You Are A Criminal

In the movie “Atlas Shrugged II, The Strike,” the screen adaptation of the book “Atlas Shrugged” by Ayn Rand, one of the villains, Dr. Floyd Ferris, explains things to Hank Rearden who is one of the heroes of the movie:

Dr. Floyd Ferris

Dr. Floyd Ferris

Did you really think we want those laws observed?” said Dr. Ferris. “We want them to be broken. You’d better get it straight that it’s not a bunch of boy scouts you’re up against… We’re after power and we mean it… There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What’s there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced or objectively interpreted – and you create a nation of law-breakers – and then you cash in on guilt. Now that’s the system, Mr. Rearden, that’s the game, and once you understand it, you’ll be much easier to deal with.”

In non-fiction article “The Nature of Government” Ayn Rand describes where the United States is headed (and many would say, has arrived):

We are fast approaching the stage of the ultimate inversion: the stage where the government is free to do anything it pleases, while the citizens may act only by permission; which is the stage of the darkest periods of human history, the stage of rule by brute force.

She of course was referring to one of the original concepts of the Founders of the United States, the idea that government could only do what it is permitted and an individual could do whatever he or she wanted as long as it was not not prohibited. Indeed that principle has been nearly inverted where government can find a justification for about any action it wants. The President can ignore the laws passed by the Congress or amend them by fiat Executive Order, as for example, as President Obama has repeatedly amended the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (aka “Obamacare“) for purely partisan political purposes.

Quoting from “How Many Federal Laws Are There?

In an example of a failed attempt to tally up the number of laws on a specific subject area, in 1982 the Justice Department tried to determine the total number of criminal laws. In a project that lasted two years, the Department compiled a list of approximately 3,000 criminal offenses. This effort, headed by Ronald Gainer, a Justice Department official, is considered the most exhaustive attempt to count the number of federal criminal laws. In aWall Street Journal article about this project, “this effort came as part of a long and ultimately failed campaign to persuade Congress to revise the criminal code, which by the 1980s was scattered among 50 titles and 23,000 pages of federal law.” Or as Mr. Gainer characterized this fruitless project: “[y]ou will have died and [been] resurrected three times,” and still not have an answer to this question.

According to the article How many pages are in the Affordable Care Act?:

So… how many “pages” are in the Affordable Care Act? In the actual legislation itself, there are just over 2,400. But the legislation is incomplete with the accompanying regulations, most of which have yet to be published.

Paul Bedard, a journalist with U.S. News, reported in April 2011 that the first set of HHS regulations covered six pages of the actual legislation—but resulted in 429 pages of regulations.

I was curious to see what that would mean for the totality of the health care legislation if I applied a ratio of 71.5:1 to the Affordable Care Act.

The result?

More than 170,000 pages.

No, that’s not a typo. It really is a six figure total. By comparison, the U.S. tax code by my calculations is approximately 13,000 pages.

The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR):

…is the codification of the general and permanent rules and regulations (sometimes called administrative law) published in the Federal Register by the executive departments and agencies of the federal government of the United States. The CFR is divided into 50 titles that represent broad areas subject to federal regulation. … Under the delegation doctrine, federal agencies are authorized to promulgate regulations (rulemaking) by so-called enabling legislation. -Wikipedia

The CFR is comprised of 50 volumes. Under President Obama alone it has increased by over 11,000 pages. In 1975 it took 71,000 pages to publish the CFR. (see this article on

… there is a very high probably that you are a criminal.

It is not humanely possible in many instances to know if you are following the law or not.  Given the sheer volume of Federal law and Federal regulations there is a very high probably that you are a criminal.

See this article Wyoming welder faces $75,000 a day in EPA fines for building pond on his propertyEven if Congress did nothing at all the sprawling bureaucracy will continue to create reams of pages that in effect become law and if you run afoul of any of those laws it will be the government that will have the masses of lawyers to prove you broke the law.

Welcome to the Brave New World.

In a world where the government aims to be your caretaker it will most certainly be  your master. The days of government “by and for the people” are quickly ending. Soon it will the “government by the government for the government.”

