you can’t join unless your last name begins with “R,” and shut the hell up about what other people are doing in their private clubs, which is 1) not harming you, and is B) none of your damn business!

Goodbye, Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday!

Thanks as always to The Other McCain, Pirate’s Cove, Whores and Ale and Bacon Time for the Rule Five links, and thanks as well to our pals over at The Daley Gator for the links post linkback!

Here’s a facet of the whole Afghanistan calamity that a lot of folks may not have yet considered; the place is full of valuable and strategically important rare-earth metals, and China is in a great position to take advantage of this.  Pakistan and Russia have plans for the area, too.  None of these things are to the United States’ advantage.  Excerpt:

China is clearly positioning itself to be a major international partner to the Taliban. They could care less about human or gender rights in Afghanistan, and will only want to consolidate a dominant position in regard to the $1-2 trillion worth of rare earths — most notably lithium. As China seeks to consolidate as much control as they can over strategic supply chains for everything from microchips to electric car batteries, they want primacy in Kabul — and will be the first major nation to recognize the new regime.

For Pakistan, this is a moment of triumph. They have assiduously supported the Taliban for the past two decades, both to control terrorist groups that occasionally threaten Pakistan and to deny India a foothold in a country on the other side of their border. Closely aligned with China internationally, they will seek to partner with the Chinese in exploiting the mineral wealth and blocking India from a role with the Taliban regime. Pakistan also wants a certain level of stability to avoid mass illegal migration, something they have dealt with repeatedly from Afghanistan.

Russia has a different set of interests than the China-Pakistan axis. They seek first and foremost a stable situation that can reduce the propensity for radical Islamic terrorism exported north through the former republics of the old Soviet Union.

And while Putin is always happy to see the U.S. receive a black eye, the Russians are also hopeful that the Taliban can be encouraged to exert a higher level of control over the massive heroin production — much of which ends up in the arms of young Russians and other Europeans. Look for Russia to quickly recognize the Taliban, ignore any human or gender rights violations, and offer modest assistance in return for stability and at least some level of reduction in the narcotics trade.

Not only is this the biggest screw-up in American military history since Pickett’s Charge (which was, arguably, Lee’s charge, as he ordered it) but it’s a screw-up on the international trade scene as well.

Even without the rare-earth metals, Afghanistan is in kind of a key position; it’s nowhere, but it’s on the way to everywhere in central Asia.  And now that America, the UK and the EU nations are out of the picture, that leaves the door open for China and Russia to swing a big economic bat in the region, and believe you me, neither nation has any warm-fuzzies for the United States.

And Pakistan?  Ostensibly a U.S. “ally,” Pakistan has watched America’s disorganized assholes-and-elbows retreat from Afghanistan and is now in the position of still having a traditional enemy on one side (India) and the Taliban, who they have long supported, on the other.  And Pakistan has nuclear weapons.

The world is now looking at the United States and seeing it as the image of its “leader” – weak, feckless, incoherent and doddering.  And nothing good for us will come of that.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

It’s a lovely time of year up here in the Great Land.  As we move into August, the leaves on the birches, poplars and alders around the place are turning from the bright green of spring and early summer to the darker green of late summer, and in a few places there is a bit of yellow starting to creep in.

Alaska fireweed

Meanwhile, the fireweed is growing up thick and fast everywhere.  Mrs. Animal is starting to gather the blossoms for fireweed jelly.  Fireweed grows pretty much everywhere up here.  It takes its name from being the first plants to move in to burn sites, and in late summer it turns all the roadsides this lovely purple.  We have quite a bit of it around the edges of the yard.  I’d like to get some Indian Paintbrush and some Forget-Me-Nots planted as well.

In another week or two, the berry season starts.  Alaska just continues to prove itself better and better.

And so…

On To the Links!

Not just mayoral politics.

A trillion here, a trillion there, and pretty soon you’re talking about real money.  And a metric buttload of inflation.

The Ginsu missile.  It slices!  It dices!  It even makes Julienne fries!

RIP, Dusty Hill.

RIP, Ron Popeil.  Two great Americans gone.

Where have we heard this before?

No.  No, they won’t be legal.

It looks like Liz Cheney is on her way out.  Now if we can just manage to dump Murkowski up here.

Dirty Business: China’s Dominant Coal-Fired Solar Panel Industry Belches More Net Carbon Than Oil or Gas.  But hey, go on feeling great about those solar panels!

