Tag Archives: liberal

deplorables-2

My Fellow Deplorables…

By Chris Warren.

My Fellow Deplorables, I know it’s hard not to answer back to the flood of snipes and insults from the “tolerant & accepting” liberals, but please hold your fire. What they thought would be a yuge blue tidal wave left Democrats going into 2017 with less than than they’ve had in decades, and the 2018 mid term election map strongly indicates that they probably have not hit bottom yet. “Liking” and “sharing” insipid Facebook memes and walking around chanting while wearing childish pink kitty hats is all liberals have left. Let them think it will matter; let them pout and whine like the little sissy-bitches they are. None of it changes the end result. We still won.

My Fellow Deplorables, instead of counter arguing, encourage dead end theories that Hillary Clinton lost the election because of the Russians, the electoral college, the FBI, or whatever. Pretend to agree with the left! Affirm their delusions and denials! The last thing we want is for them to get a clue. The more liberals embrace straw man arguments, the more likely it is they will lose again and again and again.

deplorables

My Fellow Deplorables, offer no rebuttal to Hillary supporters when they say Donald Trump is the most incompetent buffoon ever to be elected President. Staying out of this debate forces liberals into the untenable position of rationalizing what Trump’s buffoonery says about the abilities of their candidate, who lost to him. Winners never have to justify their success, nor are losers entitled to an explanation. The losers will likely default back to blaming the Russians, the FBI, blah, blah, blah. Again, don’t interrupt them. Don’t give away the answers to the test. Don’t say or do anything to steer them towards a real solution. Let the liberals keep talking in circles even if it means taking some verbal abuse ourselves.

My Fellow Deplorables, take liberal showmanship for the absurd comedy that it is. I too laughed my ass off at their infantile YouTube meltdowns. Don’t feel guilty while you belittle the hysterical liberal screeching. It is hilarious entertainment! Yes, I know it’s not nice to mock and gloat, but etiquette is voided the moment anyone puts their manufactured outrage on the internet for all to see. It’s a zero-sum game: They have Saturday Night Live and Bill Maher; we have millions of Hillary voters who can’t keep their finger off the “post” button. In what can only be an irony so beautiful that even Shakespeare could not have crafted it, the Democrats have the nerve to beat up on Trump over his Twitter addiction. At least Trump can say he won.

My fellow Deplorables, stay focused on why you voted the way you did and give a wide berth for the liberals to have hissy fits and chase shiny objects. The Democrats are covered in their own shit while insisting that it’s everyone else who stinks. Let them keep thinking that. Besides the big win, which is the only end result that really matters, Deplorables collect an added bonus: Getting the last laugh on liberals who don’t even know that they are the joke.

flag burning

The Reason We Shouldn’t Is Because We Can.

By Chris Warren

There are a lot of ways to identify a blubbering idiot.  The most common is when someone announces that they have the “right” to do or say something, then proceeds to make a big dramatic spectacle of doing it. At that point the odds are very good that they are in blubbering idiot territory.

Flag burning as a form of protest has seen something of a renaissance lately. The self absorbed, mostly millennial-aged activists represent a huge buffet of causes and think they are being edgy and progressive, but we of more vintage know that flag burning is an old trope that goes back to the Vietnam era. I presume one of the protesters’ goals is to convince others to join their cause; apparently they have not figured out that flag burning  is appealing to no one except those who were already on their side in the first place.

Burning the American flag is an offense far beyond any single cause because it is the symbol of all just causes. The average protester does not have enough brain cells to understand the irony of destroying the very symbol of what protects their freedom to protest, or that it reflects the protesters’ own weakness and lack of courage.

They don’t burn the flag to advance their cause. They burn the flag for the shock value and to be hurtful. That’s really what this is all about. They’re like a recalcitrant angry child screaming “Mommy I hate you!”. Their immaturity does not allow them to express themselves in any reasonable way, so they lash out with the only weapon they have–inflicting emotional pain.

When a protester is asked why they are protesting, the answer is almost always some nebulous statement about “rights,” either theirs or someone else’s. I do agree that burning the American flag is a Constitutionally protected First Amendment right, even as I personally find it deeply offensive. But my individual sensibilities are not a basis for a legal or moral system.

