Posts Tagged ‘Andrew Wilkow’

No, it’s not Army Lt. Col. Robert “We Will Pry The Gun From Your Cold Dead Hands And Then Round You Up Into Camps” Bateman… but it is a military guy.

Here are some choice quotes from this guy’s announcement, maybe they’ll help you guess:

I believe in responsible firearms ownership, and that Americans should be able to responsibly enjoy the sport.

Thinks the Natural Law right of self-defense that is the Right to Keep and Bear Arms recognized as a restriction on government to stop infringments and thus written down as the Second Amendment is a “sport”.  Got it.

We can’t bury our heads in the sand when it comes to firearms legislation. The NRA needs to actively participate in the legislative process not dodge it.

But the NRA-ILA already does that.  Well, let’s see what else he has to say…

I don’t think idiots should be allowed to purchase or own firearms…more to come later.

Responsible gun ownership is taking an NRA or equivalent firearms safety course to learn how to handle a firearm safely. Over 50% of my range visits in Nevada I’ve encountered unsafe handling of firearms.

Universal firearms initial safety training and all state CCW should be a no brainer. Just like LEOs need to standardize training methodology.

Maybe a friend of Harry Reid’s from Nevada?

If my professional accomplishments and expertise … don’t qualify me to some degree then I don’t know what to tell you.

Well, he has professional accomplishments… maybe some military experience.  Y’know, McCain has military experience, and he supports compromise and being a “maverick” by supporting the other side a lot.  Good thing this guy isn’t all about pissing off people who he claims to want to represent.

If you’re not pissing some people off then you don’t stand for anything.

Oh.  I guess not.

Much of the problem is that he won’t tell readers where he stands, instead making an announcement to run and following it with things like this when asked to outline his positions:

I’ll do that once I’m ready and have my package.

You are joining the ranks of those on here who’ve made ungrounded statements. I’ve read and defended the US Constitution. When I run I’ll outline my position in detail, members will vote, and that will be that.

Because it’s not something I can address in detail in five minutes. I have a family, a business, and a book I’m on deadline to finish. Out here.

A very sharp commenter named Christina Hernandez responded: “…really? I guess we’ll all have to play the fool, and vote for you to find out what’s in you..”

And the response is thus: “what didn’t you understand about me explaining my position in detail once I start my run in 2015?”  Because it’s sooo hard to explain a position more than just say things like compromise and get common sense gun laws, and cite his credentials that are ultimately unrelated to an understanding of the Constitution.  But I suppose explaining positions is more difficult than getting snippy and saying you’re too busy to talk to the little people.

…being a citizen and a member of the NRA qualify me to run for a board seat. I’ve never advocated for “new legislation” I only said that the NRA needs to take an active role in the national conversation instead of sticking its collective head in the sand. I’m a gun owner and believe in the 2nd amendment.

Never advocated… except in the same string of posts where he says that it’s time to compromise and create gun legislation.

Not participating in the process is a mistake. The NRA has taken the position of the Sierra club…not willing to compromise and create gun legislation that makes sense. If you refuse to participate then you end up with silly laws that end up hurting responsible gun owners.

I’m not advocating more gun laws, and compromise comes in many forms.

He has some interesting comments on that:

Compromise comes in many forms. I fought the Sierra Club for a gun range in CA in 2007. They would not even sit down and here us out. If they did it would have been a “compromise”, I don’t think it’s in any organizations best interests, including the NRA, to be uncompromising when it comes to having an intelligent conversation about major issues, guns included.

Sitting down and hearing someone out if you don’t have to is a waste of compromise.  If the Sierra Club can get their way 100% in that case, why should they sit down and compromise?  All they would be doing would be giving up something they want.  If they didn’t need to sit down and talk because they held all the cards, why should they compromise?  It’s in their best interest, and their specific interest, to get what they set out to do, not to surrender part of what they already have.

Why would you have a conversation with someone in order to compromise if you don’t have to?  That’s voluntary surrender.

His responses to those critical of his “common sense compromise” and “I won’t give details” are mostly a variation of “You’re stupid and you can’t fix stupid.”

Man, I wonder what he thinks of the NRA?  Oh, this:

From my perspective the NRA is great at drumming up hard core right wing support through sensationalizing the “gun issue” with the main incentive of driving membership revenue…. AND they have been great at waving the flag when it suits their purpose.

So you must be wondering who it is… maybe Joe Manchin?  Matt Damon?  Michael Moore?