National treasure Dr. Victor Davis Hanson nails it again.

Stupid ideas are stupid.  Film at eleven.
The Space Race Among Billionaires Is Just Beginning.   Good!  Let them compete.  I’ve always said that the next big breakthroughs in space exploration will (and should) come from the private sector.

This last Monday from our good friend and fellow blogger Jillian Becker:  A Reign of Stupidity.   Go read it all, but here’s my favorite bit:

Now, in America, under a leftist Democrat federal government – the stupidest government the republic has ever had with a doofus gone senile for a president, a cackling fool for a vice president, a childishly vindictive harpy for speaker of the House, all supported by mass media staffed with parrots and toadies – generations are being raised to be ignorant and dumb. Illiteracy and innumeracy will be conditions of honor; ability, talent, mastery, mere proofs of “white privilege” and “white supremacist” ambition.

This is why Jillian’s blog is on my daily reading list.

Boy, karma is a real bitch, ain’t it?  Honestly, though, I wish Ms. Griffin a speedy and complete recovery – because that’s what decent people do.

No shit, Sherlock.

California just keeps on fucking up.

Dolly Parton is and always has been a class act.

Team DeSantis nails it.

It’s hard to see how Governor Andrew Dice Cuomo can slime his way out of this one, but then, he has a “D” after this name, so…  Then again, lots of people are calling for his resignation – including one incoherent senile old fart.

You know what they say about blind hogs and acorns.  As for Cuomo:  It couldn’t happen to a more deserving asshole.  Seriously, fuck that guy.

Fuck you, cut spending.

This Week’s Idiots:

CNN’s David Perry is an idiot.

CNN’s Stephen Collinson is also an idiot.  Beginning to see a pattern here?

Slate‘s Adam Sobel is an idiot.

The New York TimesAtossa Araxia Abrahamian is an idiot.

The New York Times’ Charles Blow (Repeat Offender Alert) is also an idiot.  Seeing another pattern?

The New Yorker‘s Mike Giglio is an idiot.

Maureen Dowd is an idiot.

DC Mayor Muriel Bowser is a hypocrite, and an idiot.

The Hill‘s Albert Hunt is an idiot.

The Miami Herald‘s Leonard Pitts is an idiot.

Maxine Waters (Moron – CA) is and always has been an idiot.

MSNBC’s Hayes Brown (Repeat Offender Alert) is an idiot.

This Week’s Cultural Edification:

One of, if not the best female vocalist alive today is Mary Fahl, formerly the lead singer of the 90s alternative band October Project.  Mary has had a modest solo career since leaving OP, mostly playing small venues around the country and releasing a few albums.  Mrs. Animal and I have seen her live twice, and it’s neat; she played both times to audiences of less than a hundred people, and stayed afterwards to chat with members of the audience.

It’s important to note that Mary has had not one day of formal training.  Just a lot of practice and natural talent.

She also does larger shows, such as one of her live albums recorded at New York’s Mauch Chunk Opera House.  Here, from that show, is the closing number, Be My Hero.  Enjoy.

Goodbye, (Red White and) Blue Monday

Goodbye, (Red White and) Blue Monday!

Thanks as always to The Other McCain, Pirate’s Cove, Bacon Time and Whores and Ale for the Rule Five links!

No news today, just a few notes.  It was kind of a dreary Fourth, but Willow had a small parade, which went off with enthusiasm.  People up here celebrate Independence Day with gusto.

Today is, again, kind of dreary.  Figures, as we had a beautiful sunny week leading up to the weekend, that a rainy spell would set in.  But that’s Alaska for you.

And on that note – I’m off to enjoy the day, reflect a little bit on the Declaration that this day commemorates, and the two ancestors of mine and the one of Mrs. Animal’s that signed it.  Regular posts resume tomorrow.   Enjoy the day, Americans – it’s our day.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

Living the rural life, especially in the Great Land, entails dealing with some things that urban folks often don’t.  Two examples:  Mosquitoes and dandelions.

Violet-Green Swallow

What’s fun is that we can use nature against nature, so to speak to deal with these issues.  Mosquitoes, for example; while I have used some buckets of water containing mosquito dunks to lessen the local population (and mind you, Alaska mosquitoes are so big they show up on air-traffic radar) the primary means of control is feathered.  Around our property are a bunch of nest boxes, intended to attract a summer visitor, the Violet-Green Swallow.  These show up in April, occupy the nest boxes and their first broods generally fledge in mid-June, when the mosquito population booms – and they spend their days in acrobatic flight, swooping about, hoovering up the biting bugs as they go.