I’m sure the flag-burners are likewise offended that I exercise my Second Amendment rights by packing a gun everywhere I go. The difference of course is that I do not carry a gun for the sole purpose of upsetting anyone, although it does not bother me at all if someone is. No one has the right not to be offended, and that concept is a two way street. One could fill many gigabytes of computer memory discussing the contradictions and double-standards that revolve around the flag.

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One sign of maturity and wisdom is the ability to accept an opinion you disagree with and not take it as a personal affront. The flip side to this is mature people do not deliberately inflict emotional pain as part of, or in many cases in lieu of, making their point.

The other day a television news channel featured a story about protesters protesting the recent US Presidential election by burning an American flag. Unfortunately for the protesters, the coverage was almost totally devoted to the flag burning. Barely any mention was made about what they were actually protesting against.

And so it is with such childish and disrespectful overtures. The flag burning becomes the issue and no one pays much attention to whatever the hell it is they are complaining about.

I suggest that the best response to flag burning is to be passive and let it go. I know it is difficult, but not all wrongdoing is worthy of intervention. Anti-flag burners do not want to descend into a state where they think everything that offends them should be eradicated from the Earth. If that sentiment sounds familiar, it’s because we already have an entire generation of runny-nosed milquetoasts who need puppies and Play-Doh just to get through the “trauma” of an election that offended them, but apparently not enough for most of them to participate in.

Burning the American flag is Constitutionally acceptable (albeit offensive) free speech. Honorable men and women have fought and died for our rights, and that includes the right to be a blubbering flag-burning idiot. I have no confidence that someday the idiots will see their foolish former selves immortalized forever on YouTube and be embarrassed enough to join the ranks of we who understand that the reason you shouldn’t is because you can.

politics-pizza

Stale Bread vs. Burned Pizza

Have you ever opened the refrigerator, pulled out everything you need to make a great sandwich, only to discover the last two slices of bread are stale and dry and old? You make the sandwich anyway. It’s still reasonably edible, but only because you’re desperate and hungry.

And have you ever popped a frozen pizza in the oven, then got distracted by a phone call or something on TV, only to catch your oversight right before it turns into a flaming platter of charcoal? The pizza is a mess but not a total loss. You were soooo looking forward to it that you salvage what’s left and try to convince yourself that it really isn’t that bad.

Well wow, the election is over. The far right is gloating, the far left is crying, and the rest are just glad that the drama of a high-tension election has passed. That’s not to say there isn’t more drama coming; it just means the big banana question of who will be our next President has been answered. Buried in the mind numbing details is what will happen to the two major parties, and who will be steering the ship? We have drifted into a world of bizarro politics  where the only items on the menu are stale bread and burned pizza.

It will take historians of politics many years to determine how Hillary Clinton came to be so out of touch that she lost the working middle class vote –badly– to an old money billionaire who craps in gold plated toilets. I’ll offer a hint: Middle class America can’t relate to a pathologically dishonest stale bread candidate who, after thirty years in government, could not come up with any solutions more original than tax the rich and solar panels. I’m also willing to bet that trotting out all those pleading celebrities, smug university academics, and even a sitting President who possibly had more to lose than the candidate he was endorsing did not score even one single new vote for Clinton.

Proving that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result, the Democrats are about to re-elect Nancy Pelosi as their congressional minority leader. As someone who is more stale bread-ish than Hillary, Pelosi would be the de facto new-old face of the party and the highest ranking Democrat in the land. They inexplicably think that the San Francisco liberal who brought us transgender bathrooms and condoms for twelve year olds is the missing link needed to connect with farmer’s wives in Iowa and laid off steelworkers in Pennsylvania.

The same historians of politics who can’t figure out Clinton’s loss are likewise baffled over Donald Trump’s win. Admittedly, it’s hard to see how conservatives managed to elect a guy who spent his entire life as one of the east coast liberal elites Republicans love to deride, then at the age of 70 had a great epiphany that inspired his newfound love for Ronald Reagan and the Second Amendment.

Donald Trump’s penchant for choosing unnecessarily coarse words both in his past and in his politics came to a rolling boil just in time for the Republicans to come down with a case of moral amnesia. Suddenly, “locker room talk” was a catch-all excuse for every crude reference to female anatomy. Politics does odd things to people. I’m sure Bill Clinton was relieved that at last the conservatives were talking about someone else’s indiscretions.

