Might Want to Practice

What is the Common Factor Here?

Sometimes I check in on this April 4, 2005 piece to see if the Times has gotten around to correcting it. As of today, they have not! Sometimes I hope they never will.

But crozier mistakes are understandable. Less understandable? Saying Jesus is buried in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, that Easter marks Jesus’ “resurrection into heaven,” that St. Patrick is known for banishing slaves from Ireland, or that William Butler Yeats is the author of the Book of Hebrews.
The mainstream media lobbies hard for gun control, but it is very, very bad at gun journalism. It might be impossible ever to bridge the divide between the gun-control and gun-rights movements. But it’s impossible to start a dialogue when you don’t know what the hell you are talking about.

Media stories in the wake of mass shootings typically feature a laundry list of mistakes that reflect their writers’ inexperience with guns and gun culture. Some of them are small but telling: conflating automatic and semi-automatic weapons, assault rifle and assault weapon, caliber and gauge—all demonstrating a general lack of familiarity with firearms. Some of them are bigger. Like calling for “common-sense gun control” and “universal background checks” after instances in which a shooter purchased a gun legally and passed background checks. Or focusing on mass shootings involving assault weapons—and thereby ignoring statistics that show that far more people die from handguns.

Considering that a quick online search should provide all the information journalists need to get this right, it’s amazing that journalists don’t know the difference between an assault rifle and an assault weapon. An assault rifle is a fully automatic weapon that can fire multiple rounds with a single pull of the trigger, up to 950 rounds per minute. An assault weapon is a semi-automatic gun that can accept detachable magazines and has a pistol grip and foldable stock (to increase the gun’s length). The term assault weapon itself, of disputed origin, is a thorn in the side of gun enthusiasts, who point out that the differences between “assault weapons” and other semi-automatics are largely cosmetic and don’t increase the gun’s lethality.

DB: National Defense Service Medal for Journalist who Fired Bazooka AR-15

A journalist from the New York Daily News has been awarded the National Defense Service Medal in recognition of his honorable service during a time of crisis, a Pentagon spokesperson announced today. The recipient will also be eligible to receive disability compensation from the Department of Veterans Affairs within the next decade.

Gersh Kuntzman, a veteran journalist of 30 years, put down the pen to take up the sword on Wednesday, traveling from New York to Philadelphia to experience the thrill of firing a military-grade weapon similar to the one used in the Orlando terror attack.

Kuntzman’s battle-weary, critically-acclaimed memoir, “What is it like to fire an AR-15? It’s horrifying, menacing and very, very loud,” quickly gained widespread acclaim, including the notice of many active-duty service members, who lauded his steadfast heroics.

“We here in the Department of Defense are in awe of Mr. Kuntzman’s martial prowess and noble sacrifice to this nation,” said Lt. Col. Patricia Green, a Pentagon spokesperson. “Shooting an AR-15 is exactly the same as being in combat, as evidenced by Mr. Kuntzman’s self-diagnosed PTSD.”

The AR-15 assault bazooka is the civilian counterpart to the military’s M4A1 bazooka. The shoulder-fired weapon is renowned for its crippling recoil and deafening boom, leading many bazooka enthusiasts to train their children from an early age to develop the tolerance required to handle such a mighty instrument of destruction.

The Status of the Infinite

A friend of mine who is a philosopher of mathematics says that the biggest debates his field is having is on the status of the infinite. Here are three introductory problems -- not by far the whole thing, but an introduction to the thing.

Cold Chisel

Not the usual around here, but ya never know what people will like.

"Khe Sanh," the unofficial Aussie anthem, or so I'm told by highly reliable sources1:

"Shipping Steel," trucking the outback

For breakfast fans

1My best Aussie drinking buddy, if you must know.