If we want something different we have to educate ourselves and put our allegiance to those political movements aimed at small and limited government. I leave it to you to figure out who those are. Just one clue – it is neither the mainline Republicans or Democrats.



Posted in Democrats, Libertarian, Obama, Obamacare, Politics, Republican Party, Republicans, Tea Party | Leave a comment

Is It Time To Blame The Victim?


It has become very bad form to blame the victim. Being a victim may give you complete immunity from criticism, especially if you belong to an officially sanctioned victim class. Any attempt to delve into how the victim may have contributed to, or encouraged an act of victimization is often resisted with violent protestations of “sexism,” or “racism,” or other hurtful accusations intended to silence politically incorrect views.

Ayn Rand described this kind of attack as a logical fallacy:

 …the Argument from Intimidation does not consist of introducing moral judgment into intellectual issues, but of substituting moral judgment for intellectual argument.  –The Virtue of Selfishness, 143, Ayn Rand

 According to Rand there is only one antidote:

 How does one resist that Argument? There is only one weapon against it: moral certainty.  –The Virtue of Selfishness, 143, Ayn Rand

If one is going to pull back the covers and look clearly at these issues one must have a strong conviction that truth matters more than political correctness.

One should never excuse the abuser. The fact that a victim allowed or facilitated the abuse should not be grounds to let the abuser off the hook. In the past a rapist might get off because a woman dressed seductively or did not shout “No!” at the first advance. Muslim scholars still defend this view and more often than not believe a woman is guilty of seduction because she is a woman.The civilized West has progressed beyond this.

Nevertheless victims often do contribute to their own victimization. Sometimes the victim unconsciously seeks to be victimized. Women may stay in an abusive relationship despite ample opportunity to leave, and even when they manage to leave they may immediately find an equally abusive partner to replace the one they left behind. The only partner that is attractive to them may be someone who is capable of abusing them. This is a common pattern that is well known in the field of psychiatry.

The essential premise presented here is that many blacks in America have contributed to and participated in their own victimization starting as far back as the Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal and this greatly accelerated in the 1960s with Lyndon Johnson and the Civil Rights Act. They have, like the abused woman, returned to the Democratic Party – their serial abuser – over and over again despite clear evidence that the relationship was a sick and abusive one.

Today on average blacks vote for Democratic candidates at levels at or above 90%. How did blacks abandon the Party of Lincoln and come to embrace the party of the KKK?  That is a head scratcher for sure.

Some say that blacks shifted to the Democratic Party after Democratic President Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Others blame Richard Nixon and his Southern Strategy that in reality was an attempt to give white Southerners an alternative to the blatant and vicious racism of the Democratic Party in the South. But the shift started a lot farther back than that. Blacks voted 71% for FDR in 1936 and except for 1956,  and the reelection of Dwight D. Eisenhower,  the trend has hardly ever reversed. [Factcheck, Blacks and the Democratic Party]

The real problem is that too many blacks have come to see Big Government as their savior. That took hold in the Great Depression and has become a major factor in how many blacks have seen politics ever since. Blacks collectively have been able to ignore or dismiss the most egregious racism of the Democratic Party; the party of the KKK, Jim Crow, and institutional segregation just so long as the Democrats grew government and came to promise them a larger share in it in exchange for their votes.

Many younger blacks today even believe that it was Republicans wearing those white sheets and burning crosses in the front yards of their grandparents and great grandparents. In the black community the Democrats won the argument a long time ago. The Democrats will keep winning the argument in the black community as long as blacks are wedded to the belief that government will somehow save them.

For this reason Conservatives should not try to craft a political strategy that requires the support or approval of Democratic blacks. There is no reason to even to pretend to care for the concerns of Democratic blacks looking for more entitlements. There is however a lot to be gained by telling everyone else who might be susceptible to reason that we won’t pander to big government programs that breed dependency.

On the other hand everything possible should be done to welcome blacks who support Conservative, small government principles. Contrary to popular media enflamed perception, Conservative and Tea Party types have welcomed like minded blacks into the fold with open arms.

Conservatives need to clearly identify who they can win with, and whom they cannot. Then they need to put 100% of their assets and effort into the battle of winning those who are not yet addicted to the crack cocaine of government dependency, and by that we are not only speaking of blacks, but the myriad of people and corporations who depend on government and not themselves.