Pine Siskin

Now, the dandelions; that’s even easier.  Wherever I’ve lived or worked, even in Silicon Valley, I’ve generally run a bird feeder.  I like having the little guys around; their presence adds to my day.  But here, in the Great Land, the feeders attract not only chickadees, woodpeckers and juncos but big flocks of Pine Siskins, who after visiting the feeder spend a lot of time around the property eating the seeds off the dandelion seed-heads, greatly reducing the spread of that weed.

I’m not against using modern methods against weeds and bugs, mind.  But I do enjoy having the birds around.

And so…

On to The Links!

A modern-day Jonah.  Wow.

President Biden(‘s handlers) may have paid for crack-head son Hunter’s nights of hookers and blow.

RIP John McAfee, you magnificent bastard.  He was a coke-head and a nut, but he was our coke-head and nut.

What, you didn’t see that coming?

President Biden(‘s handlers) threaten to use F-15s, nukes on American citizens.

Banana Republic Part 23,404.

More information on the Denisovans.

Larry Elder drops some truth bombs.

Joe Rogan likewise drops some truth bombs.

More on this:  Heels-Up makes a swift pass in the general vicinity of a relatively untroubled section of the southern border, calls it a “visit.”  Wall of Voodoo was unavailable for comment.

A possible new human species with a cool name – Dragon Man.

Inner city violence is not at all unfathomable.  It’s the inevitable consequence of the policies of the people running those cities.

What the actual fuck.

Screw Nike.  Personally I only wear Justin ropers and Chippewa boots.

BARF!

P.J. O’Rourke on President Biden(‘s handlers) jobs plan.

I have to admit, this gave me a chuckle.

No shit, Sherlock.

This Week’s Idiots:

The Atlantic‘s Ibram Kendi (Repeat Offender Alert) is an idiot.

Hold my beer and watch this!  I know all about crazy rednecks – I grew up amongst them – but while many supposed crazy rednecks are pretty good folks, the people described in this article are, objectively, being idiots.

Poll:  Majority of Vaccinated Democrats Are Idiots.

are all idiots.

Slate’s Jordan Weissmann is an idiot.

Salon‘s Amanda Marcotte (Repeat Offender Alert) is an idiot.

The Los Angeles Times‘ editorial board is composed of idiots.

The Nation‘s Elie Mystal (Repeat Offender Alert) is an idiot.

MSNBC’s Hayes Brown is an idiot.

AOC:  “Herp herpity derp derp, herpity herpity derp.”

This Week’s Cultural Edification:

I always admired David Bowie’s talent, even though I had mixed opinions of some of his actual songs.  But when he had a good tune, he often had a really good tune.  Everyone knows the older stuff he did in his Ziggy Stardust days, but he also turned out some great stuff after dialing things back a little in the Eighties and Nineties; songs like Let’s Dance, China Girl and Heroes are all worth a listen.

Here, though, is one of his songs I’ve always liked in particular, because reasons, I guess – music likes and dislikes being pretty subjective.   From Bowie’s 1983 album Let’s Dance, this is the single Modern Love.  Enjoy.

Animal’s Father’s Day Extra

I don’t normally post on Sundays, but here we are on Father’s Day, so I thought I’d do something a little extra.  I’m the father of four daughters.  Being a father and grandfather is one of the primary things that gives my life meaning, and fortunately, I learned about being a father and grandfather from the best that ever was.

Back in 1989, the Grateful Dead’s Brent Mydland wrote I Will Take You Home for his daughter.  It’s a song that carries a lot of meaning for any man who has daughters, and for any daughters that have a loving father.  Enjoy.

Rule Five Ideological Delusions Friday

This has aged a little (published last April) but I still find it interesting:  Scientific Survey Shows Voters Across the Political Spectrum Are Ideologically Deluded.  Here’s the summary of findings:

On average, the rates at which voters gave false answers varied from 61% for Biden voters to 42% for Trump voters. From worst to best, the false answer rates for the various groups are as follows:

  • 61% for Biden voters
  • 56% for 18- to 34-year olds
  • 53% for females
  • 51% for 35- to 64-year olds
  • 51% for 65+ year olds
  • 49% for males
  • 42% for Trump voters

All of the questions, the correct answers, and the full survey results and methodologies are detailed below. The survey was conducted on November 4–11, 2020.