Kevin Drum: The NRA Is Right This Time

There are plenty of gun-control measures I'd support. Banning high-cap magazines, for one. But banning gun sales to anyone who's ever caught the FBI's attention? No thanks. Senate Democrats have finally put me in the position of agreeing with the NRA. Nice work, folks.
It's been a stunning week, watching Democrats declare that due process needs to be permanently suspended for gun sales. It's clear that the right to keep and bear arms isn't even a second-class right in their view: it's a privilege, one they feel the American people have proven they deserve to lose.

How can you square this with the oath you took as a Senator, though? Even if you believe -- as Hillary Clinton has argued -- that Heller was wrongly decided, the Constitution is really firm on due process. 'We have to get rid of due process' is the very next thing to 'We should have the power to make whatever rules we want for the Good of the State.'

Does Anyone at DHS Actually Speak American English?

From a Free Beacon report:
Government agencies should employ “American English instead of religious, legal and cultural terms like ‘jihad,’ ‘sharia,’ ‘takfir’ or ‘umma,’” states the June 2016 report by the Council’s countering violent extremism subcommittee....

The DHS report stated that to avoid a confrontational “us versus them” stance in public efforts to counter Islamic radicalization, government programs should use the term “American Muslim” instead of “Muslim American.”
In that language we call "American English," there's an important distinction between the noun and the adjective. The noun is supposed to refer to what the thing essentially is, and the adjectives usually refer to less important qualities. If the idea is to avoid an 'us versus them' stance, "Muslim American" suggests that these are people who are first and foremost Americans. "American Muslim" suggests that they are essentially Muslims, and only accidentally American.

Likewise, while plain speaking is good, it's difficult to discuss concepts without naming them. I don't see any reason to believe that anyone can become an expert at 'countering violent extremism' today without understanding concepts like sharia or takfiri behaviors. You can say, "It is wrong to try to replace a Constitutional system with a system of religious law," and that's fine. But it doesn't get at why this particular religious law is especially pernicious, or why it's popular in certain regions from which we draw our Islamic immigrants. Just what is driving the conflict disappears behind a veil, as if Catholics might be just as likely to forward a scheme of replacing the Constitutional system with church law.

Rather, it is exactly the fact that sharia can't be changed by human beings that makes it attractive in the lawless regions like Afghanistan or Somalia. In those contexts, sharia is a standard against which you can judge the behavior of the warlords. Otherwise, all you've got is "The law is what I say it is, and the taxes you owe me are what I say they are." The fact that no warlord can change the law is really attractive in those particular contexts.

That same unchangeable quality a real problem in our context. Sharia taken seriously declares that our entire system of government is illegitimate, indeed an offense to God. So too large parts of our way of life. And it can't be changed to accommodate us, not by anyone ever.

That's a huge conflict with the American way that isn't present in other systems of religious law.

This could be fun

From Powerline via Maggie's Farm, a proper response to bureaucrats, Alinsky-style.

That Doesn't Mean Anything! These Guys Were Trained!

Well, except for Christy.

Time for a Convention of the States

Texas Governor Greg Abbot is on point.

Count me in. He's been talking since the spring, but things aren't getting better. More and more, it looks like disaster in the fall -- no matter which way this election goes. We don't have to do this. We can walk.

Can We Stop This?

John McCain is wrong: Barack Obama is at most indirectly responsible for ISIS. Anything inspired by ISIS, he's indirectly indirectly responsible for.

Guilt can be divided without being lessened, it's true. But Orlando wasn't done by Christians, it wasn't done by the NRA, and it wasn't done by Barack Obama either.

Not that Obama is covering himself with glory today, doing his best to blame Orlando apparently on people like me.

A pox on all their houses.

Well, It's Almost Friday ...

Grim introduced us to Mr. Fowler recently. Here's one that seems appropriate after Range 15, and, well, everything else.

Now, a little Tullamore DEW would be perfect.


Update: Well, why stop with just one?


Two From Facebook

Both with a Range 15 theme:

Trump was Wrong About the Troops

I went out with some guys distributing bricks of cash myself. The things were plastic wrapped and sealed -- you couldn't have stolen any without stealing the whole brick, or cutting it open in a very obvious way. Accountability was always in force. You personally signed for every brick you took, and you had to get signatures from the Iraqis you turned it over to. If they later claimed not to have gotten it, that would be the end of the gravy train for them. But it also would have resulted in an intense investigation of the last guy who had positive control of the money, and his unit mates.