Who is it?  Why it’s Brandon Webb, Navy SEAL sniper and SOFREP writer, who announced his decision to run for the NRA board of directors.  His first exchange highlights who and what he is, if the quotes above (all in that same FB post) seemed strange, you can read them in context and see how he responded to a very early question about the Second Amendment as a tool against tyranny:

webb 11

But if you question him and his desire for “compromise”, you’re a “crazy”:

webb 6

Navy SEAL, SOFREP guy, frequent guest and on-air buddy of real conservative Andrew Wilkow, what could go wrong?  Except that Webb won’t explain his positions, talks surrender with the other side, gets snippy and angry at people who question him, threatens physical violence against people who question him, and admits virtually no real firearms culture experience before his work for the government.  All of that combined doesn’t look good at all.  (As a side note, I’ll be emailing Wilkow about this, because I suspect he may have some harsh questions for Webb.)

Thing is, when you start saying stuff like the statements above it makes you look like somebody who’s an enemy of rights because you’re speaking the language of the leftist, not a friend of rights, and bandying about “compromise” when compromise invariably means surrender.

Compromise is “just the tip” with a rapist.  No means no.

And of course responding that stating no principles and calling for compromise and saying you should have universal training, “idiots” shouldn’t own guns, and calling the Second Amendment Right to Keep and Bear Arms a “sport” means that anyone who questions you is a “crazy”.

Which he follows up like this:

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Compromising and making more gun legislation by finding common ground with the enemies of gun rights is compromising on the Second Amendment.  Furthermore, he already states that he is opposed to “idiots” and believes in “universal  firearms initial safety training”.

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No idiots… and universal initial safety training.  If you wanted a handgun in Michigan, up until around 2008, you had to have a “safety inspection” of your pistol.  It was simply registration and a chance for the police to inspect you.

He’s upset about idiots, and the 50% of unsafe people at the range in Nevada, and he wants universal safety training.  And he only learned about guns in the military.  No chance for statist leaning there!

He’ll also kick your ass if you disagree with him.

The one thing he makes clear again is his desire for compromise.  Back in January 2013, he made the point as he was discussing Sandy Hook… starting with some favorite things from the left anti-gun playbook:

In 2008 America had over 12,000 deaths at the end of a firearm, compared to 11 in Japan, skew for population ratios and it’s still a massively high number.  …

I don’t have all the solutions on this issue but I do know that I’m personally ready to compromise to limit mass shootings, and I’m ready to have an intelligent conversation on this issue.  If leading gun organizations like the NRA don’t take a leadership role in proposing realistic solutions, then they will have failed to truly represent gun owners.  …

Sometimes change, and healthy debate, as difficult as it can be at first, is a good thing. After all it was once within our constitutional rights to own and enslave other human beings. I believe in the 2nd Amendment and our right to bear arms but, if we continue to do nothing on the issue (mainly a mental health one) of mass shootings then we can expect more of them in the near future. Remember that when you kiss your kids goodbye on their way to school.

What he’s saying through this stupid sentence is that the Second Amendment is like slavery, because it’s ultimately an obsolete right in these modern times, and that’s why it’s going to go away.  He views it as a “sport” he’d like to keep, so he can train people or something, and if you don’t compromise, well, remember that Japan doesn’t have killings like Sandy Hook, so it’s your fault.

Unless he’s batshit crazy and he’s pro-gun and pro-slavery, and laments the loss of slavery.

Now today he’s come out with this post on his own blog to “clarify”:

I never shot much as a kid, aside from shooting clay pidgeons off the bow of the boat I worked on. I hunted quite a bit, but it was with my spear gun, not a rifle. I learned to shoot in the Navy, and only became an expert with a weapon by the time I finished my first SEAL platoon work up.

Dissecting this, the lack of firearms familiarity as a child wouldn’t necessarily be a strike against him, as there are plenty of compromising Fudds who used guns as kids, but it also means he’s further from having a Western tradition of valuing firearms intrinsically, even if not having examined the beliefs that lead to that tradition.

What we also see is that he was introduced to guns in an institutional setting, with control and order and structure and the state running things.

My first exposure to the firearms hot button came when I spoke out in defense of school shootings and compromise on my personal blog.

Yeah, which means before then he hadn’t even thought about it.  Let’s make this clear – before 2013, he was simply someone who used firearms as a tool for the state, and whose exposure to firearms before then was very limited and in very regimented, controlled military settings.  Or in California, where gun rights are infringed upon, which is why he doesn’t understand that NICS checks do take minutes, not days.

Many people I’ve encountered on social media lately have misinterpreted my position on the 2nd Amendment. Lately, I’ve heard people develop wild and ungrounded conclusions about my position on the 2nd Amendment. Some think that I’m automatically talking about Americans giving up their right to keep and bear arms, and 2nd Amendment compromise. They couldn’t be more wrong.

He couldn’t be more wrong.  Let me borrow from Law Dog to explain how compromise works, Brandon:

gun compromise law dog

Or to put it another way, “just the tip, baby”.

