Some Appropriate Music for Leaving DC

Or, music for expressing one's feelings towards the governing class after a week of examining their exploits. It puts a man in a mood.

Language warning.

I'm back in the true South now, headed for home.

Jimmy Buffett Sings a Cowboy Song

And with a cowboy ...

Great Big Sea

Trekking Through DC

I'm away north for a bit, trying to wrestle with some of the things I can affect within our national government. I'll be back in a while, perhaps by the weekend.

The weird hormone argument

USA Today follows a trend I'm seeing more often in recent years, to explain human failings in terms of testosterone.  When the father is absent from the home, we're told, young men can't channel their innately destructive male hormones.  Now it seems, however, that even young women don't do well in fatherless homes, and we can hardly blame their unchanneled testosterone for that.  Nor does it make much sense to blame the testosterone of the absent father, which presumably isn't polluting the home from his new location across town or a couple of states away.

What does this leave?  The mother, who is still present?  Does she have toxic hormones?

Such a lot of silliness to avoid the idea that having both a mother and father present is a pretty good idea whenever you can pull it off, and not because of their complex chemical interactions.

Not a bad argument

The problem with twisting legal arguments into a pretzel is that that loose may come back around and kick you in the butt:
A coalition of 20 states has filed a lawsuit alleging ObamaCare is unconstitutional.
They’re claiming that since the GOP eliminated the tax penalty associated with the individual mandate, that ObamaCare itself is no longer constitutional. …
The GOP tax law “eliminated the tax penalty of the ACA, without eliminating the mandate itself. What remains, then, is the individual mandate, without any accompanying exercise of Congress’s taxing power, which the Supreme Court already held that Congress has no authority to enact,” the complaint states.
“Not only is the individual mandate now unlawful, but this core provision is not severable from the rest of the ACA—as four Justices of the Supreme Court already concluded.”

What's a guy gotta do to get arrested in Broward County?

“We’ve accomplished reducing the arrests. Now it’s ‘how do we keep that up without making the schools a more dangerous place.’"

The thing that goes down

Once again we face the spectacle of legislators writing bills about weapons they know nothing of. They may as well outlaw weapons that are scary or icky.

The problem with public-sector unions in a nutshell

From HotAir, better today than it's been lately:
The authors are correct in citing the cost of these retirement packages as a problem. It’s the primary driver which has nearly sunk New Jersey’s state government and embroiled Chris Christie throughout his entire tenure as governor. So one way to look at this (if you happen to be a liberal) is to say, as the authors do, that strong unions are able to push back against cuts to benefits.
Well, that’s a dandy solution if you happen to be one of the people receiving those benefits or planning your retirement around them. But it doesn’t do anything for the tens of millions of people in the private sector who have little chance of landing a job that offers anywhere near that level of retirement stability. It also does nothing to magically make more money appear in state and municipal budgets to cover these skyrocketing expenses. The authors attempt to claim that such expensive pension plans are justified because “many public-sector jobs offer lower salaries than their private-sector counterparts. As a result, public employees tend to have far more stable and secure retirements than similarly situated private-sector workers."
No citation is offered for this incredible claim. If you look long and hard, you can probably find a handful of cases where it’s true, but for the most part and in nearly all cases, public sector workers earn more than their private-sector counterparts. And I did offer a linked citation for that. Perhaps even more embarrassingly, it’s from… The Washington Post.
What they should have been asking was why there was never anyone at the table arguing on behalf of the taxpayers when these labor agreements were originally crafted.

"Not according to this kid . . . aaaaaaaand I trust this kid"

Deputy Scott Peterson's counsel is floating the theory that he had a good reason not to go inside the Florida school building. It's not easy to square, however, with the eye-witness testimony of a horrified student.
Note the sequence of events described by senior Brandon Huff. He told reporters that Peterson didn’t move even while other teachers were running into the building, including Aaron Feis, who lost his life shielding his students.

Now you tell us

Senate Democrats are shocked, shocked to learn that politicizing the Supreme Court may not have been an ideal strategy.
“If stare decisis means anything, it must mean that a precedent should not be overturned simply because a differently composed court emerges,” the senators wrote. “Decision-making begins to look like prize-taking when precedents are reversed as Court majorities shift.” …

Jonathan Haidt Talks about Three Hopeful Signs at Universities for 2018

Col. Schlichter and the New Rules

I like Kurt Schlichter's stuff, generally speaking. Right now he is pushing government regulation of businesses going against conservatives:

The liberal elite is using its social and cultural ties to those at the helm of big companies to essentially blacklist the NRA, and thereby the tens of millions of Americans who support gun rights. But oppression is oppression whether it’s done by a government bureaucrat or a corporate one, and our principle of non-interference in business assumes business stays out of politics. But now National, Hertz, and others are cutting ties to the NRA, and liberals are advocating banks do the same. Their intent is clear – what they can't do in politics they will simply do by not allowing the representatives of people whose politics they don't like access to the infrastructure of society. And we're not supposed to do anything about it because, you know, free enterprise and stuff.  You know, our principles.
I think he has more of a point with companies like Google. Not giving a discount to a particular group isn't the same thing as denying its members "access to the infrastructure of society." On the other hand, an algorithm that keeps traffic away from a site because Google doesn't approve of its politics kinda does, to a point. Then again, there's always Duck Duck Go.
No. They are exercising political power. We have our own political power, and we need to exercise it - ruthlessly. ... 