Of course tons of that money got stolen, once the Iraqis had custody of it. Just like any tribal leader who is "a river to my people," a lot of the river gets routed into his own fields. Plenty of the money got stolen. It just didn't get stolen by us.

Here a special operator tells his own version of the same story.
In 2008, while deployed as a special operator in western Afghanistan, I led a team of fifteen marines and nearly seven hundred Afghan commandos stationed on a remote firebase near the Iranian border. We were almost entirely reliant on an operational fund, something akin to cerp. We used these funds to buy our food and fuel and to hire local Afghan tribesmen to provide base security. Hundreds of thousands of dollars passed through our hands. Our position was in no way unique. Every special-operations team in Afghanistan managed the same kinds of funds. Once, when security in the village just outside our gate became a problem, one of the marines I worked with negotiated a deal with the local village elders to use our operational fund to convert an abandoned Olympic-size, Soviet-era swimming pool into a reservoir to irrigate several acres of parched fields. Within a few weeks, those fields were ready for planting, and the threat to our base had disappeared.

Two and a half million American men and women have served in Iraq and Afghanistan. According to the Center for Public Integrity, some hundred and fifteen military personnel since 2005 have been convicted of committing theft, bribery, or contract-rigging crimes, involving a total of fifty-two million dollars. This is a disappointing fact, but it does not cancel out the ingenuity shown by the soldiers, many of them only in their twenties, who have ethically managed budgets equivalent to that of a small town or medium-sized business.
He goes on to talk about what he wished Trump had discussed instead. But Trump can't talk about those things, because he doesn't know anything about them.

Southern Baptists are Done with the Confederate Flag

NPR buries the lede on this one, preferring to talk about the Southern Baptist Convention's support for resettling Syrian refugees. But of course the Southern Baptist Convention supports that: there are massive Federal contracts available for churches who will help settle Syrian refugees. There is just too much money available for any mainstream denomination not to want to play. Even those without the theological justifications that Christianity offers would be inclined to get in on the payday.

No, that's to be expected. What's really surprising is this:
Southern Baptists also weighed in on another emotional issue at the intersection of race, religion and violence. Almost exactly a year after the murder of nine people at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C., set off a debate over the Confederate battle flag, the Southern Baptist Convention approved a resolution calling on "our brothers and sisters in Christ to discontinue the display of the Confederate battle flag as a sign of solidarity with the whole Body of Christ, including our African-American brothers and sisters."...

During the debate over the wording of the resolution, Pastor James Merritt of Cross Pointe Church in Duluth, Ga., delivered an emotional speech calling for the removal of language stating that for some, the display of the flag serves not as a "symbol of hatred, bigotry and racism, but as a memorial to loved ones who died in the Civil War."

"I am the great-great-grandson of two men who fought in the Confederate army," Merritt told the convention. "I cannot undo what they fought for. But they cannot undo what I wish they had done, and what I pray we will do today."

The language was stricken. Baptist Press reported that the resolution passed by a "wide margin."
The shooting in Charleston last year changed people's hearts. One wonders if the Orlando shooting will have a similar effect. And, if so, on whom.

Thank God for That

From an article headlined "Harry Reid kills assault weapons ban":
Virtually the entire press corps frothed at the mouth when the president, grandstanding at the State of the Union speech, thundered that a list of gun violence victims “deserve” a vote on these sorts of measures... [but] the Senate leader decided he couldn’t prevail upon his members to cast a vote.

Cowardly? Maybe. Or maybe the votes aren’t there and to maximize his chances on other measures he took the assault weapons ban out. That is the nature of the legislative process. But at least we can dispense with the notion that Republicans are standing in the way of assault weapons ban legislation.
There's a huge difference in the 1994 law and a similar law proposed today. In 1994, so-called 'assault weapons' were a minor part of sales, even compiling all the weird things that the Clinton bill coupled together like pump-action shotguns with heat shields over the barrels. You'd go to a gun show, and there'd be like two tables selling anything like that. The rest sold long rifles with wooden stocks, hunting shotguns, or handguns.