No matter what Donald Trump may have done (real or perceived) to disqualify himself from politics, it didn’t seem to matter because he did after all win the election. One cannot argue with success. Republicans accept him as the the burned pizza candidate: Messy and imperfect, but lacking any better options, it will have to be acceptable.

It’s baffling that in the most powerful, most skilled, most promising nation that has ever existed, a land of so many brilliant minds, the best we could come up with is stale bread and burned pizza. My fellow Americans, can we order out next time?

donald trump

Revenge of the Deplorables.

By Chris Warren.

The world’s oldest functioning democracy has spoken and we are getting President Donald Trump. It was quixotic long shot that blindsided the world, but sometimes long shots actually succeed. The pundits and experts and analysts will spend years picking this election apart to study Donald Trump’s breathtaking smackdown of not just the liberal establishment, but also the media, the polling industry, and the entire Washington plutocracy. Not one of the political science wizards can interpret the 2016 election as well as I, because I am the reason Donald Trump won and liberalism not only failed, but was utterly vanquished.

This story is not mine alone. What follows are the thoughts and feelings of millions.

For at least a generation, and especially in the last eight years, the average everyday conservative Christian white guy has been maligned and beaten. Everything we said and did was twisted into “hate speech” and “intolerance”.

The idea of honest work and paying your own way in this world has morphed into an attitude of entitlement where one has a “right” to pretty much everything, and stick someone else with the bill. That “someone else” was me, and last Tuesday, I raised a big middle finger and spit in the faces of liberal elite.

The simmering pot of conservative retribution has been in the slow cooker for decades, and now dinner is served!

Donald Trump was the only Presidential candidate in my lifetime to understand the average everyday conservative Christian working white guy in any real depth. Strangely, Trump being a silver spoon billionaire with a weak record of conservatism doesn’t matter. I don’t need a President to agree with or be like me. I just want a President who doesn’t hate me.

While I still have a problem with Donald Trump’s sometimes crude decorum and attitudes, when the pablum and crudity is scraped away he “gets it”. He can and does earnestly place himself in the shoes of the average everyday conservative Christian white guy, and that’s why he’s good enough for me.

Hillary Clinton, who has never worked a real job in her entire life and does not say anything unless it is tested in a focus group and cleared by a half dozen paid consultants, is a labyrinth of contradictions and double standards. To paraphrase one conservative commentator, Clinton is so pathologically dishonest, she lies even when she does not have to.

Admittedly, Donald Trump is unnecessarily rough in his manner, but he’s not maliciously deceptive. I would not believe Hillary Clinton if she told me the sun was going to rise tomorrow. Given the choice between a creep or a crook, I’ll take the former.

When liberals are in power they  talk in gentle tones about compromise and working together. What this really means is they believe they know what is best, so go along or be accused of waging a “war on fill in the blank” or branded with a derogatory noun ending with the suffix -ist or -phobe. Now that the tables have been turned, I’m not interested in compromise. I’m not interested in unity or working together. I’m not interested in being friends. The Democrats did not want my friendship then, and I don’t want theirs now.

Simply winning an election was not good enough for me. I also voted for the failure of the Democratic party and intend on using my newfound advantage to demoralize liberals, openly mock, deride, and humiliate them, destroy their policies and legislation, and call them out for the sanctimonious piles of shit that they are. The simmering pot of conservative retribution has been in the slow cooker for decades, and now dinner is served! Believe it.

The party of tolerance and acceptance dismissed us as rednecks from flyover country, bumpkins, NASCAR dolts, hillbillies, white trash, and ignorant xenophobic rubes clinging to guns and religion. They belittled our faith, our values, our communities, and even the trucks we drive. We just kept chugging along in quiet dignity, doing the best we can with what we had. It’s time to settle the score.

What comes around, goes around; the revenge of the pissed off deplorable has come to fruition. Life as a liberal in the USA is about to get very unpleasant, and I’m gleefully looking forward to being one of the reasons why. Last Tuesday’s election was only the beginning; we are going to screw them over every chance we get. Can you hear me now?