The lesson should be obvious. Conservatives are not supposed to be about taking from some to give “benefits” or special favors to some at the cost of others. In any case Conservatives (or Libertarians for that matter) can’t out-promise the Democrats. The Democrats have a patent on stealing from some to buy the votes of others.

Something has gone very wrong for the black community in America. Dr. Walter E. Williams spoke very powerfully when he wrote:

Disgustingly, black politicians, civil rights leaders, liberals and the president are talking nonsense about “having a conversation about race.” That’s beyond useless. Tell me how a conversation with white people is going to stop black predators from preying on blacks. How is such a conversation going to eliminate the 75 percent illegitimacy rate? What will such a conversation do about the breakdown of the black family (though “breakdown” is not the correct word, as the family doesn’t form in the first place)? Only black people can solve our problems.  –Black Self Sabotage, July 31, 2013, Walter E. Williams 

As much as we may sympathize with the plight of many blacks caught in poverty, we can’t help them by competing with Democrats. Remember they have the patent on buying votes with other people’s money. If there is any chance whatsoever, we have to appeal to those who want to free people from poverty and dependency, not those who wish to institutionalize dependency for political power.


Posted in Democrats, Libertarian, Obama, Obamacare, Politics, Racism, Republican Party, Republicans | 4 Comments

The Eye of God

Federal Premium Law Enforcement Ammo – 9mm LUGER 124 GRAIN HST HP TACTICAL from the business end of a Glock G26.


Was able to take this pic looking down the barrel of a Glock G26 with my iPhone camera using flash. Silly, but found it amusing (and please, no safety lectures …).



Posted in Gun Control, Guns | Leave a comment

Republican Party – Business Reply Mail

Republican Party - Don't Tread On Us

Republican Party – Don’t Tread On Us

Got a letter from the Republican National Committee the other day. Usual solicitation for a donation. Return envelope says “POSTAGE WILL BE PAID BY ADDRESSEE.” 

Ok, no problem. Googled “How to join the Tea Party” and printed off an E-How article I found on how to do that. Inserted in envelope and mailed it off.

If you are not happy with how the mainstream Republican Party is treating grassroots Tea Party folks you might consider a similar response.


Posted in Politics, Republican Party | Leave a comment

How would you prevent another Sandy Hook?

The following was my reply to the question, “How would you prevent another Sandy Hook?” Nothing here that I haven’t said before, but hopefully a good summary of my thoughts on this (modified to add additional thoughts since the original reply).

Sandy Hook School Shooting

Sandy Hook School Shooting

“Bottom line: How would you prevent another Sandy Hook?”

Well, first I would ask myself a simple question. What has changed since the 1950s when guns were dead easy for anyone to get, including surplus, extremely high power, battle rifles like the M1 Garand or German Mausers collected off the battlefields of Europe after WWII. I remember ads in the back of comic books where you could buy Mausers and ammunition by mail order – the only “check” was whether your check would bounce, or not.

Again, loaded M1 Garands and M1 Carbines in the closet were not all that unusual in those days and kids could bring a .22 rifle to school (in urban schools they might be involved in the rifle team and in country schools they might be planning on hunting on the way home after school).

But we didn’t have school shootings like Sandy Hook. We also didn’t have a high percentage of kids on prescription drugs for ADHD (which had not yet been recognized as a problem). From what I have read a lot of school age kids today are on some prescription drug for various diagnosed mental issues and there is some implication that in a very few very susceptible individuals this might contribute to violent ideation leading to actual violence in schools and elsewhere.

So that would be the first question I would ask. Why? I don’t claim to know all the answers, but the easy ability for a mentally unstable person to acquire a gun is obviously not one of them given the very easy availability before the GCA68 (Gun Control Act of 1968 inspired by the assassination of Pres. Kennedy, with a mail order surplus rifle). I don’t see the availability of guns changing much (except in the direction of less availability) since 1950. It seems to me that people and culture have changed, and not always for the good.

So having asked that question I would start looking for answers. In the meantime while I was trying to figure that difficult question out I would ask myself a few other questions like what things in society do we protect with guns?

