Category Archive: General Curmudgeonry

To be or not to be a Marine

Just going to drop this here as questions are starting to be raised about whether or not the asshole who got in that kid’s face over the weekend could actually have served as seems to be his claim in a Marine combat unit in Vietnam.

Briefly, it’s unlikely he’s old enough to have made it to Vietnam before all the Marine combat units left the country.

NoMan2000 on Twitter: Time for a full thread on Nathan Phillips.

Phillips sort of BSes around the subject by vaguely saying he served in Vietnam “in Vietnam times” rather than “in Vietnam”.  Which sounds like more evidence that he’s just another Stolen Valor jerkoff.

Edit to add:  The Washington Post is walking back the claim that Phillips served in Vietnam.  Scroll all the way to the bottom to find the correction:

Correction: Earlier versions of this story incorrectly said that Native American activist Nathan Phillips fought in the Vietnam War. Phillips served in the U.S. Marines from 1972 to 1976 but was never deployed to Vietnam.

H/T: Instapundit.

I wouldn’t bet money on it, but I suspect that if in fact he did serve, he ended up with a General or a Bad Conduct Discharge.  Would like to see his DD-214.

I have about four posts in my mind

but I don’t feel like writing them right now, so you get humor instead.  At least, if you’re a conservative and not a NeverTrumper, it’s humor.

(Via.)

Read your Bible in context, people.

I saw a post on Facebook today that claims Ezekiel 22:30 supports the idea that Donald Trump should build the Wall.

.וָאֲבַקֵּשׁ מֵהֶם אִישׁ גֹּדֵר-גָּדֵר וְעֹמֵד בַּפֶּרֶץ לְפָנַי, בְּעַד הָאָרֶץ–לְבִלְתִּי שַׁחֲתָהּ; וְלֹא, מָצָאתִי

And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the breach before Me for the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found none.

Sorry, but no.  While I believe the Wall should be built, I don’t need Biblical support for that (and you are literally preaching to the choir, here, because the progs who are fighting against the Wall have no use for the Bible and don’t care what either you or it have to say).

But I hate it when Bible verses are taken out of context. In context, this verse does not mean a literal wall, e.g., one of stone or brick. Ezekiel tells us that God is looking for a man who will build a wall of morality and put a stop to the evil in the land being perpetrated by the priests, the princes, and the people (which is discussed in the preceding verses). By finding a man to build this metaphorical wall and stand in the breach, God means “find the righteous man who will put a stop to this immoral behavior before I destroy your people utterly.”  By which he was referring to the eventual sack of Jerusalem and the destruction of the Temple by the Babylonians.

The whole chapter is about the evil ways into which God believes the inhabitants of Jerusalem have fallen, from the mighty to the low, and with whom he is running out of patience.

For Jews, the man God sought would have been the Messiah (who never showed up); for Christians, the man clearly prefigures Jesus.

Whatever Donald Trump is, he’s not the Messiah and he’s not Jesus.  And God is not commanding him to build a wall and seal up the breach, the citizens of this country who are sick and tired of their border being full of holes are commanding it.

One cannot use the Bible as if it were the I Ching.  It doesn’t work that way.  Cherry-picking a verse here and there to prove your point works only with the unlearned who have never cracked the covers of the Book that defines their faith.

The term is public SERVANT, not public master.

The whigning and wringing of hands over the fact that a shitload of federal employees won’t get paid tomorrow…I mean…

You’d have to have a heart of stone not to laugh and laugh and laugh.

Do you know what it meant to be a federal employee back before federal employee unions were legalized?

Does the fact that some federal employees once had PX privileges at Army bases tell you anything?

Does the fact that entire businesses were created exclusively to serve federal employees?  Ever hear of Fedco?  How about GEICO?  USAA?

Fedco is the acronym for “Federal Employees Distributing Company”.  A $10 lifetime membership got you into this proto-Costco, a non-profit consumer’s cooperative, that was created by 800 US Post Office employees, to “leverage their buying power by purchasing goods directly from wholesalers, and eliminate the additional markup of a retail store.”  Why did they do that?  The Wikipedia article doesn’t say, but I’ll fill in the blanks:  In 1948, when Fedco started, federal employee salaries sucked.  The Fedco co-op was a way for those employees to save money by buying at wholesale as a group.