Take that Hope & Change and shove it straight up your ass.

earth day 2016

Earth Day 2016.

Editor’s note: This article was originally posted on April 19, 2014. We are recycing it for Earth Day 2016 with a few edits and updates.

I’m going to say up front that today’s blog article is not going to be a conservative hit piece on Earth Day 2016, nor will it be a sappy New Age love song about windmills and composting. As someone who has been a strict vegetarian for close to three decades, incorporates numerous meaningful green practices into his life, and is gun-toting, flag-waving Libertarian (which is not the same as a liberal), I feel I have an understanding of Earth Day 2016 that belies the absolute left and right attitudes that define it.

April 22 is Earth Day 2016, and for political liberals, leftover hippies, and various eco-activist groups, it’s a High Holy Day. Started by flower children in 1970 on the momentum of anti-Vietnam counterculture, Earth Day has evolved into a slick, professionally organized international media spectacle complete with its own website and corporate sponsors. Like all things liberal, Earth Day is heavy on shallow sentimentality, squishy platitudes, and calls for “investments” (taxescoughtaxes) in green projects. The real message: We simpletons need big government liberalism to save us from our own stupid. And like all things conservative, Earth Day is an opportunity for overt mockery and to dismiss environmentalism out of hand, because in the Orthodox Church of “drill, baby, drill!” it’s apostasy to even hint that the green movement has a legitimate point buried in there somewhere, especially if it interferes with making a lot of money.

Years before recycling became fashionable, I was lugging magazines and aluminum cans down from my 12th floor college dorm to a recycling center on the other side of campus.

I absolutely do believe in a clean environment and the premise behind Earth Day 2016. I also have a big issue with advancing the cause via rules and edicts that make for good press releases but never achieve their intended goal. I’ve spent a lot of time arguing with myself over how to resolve my conviction that we need to stop trashing the planet against my conservative sensibilities of resisting at every chance an egalitarian nanny state that, especially regarding environmental policy, regulates our lives down to the ridiculous, up to and including federal standards for…shower heads?

Years before recycling became fashionable, I was lugging magazines and aluminum cans down from my 12th floor college dorm to a recycling center on the other side of campus. Back then, recycling required considerable dedication and muscle. As one can guess, hardly anyone bothered. Today, recycling is as straightforward as placing recyclables at the curb where they are picked up along with garbage. My neighborhood even has entrepreneurially-minded scrappers who will scoop up discarded appliances, hot water heaters, bikes, BBQ grills, and whatever metallic waste suburbia tosses away. I don’t know how much money they make, but it must be pretty good because there are more than one of them patrolling the streets competing for junk every week. In many locales, recycling has developed to the point that there aren’t any good excuses not to do it.

Renewable energy is one area that has made considerable progress but is still a long way from being a real game changer. Even with tax incentives and subsidies (which I have a problem with), the bang for the buck is just not there. I will be well into retirement before my roof full of solar panels pay themselves off. Fortunately for me, my motivations are not solely about money. For most, the start up costs of green energy for individual use is well beyond the budget. Germany is often held up as a proud example of a “successful” national renewable energy program, but the rationalization works only if affordability is taken out of the equation.

For the Germans, solar energy may be an environmental win but it is collapsing as a business model due in no small part to regulatory overreach and meddling. Progressives here in the United states have been trying for years, but they cannot come up with a talking point that gets them over the mountain of government incompetence. Green energy will never evolve beyond the fringe unless it becomes cost effective, and it will never be cost effective without free market-based energy policy. The environmental movement will never, ever embrace this simple truth. They run their mouths about how the US should emulate Germany’s example while completely blowing off the ugly fact that it is breaking the bank.

A recurring theme in my blog is making fun of the left for doing things just to feel good. It’s not an unfair criticism: A major piece of liberal dogma is that good intentions and feelings are a valid substitute for reality and actual results. But here’s where I split with conservatives: While liberals are all about being warm and happy even if nothing gets done, conservatives seem to be of the attitude that the value of something is proportional to the amount of difficulty and sacrifice needed to do it. Or to put it another way, if something is enjoyable it’s either not worth doing or you are not working hard enough. Some of the most pissed off, bitter people I know are conservative, possibly because they have forgotten that life can’t always be about that hard journey going for the gold. But what if I can do something that really does produce results and I can feel good about it…what’s wrong with that?