For one we protect our money in banks with guns. Was outside a name brand store and saw armed men in a Brinks truck picking up bags of money. I was in a upscale jewelry store the other day before Christmas and there was an armed guard in the store to protect the jewelry. If I happen to see the President on TV there are all sorts of guys standing around him with sunglasses and little tiny earphones in their ears – Secret Service – and you can bet they have lots of guns just out of sight to protect him.

Same thing for many politicians and VIPs around the country – they are protected with people carrying guns. Sen. Diane Feinstein, one of the all-time proponents of banning various firearms, is protected 24 hours by armed people. Back before she was a Senator and just a VIP in California she was able to get a concealed carry license to protect herself – she could pull the strings to get that when the vast majority of ordinary Californians could not.

So apparently there are a lot of very important things and people we feel compelled to protect with guns. But kids apparently are not one of them.

Congress passed a Gun Free School Zone Act a while back, apparently – if you are rational – because kids are not important enough to protect with guns, or alternatively as a living sacrifice to an irrational belief that signs prohibiting guns will keep out the violent and mentally unstable. Apparently some people hate guns more than the love kids. But a lot of slimy politicians, no problem, protect them with guns. Maybe even people in Washington who have drank the Kool-Aid of liberal politics can instinctively understand why ordinary people might want to kill a Congress-Critter?

So my answer again is twofold.

1. Find out what has really changed such that mentally ill people are attracted to schools and other places where they feel there is likely to be no armed opposition to their murders. I guess some people are puzzled when the mainstream media spends days, sometimes weeks, publicizing the life stories and grievances of those who kill kids in schools and then other mentally ill people choose to emulate them. Big surprise there!

2. Resolve that kids are as at least as important as money and resolve to protect them with guns, whether it is armed resource officers or teachers trained and permitted to carry concealed handguns, and maybe like one school I read about the other day decide to put a couple loaded AR-15 rifles in a locked cabinet in the school for designated people to use to defend kids.

We need to know what has changed (and maybe try to  un-change it) and in the meantime we need to protect what is valuable to us, and if kids are not valuable enough to protect, then we don’t deserve to continue to exist as a civilization. But banning guns to law abiding people is not the answer. It is just a knee jerk reaction because maybe we don’t want to find and face the real underlying problems. Perhaps if we asked those questions we would get some very uncomfortable answers about where our society is headed, and what it values.


Posted in 2nd Amendment, Gun Control, Guns, NRA, Politics, Self Defense | 9 Comments

Guns & Ammo

Dick Metcalf, a long time writer and editor at Guns & Ammo magazine managed to enrage many readers recently by writing an article “Let’s Talk Limits” in the December 2013 issue. He has since been fired by Guns & Ammo and editor Jim Bequette who apparently approved of the initial article, and who later apologized for it, has resigned.

Guns & Ammo

Guns & Ammo

Many have tried to portray this incident as a clear sign of the total and complete unreasoning extremism of many gun owners and readers of Guns & Ammo. Any point of view has its extremists, that is always true, but there may be another mostly under appreciated facet of this imbroglio that may have more to do with how Metcalf reached his conclusion than the actual conclusion itself.

Metcalf wrote:

Note carefully: Those last four words [of the 2nd Amendment]  say “shall not be infringed.” They do not say “shall not be regulated.” “Well regulated” is, in fact, the initial criterion of the amendment itself.

I have underlined above where he starts to step in the poo. He continues to write:

I bring this up because way too many gun owners still seem to believe that any regulation of the right to keep and bear arms is an infringement. …But many argue that any regulation at all is, by definition, an infringement. If that were true, then the authors of the Second Amendment themselves should not have specified “well regulated.”

The 2nd Amendment begins with:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, …

What the writers were talking about being well regulated was the militia. In no way were they saying, or even remotely hinting, that they were talking about regulating firearms in the above verbiage. Many of those involved in drafting the 2nd Amendment had personal experience with the efficacy of civilian militias from as early as the French and Indian Wars up to the Revolutionary War. They were deeply concerned that the states would do their duty to properly regulate their respective militias in regards to training, equipment, and leadership. They had personal experience with ill-equipped, badly trained, and often nearly useless militias in warfare.