A decade and a half since 9/11, the AR models are the most popular rifles in America. There are nine million of them in private hands. The US Army is barely a million all told, Reserve and National Guards added in. And 40+% of them are Southerners, since the all-volunteer military came to be. Close to seven in ten are Republicans. You'd be risking a mutiny to ask it, and you ought to be: you'd be running into the teeth of the most plain and obvious reading of the 2nd Amendment, to which all these soldiers took an oath.

I keep hearing that you can't deport 11 million people. Well, maybe, although people have to eat and that means they have to go out in public to find work and buy food. Guns don't have to do anything. If you grandfather 9 million ARs -- and all the other so-called 'assault weapons' -- you might as well not pass the law. But if you pass a law with confiscation, how are you going to find them? Who's going to come and get nine million rifles from families who don't want to give them up?

Thank God the votes aren't there.

I Suddenly Realize This Guy is Very Brave

Milo Yiannopoulos, I mean. He's going to get himself killed speaking his mind like this.

I like that in a man.

I've seen him talk before, and I haven't really been impressed with what I've heard. But I don't care -- he's speaking his mind when it's dangerous. Not just financially, either. There's a litany of secular saints who have gone down before the knives -- and axes, in one famous case -- of Muslim radicals who want to silence speech like this. He's very literally putting his life on the line by talking this way.


Good for him. As I can, I will support him even though I don't always agree with him. As I can, I will defend his right to do this. Literally, if the opportunity presents itself.

Thoughts on Range 15

Don't appear to have been any shootings at Range 15 showing theaters tonight. It wasn't for a lack of guns. I haven't been in a room with that many gun-toting men and women since the last time I went to church in Baghdad.

Well, or the DFAC. Probably it was the DFAC.

There was a lot of laughing out loud at the movie. It was very much military humor, deployment humor. Some of it was black humor, but a lot of it captured the heavily sexual banter that young men deployed without real outlets develop over time.

I completely understand now why there were not able to get the movie rated. It doesn't fit the rating scale. There is no category for it. Normally a movie rated high for violence is an R, and a movie rated higher than that is rated X for sex. This movie was neither more violent than an R movie, nor were the sex scenes particularly explicit at all. The reason it couldn't be rated was that they said and did things that are just forbidden. I would have liked to have seen the faces of any of the raters who may have encountered it.

My guess is that it will become a cult favorite among deploying soldiers and Marines. It will probably be forbidden by General Order, and have to be passed around like other contraband. On the last day before rotating out of country, the commander will elect to go to bed early so his guys can have a screening without him taking official notice. They'll laugh, even though they've seen it many times before. Not because the jokes are funny -- many of them are terrible -- but because they understand them.

After the credits, they showed a nice little 'making of' video that ends with Nick Palmisciano of Ranger UP giving a brief speech about his hopes that this movie will create new lanes of understanding between military members and civilians.

Having seen it, I'm pretty sure it won't. :)


"Veterans Put Their Own Names on Kill List and Send to ISIS."

By the way, tonight Range 15 is on in hundreds of theaters nationwide. Any bets on whether any ISIS supporters choose one of those for a shooting attack?

Domestic Violence & Female Privilege

A woman runs down her boyfriend after finding out he has HIV. Are you as inclined to convict her as you would be if it were a man running down his wife?

D. C. McAllister points out that domestic violence is not just male-on-female, but we definitely don't take it as seriously when it's female-on-male.
Now, as Hillary has reminded us time and again, women are equal to men and should be treated the same. She’s right, which is why she should be called out for allegedly abusing her husband. If Johnny Depp can be held to account for throwing a cell phone at Amber Heard’s face and bruising her below her eye, then shouldn’t the same media exam be given to Hillary, who is running for president?
An allied point, related to the post below. A domestic violence abuser is forbidden from possessing a firearm, and it is a felony to transfer one to them. Doesn't the logic behind that law make it even more obviously true that we shouldn't transfer command of the US military to a domestic violence abuser?