Unfortunately, most of what passes as “environmentalism” is really just fluff. Earth Day 2016 will have plenty of celebrity appearances and petition signings and resurrected Joni Mitchell songs. Within twenty four hours everyone will go back to what they were doing before. They have conned themselves into thinking they are environmentalists because they plop a blue bin full of junk mail at the end of the driveway every week. Toss in an annual one day feel good retro hippy trip and they are completely sold on the hustle. I don’t know what’s worse: Liberals who pretend to be environmentalists with their hollow showmanship or conservatives who never claimed to care in the first place.

I no longer accept the idealism of my youth that had me thinking I could singlehandedly save the world one aluminum can at a time. But doing nothing is also unacceptable. Decades out of college dorm life, I’m still recycling. I’ve also been on solar panels for a while. They aren’t enough to run the whole house, but I can produce a significant chunk of my electricity with them.

When I switched to a vegetarian diet 29 years ago, it was not for environmental reasons. Since then I’ve learned a lot about how dirty and energy-intensive meat production really is, and how many thousands of gallons of water are needed to produce just one pound of beef. I work only a little over a mile from where I live; some weeks I rack up less than 25 miles on my vehicles. When the weather is good I get around on a motorcycle. These are things I do all the time, not just for display purposes. I don’t wear my environmentalism on my sleeve and people who do annoy the hell out of me, especially since most of them are pretenders.

Those of us who live our lives as if every day were Earth Day 2016 are a little vexed about the concept of waiting for a special occasion to take positive action towards keeping the planet clean, nor do we feel a need to show off how “green” we are. True Earth Day practitioners divorce themselves from the fad of environmentalism and go quietly about their eco-friendly business. It’s a lifestyle, not a hobby or a holiday. Conservatives will be pleased to know that when done properly it requires effort and is often a challenge; liberals can be assured that in the end, yes, it feels good. In a truly honorable world, there would be no need to reserve a spot on the calendar to commemorate what everyone should have been doing the whole time anyway.

Revisiting Progressive Fairness.

By: Chris Warren.

Back in February 2014 my second post on the then brand new Twenty First Summer was about fairness (click here to go to the original article). Since that time, the attitudes I expressed in that article have not changed, but a lot of world events that drive those attitudes has. It’s perfect time to revisit the concept of fairness.

“Each side will claim the other is lying. Each side has a vested interest in keeping the concept of fairness as blurry as possible,” I said back then. That part is still glaringly true. What is different is that one side is more invested in blurring the lines of fairness than the other. I’m not sure what fairness exactly is, but I do know what it isn’t.

Fairness is not taking assets from those who earned them and giving them to those who did not. Where does it say that everyone has a divine cosmic “right” to housing, a college education, childcare, and on and on…regardless of one’s ability to pay?

fairness

While we’re on the subject of fairness, it’s also worthwhile to mix in the issue of “rights” because the two concepts are closely related. We The People have a right to many things. Yet, it does not automatically follow that having a right to something means others must provide it for you: I have a right to speak my mind. Should someone else be compelled to host my blog or set me up with a podcast for free?

If it’s not fair that I should get free web hosting, then I need someone from the political left to explain why. After all, they believe fairness equals the right to make someone else pay for my medical bills, my rent, my education, and pretty much my entire lifestyle. I want to know why the same line of thinking does not conclude that my free speech should be, literally, free.

Here in the United States we have the Second Amendment of the Constitution asserting our right to bear arms. While the liberal left is busy insisting that “fairness” means taxpayer funded sex change operations for convicts and fifteen dollars an hour for people stupid enough to think shoveling french fries is a lifetime vocation (none of this is in the Constitution, by the way), they should stay true to their philosophy and demand that the government issue a gun to every citizen who wants one. After all, it’s my “right,” isn’t it? Liberal logic should have no problem with my request for a 9 millimeter semiautomatic chunk of fairness. And I want someone else to pay for it so I don’t have to.

For American Progressives, Europe has been the role model of egalitarian fairness for two generations. Like all things liberal, the European version of fairness wholly depends on taking from those who earn and giving to those who don’t. Europe is now living up to the late great British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s quip about running out of other people’s money.