What I shall call the “militia part” of the 2nd Amendment is purely explanatory. It in no way grammatically or logically limits “the right to keep and bear arms” on the existence of a militia or an individual’s participation in a militia. That was what the Supreme Court ruled in District of Columbia v. Heller.

J. Neil Schulman’s “The Unabridged Second Amendment” is a classic example of how modern researchers have clarified the meaning and grammar of the 2nd Amendment. In that article Schulman consults with the late Roy Copperud, a renowned expert on the usage of the English language (check out the link above to Mr. Copperud’s obituary in the New York Times or the link to Schulman’s article). Here is part of their dialogue:

Schulman:] “(1) Can the sentence [2nd Amendment] be interpreted to grant the right to keep and bear arms solely to ‘a well-regulated militia’?” 

[Copperud:] “(1) The sentence does not restrict the right to keep and bear arms, nor does it state or imply possession of the right elsewhere or by others than the people; it simply makes a positive statement with respect to a right of the people.”


[Schulman:] “(3) Is the right of the people to keep and bear arms conditioned upon whether or not a well regulated militia, is, in fact necessary to the security of a free State, and if that condition is not existing, is the statement ‘the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed’ null and void?”

 [Copperud:] “(3) No such condition is expressed or implied. The right to keep and bear arms is not said by the amendment to depend on the existence of a militia. No condition is stated or implied as to the relation of the right to keep and bear arms and to the necessity of a well-regulated militia as a requisite to the security of a free state. The right to keep and bear arms is deemed unconditional by the entire sentence.”

Again it was research and thinking along this line that largely contributed to the arguments presented to the Supreme Court that led to the decision in District of Columbia v. Heller which is undoubtedly the most significant ruling ever on the real meaning of the 2nd Amendment.

What Dick Metcalf did in trying to justify his views by reference to “well regulated” in the 2nd Amendment was to resurrect the view, a view held by almost all gun banners, that the “right to keep and bear arms” is somehow conditioned by the existence or non-existence of a militia and that somehow justifies just about any regulation they can imagine.

I think that is what really pissed off a lot of people. Metcalf was using a principle that the gun banners always resort to in their arguments to denigrate the idea that the 2nd Amendment confers an inviolate individual right.

Metcalf asks this question:

The question is, when does regulation become infringement?

In my view former President of the NRA David Keene had a good answer which I once saw him express in a TV interview. I have not found an online quote so I will have to paraphrase it as best I can – apologies in advance to Mr. Keene if unintentionally misrepresent him.

His basic contention was that background checks per se do not infringe if they do not materially impede a law abiding person’s ability to buy and take possession of a firearm whenever they want to. So if I go to my local Academy sporting goods store and decide to buy a handgun they will go through the NICS background check on my application and that will typically complete in a few minutes. I fill out the required form 4473 and quickly am on my way home or to the range with my new gun.

However if I have to wait for a background check that takes days or have to endure a “waiting period” before I can take possession then that is infringement. If I have to prove to the government that I am indeed qualified (as opposed to government proving I am disqualified) then that is an infringement. Barring some common sense disqualification that is on the record I should be able to buy and take possession of a firearm. Period.

I think I agree with David Keene on that one.

The real anger at Metcalf’s argument is not that most reasonable people think no regulation of any kind whatsoever is ever justified. I think it is largely motivated by how he reached that conclusion, and how strongly his method of reaching it parallels how the gun banners and anti-gunners reach their conclusions.

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia had a good take on this. Quoted from the following link:

“Yes, there are some limitations that can be imposed … What they are will depend on what the society understood was reasonable limitation [when the Constitution was written]. –Did Dick Metcalf deserve to be fired over Guns & Ammo column on 2A limitations?,

It is not the “militia part” of the 2nd Amendment that justifies some regulation of firearms. It is simply common sense. It is common sense that we should try to keep guns out of the hands of the dangerously mentally ill or habitual and violent criminals. But the 2nd Amendment itself says nothing to justify regulation.

Dick Metcalf justifiably lost his job because apparently his understanding of the 2nd Amendment seriously lagged behind how well informed readers of Guns & Ammo understood it. Metcalf’s views justifying regulation would probably have not caused an uproar decades ago, but today gun owners are a lot more informed than they used to be.