GEICO, that annoying insurance company with the gecko spokesman?  Government Employees Insurance Company.  Founded in 1936 to provide affordable auto insurance to government employees.  It didn’t start insuring the general public until 1974.

USAA, the United Services Automobile Association, same thing.  Founded by 25 US Army officers in 1922 as a mutual self-insurance company for army personnel, who generally had problems obtaining auto insurance because they were deemed “high-risk”.  While it did offer some limited civilian products for a few years (2009-2013), and certain federal law enforcement and foreign service people have been considered eligible in the past, their current market is really focused on the serving military and their immediate families.  (USAA also does banking services, and they are really pissing people off right now during the current fedgov shutdown, in which they aren’t offering to float members’ checks like they have done in past shutdowns, and are offering only a one-time loan that’s being refused to even high-credit score customers.)

All of these companies (and probably others) began life because federal employees used to be POOR.  They were paid like shit, like the military still is.  It wasn’t until federal employee unions were legalized — something that both FDR and JFK, contrary to the fact that they were liberal Democrats, inveighed against — that federal salaries started to rise to equity with private salaries, and of course, quickly overtook them and drove right on past to the point where federal employees are often the best paid (some would say most overpaid) people in the country.

While I don’t begrudge a full-time employee of any business or industry a living wage, federal employees are a different type of animal.  They are public servants, or are supposed to be.  A fedgov job should not mean a life of luxury in the DC suburbs.  In most cases it probably shouldn’t even be a career, given that most of the bureaucracy is a horrific taxpayer burden at best and unConstitutional on its face at its worst.  But I digress.

Fedgov employees, by and large, have been living off the fat of the land for a long time.  You’d think at some point they would have considered living modestly and putting some of that fat away for the hard times.  How many times has the government been shut down in the past couple of decades?  The very election of Donald Trump, who was elected on a platform of draining the swamp, should have been a signal to a lot of fedgov folks that it was time to lie low and store up grain for famine years.  But like the grasshoppers most of them are, now they’re facing a missed paycheck tomorrow because Trump won’t back down on the Wall.  I find it really hard to do anything but laugh about that.  Fuck ’em.  Embrace the suck of being a poor public servant rather than a rich public master.*

Their only saving grace may be that Pelosi and Schumer are now looking for a way out, because Trump is not backing down and it’s clear as day that Pelosi and Schumer and the Democrats are the ones blocking the way forward not only to working border control, but also to all those whigning fedgovers having a chance of getting paid for the next few weeks or months.

Let’s face it — when even uber-proggie Cher is telling Pelosi not to “die on this hill”, and “let [Trump] have his money”, maybe the crazy Left is finally beginning to understand that prolonging the shutdown over the Wall — the Wall being quite popular with a majority of Americans, the last time I looked at a poll — is not going to do the Democrats any favors in the run-up to 2020.

Come on, Chuck and Nancy — let’s protect our own citizens for once.  Swallow hard, and give the President what he and most of the rest of the country want.

_______________

* As Velociman once trenchantly put it, “No public servant should ever be able to threaten a citizen with anything other than a poor shoe shine.”

Dead Democrat bounce

So there’s this:

On Thursday night, her first night as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, new Michigan Democratic Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib spoke to a crowd of supporters and decided to personify the famous statement of Michelle Obama that Democrats go high when the GOP goes low, saying of President Trump, “We’re gonna go in there and we’re gonna impeach the mother***er.”

The Democrat party is dead, their takeover of the House is just a dead cat bounce, at least partly driven by creative vote counting in California and assorted vote fraud other places. It’s pretty clear from early returns that they’re going to piss so many people off in the next two years, Trump will be re-elected in a landslide and he’ll have veto-proof majorities in both houses.  Do you want more Trump?  Because this is how you get more Trump.

