We Must Stop The International Jihad – Now!


              Want to go to a cocktail party and sound like a real know-it-all on foreign affairs?  Spend a few minutes reading the latest issue of The Economist magazine, memorize a few paragraphs from the lead story which you can then repeat to the other guests as if you came up with the ideas yourself.

              While reciting your lines, you might want to throw in a bit of a British accent, because The Economist was founded in London and has always been considered a cosmopolitan and highly literate publication that is read and cited by influential people all over the globe.

              It goes without saying, of course, that the editorial slant of the magazine is somewhere right in the middle, promoting the idea that Western-style democracies are the universal, good government model which should be followed everywhere else.

              The most recent issue’s lead story is an analysis of how and where the global jihad will spread following its apparent success in Afghanistan.  The article states that: “In places like Pakistan, Yemen, Syria, Nigeria, Mali, Somalia and Mozambique, they already control territory.” It goes on to say that the growth of the jihadist movement “will destabilise a large number of countries, endangering both locals and the foreigners who visit or do business there.”

              Instability is no good. It’s not the way things are done in the civilized world, i.e., where readers of The Economist live. It’s certainly not what should be going on in countries whose governments depend on the West for their security and the safety of their populations. Just look at what’s happened in Afghanistan once the government could no longer count on the United States to keep things under control.

              Let’s go back for a moment and review again the list of countries which may soon fall under the jihadist sway – Pakistan, Yemen, Syria, Nigeria, Mali, Somalia, Mozambique.  What do these countries have in common?

              Based on data from the IMF and the World Bank, these countries are all poor as sh*t.  There are 225 countries whose per-capita GDP can be figured out, with the highest being Luxembourg at around $120,000, the lowest being Burundi, at $750.  The United States is 15th in per-capita GDP, somewhere around $65,000 and change.

              Not one of the countries which The Economist believes are the likely next jihad targets are even in the middle of the world’s per-capita GDP. Somalia, Mali, Mozambique, and Yemen all rank in the poorest ten percent. Nigeria, Pakistan, and Syria aren’t much better off. The wealthiest of all seven countries is Nigeria, with a per-capita GDP of $5,100 – one-tenth the U.S. per-capita GDP.

              Aside from how miserably poor these countries are, there’s something else which sets them apart. They all happen to be countries which were colonized by the European democracies, particularly Britain and France. In fact, only Mozambique was not part of the Anglo-French colonial world because it was one of the earliest colonial territories in Africa carved out by the Portuguese.

              Many years ago, I found myself in a conversation with a British lady who had just returned from a vacation in Rhodesia, what is now known as Zimbabwe. I asked her what life was like in this British colony and here was her reply: “Oh, you sit by the swimming pool, and they bring you lemonade.”

              The ‘they’ in this case were the unnamed locals, lucky enough to have jobs bringing lemonade to the white trash who came down from Britain and knew they deserved to sit next to the pool sipping their lemonade because they represented a superior race.

              For every local who got a job bringing lemonade or whatever else the White residents and visitors ordered or wanted, there was another colonial who didn’t get a job and resented both the colonizers as well as his local neighbor who was living better than he could live.

Many of the people who right now are desperately trying to escape from Afghanistan survived by being the first in line when the government or the American military needed to hire an extra pair of hands. These people weren’t our ‘allies,’ they weren’t making a ‘sacrifice’ on our behalf. They were trying to survive in a situation where earning a living isn’t an opportunity that falls now and again into everyone’s lap.

However, for those who didn’t get to take advantage of post-colonial, life-style opportunities provided by the presence of the United States, they could wait for the day of reckoning, when the inability of the government to wield authority (as The Economist would say) would give them their just and due rewards.

This is the real legacy of how stable, Western-style democracies like England and France looted the so-called ‘undeveloped’ or ‘third world’ regions of the globe, a legacy playing out today in Afghanistan and is explained by The Economist as the threat of jihad which must be stamped out.

Will The ‘Fake News’ Media Ever Stop Propping Up Donald Trump?


