#GunControl as a sign of liberal cultural superiority

March 31, 2013

I came across an article this morning by Tim Carney of the Washington Examiner in which sees the current efforts to restrict our Second Amendment rights as another front in the “culture war,” a war in which the Left sees itself as morally superior to everyone else. That is, you can’t have rational reasons for disagreeing with them on gun-rights issues, you must be morally wrong.

The spark for his essay is a new book by Dan Baum, who’s both a Jewish liberal Democrat and a gun owner, called “Gun Guys.” As someone who sits in both worlds (the liberal and the gun-fan), Baum is able to understand how both sides thinks. Carney introduce’s Baum’s book with some examples of how the left sees gun enthusiasts as not just wrong, but inferior, even evil. Here are a couple:

The Post’s Gene Weingarten in 2011 spat on the Second Amendment as “the refuge of bumpkins and yeehaws who like to think they are protecting their homes against imagined swarthy marauders desperate to steal their flea-bitten sofas from their rotting front porches.”

After Columbine, a Boston Herald op-ed described the average participant in a 1999 Boston Common pro-gun rally as a wannabe “hicksville cowboy, as in way out there, somewhere off the Mass Pike or at the far reaches of 93. From towns with something to prove and lots of Amvets posts.”

And President Obama in 2008 famously told a wealthy crowd at a San Francisco fundraiser that rural voters “get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren’t like them … “

Well, the “antipathy toward people who aren’t like them” clearly is mutual.

From this, Carney segues to Baum’s discussion of the liberal-left’s loathing for the culture that guns represent and how they think they can use the law to control or destroy that culture:

Liberals, Baum writes, “recognized the gun as the sacred totem of the enemy, the embodiment of this abhorrent world view. They believed that they could weaken the enemy by smashing his idols — by banning the gun if possible … “

Many liberals hate it that some conservatives have a different set of values, morals and aesthetics — and so these liberals want to use the federal government to fix that.

(…)

“Assault rifles,” writes Baum, “were just as powerful symbolically as they were ballistically. A renewed assault-rifle ban would really smash the enemy’s idols.”

Also, when speaking about sales without background checks, gun controllers always refer to “gun shows.” Most guns used in murders aren’t bought at gun shows — they’re stolen or bought on the street. But gun shows are large gatherings of the “gun tribe” — and so they must be shut down.

Not mentioned directly, but certainly a subtext in this article and, I suspect, Baum’s book, is the idea that gun control as an assault on the so-called “gun tribe” is, as Dan Bongino put it, a form of people control. And that is the real objective of progressivism.

Makes sense, when you’re convinced you’re superior.

RELATED: And if you need another example of how the other side sees us, don’t forget, if you oppose gun control, you might be an Antisemite.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)

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The death of common sense in America

March 31, 2013

Writing on the rolling global financial crisis, the Diplomad shakes his head at the foolishness reigning in the US today:

The western world continues on a totally unnecessary suicidal path. What was once common sense is no more. Everywhere one looks, the insanity is evident: The refusal to deal with real issues and the insistence on taking up marginal or even totally extraneous issues instead is stunning. Here in the USA, our economy remains stagnated for no logical reason. Instead, for example, of freeing up the exploitation of our vast fossil fuel resources, we continue to push money at phony green industries, throw road blocks in the way of our private sector’s ability to get those fuels, block importation of fuel from our friends in Canada, and blather on and on about discredited, voodoo science global warming. Our leaders rulers take lavish vacations on our dime, push ruinous tax and spend policies, including the criminally destructive Obamacare, and avoid cutting even a bit of our bloated spending. A hypothetical “threat” to reduce ever so slightly the rate of growth in spending is declared disastrous and the equivalent of a nuclear attack. 

Well, when you put it that way…

Instead, we allow ourselves to waste our energies on issues of far less importance, such as same-sex marriage (1) or “assault weapons bans,” or whatever false crisis the left raises to distract us from their near-criminal mismanagement of the nation’s affairs.

And the truly frustrating this is that it often works. At least for now, common sense is truly dead.

Read the rest for a discussion of Europe even-worse state and for an explanation of how the Greek banking crisis lead directly to the Cyprus bailout.

Footnote:
(1) My apologies to supporters of allowing same-sex marriage (I’m one, too), but I simply do not believe this is one of the crucial issues facing our country, today. Not when our national debt is astronomical (and growing), our national borrowing to support out of control entitlements resembles a heroin addict needing his fix, Islamic jihadists want to reach paradise over our corpses, and crazed dictatorships that hate us are desperately seeking nuclear weapons. There are far, far more important things demanding our attention as a nation.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


March 30, 2013

This is a very interesting study. I’m sorry to say my beloved California comes in only at second place in “most un-free” states, behind New York. Come on, Sacramento! I’m sure you can do more to screw this place up! I have faith in you.

International Liberty

Sometimes I myopically focus on fiscal policy, implying that the key to prosperity is small government.

But I’ll freely admit that growth is maximized when you have small government AND free markets.

That being said, our goal should be to expand freedom, not merely to have the largest possible GDP.

Which is why the Freedom Index is a good complement to Economic Freedom of the World.

It shows, for instance, that Singapore may be ranked #2 for economic freedom, but it is only #39 when you look at all freedoms.

We also have a comprehensive ranking of economic and personal freedom for the 50 states.