In the dark corners of the Internet they lurk, call names, and make ridiculous emotion-based (not fact-based) assumptions. I’ve heard it all, and I’ll take this on the chin. To be honest, I could have been clearer on my position in the past. However, do keep in mind that the word “compromise,” a term I’ve used before, comes in many forms; sometimes it includes sitting down with your adversaries and having an intelligent conversation and debate on major issues.

Oh, look, an ad hominem argument…

They’re all lurking internet trolls calling me names!  They’re making ridiculous emotion-based arguments!  But I’m the better man, I’ll suck it up.  I’m so magnanimous, I’ll even admit I could’ve explained things better.  They just misunderstood what I was saying, and they misunderstood how I meant compromise.  You see, compromise can mean intelligent conversation because they don’t want to engage in debate.

obama jesus 1

Picture totally unrelated.

That way we can get real, positive, common sense laws enacted.

But Webb digs the hole deeper:

What have I learned since getting out of the Navy in 2006? Few things will stir people up in this country like the 2nd Amendment. It’s right up there with gay marriage and abortion. And I’ve learned that you can’t have a conversation with a fanatic.

He didn’t know that before 2006.  Yet he claims to be a super badass guy who knows everything about guns who served from 1993 onward, and yet didn’t understand the importance of the Constitution and rights.

That last little link there goes to AR15.com calling him out.  If you have the time, read it.  The folks there have seen his type before and call him out for what he is.  Him calling them “fanatics” as a name-calling term is another ad hominem.  His Churchill line also fails… as it comes from a great man who responded to tyranny thusly – with no compromise:

We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.

Webb goes into non-detail details:

I’m Canadian-born American citizen by birth (by a US parent).
I grew up hunting fish (Halibut, Yellowtail, Bass, nothing was safe) and Lobster in the kelp forests of the Channel Islands with my spear gun.

Neither of which means a thing, except that he’s definitely lacking in the Western tradition of instrinsic understanding of firearms ownership.  By itself, wouldn’t be an issue.  He could learn later in life, but all he’s learned since 2006 is that people get upset when you tell them “I’ll just put in the tip, baby”, and 50% of all civilian and therefore non-SEAL gun owners are unsafe idiots who should not have guns.

Then he goes on to introducing himself as a SEAL sniper, in case you forgot.

I bought my first gun when I was a new SEAL at Team 3. I still have it – an HK USP .45.
Favorite gun manufacturer: Rifle-Blaser Handgun-HK
I was an M-60 Gunner in my first platoon (It’s one bad ass area weapon!)
I am a certified SEAL sniper, sniper instructor, and US Army-trained stinger missile gunner.
The snipers in the Teams used to go on Navy-sponsored hunting trips, mostly white tail.
I shot my first buck in 2002 at 443 yards with my issued .300 Win Mag in Washington State.
I served in the Navy from 1993-2006.

So?  What this says: “I didn’t own or use guns until I was already thoroughly ingrained in an institution of government – an institution that is still the crux of my identity – did I mention I was a SEAL?”

A Snap Shot Perspective of My Views on Gun Ownership & The 2nd Amendment

The 2nd Amendment is inherent in America’s cultural DNA

But not his.  And he compares it to slavery.

I believe everyone who owns a gun should attend a basic firearms & range safety qualifications course and that these courses should be standardized

The NRA should be like PADI or NAUI and encourage gun ranges to only accept NRA basic qualified shooters on the range.

Translation: “I believe in tyranny of the experts.”  Requiring qualifications for a right means that the right is now predicated on meeting criteria which are ultimately arbitrary.  Citizens of New York City can exercise their rights, provided they’re properly licensed.  Oh, so those rights are infringed and functionally eradicated?  Oh, well, at least they’re properly licensed.

Also PADI and NAUI (diving groups) are more about liability for shops, from what diving folks say on the subject.  Quite a different thing.

Background checks are a good idea but should take minutes, not days

Translation: “I don’t understand how NICS works.”  Background checks do take minutes in most states, just not California, where he’s from.

Often gun laws are made by people who don’t use, own, or understand firearms

Translation: “Did I mention I was a SEAL!?!  I know everything about guns and I should teach you!”  Lon Horiuchi knows a lot about sniping, but that doesn’t mean he knows jack about the Constitution.

Mass shootings have to be dealt with head-on or America will face more gun restrictions and erosion of 2nd Amendment rights.

Translation: “This is why I push for compromise and working with people who want restrictions and erosion of rights.  Because when you compromise with them, you get compromise, and compromise means good.  You’re a crazy and a fanatic if you aren’t willing to compromise becasuse they’re going after you.  And you’re crazy if you think compromise means compromise.”

NRA training needs to be brought up to date

Translation: “I really, really, really love organizations and institutions.”

Dogs/handlers at schools and colleges are better than armed guards, in my opinion. Dogs are an incredible resource to use in these situations

This one I’m not even sure I can make fun of.  It’s so baffling in its stupidity outright.  If I were able to ask him a question, I’d say “Brandon, if there was a threat to a school of an armed shooter, would you rather have a dog there or a Navy SEAL sniper as a guard?”  And if he said “I think the dog would be better”, I would just have to walk away, because the man is daft.