Of course, like the Orlando shooter, she has not been convicted in a court of law for domestic violence. Like his wife, her husband has reasons not to press charges. If this is a standard we care about, though, does it really make sense to put that much weight on the abused spouse? They may often be too afraid to bring charges. It's also true that abuse creates a twisted and damaged emotional relationship that can cause an abused spouse not to want to bring charges. Or, like Bill Clinton, they could be swayed by material or political interests. Whatever the case, the state often steps in to prosecute these sorts of cases where evidence exists of domestic violence -- for example, a published book giving an account of the evidence in the name of a sworn officer of the law, as in this case.

One might say that Bill Clinton had it coming if anyone did. One might say that about the boyfriend in the video. One might just make a general claim that men often have it coming. Doesn't that come, though, at the sacrifice of the principle of equality before the law? Should we sacrifice that principle because we don't really believe in it? Or should we uphold it even though it means punishing people more harshly than is suggested by what appears to be a common sense that female-on-male violence is not as bad?

The AR-15 is a Weapon of Equality

I suppose I should mention Gersh Kuntzman's instantly famous declaration of fear, which is getting a massive amount of play on social media since he published it yesterday.
It feels like a bazooka — and sounds like a cannon....

The recoil bruised my shoulder. The brass shell casings disoriented me as they flew past my face. The smell of sulfur and destruction made me sick. The explosions — loud like a bomb — gave me a temporary case of PTSD. For at least an hour after firing the gun just a few times, I was anxious and irritable.

Even in semi-automatic mode, it is very simple to squeeze off two dozen rounds before you even know what has happened. In fully automatic mode, it doesn’t take any imagination to see dozens of bodies falling in front of your barrel.
He somehow missed that there isn't a fully automatic mode, but among this collection of emoting that isn't surprising.

The AR-15 wasn't actually the weapon used in Orlando. However, the Armalite Rifle ("AR") is the family that has allowed the military to expand women throughout its ranks without abandoning accuracy at range. The Marines teach women to shoot it accurately over multiple shots to 300 meters, a testament to its low recoil and reliable construction.

Over the last 20 years, the Marines have also made a shift to the Body-Mass Index (BMI) standard that they use today. This has led to far smaller male Marines, too, as powerlifters and body-builders can't hold to the BMI standard. For example, I have a 34 inch waist, but am informed that I need to lose over 50 pounds to attain a "normal" bodyweight according to this standard. If I dropped 50 pounds of muscle, a lot of strength-oriented tasks would become harder or even impossible. But I could still put steel on target with an Armalite.

It's a tool of equality, in other words. Edward Abbey said that was common to rifles:
The tank, the B-52, the fighter-bomber, the state-controlled police and military are the weapons of dictatorship. The rifle is the weapon of democracy. Not for nothing was the revolver called an "equalizer." Egalite implies liberte. And always will. Let us hope our weapons are never needed — but do not forget what the common people of this nation knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny.
That capacity for human equality is a particularly strong feature of the Armalite rifle. It can weigh as much as four pounds less than the M1 Garand rifle with which we fought World War II. Its recoil is vastly less than the .30-06 round the M1 fired. It is an ideal weapon for the kind of militia use the Founders intended: its operation is immediately familiar to anyone with military training, and it can be conveyed quickly to almost any citizen who might be called up even without military training. Almost any citizen can carry it and use it effectively, quickly, at need.

Of course, those things are also the very reasons it is so dangerous in the hands of a bad person. This particular bad person shouldn't have had access to firearms, under existing law, because of his penchant for domestic violence. The Lautenberg Amendment to the Gun Control Act of 1968 makes it a felony to transfer a weapon to someone convicted of domestic violence. The only problem is that, somehow, he never got convicted. His wife didn't press charges, just as she seems to have gone to the store to buy the gun and to help him scout out the club (and possibly Disney World). Well, a battered wife has a complex psychological state, and legitimate physical fear, so perhaps we won't press her too closely about all of that. But the FBI also somehow missed any signs of it during their multiple investigations of him.