The Euro Zone which Thatcher strongly warned against is failing, as it deserves to, and Great Britain is seriously considering hitting the eject button from the European Union, an act known as the Brexit in economics-speak. It’s a bit of historic irony when the country that didn’t want the American colonists to have independence nearly 250 years ago is now itself contemplating what without question would be a very messy economic and political divorce from the rest of Europe. I say go for it England, before all that EU fairness sucks the life out of your great and proud land.

That brings me to my last question for American liberals: If European democratic socialism is so awesome, why is it failing? More precisely, why is your version of fairness failing? I’m sure the answer will be at least as blurry and evasive as the excuses for implementing it in the first place.

refugees

Refugees Are Unwitting Economics Teachers For A Self Indulgent Europe.

By: Chris Warren

A little less than a year ago I wrote an article about African and middle eastern war refugees escaping to Europe and the difficult and often deadly journey they risked. At the time, I knew a positive outcome would be difficult; I also knew that the Europeans have a hard time accepting that there is a practical limit to generosity, even for refugees in life and death situations. I did not predict that it would become so obvious so soon.

To truly understand this issue one first has to rewind back three generations. That’s roughly how long Europe has overindulged itself in a cradle-to-grave nanny state where nearly everything is a government entitlement. For most of this time it was all paid for, sort of. By “sort of” I mean that the system was financially solvent on paper but only because of massive taxation, fuzzy accounting protocols, and constant debt deferment and restructuring. Financial doomsday has already hit Greece and is seeping out across the continent like The Plague of the 1340s-1350s. It’s the macroeconomic equivalent of transferring balances between maxed out credit cards.

When hundreds of thousands of middle eastern war refugees started arriving at the borders of Europe, Europe’s initial reaction was to accommodate them. There were grand pronouncements of generosity from government officials and a wave of social media love. Everyone, it seems, was gushing with refugee support.

Europeans will be all about doing whatever it takes to help the refugees until a collective epiphany (which has already begun here and here) makes them see that “it” is going to impact them individually. I wonder how many British or German or Greek citizens will still be Tweeting #refugeeswelcome when their kids’ school class sizes increase or the wait times for their rationed state healthcare systems becomes longer because of all the middle eastern castaways they so altruistically took in.

In what could be Europe’s very first ever introduction to economic reality, entire nations that less then a month ago were preaching humanitarianism across the internet are suddenly reconsidering after realizing that they will have to give up a sizable chunk of their money and standard of living to provide for the glut of hundreds of thousands of people who will take far more out of the government entitlement systems than they put into them. Wow, what a difference a few weeks makes.

The liberal left here in the United States, who think moral obligation never has a spending limit and all problems would be solved if only everyone gave more money to the government, has long envied European socialism. Yet, no one on the American left is speaking in support of their European cousins’ sudden change of heart. To do so would be to imply that their cherished entitlement system isn’t working.

The subtext of the very real and very sad plight of the refugees is the failure of big government liberalism and its two-faced supporters who embrace the the idea of helping refugees, but only if at the expense and inconvenience of others. As Twenty First Summer has discussed before, the political left was, is, and always will be grounded in two related basic tenets: Appearances and feelings are just as good as actual results, and a good cause is made better when the expense can be pushed off on others.

That is why Europeans continue to embrace collectivism. That is why they think they can hashtag their way to a better world. That is why after three generations of lavishing themselves in an egalitarian culture of “free” stuff, there are, as former US Presidential candidate Mitt Romney once famously quipped, too many people riding the cart and not enough people pulling it. And that was before the refugees showed up at the gate. The refugees have unwittingly exposed European socialism for the crock of sanctimonious shit that it is: Everything is free, until the bill comes due.

 

truth

Fencing In The Truth.

By: Chris Warren.

After a week of partisan screeching from both ends over two huge Supreme Court cases, a foreign trade deal, and a 150 year-plus cyclic hostility towards a flag, I’m ready to wish I was in a coma for the last few days. The headache is not from the nature of the issues, but from each faction insisting they are on the side of truth and the other is pulling off a great deception. I do believe there is a line where truth ends and lies begin, with a caveat that the specific boundaries are not easily determined by us mortals. Of course, mortals will always try anyway and fail. The failure comes out of the theory that for “my” side to be right, “your” side has to be wrong.