Here are the full rankings from the newly released Freedom in the 50 States from the Mercatus Center, showing North Dakota as the state with the most freedom, with South Dakota (#2), Tennessee (#3), New Hampshire (#4), and Oklahoma (#5) also deserving…

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You’re welcome, America: California’s high-speed rail will need a federal bailout

March 29, 2013
"Train wreck"

“Train wreck”

I just knew it would come to this:

When California finishes tapping out the taxpayers in its state to pay for its nonsensical high speed rail, it will ask the taxpayers of other states to chip in, according to a new Government Accountability Office report requested by House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-CA). The GAO report found that the federal government will have to give California an astonishing $38.7 billion in order for the state to complete the idiotic project, footing more than half of the total cost.

Not that California will ever see much, if any, of that money; with Republicans controlling the House and the public increasingly concerned over ludicrous levels of federal spending (and borrowing), there’s going to be heavy pressure not to give Sacramento a dime.

And I call that a good thing.

My fellow Californians passed Prop 1A in a fit of bong-born enthusiasm in 2008, but, since then, public opinion has soured to the point that a majority would just cancel it, largely due to skyrocketing costs. Here are five good reasons this boondoggle should be tossed in dumpster, including the fact that rider numbers –and thus the ticket sales needed to pay off the debt we’re incurring– will never match projections.

(Which is surprising. You’d think millions would flock to ride that opening stretch from Bakersfield to Madera.)

Thankfully, Representative McCarthy and his Republican colleagues are working to block any federal aid to this folly. It’s sad when a federal representative has to work against his state government, but, in this case, call it “tough love.” If Governor Brown and the dreamland progressives in the legislature can’t see the need to kill this lunatic project, someone will have to do it for them. Sadly, my guess is this will only happen after we’ve taken on tons more debt pursuing it.

Why is the left so obsessed with fixed rail? Or does “progressive” really mean “the future as seen from the 1930s?”

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Bloomberg’s dystopia: you may only defend yourselves with sticks and rakes

March 28, 2013

Still suffering from the ravages of Hurricane Sandy, the people of Staten Island, denied their Second Amendment rights, are reduced to neolithic means to defend themselves:

As CBS 2’s Dick Brennan reported Wednesday, when darkness sets in on Wavecrest Street in New Dorp, people say squatters make their move – crashing empty homes wrecked by the hurricane.

“They just go in there late at night when nobody is supposed to be looking, and they just flop in the house and sleep in there, wherever,” resident Steven Sumner said.

Residents said the squatters are most attracted to homes that have electricity.

But Sumner said it is not just the squatters, but the looters, too. They have tried to break into his Sandy-ravaged home next to the trailer where he has been living temporarily.

But he said he has managed to fight back, with many different weapons, including a cane, a baseball bat, two rakes, and a stick.

And if you think they’re effective, think again.

This is just the kind of situation the Founders had in mind when they wrote the Second Amendment, recognizing (not granting!) an individual’s right to arm himself for defense of life and property. It is the difference between the free citizen and the victimized subject. And the laws of New York City, the joys of which its liberal fascist mayor wants to impose on the rest of us, have turned the first into the second.

via JWF, who has a trenchant observation on Obama, Bloomberg, and guys like Mr. Summer.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


This is why California can’t have nice things: taxing email

March 28, 2013
taxes IRS shakedown

“Shakedown”

Not yet, but a Berkeley (natch) city councilor thinks it’s a grand idea:

Gordon Wozniak, a Berkeley city councilman, proposed taxing email messages during a recent city council meeting in an effort to reduce the spread of “spam,” or unwanted emails.

Wozniak also said an email tax could raise money to keep the U.S. Postal Service functioning.

“There should be something like a bit tax … [it] could be a cent per gigabit and they would make, probably, billions of dollars a year,” he said.

First question for Mr. Wozniak: are you taxing the senders or the recipients? If the former, how do you plan to get Nigerian scammers and Chinese porn spammers to comply? If the latter, then how…. Wait, I know: “It’s for the good of the community.”

Can you imagine how fast businesses would leave California if email messages (or data transfer) were to be taxed? Hint: hard to believe, but even faster than they are, now. And what about people who rely on email for their small or micro-businesses, or their hobbies? The Internet has been a fabulous engine for wealth creation, so naturally progressive Luddites want to kill it through taxation.

And what is it with the leftist obsession with preserving dying institutions? The Postal Service is collapsing, in large part due to the efficiency and convenience of email. It can’t compete, so let it go and let other, better services take its place. Just like their obsession with railroads, “progressives” boldly look to the past, when the future is staring them in the face. And because the future frightens them, their reaction is to tax it to prevent it.

Meanwhile, a suggestion to Councilman Wozniak: If spam email so annoys you, stop whining and get a service or software with a good spam filter.

And keep your grasping paws off my wallet.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


(Video) Canaries in the Coal Mine

March 27, 2013

Call this a follow up to my worries that Cyprus is a warning and this morning’s post about America being in danger of becoming Europe.

In this latest “Afterburner,” Bill Whittle warns us that, with the European Union lurching from fiscal crisis to fiscal crisis, and with the US headed by an administration enamored of many of the same foolish policies as the Europeans, the members of the EU are serving as “canaries in the coal mine:”

Prediction is a fool’s game, so I won’t guess what’s going to happen, but I’d feel much more comfortable if this man were in charge.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)