Just for the record I re-upped my subscription to Guns & Ammo for another two years just before this came out and I have absolutely no intention of canceling it. Guns & Ammo is a great magazine (along with Shooting Times and a few others). With the departure of a couple senior editors they have been sufficiently censured for a mistake which I doubt they will make again any time soon. If you subscribe to them you should also be getting The American Rifleman magazine which comes with membership in the NRA (and if not, exactly what is your problem?).


Posted in 2nd Amendment, Gun Control, Guns, NRA, Politics, Self Defense | Leave a comment



Anyone who follows my blog knows that I am always trying to persuade people to my view, to change their point of view. Got an interesting response from someone on a comment I posted on their blog the other day:

” I think differing opinions and discussions are great, it should not be used for the purpose of persuasion.”

My reply went like this:

That is the whole purpose of communication – to persuade people by facts instead of hitting them upside the head.

What was Dr. Martin Luther King doing when he was speaking at that rally in Washington way back in 1963? That was his “I Have A Dream Speech,” and I watched it on a black and white TV.

He was trying to persuade people to change their views. He was trying to persuade. He knew some people had different opinions than he did and he was trying to change them.

That is a good thing.

The problem was with some people who did not want their opinions changed.

Life is all about change. The only ones that don’t change are the dead.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. tried to persuade people. to change them for good.

Change that is good goes forward and brings people more freedom and opportunity to become something more than they have been, to raise themselves up to see farther than they have seen before.  Going forward we stand on the shoulders of those who went before us. We should never be content to settle with what we have received.

Change goes forward. It is each generation’s responsibility to lift our vision up higher and if we do that job properly it will be our shoulder’s that our children will use as their vantage point. There is an interesting thing about the word “LIVE” that someone pointed out to me some years ago.

Life is change and when we do that we:


But if we change that around, if we exactly turn the letters of the word “live” around what do we get? We get:


Evil is taking humanity backwards and trying to stay in a vision of the past without change. But change can go both ways. It can go forward, or it can go backwards, it can be good or it can be evil.

Hope And Change

If you look at history you will see that there is a theme of change going in one direction. Before pre-history we had wandering tribes with chieftains and with agriculture that became kings and kingdoms. In the beginning the power and authority of the chieftains or kings was absolute and unchallenged.

Hammurabi, a king of Babylon, created a set of codes written in stone, the first written law. Law set in stone was the first limitation on the power of authority. Moses led the Israelites from Egypt and he also had a code written on stone tablets. His law, the Law of Moses, is seen by some today as harsh, but in fact it was a great advance at the time and further established limitations on authoritarian power.

Athens established the first democracy, and although far from perfect, it was a huge leap forward in circumscribing the power of authoritarian rulers and setting in principle the concept of the rights of the individual. Again it was far from perfect, but it was an enormous advance in human thinking.

The thinkers of the Renaissance revolted from the authoritarian thinking of the past and rediscovered the towering thoughts of Greek and Roman civilization. And all this led to one singular group of men who made the single largest leap in human history, the Founders of the United States.


Like the Athenians the Founders of the United States were not perfect, but they created the blueprint for individual freedom that led to a true revolution in how humanity saw itself, and to the incredible civilization you now live in, a civilization where you can read this on a computer screen.

But all forward change is resisted by those who attempt to go backwards and to the past. One of these was the founding of Communism which took back freedom again and gave power to the authoritarians and collectivists.


We know now that to go backwards is E-V-I-L. All authoritarian systems attempt to go backwards in human evolution, away from individual freedom and individual empowerment, the kind of individual empowerment that led to the Industrial Revolution and the world we live in today with choices our ancestors could hardly imagine.

So how about “Hope And Change“? Does that go forwards or backwards? Does that empower the individual to make changes for themselves or does it go backwards in investing all power in higher authority while taking away the individual’s power to be the change they want to be?

Is “Hope And Change” good or evil, forwards or backwards? Think about that for a while.


Posted in Blacks, Obama, Obamacare, Politics, Racism, Republican Party, Shutdown | 5 Comments