A few relevant excerpts, with my comments, follow:

Some illuminating examples of the misconceptions held by voters with differing political preferences include the following:

  • 76% of Trump voters think that the average income of middle-income households fell during the Obama administration. In reality, their inflation-adjusted average income rose by $5,300 during this period.
  • 88% of Biden voters think that police are more likely to use lethal force when arresting black people than white people. In reality, police are 42% less likely to use lethal force when arresting blacks than whites.

So, ideologically-driven delusions occur on both sides of the political aisle – but seem to be especially prevalent among the left.  Go figure.

For each question, voters were offered a selection of two or more answers, one of which was true. Voters also had the opportunity to say they were unsure.

On average, voters gave the correct answer 38% of the time, gave an incorrect answer 51% of the time, and said they were unsure 10% of the time.

A majority of voters gave the correct answer to only 4 of the 21 questions.

Holy crap!  That’s awful!  But wait, look at some of the specifics; here are a couple I found telling:

Question 8: On average, do you think that men and women in the U.S. earn equal pay for equal work?

Correct Answer: Yes

On average, full-time, year-round female workers earn about 23% less cash wages than males, but when the following six factors relating to equal work and pay are taken into account, the gap evaporates:

(See the article for the graph)

Correct answer given by 27% of all voters, 5% of Biden voters, and 53% of Trump voters.

And:

Question 21: Since the 1960s, what do you think has been the main cause of rising national debt? Military spending, social programs, or tax cuts?

Correct Answer: Social programs

Media outlets frequently blame the rising national debt on tax cuts and military spending, but federal tax revenues have stayed at a roughly level portion of the U.S. economy for the past 80 years, and military spending has plummeted from 55% of all federal expenses in 1959 to 18% in 2019.

Correct answer given by 39% of all voters, 10% of Biden voters, and 74% of Trump voters.

Go, then, and read the entire article.  In the name of transparency, the full weighted and unweighted results are provided, as are both of those sets of data broken down by age, sex and political viewpoint, so anyone can check the work.

It’s an interesting piece of work.  While the overall results indicate, for example, that Trump voters seem to be able to answer these chosen questions more accurately overall than Biden voters – a result that would cause a lot of dyspepsia over at MSNBC and CNN – there were a few cases where the Trump voters got it badly wrong, and several where both sides got it badly wrong.

Ronald Reagan once said of the political Left that “It isn’t so much that liberals are ignorant. It’s just that they know so many things that aren’t so.”  While that could be said to some degree of people in general, it seems to be applicable to the ever-increasingly-unhinged factions on the Left – and, to be fair, to some of the nutbars on the Right.  Both sides have them, after all, and we ignore that at our peril.

Even so – according to this work, it seems like the Right (defined as Trump voters) have almost a twenty-point advantage over the Left (defined as Biden voters.)    I’m not surprised, frankly.

Goodbye, Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday!

Thanks as always to The Other McCain, Pirate’s Cove, Whores and Ale and Bacon Time for the Rule Five links!

Now then:  I rarely read the comments sections on the news stories I talk about here.  There’s generally nothing to be gained from doing so.  (I do read all comments that are posted on this site, and I have to say you True Believers are several cuts above average.)

But if one does choose to comment on a news story, and I sometimes do, I have a few tips for would-be commenters to help avoid being dismissed out of hand.

Bear in mind that, on the intarwebz, the only thing we have to judge you by is your presentation of the written word.  Some really dedicated critic might look at your posting profile if the site uses something like Disqus (which we use here) to get a better grip on your positions, but that rarely happens.  The words you post are what people judge you by.  So pay attention to a few simple things.

Punctuation.  It matters.  Not only should you use it where appropriate – and remember, a question should be noted by use of a question mark (?) but don’t abuse it.  Don’t put a space between the last word in a sentence and the punctuation.  Don’t indicate a pause by a string of periods – or commas, which I find very baffling.  You were all taught this stuff in grade school, folks.  And when you use an exclamation point, use only one.