Just Some Outlaw Tunes, More or Less

"Tom Ames' Prayer," "Pour 'Em Kinda Strong," and "Before the Devil Knows We're Dead."
Seems in keeping with the mood of the Hall lately.

No, Christians Are Not Behind Orlando

Another person who would rather beat up on his fellow Americans than ISIS is ACLU lawyer Chase Strangio.
"You know what is gross — your thoughts and prayers and Islamophobia after you created this anti-queer climate," ACLU staff attorney Chase Strangio tweeted on Sunday morning....

"The Christian Right has introduced 200 anti-LGBT bills in the last six months and people blaming Islam for this," Strangio tweeted. "No."

Another ACLU attorney who specializes in religious liberty issues scolded Republican lawmakers who tweeted out their condolences. "Remember when you co-sponsored extreme, anti-LGBT First Amendment Defense Act?" the ACLU's Eunice Rho tweeted at Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., and other Republicans,
This is really irritating stuff. How can you even say the phrase "extreme, anti-LGBT First Amendment Defense Act" in the same context as the Orlando killings? Doesn't that context wash the extremism right out of the 'hey, maybe the government shouldn't force people to bake cakes' bill?

Donald Trump sounds sane today compared to these people. He at least is capable of pointing a finger at the actually responsible party. What caused this terrorist act? "Toxic Masculinity!" "Christians!" "Republicans!" "The NRA!"

Stop it. Get a grip on yourselves. I myself strongly support religious freedom legislation, not just for Christians but for Sikhs or Hindus or Native Americans and, yes, even Muslims. All I ask is what Locke asked, which is that their religion remains wholly voluntary. As long as they are doing it because they want to do it, or not doing it because they don't want to do it, that's all fine. I just draw the line at anyone being made to do, or refrain from doing, something for religious reasons they do not share. It makes sense to let religious bakers elect not to bake a cake. It doesn't make sense to kill people for failing to conform to a religion they aren't even part of.

Furthermore, I don't consider myself to be an "extreme, anti-LGBT" person for believing that this is a reasonable principle for sorting out religious differences. In fact, I'm not even thinking of LGBTs when I arrive at the principle. I'm thinking about political philosophy and the rights of man. This is one of those rights. Our country's entire purpose is to guarantee these rights. I don't care if you don't like it.

Nevertheless I will kill or die to prevent any American from being killed by a terrorist. That's another principle I have, and it's another one that I didn't come to while thinking about LGBTs. I came to it for other reasons, but it likewise applies to them just the same. If our enemies come for you, I will fight for you. That you may be gay doesn't matter at all to the operation of this principle. As much as the ACLU (and Amanda Marcotte) seem to have forgotten it, our real enemies are not other Americans.  Remember the rattlesnake.

Ah, Amanda Marcotte

I had largely forgotten that Amanda Marcotte existed. How nice to see that she hasn't changed a bit.
Every time feminists talk about toxic masculinity, there is a chorus of whiny dudes who will immediately assume — or pretend to assume — that feminists are condemning all masculinity, even though the modifier “toxic” inherently suggests that there are forms of masculinity that are not toxic.

So, to be excruciatingly clear, toxic masculinity is a specific model of manhood, geared towards dominance and control. It’s a manhood that views women and LGBT people as inferior, sees sex as an act not of affection but domination, and which valorizes violence as the way to prove one’s self to the world.