I believe we should be able to concealed-carry and open-carry where practical (e.g., not on an elementary school campus or an airplane)

“Dogs will magically protect you on campus!  And we’ll have dog pilots!  They’ll protect the skies!  Dogs everywhere!”

Guns are guns and people should be able to own and obtain a permit to own everything, short of an anti-tank weapon or WMD, if they’re properly trained/certified

Translation: “I do not understand the difference between rights and privileges, between having a right and begging permission.  I have no idea how certification or training is used as a tool of tyranny.  But I’m a SEAL and I love me some government!”

The NRA should take a strong leadership position when it comes to legislation affecting ownership pro and con, not just a “supporter” of legislation. The perception from the left is that the NRA is an uncompromising organization

Translation: “I believe in making friends with the left by compromising and giving them part of what they want.  If they want your rights, I will give them some because it’s not nice to not compromise.  But I will never compromise on the Second Amendment.  I will just allow reasonable restrictions and permits and training and certifications and compromise.”

No means no.  I don’t care if a rapist thinks a woman’s a frigid witch – no means no.  She shouldn’t compromise to make the rapist feel better.

Also, is the man wholly ignorant of the NRA-ILA?

I believe the 2nd Amendment is a right we should keep and hold dear

“But I believe we should compromise in order to give up some of the right so we can keep organized and certified and permitted sports.”

webb 4

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And in case you wanted even more on this:

MAC/Sturmgewehre over at Military Arms Channel has a very solid post on why Brandon Webb shouldn’t be allowed on the board.

And Soldier Systems posted Webb’s last piece and spurred some interesting conversation:

webb 12

Donating time to your own foundation as a defense against being called out for being somewhat self absorbed?  And then the “get a life or move to a communist country”?

And then there’s this:

webb 13

The threats he made were in response to a PM criticizing him posted in its entirety here.

There’s also already a Facebook page dedicated to stopping him.

And the source for this quote, from his website:

From my perspective the NRA is great at drumming up hard core right wing support through sensationalizing the “gun issue” with the main incentive of driving membership revenue…. AND they have been great at waving the flag when it suits their purpose.

The rest of the quotes above can be found either at the FB post he made announcing his run or in various links provided.

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Update: Sipsey Street Irregulars linked back to us here.  I will note that the email I sent to MV was bluntly harsher and more critical of Webb (not quite polished for publication), and was simply to provide a quick rough summary of everything that’s gone on so far, and why much of the firearms community, myself included, have come to the decisions we have, and I have.  So it’s a lot more terse and acerbic.

Now, as for some constructive criticism – Webb could actually listen to the people who disagree with him rather than accuse them of not wanting to have “intelligent conversation” merely because they disagree with him.  He could listen to why they say the things they do, rather than get defensive.

webb a13 there you go again i run gun sites so im pro gun and youre an idiot

I wonder if Brandon Webb can see that the Sierra Club got what they wanted – his range being cancelled – by not compromising.  They got what they wanted by not wavering on their principles, and they didn’t need to talk to him.  It would have never benefited them to even talk to him.  The Sierra Club beat out Brandon Webb by never backing down, and yet he can’t see that Dave Webb there is trying to tell him that compromise only lets you lose incrementally.

The best interest of the Sierra Club and what they believe was to keep Brandon Webb’s range from ever coming into being.  They didn’t win by “intelligent conversation” and “compromise” with their ideological enemy.  They won by sticking to their principles.

He might start to understand the vehemence with which his vague, contradictory, mushy statements and gun-grabber-sounding statist authoritarian words are being met if he would allow himself to listen to people who are disagreeing – and why.

The Senate is stalled temporarily, and even Harry Reid has been stymied for the time being.

Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) announced Thursday that the Senate will “take a pause” and return to consideration of gun legislation at a later date.

But they are not stopping.

“Yesterday, President Obama said it was a shameful day for the Senate, and it probably was, I agree. But we should make no mistake: This debate is not over, in fact this fight is just beginning,” Reid said on the Senate floor Thursday.

Nancy Pelosi said today:

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Thursday said passage of tougher gun controls is “inevitable,” projecting optimism less than 24 hours after the Senate voted down legislation central to President Obama’s strategy to reduce gun violence.

“It’s a matter of time,” Pelosi said Thursday during a press briefing in the Capitol. “It might be inconceivable to the NRA that this might happen; it’s inevitable to us.”

The anti-rights leftist gun-grabber movement will always push for tyranny, and will not stop.

“Something must be done, because that’s what the American people expect and what they deserve,” she said. “We’re just not taking no for an answer.”