Just like right now. Democrats want the government back in business? Intelligent Democrats* should be telling Pelosi to negotiate and compromise, because right now she’s the only one standing in the way (along with the radical socialists in her party). Bitch acts like she’s large and in charge, but she’s got control of only one house of Congress. Cocaine Mitch is going to tie her up in knots (has already said he won’t bring up the House bill to end the shutdown because he knows Trump will veto it) and God Emperor Trump is just going to smile for the next two years as he keeps pruning the fedgov back…two old regulations down for every new one enacted, and more conservative judges approved by the Senate with exactly zero say from the House.

And now I see that the same impeachment bill has been introduced as was introduced in 2017; and bills have been introduced to eliminate the Electoral College and limit Presidential pardon power.  Apparently Democrats agree with me that they will never occupy the White House again.  And Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN), who introduced the twin Electoral College and pardon power bills, lives in a state that would be absolutely steamrollered and rendered inconsequential by the repeal of Art. II, Sec. 1, Clauses 2-3 of the Constitution.  Small states will never vote against their own interests and repeal the Electoral College (and if any do, their citizens should rise up and remove their legislatures).

And I’m going to make a trenchant point here about Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA)’s second try at impeaching the president.  His whole point centers around the firing of Jim Comey.  We’ve been through this before with the impeachment of President Andrew Johnson, who was impeached because he fired Secretary of War Edwin Stanton (a slimy snake who should have been fired years before, but Lincoln for some reason had a soft spot for the guy**).  Impeachment failed by one vote.  The 1867 Tenure in Office Act (passed specifically by the Radical Republicans over Johnson’s veto, intended to cripple Johnson’s presidency, which is what the whole hooroar was about) was repealed in 1887, and even later (1926) was declared unconstitutional by reference when a similar statute from 1876 was overturned.  Rep. Sherman would do well to research Myers v. United States, 272 U.S. 52 (1926).

Moreover, impeachment would fail by more today, if the Senate even decided to take it up (and if Cocaine Mitch allows it to come to the Senate floor, it will be to teach the Democrats the lesson that you DON’T FUCK WITH THIS SHIT LIGHTLY).

It will be a fun two years while absolutely nothing gets done except less fedgov and more conservative judges. Keep the fedgov shutdown the whole time…and FWIW, the whole fedgov isn’t shut down anyway, only the parts that didn’t get their appropriations approved in time. Social Security checks won’t stop and the military will still get paid…at least if the Democrats know what’s good for them.

One notices that they always leave things like national parks until last in the appropriations process, as if these things were a sword poised over the necks of the common folk. I read somewhere that, regardless of the ballyhooed shutdown, over 80% of Fedgov is actually at work (even if some of those people are working without pay for the nonce).  Fedgov is a joke and should be cut all the way back to the Constitutional bone. Plus, taxation is theft.

____________

* Yes, I realize that is an oxymoron.

** Or more to the point, it kept Stanton where Lincoln could keep an eye on him.  Lincoln, a great reader of character, rarely did anything that wasn’t pragmatic, and Stanton was, as noted, a slimy snake.

What was it Ben Franklin wrote?

I see that Mad Mike is on a crusade against the NRA for its stance on bump stocks, one of the stupidest pieces of gun paraphernalia I think I’ve ever seen (and I haven’t been paying attention very long compared to some).  Mike is so pissed off at what he appears to think is craven caving to the gun control lobby that he has applied his patented brand of “fuck you assholes” snark in comments on the NRA Facebook page.

Now, look.  I agree with Mad Mike on a lot of stuff, including the idea that communists, socialists, and politicians (but I repeat myself) should be given one-way Pinochet helicopter rides.  But I think Mad Mike is tossing the NRA baby out with the bump-stock bathwater.  Let’s face it:  A bump-stock ban is not the reincarnation of the GCA.

Should NRA have fought the bump-stock ban, instead of actually saying, “Yeah, gee, those things are useless so let’s throw the controllers a bone”?  I don’t know.  I do know that bump-stocks are a hell of a hill to die on, considering that there are a lot of folks out there shrugging and saying, “So?  Rubber band, fast trigger finger, blah blah blah.”  And a lot of other folks are saying, “Fuck ’em, I just bought a bump stock specifically because of this proposed ban and I won’t be turning it in.”