For obvious political reasons, conservatives are hustling as fast as they can to make this about “radical Islam,” which is to say they are trying to imply that there’s something inherent to Islam and not Christianity that causes such violence.
Do you see what she did there? She did exactly the thing she just accused her opponents of doing one paragraph earlier. The modifier "radical" and the modifier "toxic" are performing the same function, whatever function that is. Either it's true that the modifier 'inherently suggests' that there are forms that aren't radical or toxic, or it isn't. If it's fair to treat conservatives talking about "radical Islam" as if they were really speaking in a coded way about "Islam," then it's just as fair for your opponents to assume you mean the same thing.

If I called her "whiny" for doing what she just called her opponents "whiny" for doing, she would say that was a sexist remark coming from me but not from her.

The Largest Mass Shooting in American History

It wasn't Orlando, actually.
THE LARGEST MASS SHOOTING IN US HISTORY HAPPENED December 29,1890. When 297 Sioux Indians at Wounded Knee Creek on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota were murdered by federal agents & members of the 7th Cavalry who had come to confiscate their firearms “for their own safety and protection”. The slaughter began after the majority of the Sioux had peacefully turned in their firearms.
It was a little less cold blooded than the post makes it sound, but quite brutal all the same. The gunfight broke out when one Lakota man refused to turn in his arms. Twenty-five soldiers were killed in the battle that erupted when they opened fire into the crowd, as not all of the Lakota had yet handed in their guns. At the time it was something the government approved of so much that it awarded twenty Medals of Honor to participants.

Reason Magazine on Creating a Gun Free America

One curse word, for those of you watching at work.

Wretchard on Trump

The most disturbing aspect of recent terror attacks is that despite advance warning the authorities were taken by surprise each time. This serial failure undercuts the administration's claim to competence. This is something the non-expert public understands. Suppose someone came to you claiming he was a brain surgeon. Even if you were not a doctor but had tests only a brain surgeon could answer correctly you could evaluate the "brain surgeon" by giving him one exam and another to the cleaning lady in the hallway. If they scored the same you would begin to suspect the brain surgeon might be fake. In fact if the cleaning lady continued to outscore the "brain surgeon" a rational employer would consider hiring the cleaning lady as head of surgery, which possibly explains the rise of Donald Trump.

Jesse James

He was a man, who killed many men.

The song's been done a few times.

Well, maybe he wasn't a hero. But wasn't he a man?

Bang, Bang. Isn't That A Pretty Sound?

Embrace Violence – Two simple words, that when together, build the foundation for all that we know. A minute number of people ever stop to think about the circumstances that surround the very freedoms they spend the majority of their lives enjoying. Not the main stream core freedoms that our country was founded on, rather the diminutive pieces of thread that weave together to form the very fabric that holds our great nation together. Each day passing as the last, each day taken for granted with little to no thought about how fortunate they really are for having in their lives, those that embrace violence.

In our world there lives a relativity small group of guardians who not only stand ready to do violence on the behalf of others, but actually wait anxiously for the opportunity. Men that live outside the illusion of safety built upon walls of ignorance and denial that is our peaceful existence in this world. Men who would rather dance with the devil in the valley of the shadow of death than sit at a Starbucks, sipping a $10 dollar coffee while contemplating whether their skinny jeans are adequately squeezing all available testosterone into their systems in hope of fulfilling their latest desire of obtaining a beard.

For this chosen group, violence is the answer.
These are my people. Does that make me a bad man, or a good man? Or just a man? Maybe, as Edward Abbey said, that's honor enough.

The Smell of Victory

They're smelling it.

And they just don't understand what is going to happen if they follow through.

Orlando & LA

I don't have much to say about this, but somehow I've been talking about it most of the day. Lone Wolf terrorists have two quite distinct profiles. Most of them are white supremacists with criminal histories that built ties to criminal organizations like the Aryan Brotherhood. I'll bet the LA case turns out that way. The rest are Islamic supremacists with ties -- sometimes merely sympathies -- with terrorists. The Orlando shooter was clearly one of these.

These are solvable problems, but only if we square up on what we're dealing with. It's two separate, similar, supremacist problems. Neither "all gun owners" nor "all Muslims" nor "all white people" are the problem. It's a narrow, easily targeted selection of folks who cause almost all of these issues.