Although I do not consider myself a neutral bystander to any of these issues, I’m not so hardened to a view that I can’t admit those with whom I disagree have a point worth taking seriously. My boundary of truth is like one of those temporary fences used around constructions sites: Sturdy enough to maintain separation, flexible enough to be moved when needed, and is easily repaired when it gets plowed down.

There are absolutists who will shudder at my movable fence theory and accuse me of moral relativism. Naturally, their morals are the correct ones and everyone else, including me, is venturing down an evil path. It’s funny how easily they can identify everyone else’s inconsistencies while being completely if not willfully ignorant of their own. Whether it’s preaching about family values while hoping no one finds out about their own genetically-related dirt, or globe trotting aboard a carbon-puking private jet to get paid six figures giving speeches about how all the rest of us are earth killing slobs and puppets of the rich, they never fail to show us how problematic moral absolutes can be when one epically collides with a thick concrete wall of their own making.

Simply ignoring the self-appointed truth police is not enough of a defense. The pablum is too thick to plug one’s ears and hope for the best. The most effective and perhaps only defense is one’s own truth. That means clearly thinking through your beliefs and knowing how you arrived at them. It means admitting when an idea is wrong and discarding it instead of clinging to contorted rationalizations for keeping it.

More than all else it means not lifting yourself up by putting others down. It seems we live in a time when it’s not enough to be “right”. We must also beat down all who don’t go along. Almost everyone has at least one acquaintance who is on social media numerous times a day posting provocative articles and memes about controversial topics. Notice how nearly all of these nuggets of what they consider “truth” do not directly support their cause…they instead take cheap shots at the opposing cause. They are miniature versions of the larger media world. I find myself quickly clicking away from web pages and changing channels. I don’t necessarily disagree with what they are saying; I just don’t like the way they are saying it.

The default is to blame the internet and electronic media for the truth wars, but I’m not willing to go there. It’s too easy. The media as a communications mode is amoral, without  any inherent bias. People will be who they are; the internet just gives them a greater opportunity to make fools of themselves. Neither side of any issue should have to be the only one expected to move his fence to accommodate the other. For too many, the boundaries of truth are hopelessly cemented in the ground.

 

2016 election

Let The Games Begin (Did They Ever End?)

One would have to be living far off the grid not to know the 2016 election for President is less than a year and a half away. Along with it numerous house and senate seats and thousands of local offices will be on the ballot. Term limited President Barack Obama will not be running; by time it’s is over he may end up feeling like a winner again for not having to put himself through the campaign meat grinder. I feel blessed to be living under the world’s oldest working Constitution, but the 2016 election makes me wish all this freedom & democracy would be more meaningful and less in-your-face.

To say election season has begun is either naive or disingenuous. It may have peaks and valleys of activity, but there is no beginning because there never was an end. The cycle of gamesmanship and spin-doctoring resets to zero the day after the last election. It starts faintly in the form of small on line banner ads asking me to participate in a political “survey,” as if anyone believes these surveys are real. Other ads are conveniently promoting political causes I am in favor of myself. They aren’t reading my mind, I just need to clear my computer’s cache and cookies more often.

The closer it gets to 2016 Election Day, the harder it will be to avoid the gathering campaign storm. Quiet banner ads will turn into television commercials six or eight times per hour. “Vote for me!” and “Don’t vote for them!” junk mail will arrive daily. Yard signs and bumper stickers will pop up. Social media will be clogged with memes and links posted by people who honestly believe their cause or candidate will prevail if only it gets enough “likes” and “shares.”

The 2010 Supreme Court case Citizens’ United v. Federal Election Commission ruled that “corporations are people” for the purpose of free speech. Corporations and special interest groups that were previously limited on how much they can spend promoting their views may now blow as much money as they want praising their candidate, or trashing on their candidate’s opponent. This court case was and still is very controversial. Democrats dislike it the most, a position I do not understand because the the ruling applies equally to both sides. Liberal and conservative groups have each complained about Citizens’ United while at the same time taking full advantage of the unlimited big spending it allows. The real victims are the ordinary voters who must endure the flood of propaganda.