The American people do not want tyranny.  We do not expect tyranny from their government as part of its function.  We do not deserve tyranny.  We’ve fought for freedom and do not want tyranny.

Pelosi and her anti-rights ilk will never give up, they will push to disarm us, and they do not stop.  But she will be given no for an answer.  When she refuses to take no for an answer and inflicts her whims upon us, she fully becomes a tyrant.

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Andrew Wilkow today noted that a simple example of how the Second Amendment works is a metaphor with a man as the government and a woman as the people.  The woman is armed.

The man asks why the woman needs a gun, and says she shouldn’t have it.  She says “I need it so you won’t rape me”.  The man angrily assures her that he will not rape her.  “Then you will never have a problem with my gun,” answers the woman.

Musical Interlude

Posted: February 11, 2013 by ShortTimer in Music
Tags:

Some folks will probably recognize this tune’s opening riff, even if they’re not familiar with Social Distortion or Mike Ness.

The Houston Chronicle already used “in the cross-hairs”:

WASHINGTON – For gun enthusiasts, the Slide Stock is an exciting add-on that enables shooters to unleash bursts of machine-gun-like fire from semi-automatic weapons like the AR-15.

But for gun control advocates, including Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., bumpfire devices (as they’re known generically) are a nightmare waiting to happen.

“With practice, a shooter can control his rate of fire from 400 to 800 rounds per minute,” Feinstein said on Wednesday, speaking at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on guns. With such devices, she said, mass shooters gain “tremendous killing power” that can “tear young bodies apart.”

For the children, of course.  But just imagine if a crazed murderer could fire 9 rounds instantaneously.

9 pellet buckshot

Andrew Wilkow today on SiriusXM made a solid point that access to the internet and a hardware store is actually a lot more dangerous than any firearm.

This is a much more dangerous guided munitions delivery system, used by terrorists foreign and domestic:

ryder truck

The Houston Chronicle notes that bump fire itself isn’t all it’s cracked up to be:

Gun enthusiasts offer rave reviews but warn bumpfire can be an expensive habit.

“Fun? Yes indeed, the Slide Fire Stock is uber fun,” said David Fortier, writing in Shotgun News last September. “It will put a smile on your face just as quick as it empties your wallet as you burn through copious amounts of ammunition.”

There’s a saying in the citizen gun community: “Full auto is a good way to turn money into noise.”

The Slide Fire stock takes advantage of bump firing, which, for those that skipped the original article, is basically letting recoil bounce the trigger into your finger over and over, simulating full-auto fire.  It isn’t full auto fire, it’s still one pull of the trigger fring one bullet, just rapidly.  It’s difficult to control (which the Slide Fire stock controls to some degree) and it’s basically wasting rounds.  It’s a gimmick, but it could be hypothetically used by someone in a shooting competition, but the specific skill you need to develop with bump firing, even with the Slide Fire, would still be difficult.  It’s not like a full-auto gun with a selector switch.  Even people who shoot a lot have difficulty controlling it.

The Houston Chronicle makes this interesting note:

David Koresh, the Branch Davidian cult leader in Waco, told law enforcement authorities that he used Hellfire triggers on semi-automatic weapons, according to “No More Wacos,” a 1995 book by gun-rights advocate David Kopel. Koresh and his followers killed four ATF agents during a 1993 raid before setting their compound ablaze during an FBI assault. At least 74 people, including 25 children, died.

Might be worth questioning the function and history of the ATF again and the behavior of those who want to “save the children”.  Watching the first few minutes of the Academy Award nominated documentary will get you to the audio of ATF Agent Jim Canavaugh – who’s retired but still doing favors for the ATF and lying about Gunwalker operations.

Moving right along:

Although the technology has been around 40 years or more, bumpfire devices gained popularity in the wake of the Firearms Owners Protection Act, which among other things outlawed civilian possession or transfer of machine guns not legally in circulation prior to the law’s signing date, May 19, 1986.

FOPA was passed to correct some earlier gun control laws that were harsh and uncontrollable.  It was made so that if you lived in Vermont and wanted to drive to West Virginia, you could safely travel through New York without being arrested.  If you are on a peaceable journey and traveling, you have a defense to prosecution (and really shouldn’t be arrested at all) for crossing through jurisdictions that make your rights into crimes.

The Hughes Amendment was part of FOPA, and banned machineguns except for those before 1986.  That’s why real machineguns cost an arm and a leg.  There are only so many of them legally in existence, and so those are the only ones that can be bought or sold.  It’s an artificial market created by government.  It’s fascinating from a supply & demand standpoint, as cheap mass-produced submachineguns that would’ve gone for a few hundred dollars (and the $200 ATF tax stamp and a pile of paperwork and background checks) will now fetch thousands of dollars (like this cheap Sten).