"As long as but a hundred of us remain alive, never will we on any conditions be brought under English rule. It is in truth not for glory, nor riches, nor honours, that we are fighting, but for freedom - for that alone, which no honest man gives up but with life itself."

Changes in Latitude, Changes in Attitude

Lt. Gov. Casey Cagel, Ya'll.

If I have had one standing criticism of the government of the Great State of Georgia, it has been the degree to which it has bent over backwards to give away the rights of citizens in favor of corporate interests. On gun rights, on religious liberty, as on many other issues, once you knew what side Coca-Cola and Delta wanted to win, you knew what the Republican government would do -- no matter what their voters wanted, and no matter which constitutional right was being undermined by the action.

Not today.

Casey Cagel for Governor.

Reversing the school-to-prison pipeline

And replacing it with a school-to-cemetery pipeline.

What they're teaching in the schools

A neighbor just told me her grandson's high school teacher is requiring the entire class to write a Congressman and demand gun control laws.  There is no leeway in the position to be adopted, the penalty being a failing grade.  I'm sorry to report that the fellow will be going along and even asked his grandmother not to complain directly to the school, for fear of retribution.  He did say he was reporting the matter to his ROTC commander, so maybe something will come of that.  Hey, I count my blessings that ROTC hasn't yet been run off the campus.

I told her the young man could at least write separately to the Congressman explaining the circumstances, so the congressional staff would know how little weight to place on the deluge of letters.  This confused her at first; wasn't the teacher in charge of the mailing?  Wouldn't she read all the letters and detect the heresy?  At last I got across the message that the student could write separately, put it in his own envelope, affix a stamp to it, and put it in the mailbox himself.  Good practice in learning how to communicate with his elected representatives.  It sounds like she needed a refresher herself.  I was very surprised how alien all this advice seemed to her.  There is a fatal passivity, though she's quite a red-meat conservative.

Trusting in Failure

The more we learn about what happened (and did not happen) in and around the recent mass murder, the more we are seeing that the institutions we erected to try and have some security simply failed to consider their primary functions in favor of more politically correct agendas, or simply exhibited cowardice.

-The School District enacted a progressive agenda to reduce the number of police interactions (arrests), which allowed the perpetrator to not be arrested and charged with assault, which would have red flagged him.
-The Sheriff's SRO Petersen refused to share information with State Social Services in their 2016 Investigation into the perps home.
-State Social Services failed to find anything actionable, or failed to act on actionable information in their 2016 investigation.
-The FBI failed to forward clear tips indicating a criminal threat.
-The FBI, five months earlier failed to act on an actionable criminal threat.
-The Sheriff's SRO Petersen was a coward, and perhaps also several other sheriff's deputies. (after watching this video- which implied that the coaches Aaron Feis, Scott Beigel, and Chris Hixon- ran past him to enter the building, while he stayed outside- I had to spend a few minutes on the heavy bag)
-Even now, it looks like the Broward Sheriff's office is in full CYA mode, rather than facing up to their apparently multiple and multi-valent failures.  I commented to someone who said that the Sheriff needed to resign that 'if this were Japan, he'd be expected to do more than that'.

So at least three government agencies failed to take actions that might have prevented this event, some of them multiple times, but rather than raising the question of what the limits of just how well the government can protect us is, we're talking about guns, which we know is an issue that isn't moving anywhere and so is only crassly being used as a political cudgel, and in many cases, people hiding behind children to do it.

What we should be talking about are things like:
-Why aren't groups like No Notoriety getting any attention?
-How making these perps infamous potentially inspires others to emulate him
-How the media can help reduce the appeal of committing these acts
-How we can hold failures of the bureaucracy to account
-How we should deal with discipline in schools
-How we should be raising our kids, and especially our boys in a society that increasingly is devoid of fathers, or even father figures, such as God the Father.
-How a culture that values fame as if it were a virtue creates a hollowness in it's people

I think most of us here are of like mind, and understand these issues, but I just wanted to lay this all out somewhere, so please forgive my indulgence.

Since we've been again made to defend our Second Amendment rights yet again instead of actually dealing with the matters at hand, how about some appropriate music:

Grand Funk Railroad's "Don't let 'em Take Your Gun" (Produced by Frank Zappa)

Ted Hawkins- The Constitution