My problem with the election process is not the process itself, but that the amount of money needed to get elected dilutes the meaning of individual votes. The other day I heard a political analyst on a radio show state that, while everyone has the unfettered right to cast a vote and have it included in the total, the meaning of the vote is not validated because once a candidate wins they are most favorable to whoever wrote the biggest checks. It’s a profound statement that I had not thought of before and the most powerful argument against the Citizens’ United case ruling. There is a big difference between votes being numerically counted and votes having real influence over the person it was cast for.

It’s not very encouraging to hear that the vote I am being nagged to death for won’t have any pull once the 2016 election is over. I understand how the concept of free speech can and probably should include groups having the right to spend their collective money as they please. I’ve donated to assorted causes myself; my dollar is not more important than anyone else’s. Still, it’s not less important either, and I have a problem with other people’s (or corporations’) free speech stepping on mine solely because their check had more zeroes on it. The resolution to the big money in politics problem, if it even is a problem, would not need to involve regulating donations  if elected leaders lived up to the oath of their office and served those who do the actual voting.

We Walk Quietly Among You.

By: Chris Warren

A relative at the same family gathering that inspired my May 9 article was quite surprised when I mentioned in passing that I own numerous guns and legally carry a loaded & functioning firearm with me pretty much at all times. They were a little taken aback that low key, never-calls-attention-to-himself cousin Chris was in fact a heavily armed gun nut. “Yes, it’s true,” I explained with the deliberate intention of making it sound as normal as tying one’s shoes. “I pack heat.”

The rest of the story is that my affinity for firearms is not particularly atypical. There are millions of law-abiding Americans just like me who, for many reasons, go about their ordinary lives carrying a gun along with their keys and cellphones. In gun lingo it is referred to as conceal carry because in most areas the law requires that the weapon not be readily visible. There is an entire niche market of guns, holsters, belts, cases, and even professional training specifically designed for conceal carry.

As I run errands to the store, the bank, car wash, all the usual everyday activities, no one around me other than friends and family know I am carrying. For sure, there are people who would be very upset to know they are standing in line next to a guy with a gun. They are entitled to their opinions. I’m not interested in trying to change their mind. But at the same time, they will not change mine. My Second Amendment freedom and personal security is more important than a stranger’s sensibilities. To put it more abruptly, I don’t care about their feelings.guns-2

I understand why influencing public opinion and lobbying to preserve America’s firearms heritage is necessary; responding to every individual attack like-for-like is not. Sometimes the best response is none at all. We have a Constitution and several court cases that say private citizens have a right to bear arms. Why continue arguing when you’ve already won? I’ve only rarely been personally confronted by someone who feels I owe them an explanation as to why I carry, but when the moment comes I have a simple answer all ready to go: It’s none of their business. My non-answer answer is never satisfactory to them, but that’s the most they’ll get out of me. I wasn’t bluffing when I said that I don’t care about their feelings.

I flatly refuse to justify myself to anyone who thinks the best way to solve the “gun problem” is to harass lawful people who are not causing the problem, and I encourage all 2A supporters, whether they own guns or not, to join me in giving liberals the silent treatment they so rightly deserve, up to and including never admitting on any survey that you own firearms.  Engaging these clowns is the same as conceding that they might have a valid point.

The reason gun owners are so recalcitrant to compromise is because they understand that no matter how reasonable anti-gun activists sound when benignly speaking of “respecting the Second Amendment,” the ultimate goal of the gun control movement is a total ban on all firearms. I let the National Rifle Association and similar organizations I am happy to associate with do most of the talking for me. There are thousands of illegally armed violent criminals running around causing death and mayhem; it’s completely lost on me why anti-gun activists think taking my weapons away from me is going to alleviate that. They are lying when they say all they want are “common sense gun laws,” and “to keep guns out of the hands of criminals.” They want to take all firearms away, including mine.

My cousin was right. I am consciously understated and avoid calling attention to myself. I just want to be left alone; it’s a big part of my personality. One of the side benefits of conceal carry is something I call “the gun nuts’ revenge”: Millions of peaceful, non-violent, responsible armed citizens walk quietly and unnoticed in the stores, malls, parks, everywhere, feeling somewhat amused that the anti-gun liberal flakes have no idea just how close to them we really are.

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