The Slide Fire takes advantage of semi-automatic actions that should be the most resistant to out-of-battery detonations (I’m personally not a fan of bump fire at all because of out-of-battery risks, even if they should be impossible with ARs).

But realistically, it doesn’t matter either way.  It’s just another tool.  Like Robert Heinlein said: “There are no dangerous weapons, only dangerous men.

Consider the V-Tac 1-5 drill.  It’s a skill test drill in which a shooter will fire 1 round on the first target, 2 on the second, 3 on the third, then 4 on the second target again, then 5 rounds ending on the first target.  I can do it in a little over 4 seconds.  Travis Haley does it in 2.4.

That’s all done with semi-auto.  We’ve already seen shotguns are more dangerous than rifles when comparing people with moderate skills.  At high skill levels, it really doesn’t make a difference.  It’s not the tool, it’s the man (or woman) using the tool.

Going after Slide Fire stocks is just as meaningless as going after semi-auto firearms with scary features or non-scary features, or going after certain sizes of buckshot, or going after rifles or pistols or anything else.

A good person with a gun – no matter what type of gun or what features – will harm no one and will protect people, even if only through deterrence.  A good person disarmed will become a victim of harm and can protect no one.  A bad person will never be disarmed, will always find a weapon, and will always harm people.

From the UK Sun:

A SKIVING couple told last night how they claim £17,680 a year in benefits — and don’t even bother looking for work because it would leave them worse off.

Danny Creamer, 21, and Gina Allan, 18, spend each day watching their 47in flatscreen TV and smoking 40 cigarettes between them in their comfy two-bedroom flat.

It is all funded by the taxpayer, yet the couple say they deserve sympathy because they are “trapped”.

They even claim they are entitled to their generous handouts because their hard-working parents have been paying tax for years.

The couple, who have a four-month-old daughter Tullulah-Rose, say they can’t go out to work as they could not survive on less than their £1,473-a-month benefits.

The pair left school with no qualifications, and say there is no point looking for jobs because they will never be able to earn as much as they get in handouts.

Financially, they as individuals can see what’s in their best interest.  It’s in their best interest to take from the taxpayer.

Gina admits: “We could easily get a job but why would we want to work — we would be worse off.

They’re just a symptom.  The disease is the governmental policies that enable and support them.

Consider the American Welfare Cliff:

welfare cliffThe blue is take-home wages after taxes, and the rest are handouts from various sources.  There are greater rewards to less work.  In Britain, it’s become so bad that there are greater rewards for no work at all.

The welfare-taker is just exploiting a system that’s set up for exploitation.  It works the same in the US.  The working stiff is busting her butt for 8-10 hours a day, while the welfare-taker is at home on his butt playing Xbox for 8-10 hours a day, then going out to party at night.  He doesn’t have bills to worry about, as they’re all paid for by people who are working.  She does have to worry about bills.  He has an entire political party dedicated to telling him that he’s downtrodden and oppressed, and that only they, who give him free stuff, will help him.  She’s got a choice between two parties – one that says they support her, but that takes her money and gives it to the welfare-taker, and the other that “compromises” because they don’t want to look like meanies… and so mostly does the same thing.

The welfare-taker (or zero-liability voter, as Andrew Wilkow likes to call them) is voting himself largesse from the public treasury, and one party wholly supports him – because they know they have his vote for as long as they give him plunder from other citizens.  The working stiff has her tax money diverted from legitimate functions of government (national defense, post roads, etc.) and sent to the welfare-taker.

At some point, solely looking at the bottom line, it becomes clear that one is the winner – having their life provided for by the state, and one is the loser – being taxed by the state to provide for others they have no obligation to.  In the long run, the system implodes.  In the short term, the politician who provides welfare is the one who gets benefits – being able to demonize those who oppose welfare as “heartless”, directly giving handouts to people to pay for support, and they get the constant reassurance that their meddling is “necessary” because they are the only ones who can “save” the little people.  It’s Munchausen by proxy on a massive scale.  And it serves the interest of the politicians’ Curley Effect.

In the last few years, there’s been some discussion of how an increasingly progressive statist government can exercise massive authority over citizens.  Something that comes up every so often, especially when discussing FDR and/or liberal fascists in general is the internment of Americans of Japanese descent during World War II.  Over this summer, I visited one of the remaining camp sites, which was a rather surreal experience.  I called a few friends from the site of an American concentration camp and mentioned how wholly bizarre of a feeling it was to be standing where once around 11,000 people were imprisoned by their own government on suspicions based almost exclusively on ethnic background, deprived of rights and property solely because the government said so.

The Heart Mountain internment camp is located in northwestern Wyoming, and in 1942 would’ve been much more the middle of nowhere than it is now.  It’s far, far off the beaten path, and now out of sight and out of mind for most people.  And then there’s that saying about those who forget history…

Note that construction began in June 1942 and by August 1942 the first citizens were interned in the camp.