              I continue to be amazed at how the liberal media not only gave Donald Trump a pass again and again for his outrageous behavior while he was both a Presidential candidate and a President, but I also find it somewhat disconcerting that this same media continues to cover his current antics as if they constitute real news.

              I am referring, for example, to a major op-ed piece in The New York Times last week, which was an interview with Jason Miller, who has been one of Trump’s most fervent liars and promoter of MAGA nonsense over the last four years.  The interview was nothing more than free advertising for a new, right-wing media platform called GETTR, which Miller runs, calls itself a ‘marketplace’ of ideas but is really just another attempt to maintain a social media presence for the alt-right.

              In this interview, Miller stated his intention to give internet space to people like Donald Trump, Donald Trump, Jr., Dinesh D’Souza (who happens to be one of the most flagrant racists contributing to the immigration debate) and other pro-Trump liars who have been ‘deplatformed’ by the social media mainstream over the last year.

              So now ‘fake news’ is no longer a term which only applies to the print media that had the audacity to occasionally write something less than positive about Donald Trump. Now the term will obviously be used to sanction any internet-based communications vehicle which doesn’t totally and fully promote the alt-right. 

              I’m sorry, but if The New York Times wants to continue referring to itself as the ‘paper of record’ but prints this crap, the masthead should read that they are the ‘op-ed of record’ because this vulgar and false promotion of Donald Trump is simply not news.

              At the same time, I have to give The New York Times credit for publishing a story this week which really does put the whole media – Trump issue into a proper perspective. The reporter, Ian Philbrick, has aggregated and compared news reports of right-wing versus left-wing political demonstrations over the first six months of Trump’s administration in 2017 versus the first six months of Joe’s administration in 2021.

              Guess what? The average number of political protests supporting Trump each week in 2021 has never (read: never) been but a tiny fraction of the number of political protests of groups opposed to Trump in 2017.

              In other words, for all the media coverage about the ‘new wave’ of alt-right populism which ‘exploded’ under Donald Trump, the actual amount of real-time, in-the-street activity on his behalf was never remotely close to the number of anti-Trump events that his presence provoked.

              And yet, if you had followed liberal media coverage of Trump from when he first walked down the staircase at Trump Tower to announce his Presidential candidacy on June 15, 2015,  to when he humped onto Air Force One at Andrews for the last time on January 20, 2021, you would think this guy had been the founder and leader of the most powerful and most significant political movement this country has ever seen. 

              Know why Trump received 74 million votes last year? Because not just Democrats, but Republicans also voted for the first time by mail. And although only one-third of all mail ballots were marked for Trump, let’s not forget that Trump spent the entire 2020 campaign saying that any mail ballot was tantamount to election fraud.

              Worse than the liberal media adoration for Trump has been the continued attempt to picture Trump and his mega-supporter movement as a ‘threat’ to American democracy, never mind the American ‘way of life.’

              Granted, the January 6th assault on the Capitol was a terrifyingly-extraordinary event. And to their credit, The (failing) New York Times has put together a really spellbinding, 40-minute video of what happened before, during and after  the riot itself.

              But the idea that the stampede up the Capitol steps represented some kind of existential threat to American democracy has about as much reality behind it as the possibility that I will stay on my diet for the next couple of days.

              In that regard, what Joe said is absolutely correct. Want to take on the U.S. government? Bring your F-15.

              Back in May, Donald Trump’s website registered 27.3 million hits.  Know how many he got in July?  Try 3.6 million.

              Here was his first statement today: “Our Country has never been so diminished. It has reached an all-time low!”

              And this guy’s coming back to lead the GOP? 

Can Trump Survive Without The Lunatic Fringe?

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              So, last week Trump goes down to Alabama, makes an offhand comment about getting vaxxed, which sets off a chorus of boos.  I don’t mean just a couple of boos. I mean a cascade. And he is so surprised by the reaction that he just started stammering something about how everyone needed to keep their ‘freedoms,’ whatever that meant.

              Right now, Alabama may be about the worst state in terms of being overwhelmed by the Kung Flu. All the states around Alabama are in bad shape, but none of them are seeing cases climb the way cases are climbing in the Crimson Tide state. Even Florida has seen a recent cresting and slightly downward slope.

              So, Trump probably figured he was doing his hosts a favor by telling the crowd to go get jabbed. Instead, he got a kind of ‘lock her up’ response except it was aimed at him.

              Then today it got worse. Guess who came out and called Trump a ‘dumb ass’ and ‘maybe not so bright’ on his video show? None other than Alex Jones, who was the first alt-right, conspiracy-monger to endorse Trump back in 2015

              Take a look at the daily postings on Trump’s website. Scroll back 5 or 6 screens to August 10th. Every day from August 10th until yesterday there are three, four, five postings or more – it’s like a Twitter page without the tweets.  Know how many postings are up there today? None. Not one.

              For all the talk about how the Deep State and the Democrats have gotten together to deprive Trump of his ‘right’ to free speech, what’s keeping him from shooting his mouth off at the moment has nothing to do with any kind of cancel culture  playing itself out on prime time.  It has to do with a very simple fact.

              Here’s a guy who spent the last 5 ½ years telling everyone that you can’t trust anything that the ‘fake news’ says.  You also can’t trust anything that anyone says who doesn’t agree with Trump. And most of all, you can’t believe anything that anyone says who promotes any kind of public health response to Covid-!9. Because we all know that government mandates that are allegedly designed to keep ourselves from hurting ourselves or others are just a way to keep us from being ‘free.’

              Whenever I hear that nonsense, I’m tempted to ask what these idiots think about speed limits. But I never actually ask the question to an anti-vaxxer because I know that there’s really no way I’ll get through. 

              Back in 2016, about a month before the election, I taught the required safety course which you need to take in my state in order to apply for a license to own a gun. One of the students that evening was a nattily-dressed woman, clearly a professional, maybe a bank manager and someone who was used to telling other employees what had to get done.

              At the end of the class, she came up to me and told me that she was very happy to have attended the class because she didn’t think she had another free night over the next couple of months.

              No problem, I answered, we do the course all year long.

              To which she said in all seriousness, “But if Hillary wins next month how will I be able to buy a gun?”

              How did such a crazy idea get into this woman’s head?  Think that’s any less crazy than the idea that the election was stolen from Trump or that getting vaxxed or wearing a mask is a threat to your freedom or your health?

I don’t think that most of the people who voted for Trump and would vote for him again are loony tunes. I think that most people vote the way they vote because that’s how they have always voted, faux de mieux, for better or worse.

But Trump’s problem is that he has used (and exploited) all the people who really buy into that conspiracy nonsense as a wedge to maintain his presence at the top of the GOP. Which means he has no choice but to continue promoting crazy ideas because the moment he stops, he’ll get attacked by the lunatic fringe.

But maybe Trump doesn’t have to worry about how much support he’ll get from his alt-right friends, because there’s always the liberal media that to bail him out. Just the other day, CNN ran an interview with a Trump supporter at the Iowa State Fair and here’s what the guy had to say, word for word: “You know, it took 11 days for them [the Taliban] to take over Afghanistan. Wonder how many days it would take the patriots to take over this country.”

Did CNN advertise for someone to get in front of their camera and say the dumbest thing that could be said?

Can We Elect Anyone For President in 2024?

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              When I was growing up in the 1950’s, my parents told me that what made this country so great was that anyone could become President of the United States.  And that statement turned out to be true in 2016. Because if you look back over the time that Donald Trump was in the White House, here’s a guy who made every single mistake that anyone could make.

              He started off by claiming on Day 1 that his inauguration had attracted the largest crowd ever to see a President sworn in. Now the fact that his predecessor was the first Black President in a city whose more than a million Black residents could all walk down to the swearing-in ceremony and many of them did, would have made anyone else ask whether promoting the idea of the largest crowd to attend an inauguration was such a good idea.

              So, from the beginning, the one thing you knew about Trump was that he would say whatever he said with the scantest regard for whether or not it was true.

              He then almost immediately began lying about why he lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton, and even put together a Presidential commission to figure out how and why all the votes that were supposed to go into his column went the other way. The commission was quietly abandoned a short time later, but again the stench of his lying remained.

              Then he did the craziest thing of all, which was to fire the head of the FBI, James Comey, when all he really should have done was ignore him and leave the whole Russian thing alone. For all his talk about how he was victimized by the ‘hoax’ investigation led by Robert Mueller, there would have been no Mueller if Comey had kept his job. Didn’t Trump have the slightest understanding of what happened to Nixon after he fired Archibald Cox?  Guess not.

              The second biggest flub, of course, was when he couldn’t bring himself to immediately and unequivocally denounce the Nazis who showed up in Charlottesville to hold a parade. And these weren’t just your garden-variety Nazis.  These were guys who sauntered down the street waving their assault rifles and yelling anti-Semitic insults at the crowd.

              The President of the United States doesn’t ever pause even for a second to try and figure out how to respond to a swastika displayed on a public street. And yet it took Trump several days to explain that his comment about ‘good people on both sides’ didn’t mean that he would ever say something that stupid again.

              And by the way, when you look at the Gallup poll of the President’s performance from week to week, Trump hung around just under a 50% positive mark until he nosedived to 40% after Charlottesville, which is where he then stayed for the remainder of his term.

              Then, of course, there was the Pandemic, and here was Trump’s biggest screw-up of all. How could he have ever made an opponent out of Anthony Fauci when doctors happen to be the only professionals that most people trust?  Did he actually stop to think that most Americans would believe what he said about anything having to do with medicine or medical care against what the physician said who figured out a little virus known as AIDS?

              For a guy who is allegedly going to run around the country promoting his kind of Republicans in 2022 and then run again for President in 2024, all of a sudden Trump’s public presence has begun to disappear. 

              Check out his website and see how many public events are coming up. Answer: None.

As for Trump’s views on Afghanistan, this was what he said today: “Biden’s biggest mistake was not understanding that the Military has to be last out the door, not first out the door. Civilians and equipment go first and then, when everyone and everything is out, the Military goes. So simple, and yet it wasn’t done. Tragic!” 

Leonard Mermelstein could have come up with a more incisive statement. Leonard Mermelstein is my cat.

              That all having been said, I have a little bit of advice for my blue team friends.

              Want to get another ‘anybody’ elected President in 2024?  Run another lousy Presidential campaign like the one you ran in 2016.

Why Did We Take Them Back?


When members of the Senate and the House who represented Southern states began walking out of the Congress in December, 1861 they were simply declared as ‘absent’ from the two legislative chambers and it was assumed that they would return at some point or that substitute legislators would appear.

When none of them reappeared and replacements weren’t sent, their seats were declared ‘vacant’ and that was the end of that.

Things changed on April 12, 1861 when rebel cannon started shelling Fort Sumter in the Charleston harbor in South Carolina and the ‘War of the Rebellion’ was on.

In fact, the Civil War wasn’t a rebellion, if what we mean by that word is an attempt by citizens of a particular country to overthrow their government with the use of force. The cannons which fired at Fort Sumter were equipment owned and operated by a totally-independent national government known as the Confederate States of America, which had its own legislature, its own court system, its own Constitution, its own Chief Executive named Jefferson Davis and a well-organized military led by General Robert E. Lee.

In other words, the war which lasted from 1861 to 1865 and claimed the lives of more than 600,000 combatants wasn’t a ‘rebellion’ at all. It was a war fought between two entirely independent countries, both of which escribed themselves as such. When Lincoln, in his First Inaugural speech, said that no state could withdraw from the Union, he was inventing this dictum out of whole cloth.

For that reason, I have never understood why we took them back. Why did we feel the need to re-incorporate this baggage of unrepentant, racist crapheads when almost an entire continent from the Missouri River to the California mountains was on the verge of being opened up?

But we took them back. And here’s some of what we got.

#1. Millions of poor Blacks who were crowded into Northern ghettos that couldn’t have been better than what they experienced in the South. I knew a Black guy who moved from New York to South Carolina in 1976 because, as he said, “You don’t know what it was like to be raised in the Polo Grounds Projects.”

#2. Tobacco, one of the South’s major cash crops. We need tobacco like we need a hole in the head. How many people have died from its use? A lot more than were killed in the Civil War.

#3. Militarism. Notice how a majority of the military leadership always comes from the South. Notice how until it suddenly became unfashionable, that so many military bases in the South were named after Confederate soldiers. How many military bases did we name after members of the Nazi General Staff?

#4. Right-wing Evangelicalism. Try Billy Graham who pompously defended Nixon’s handling the Viet Nam War. He was followed by Jerry Falwell whose first educational institution was a private school, Lynchburg Christian Academy, which advertised itself as a school that didn’t admit Blacks.

And here’s the best one of all. Of the 12 states that have the highest Covid-19 rate since the outbreak began, eight of them are states in the Old South. Of the 12 states with the highest Covid-19 risk, which is calculated by looking at vaccination rates plus high levels of the Delta variant, six are in the South.

So the question needs to be asked: If we could have imposed the same kind of travel ban for the South that we imposed for countries in Europe and Asia at different times, who knows how the United States would be suffering from Covid-19?

I don’t find anything particularly interesting or culturally enlightening about the South. Not the music, particularly the hillbilly junk. Not the writings of Faulkner nor the homespun humor of Mark Twain. I couldn’t care less.

As far as I’m concerned, now that Trump is a resident of Florida, let the whole bunch of those crummy states secede again and in 2024 he can get elected President again.

Time To Chip In!

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My umbrella came in yesterday. It looks great! I’m going to take it out to my club where I am the only registered Democrat and walk around with it if it starts raining while I’m on the course.

So pull out a Jackson and a Lincoln or be politially correct and pull out a Lincoln and a Tubman. I don’t care.

Just do it, okay?

Here’s the link: Moms Demand Action Umbrella | Everytown for Gun Safety.

Do it. You got something better to do?

Did Donald Trump Plan A Coup?


              What do you do when you need to full up space on your newspaper website that will get you a few more clicks than the competition is getting, but meanwhile, there’s really no new news?

              Well, there’s always the Pandemic. But how many times can you write the same story about how we would have the virus licked, if it weren’t for all the residents of the dumb (read: red) states who don‘t want to get their shots?

              How many times can you run another story about the Taliban slaughtering people in Afghanistan? Religious crazies killing Westerners and Westerners killing religious crazies has been going on in Afghanistan for the past 150 years. Don’t believe me? Ask Gunga Din.

              What about the economy? Want to run another story about how we can’t seem to mount an economic recovery from Covid-19.  The unemployment rate in January was 6.4 percent, now it’s 5.4 percent – 4/10ths away from what is considered full employment, by the way.

              Then, of course, we can always say something about the enfeebled Joe Biden, who has not only passed two major funding bills and is working on a third bill but has signed more than 60 Executive Orders in 2021, a pace which even puts him ahead of his predecessor who often confused Executive Orders with legislation done on the Hill.

              The sports season is a washout or a Covid-out. Another big wild fire in California?  This is the state which gave us Ronald Reagan and half and half.  You expect that bunch of sprout-eaters would know how to put out a fire?

              So, it’s getting a little tough these days to keep people interested in no news, except there’s always one issue that will keeps bringing them back again and again – Donald Trump! Write a story or an op-ed about him and you’ll see the needle begin to move, even if the content is so bogus that it really deserves to be considered ‘fake news.’

              The latest and greatest such nonsense came out yesterday in an editorial in The Washington Post, written by Ruth Marcus, who is such a big shot that her comments were replayed today on CNN. Here’s the headline: “Trump’s coup attempt grows even more worrisome as new details emerge.”

              And here’s where we go from there: “What happened before Jan. 6, we are coming to learn, was equally horrifying: a slow-motion attempted coup, plotted in secret at the pinnacle of government and foiled by the resistance of a few officials who would not accede to Donald Trump’s deluded view of the election outcome.”

              And what is this attempted coup consist of that has Ruth Marcus so worried? A letter that the Acting Attorney General prepared for the Governor of Georgie, Brian Kemp, that told Kemp about DOJ plans to investigate alleged voter fraud. The letter was also signed by the head of DOJ’s civil division who apparently had joined this coup attempt after talking to Trump.

              The letter, incidentally, was never sent. As word about it spread around the DOJ, people got pissed off and told Jeffrey Rosen, the Acting AG, to stuff the letter you know where. Which he did.

              Now I don’t know about Ruth Marcus, but from my long and storied experience in studying politics and political affairs, a stupid letter which had no legal force behind it at all and wasn’t even sent out, is about as much of an example of an ‘attempted coup’ as my cat Leonard represents a threat to anyone else living in my house.

              When I hear or read the word ‘coup’ I think of military units, tanks and artillery rolling down the street. I think of how Idi Amin slaughtered at least 5,000 supporters of the government he overthrew in 1971. I think of the several thousand followers of Salvador Allende who were jailed or executed by the Pinochet-led military units in Chile during and after Allende’s overthrow in 1973.

              Those were coups. What Trump did by telling this one to tell that one to send a letter to the other one was nothing but pure crap produced by the reality-TV program known as the Trump Administration which ran for four years before it was cancelled in 2020.

How come Ruth Marcus seems to have forgotten the  Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, which Donald Trump created in 2017 because he believed that Hillary’s plurality in 2016 was due to fake votes? That group found about as much evidence of fraud in 2016 as anyone was able to dig up to explain last year’s results.

              But last year Trump not only lost by 7 million votes, he also lost the Electoral College as well. Bigger defeat requires a bigger conspiracy to explain the defeat.  And if Trump can go on yapping about the great conspiracy to deprive him of a second term, why not raise the media click-bait stakes a little higher and respond to his nonsense by promoting the idea of a ‘coup?’

              Whether he knows it or not, Trump became President because he flipped three normally-blue states by 4/10ths of one percent of the total votes cast in those three states. And he won against a candidate who, to all intents and purposes, stopped campaigning after Labor Day, which is when national campaigns are supposed to begin.

              So fine. We put up with that schmuck for four years, during which time his weekly schedule consisted of flying out to some airport, selling some t-shirts and hats to the crowd, and then returning not to his office but to one of his clubs where he played golf.  Here was a guy running the world’s largest corporation who never (read: never) spent much time managing things at all.

              Know why he was able to carry on like that until the Pandemic brought him down? Because he had plenty of help from media organizations like The Washington Post who actually continue to pretend that whenever Trump picked up the phone and talked to this one, and then talked to that one, and then talked to another one, that he was actually trying to get something done.

              Like overthrowing a government that is now into its third century of existence.  That just takes a phone call here and there, right?


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What’s This Billboard Doing Up Here?


              Yesterday I was driving home from my office on the interstate loop which runs right past the Smith & Wesson factory in East Springfield, MA and I saw the billboard – the pic is above. For a second, I thought maybe S&W was advertising its AR-15 assault rifle but I’ve never known the company to go in for billboards to push their brand. Plus, the AR-15 produced across the highway from this sign can’t be sold in Massachusetts anyway. So, what’s going on?

              What’s going on is Manuel Oliver and his wife, Patricia, who lost their son in the Parkland massacre have started an organization, Change the Ref, to raise more awareness about gun violence through public art and other initiatives and events. When this billboard went up in Springfield last week, it immediately hit all the media stations in the area which carried stories over the next several days.

              The billboard is also stuck up in Boston, and the project is sponsored not only by Manny and Patricia Oliver, but also by a Massachusetts group, Stop Handgun Violence, which was founded in 1994 and was a key player in the very strong gun law that Massachusetts enacted in 1998.

              The Massachusetts gun law gets the stated rated in the top five of all states when it comes to the degree to which gun owners face comprehensive regulations covering their guns. You cannot own or buy a gun in Massachusetts, even a private sale, unless you have been given a state-issued gun license. You also must lock up or lock away all your guns and if you don’t, even if nobody gets hurt, you could be facing a felony charge. Finally, any new gun cannot be sold in the states unless it has first been certified as meeting various child-safety designs.

              In 1996, two years before the gun law was passed, there were 34 homicides in Massachusetts and 8,496 aggravated assaults. Now, I don’t know how many of these violent crimes reported to the FBI involved the use of guns. But we have to assume that the 1998 law was in response to this criminality, particularly the homicides which are almost always committed with guns.

              In 2002, four years after the law took effect, there were 57 homicides and 9,899 aggravated assaults. The gun ls is still on the books and in 2019, the state recorded 102 homicides and 11,785 aggravated assaults. In 2000, the state had a population of 6,349,097. The estimated population today iss 6.892 million.

              Over the last twenty years, the state’s population has increased by slightly less than 9%.  During the same time-frame with this tough, gun law still being enforced, the murder number has almost doubled, and the aggravated assaults have only increased by about 20 percent.

              This is how gun laws prevent crime? 

              But a review of this data should not be taken as my attempt to dismiss the work of the Olivers who have decided to promote gun laws as one way to remember their beloved son. My problem with this approach is that I don’t think that promoting more gun laws by looking at whether gun assaults go up or down is necessarily the best and most powerful way to frame the gun violence debate.

              I think guns need to strictly be regulated because the most popular guns these days – assault rifles, semi-automatic pistols – are designed only to do one thing. And that one thing is to end human life. Period. As Grandpa would say, “Gevalt.”

              And by the way, I’m not interested in all the nonsense about how guns are the best way to defend yourself and you have a God-given ‘right’ to self-defense. Do me a favor. Take your God-given ‘right’ and stick it you know where. Or as I said yesterday, if you want your ability to walk around with a Glock in your pocket to be approved by God, move to Iran.

              What’s important about gun laws is they remind us that guns aren’t toys. Some of us need to be reminded of this again and again.

Why Is The 2nd Amendment So Important?


              Back in the 1980’s when the gun industry decided that being a patriot was a better way to sell guns than being a hunter, all of a sudden the 2nd Amendment became a big deal. Nobody ever cared about it or talked about it when I was growing up.

              Then a group of conservative lawyers decided to make a big deal out of pushing an ‘originalist’ approach to the Constitution, which means that the country should be run the way it was run before the Industrial Revolution. So, they got their buddy, Tony Scalia, to write an opinion about the 2nd Amendment in 2008 which said that Americans could keep a handgun around for self-defense.  Then the 2nd Amendment became a revered and iconic totem for Gun-nut Nation today.

              Is there any connection at all between the existence of the 2nd Amendment and the fact that Americans appear to be using guns to kill and injure each other right now at an extraordinary rate?

              In a word: Nope.

              Yet I keep getting emails from well-intentioned members of Gun-control Nation who believe that the way to reduce gun violence is to either rewrite the 2nd Amendment so that it no longer gives Constitutional cover to owning guns for self-defense or junking the whole thing altogether.

              Frankly, I think either approach would be a waste of time and here are the reasons why.

              `First, most of the guns that Americans own do not play any role in gun violence events. You don’t take Grandpa’s old shotgun off the wall and use it for a drive-by shooting at a bunch of people waiting to get into a club.

              Second, the 2nd Amendment lets you keep a handgun in your home, but it doesn’t say anything about what you need to do to buy that gun. And the courts have held again and again that jurisdictions can decide what kind of guns you can own in that jurisdiction, rulings that are challenged by Gun-nut Nation but are upheld every, single time.

              When the town of Highland Park passed a law requiring town residents who owned an AR-15 to either get rid of the gun or live somewhere else, the challenge went all the way up to the Supreme Court and the so-called ‘conservative SCOTUS refused to even hear the case.

              We passed our first federal law that defined the 2nd Amendment in 1934. This law (NFA34) allows the government to decide whether certain guns are too lethal to be sold without all kinds of regulatory constraints. Which is why there hasn’t been an injury due to the intentional use of a machine gun since 1946.

              If we stuck bottom-loading, semi-automatic pistols that shoot military-grade ammunition on the list of guns that are too lethal to be sold with just a background check, we’d get rid of gun violence right away. 

              The reason that countries like Italy, France and Spain don’t have gun violence is because you can’t just walk into a gun shop in Rome, or Paris, or Madrid and come out ten minutes later with a Glock. These countries all passed gun-control laws which copied our NFA34, but the reason they made handguns verboten is because they wanted to protect the government from armed political threats from the Left or the Right.

              Notice how many of the great patriots who stormed up the Capitol steps on January 6th were carrying guns. One? Two? For all the talk in Gun-nut Nation about the 2nd Amendment protecting us from government ‘tyranny,’ I notice that the Proud Boys and Three Percenters and all those other schmucks left their guns at home.

              Want to end or at least reduce gun violence? Get rid of the guns that are used to cause the violence. In fact, putting semi-automatic pistols on the restricted list that was created by NFA34 doesn’t even require a new law at all.

              When David Chipman takes over the ATF, he can publish such a directive in the Congressional Record, give Gun-nut Nation 60 days to bitch and moan, get Joe Manchin to shut up, and that’s the end of that.

Support Gun Rights? Get Lost.

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Until recently (yesterday, in fact) I prided myself on being perhaps the only gun blogger who made a point of wanting to give equal time and space in the gun debate to both sides. In fact, I often went out of my way to write comments about my friends in Gun-control Nation which were not necessarily all that negative, but certainly weren’t to be taken as a carte-blanche endorsement for what they say.

As of today, I’m throwing all that compassionate, liberal nonsense about how everyone ‘deserves a chance to be heard’ into the kitchen sink. Going forward, Mike the Gun Guy (yes, just like MAGA it’s copyrighted) is taking a hard turn Left and will only put content on his website that doesn’t allow for compromise at all.

Why do I say that? Because the other night I was watching a TV report (CNN I think) about people resisting the vaccinations and a woman in some red state said she wasn’t going to be ‘pushed’ into getting vaccinated by government. “If they push me,” she intoned, “I push right back.”

She also then added that she hadn’t yet had time to do ‘research’ on the vaccine’s long-term effects.  Did this idiot ever consider the possibility that if she didn’t get vaccinated the long-term effects wouldn’t matter because she’d already be dead?

As of this morning, U.S. deaths from Covid-19 have risen to 618,407. Most of these fatalities could have been avoided had we taken proven social distancing and protective clothing steps seriously right from the gitgo instead of waiting for a vaccine. Why didn’t we do that? Because we had a President who was not about to mandate any kind of public health response at all, and his successor seems unwilling and/or unable to change the basic tune.

And why do we suffer from this terrible disease every day when we always have know what was needed to be done? Would a mandate hurt the economy? Sure – for a couple of months. Would a mandate force us to change our behavior and do without such important things as sitting in the back yard yakking with our friends? Yep.

But the real reason we continue to avoid effective, comprehensive social protective and distancing mandates is exactly what that moron woman said – I ain’t gonna’ let the government tell me what to do.

Know what? I’ve been hearing the same crap about gun laws from Gun-nut Nation for a long time before anyone ever heard of Covid-19.  Why should I be able to buy a rifle made for the military and carry it around with three extra, 40-round mags?  Because nobody’s going to tell me I can’t. Why should I be able to walk around in the street with a Glock in my pocket even though I have never actually shot the gun even once? Because I’m not about to let the government tell me what I can and cannot do with my guns.

I have the God-given right to defend myself, and no damn government, particularly a government run by some liberals in the Deep State are going to take those ‘rights’ away from me.

And by the way,  this is the same damn government that wants to control my life by telling me that I can’t leave my house if I haven’t been vaccinated or I’m not wearing a mask.

Here’s my answer to every, single one of those bogus claims. Want to live in a country where your ‘rights’ are given to you by God?  Move to Iran. Want the government to stop enforcing common-sense and proven measures to keep us from all getting killed? Next time you drive down the Interstate, ask yourself how come you just passed a sign which told you how fast you can drive.

Enough with the talk about gun ‘rights.’ Enough with the talk about how you won’t let government tell you what you can and cannot do.

Don’t like what I just said? I don’t care. Either get yourself vaccinated and wear a mask at all times or stay in your house and shut the fu*k up.

As Grandpa used to say: “Shain zeit!” Enough is enough.

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