Capitalization.  The first word in a sentence and proper nouns.  That’s all.  (And no, “black” as applied to people is not a proper noun, and I will not capitalize it, and you shouldn’t either; I don’t give an ounce of rat’s pee what the Washington Post says.)  Proper capitalization is important.  It’s the difference between helping your uncle Jack off a horse and helping your uncle jack off a horse.  And ALL CAPS should never, ever be used.  If you want to emphasize, italicize.

Spelling.  You’re writing your comment with the world’s largest dictionary at your fingertips.  Use it.  If you aren’t sure how to spell something, it takes literally seconds to look it up.  Also, learn the difference between you’re and your, between it’s and its, and so on.

I’m fond of pointing out that stupid people should be conspicuous.  But some of this is just plain carelessness, and some are bad habits that need to be unlearned.  But it’s simple enough to not look like a dope on the internet.  Unless, of course, the quality of your argument does so – but I can’t help you with that.

Rule Five Why Did It Have To Be Guns Friday

From time to time I peruse the web site of libertarian author L. Neil Smith.  Here’s one of my favorites of his works, Why Did it Have to be … Guns?  Follow the link and read it all.  Excerpts, with my comments, follow:

Make no mistake: all politicians—even those ostensibly on the side of guns and gun ownership—hate the issue and anyone, like me, who insists on bringing it up. They hate it because it’s an X-ray machine. It’s a Vulcan mind-meld. It’s the ultimate test to which any politician—or political philosophy—can be put.

If a politician isn’t perfectly comfortable with the idea of his average constituent, any man, woman, or responsible child, walking into a hardware store and paying cash—for any rifle, shotgun, handgun, machinegun, anything—without producing ID or signing one scrap of paper, he isn’t your friend no matter what he tells you.

If he isn’t genuinely enthusiastic about his average constituent stuffing that weapon into a purse or pocket or tucking it under a coat and walking home without asking anybody’s permission, he’s a four-flusher, no matter what he claims.

What his attitude—toward your ownership and use of weapons—conveys is his real attitude about you. And if he doesn’t trust you, then why in the name of John Moses Browning should you trust him?

And, yes, it’s all about trust.  Even the most Second Amendment-friendly pols on tap today eventually hit that issue of trust.  There is always some point beyond which they don’t trust the population at large.

If he doesn’t want you to have the means of defending your life, do you want him in a position to control it?

If he makes excuses about obeying a law he’s sworn to uphold and defend—the highest law of the land, the Bill of Rights—do you want to entrust him with anything?

If he ignores you, sneers at you, complains about you, or defames you, if he calls you names only he thinks are evil—like “Constitutionalist”—when you insist that he account for himself, hasn’t he betrayed his oath, isn’t he unfit to hold office, and doesn’t he really belong in jail?

Sure, these are all leading questions. They’re the questions that led me to the issue of guns and gun ownership as the clearest and most unmistakable demonstration of what any given politician—or political philosophy—is really made of.

He may lecture you about the dangerous weirdos out there who shouldn’t have a gun—but what does that have to do with you? Why in the name of John Moses Browning should you be made to suffer for the misdeeds of others? Didn’t you lay aside the infantile notion of group punishment when you left public school—or the military? Isn’t it an essentially European notion, anyway—Prussian, maybe—and certainly not what America was supposed to be all about?

And if there are dangerous weirdos out there, does it make sense to deprive you of the means of protecting yourself from them? Forget about those other people, those dangerous weirdos, this is about you, and it has been, all along.

It’s always about someone else.  It’s always about criminals, or nutjobs, or anyone else other than the regular citizen who happens to have an old 12-gauge stuck in a closet somewhere.

But what Mr. Smith doesn’t bring up is the outcry from would-be gun-grabbers to institute all of their policies at the Imperial level.  “All laws should apply to the whole country,” they cry, claiming that places like Chicago have high crime rates in spite of having strict gun laws because criminals are apparently organizing convoys to buy and import guns from Indiana, where gun laws are much less onerous but for some mysterious reason the crime rate is much lower.  These pols would put in New Jersey-style gun laws for people like me, in rural Alaska, where I can guaran-damn-tee you the result will be massive and defiant non-compliance.

So, yes, the Second Amendment is a good litmus test for political candidates.  But if it’s important at the state and local level, it’s goddamn vital at the Imperial level, where they have the ability and the will to screw with all of us.  After all, if your state pisses you off, you can find another – as Mrs. Animal and yr. obdt. just did – but finding a new country is quite another thing.