Try rereading that last sentence again.

It’s important to note that it is a concentration camp.  It’s often referred to as an “internment” or “relocation” camp because the historical meaning of concentration camp has been almost completely dominated by those used by America’s enemies in WWII, and is considered interchangeable with death camp.

It is quite eerie how the structures that remain standing look very similar to those vastly more lethal camps on the other side of the planet, except these camps in the US are almost totally forgotten.

During the last week or so, SiriusXM Patriot Channel host Andrew Wilkow has been using internment of Japanese Americans as historical example of what a democracy that overrides the rules of a republic can do; of how a majority of 51% can be a tyranny of 51%.  I’d been planning a post for a while, but hearing it mentioned a few times in the last week finally got me to dig up the pictures.

The Heart Mountain Foundation has a website and museum about the camp.  They were closed when I got there, but it was a lot more haunting to walk around empty grounds of a camp as the sun was going down than it would’ve been to just visit a museum.

China’s “Princelings”

Posted: November 27, 2011 by ShortTimer in Elitism, Socialism
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From the Wall Street Journal:

Children of the Revolution
China’s ‘princelings,’ the offspring of the communist party elite, are embracing the trappings of wealth and privilege—raising uncomfortable questions for their elders.

By JEREMY PAGE

One evening early this year, a red Ferrari pulled up at the U.S. ambassador’s residence in Beijing, and the son of one of China’s top leaders stepped out, dressed in a tuxedo.
Bo Guagua, 23, was expected. He had a dinner appointment with a daughter of the then-ambassador, Jon Huntsman.

The car, though, was a surprise. The driver’s father, Bo Xilai, was in the midst of a controversial campaign to revive the spirit of Mao Zedong through mass renditions of old revolutionary anthems, known as “red singing.” He had ordered students and officials to work stints on farms to reconnect with the countryside. His son, meanwhile, was driving a car worth hundreds of thousands of dollars and as red as the Chinese flag, in a country where the average household income last year was about $3,300.

The episode, related by several people familiar with it, is symptomatic of a challenge facing the Chinese Communist Party as it tries to maintain its legitimacy in an increasingly diverse, well-informed and demanding society. The offspring of party leaders, often called “princelings,” are becoming more conspicuous, through both their expanding business interests and their evident appetite for luxury, at a time when public anger is rising over reports of official corruption and abuse of power.

State-controlled media portray China’s leaders as living by the austere Communist values they publicly espouse. But as scions of the political aristocracy carve out lucrative roles in business and embrace the trappings of wealth, their increasingly high profile is raising uncomfortable questions for a party that justifies its monopoly on power by pointing to its origins as a movement of workers and peasants.

Read the whole thing here.

SiriusXM conservative radio host Andrew Wilkow has a phrase that he uses that applies quite well here:

Socialism is for the people, not the socialist.

What it means is that the socialist who rules will live how he likes, enjoying the trappings of being the ruling class (since he is), and that the people will have their wealth redistributed.  Of course the socialist will have to take the people’s money in order to finance his own way of life, and no cost is too high, as the socialist is there to serve the people – and the people would of course want the socialist to have anything he wishes at their expense, so he can keep providing them with the glorious utopia he promises.

Rife’s rearry rough at the top for those tasked with running sociarist workers’ paradises, no matter if they’re Chinese, American, or North Korean.

Conservative talk SiriusXM radio host Andrew Wilkow has a phrase he likes to use when referring to people who receive more from the government than they pay in: zero-liability voters.  It applies to those 50-something percent of people who either don’t pay taxes, or who receive back what they paid, or receive tax money to begin with.

It makes a direct, simple point, that’s easy to understand, and illustrates the stark difference between the taxpayer and the (another Wilkow term here) recipient class – those who receive more from government than they pay in.  As everyone should know, government has no money of its own.  The woman screaming for “Obama money” doesn’t realize that government has no money – the government only has the money that it taxes from the citizen (or in the old days, that it got from taxes and tariffs on imports, which is also from the citizen).

I don’t think there truly is such thing as a “zero-liability voter”.  That makes it seem as though they get off free for ultimately destructive actions – which they don’t.  It also doesn’t quite represent the loss that voter is in for when the bill they’re running up comes due.

Every voter who is on welfare is subject to the dictates of government.  Every voter who is on disability or social security or otherwise receiving from the government, whether or not they put in originally, is subject to the dictates of the government.  In that manner to begin with, they have some interest.  The normal point about the zero-liability voter is that their interest is solely in granting themselves more benefits at the expense of productive members of society.  This is fairly well true, but the recipient who keeps asking for more and more is ultimately liable to the economy and to the markets.  51% can vote to confiscate the rest of the 49%’s wealth, but when there is no more, they are still ultimately liable.  When economic ruin in Greece comes to bear, they ultimately pay for their recipient status.