Should President Trump, who was quite supportive of the NRA both during the campaign and after it, be pilloried because he’s handing the controllers a bone by advocating this ban?  Trump’s pro-2A stock has slumped with some folks because they see ANY surrender of 2A territory as treason.

The fact of the matter is that EVERY gun control law is a plain, prima facie violation of the 2nd Amendment.  SCOTUS started to get there with Heller and McDonald, and they’re about to give the unelected bureaucracy a smack on the hands regarding regulatory overreach, which MIGHT (and I stress MIGHT) give the BATFEIEIO pause in their ongoing attempt to ban every civilian weapon in the country.  Pelosi and crew are crowing that they’re going to pass all kinds of gun control in the next Congress, to which I say, go ahead — see if you can get the Senate to agree.  And even if you can, see if you can get pro-2A people to turn in their weapons.  Oops, sorry, lost them all in a tragic boating accident.  Or get local police to go door to door to confiscate them.  Yeah.  Because that’s exactly what local police want to do…not.

The NRA has the charm of at least being a very large popular organization that has, at least in recent years, usually fought government encroachment on 2A rights.  But they have to pick their battles like everyone else.  They’re a little more restrained than, say, Alan Gottleib’s SAF, which prides itself in filling the air with lawsuits before the NRA gets its socks on.

Of course I belong to the NRA, like I belong to the ARRL (Amateur Radio Relay League).  These are large membership organizations that, by and large, work on behalf of their members to protect existing rights and privileges.  The League (common nomenclature for the ARRL) advocates for amateur radio operators with the FCC and legislative bodies.  And as with the NRA, which is despised by a lot of gun owners, there are a lot of amateur radio operators who despise the League and think it wastes the millions of dollars it takes in every year.  But as with the NRA, which is a very large organization that can throw a lot of weight at legislators who would just as soon as disarm everyone in America, the League is a very large organization that can throw a lot of weight at the FCC and legislators, and is just about all that stands between amateur radio operators and continuing infringement on the radio bands.  Tell me that I, as a gun-owning American, can walk into my congresscritter’s office and get the time of day out of him/her/it on 2A issues.  Or that as an amateur radio operator, ditto regarding spectrum defense or the ability to force a HOA to let me — a federally-licensed amateur radio operator — to put up a radio antenna in my back yard.  (No, PRB-1 does not cover amateur radio antennas.)

I suspect that any rabid NRA hater who tried to stand up a competing organization which would be uncompromising regarding 2A rights would have a hard time getting any traction with the powers that be.  Gottleib’s SAF comes about as close to that as I think anyone does, but they still operate in the shadow of the NRA.  And I think that’s because the NRA has multiple constituencies and multiple interrelated tasks — education, hunter advocacy, editorial (the magazines), training, blah blah blah.  They do a lot of stuff out of that office in Fairfax.  Just like the ARRL does a lot of stuff out of their office in Newington.

And I imagine both organizations just sigh and think, “Well, you can’t make everyone happy, I guess,” while doing their level best to prevent the assholes from winning.

The haters need to remember what Ben Franklin wrote:  “We must, indeed, all hang together, or most assuredly we shall all hang separately.”  The kind of infighting I’m seeing among gun owners regarding stupid fucking bump stocks is pretty much exactly the kind of thing Franklin meant.

“Nowhere do you mention deep sea fishing rights.”

It’s the same kind of argument.  Get over it, already.  There is a larger game afoot.

I’ll believe it’s a crisis when they start acting like it’s a crisis.

Weather agency chief: I’ve never briefed Trump on warming

Um…so? And, “this is news, why?”

A friend says, regarding this article, “I think we can agree that this process has taken years to get where it’s at and even more years to reverse.”

Sorry, I said, I don’t agree with your premise, because I don’t agree that it’s really warming.

The current extremely weak sunspot cycle (and predictions for the next cycle to be as weak or weaker) argues that we’re going the other way and any warming we think we see is just false warming from residual, stored heat in the system, as the total amount of heat we’re getting from solar irradiation (insolation) is dropping. When you hit the brakes in a car, you don’t stop on a dime; you slow down first, because of inertia. The Earth is a big, complex system with lots and lots of heat-sink in its oceans, and thus lots and lots of temperature inertia. It won’t get cold overnight, but the cold is coming, whether Presidents “do something” about it or not, and it’s already been pretty well established that there is very little humans can do to stop either warming or cooling. The last estimate I saw indicated that trillions of dollars poured into warming remedies would result in merely a fraction of a degree of difference. Wouldn’t it be better to pour that money into improving the lives of human beings rather than throw it into the money pit of climate religion? We can cope with heat and we can cope with cold; we’ve done so many times before in human history. But throwing away wealth on things that won’t make a damn bit of difference in the grand scheme of things doesn’t help us cope with anything.

The politicians and the newsies and the noisy celebrities will continue to claim there is a crisis, while continuing to pump carbon into the atmosphere with their private planes and suchlike. I’ll believe there is a crisis when they start acting like there’s a crisis. So far they aren’t, therefore I don’t.

The economic fairyland of the modern progressive

A friend — sadly, a progressive friend — recently got all bent out of shape because the little cafe at Target now boasts an automated “front of the house”, thereby putting someone out of a job.  This is, according to him and his little progressive friends, little more than the rich getting richer, giant tyrannical Target Corp. with more money than it needs simply grubbing for more of the same.

Yeah, right.  Before you go to the barricades, think about this.

Automation at this level was never worth the candle until mandated minimum wages outstripped the value of human labor.

You can blame the rich all you want, but the fact is, at $15 an hour, nobody can afford to have humans doing this sort of work. And without a reasonable return on investment, businesses shut down. Even the little cafe at Target can’t afford to operate at a loss, because on the company’s balance sheet, it’s a cost center that needs to turn a profit at the end of the day. So unless you want to pay $10 for that $3 hot dog, it’s going to be a self-serve proposition.

Minimum wages were never intended to be living wages. They were supposed to be entry-level wages for inexperienced workers, like high school kids working part time at the local burger joint. Do these types of jobs have value? Sure. They teach basic skills to entry-level workers. And they’re not worth $15/hour plus all the other expenses incumbent on employers, like unemployment insurance, workman’s comp, employer’s half of Social Security — all of which are based on a percentage of the worker’s pay as opposed to being a flat cost, so whenever the minimum wage goes up, so does all that hidden-to-you cost to the employer, which runs (according to an MIT study that you can Google) another 25 to 40 percent of the employee’s base salary.

If you’ve never run a business or made a payroll and then had to pay all the additional squeeze to the government, that’s all invisible to you. And you complain when prices go up or something like Target automating their little cafe happens, and you don’t understand why that could possibly be, or how it could be anything but an amoral money grab on the part of a rich corporation, because Target obviously has more money than it needs.

Why this sort of thing happens is just basic economics. I understood that in high school, maybe before.  Yet one of my friend’s little Commie commenters opined, “Avarice is not just a sin. It is a sickness. They just can’t get enough. I do pity those poor wealthy souls.”

Yeah well…fuck you, you fucking idiot.  Go crack a book on econ, sometime, if you want to learn why businesses don’t like paying $15/hr minimum wages.

Beavering away at beating a dead horse

Badgering us with this cock and bull is very pig headed of them and displays a very dog in the manger attitude. I believe they’re just crying wolf, and the whole dog and pony show will go away because in a dog eat dog world hounding people to go along with something like this, like lambs to slaughter, is a harebrained idea – because a leopard can’t change its spots. They’re just setting themselves up as a shaggy dog kangaroo court.

— Seen on Facebook, in response to PETA’s campaign to eliminate “anti-animal language”

Seriously, PETA steps on their dick a lot these days with their brain-dead ideas on how to make the world safe for veganism.  Google “Jimmy’s Seafood” for a pretty good example of a business punching back.

R, A, C…I, S, T…

…it’s not for you or me.

Radical
Antifa
Commies
Inciting
Stupid
Trouble

Or something like that.

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