The grasshopper can get welfare from the ant, but when winter comes and the ant can’t eat, no one can.

That’s a little bit long-term to look at for the average short-sighted welfare schlub.  So functionally, the zero-liability voter still exists in the short term, except…

There are costs which have an effect on everyone.  Gas is a simple example.  If a welfare recipient votes for someone whose policies continue to increase costs of gasoline and diesel fuel, it increases the costs of everything moved by truck, boat, barge, or plane.  Which is pretty much everything – unless you’re buying from the Amish.

Been spending most our lives living in an Amish Paradise...

If you’re a welfare recipient who’s getting $500/week, your $500 isn’t going to go as far when the products you buy, shipped by truck, go up 30%.   You can vote yourself more money, but even that takes time – and in the meantime, poor decisions are hitting your fixed pocketbook.  If you actually try to do something while you’re on welfare, like take care of your children, you’ll see your dollar not go as far – milk and diapers for your kids will go up, and your check will stay the same for a long while.  Even if you’re buying everything at party stores – heck, especially if you’re from a locale where the only way to shop is buying things at party stores – your dollar won’t go as far.

In fact, the decisions by policians, which are often economic decisions, even keep out retailers who would help the welfare/low income dollar go farther, and provide entry-level jobs.  Those politicians have a vested interest in keeping the recipient class a recipient, as it keeps them in power redistributing productive people’s money, seized by the power of the government’s gun.

The zero-liability voter is ultimately liable for their voting decisions.  They aren’t just redistributing wealth from rich to themselves, they’re voting for a system that penalizes success.  Rather quickly, that comes back to haunt them in the form of lack of goods and services.  The government may keep issuing them $500/week to be on welfare, but if the government’s monetary policies have reduced that dollar to a tenth of its original value, or if the government’s redistribution schemes have hurt businesses so that cost of living is dramatically increased, that $500 doesn’t go as far.

Beyond this, the taxes that government puts on businesses are ultimately paid by the consumer.  To give an example, the government charges a “gas guzzler” tax on cars that get below a certain MPG rating.

See that window sticker?  The business isn’t paying that $1300 – the customer is.

See those gas prices today?  The business isn’t paying the 18c federal tax and the state tax that may go up to 45c more.  The customer is.

These are just visible examples (though tax isn’t listed on gas, so it’s obfuscated).  The average welfare recipient probably doesn’t plan on buying a new car, nor do they often even own a car.  But the expenses paid in taxes are still passed onto them.

If bread, milk, beer and eggs that the welfare recipient does buy are subject to higher taxes, their $500 doesn’t go as far.  If the state raises property taxes to try to cover the entitlements they hand out to the recipient class, the laundromat, tattoo parlor, barber shop, or corner store is going to have to raise their prices.  If the state outspends itself and has to call on the fedgov for help, the bailout the feds give comes from other states being taxed.  The higher tax in Kansas causes the beef producer to raise his prices, which means higher beef prices in Michigan.  The higher tax in Florida causes the orange grower to raise his prices, which means higher orange juice prices in Massachussetts.  The higher tax in Texas means the oil producer has to raise his prices, which means the fuel used to ship everything to Wisconsin costs more.

Every time taxes are raised, the business owner simply passes the costs on to the consumer.  Businesses are run by revenue that they get from sales of goods or services.  They don’t just have huge piles of money laying around.

It doesn't work this way, people.

To give an example, Ford doesn’t just have a pile of money to make cars.  They have factories – the means of production, and they buy parts, then they assemble the cars, then they sell them.  The cars, the parts, and the contracts on sales are all part of their revenue stream.  They need money to buy parts, they need money to pay workers to assemble the cars, and they get the money to do those two things with the sales of the cars.  They will have some money laying around, but it’s there to finance future expansions of business, or there to pay bonuses to employees, or to act as a war chest for acquisitions or to weather tough financial times.  It isn’t just magically there.

And even if or when they do have money sitting around, they don’t use it to pay taxes – they raise the costs of their end products to make you pay for them.

Ultimately, even that $500/week welfare schlub is paying for it with reduced quality of living since that $500 won’t go as far.

Now, does the zero-liability voter think this through?  No.  Does the zero-liability voter have, as Joe Biden would say “skin in the game”?  No.  Does the zero-liability voter care?  Probably not.  Even though the zero-liability voter isn’t held accountable for their actions, as is Wilkow’s point, will that zero-liability voter ultimately be held accountable by the laws of economics?  Absolutely.

As is evidenced in Greece and Wisconsin, and as has been evidenced throughout history, no amount of protesting, burning people alive, or stomping around with Che t-shirts and copies of Das Kapital is going to bring back prosperity.  (Or honey… Their blog was written by Keynesians who believe in sacrifice.)

To finish this off, Milton Friedman’s points on the Power of the Market – Welfare: