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Buy this book (not just because it contains two of my op-eds):
Americans on Politics, Policy, and Pop Culture:
The 101 Best Opinion Editorials From OpEds.com


An Interview With the G-Man:
My first (hopefully not last) experience in live radio, being interviewed by G. Gordon Liddy!



Perspective
Joe Mariani

Number of people freed from totalitarian dictatorships by precision use of American military force under George W. Bush:
50 million in just two years

Number of people freed from totalitarian dictatorships by anti-American Bush-bashing terrorist-appeasing whining elitists:
Zero. Ever.
...

The problem seems to me to be the definition of "free speech". Liberals define it as anything they want to say or do that opposes America. I say "speech" ends where "action" begins. Once you pick up a gun for the enemy, throw a rock at a cop during a "peace" march, send money to a terrorist organisation, or travel to Baghdad to block an American JDAM with your ass, you have crossed the line from free speech to costly action.
...

Saying the War on Terror is all about al-Qaeda is like saying we should have fought the Japanese Naval Air Force after Pearl Harbor. Not the Japanese Navy, not the Japanese Army, not the Empire of Japan -- just the Naval Air Force.
...

Complaining about the "waste" when human embryos are destroyed instead of being used in medical experiments is a lot like going to a funeral and complaining about the waste of perfectly good meat.
...

Blaming CO2 for climate change is like blaming smoke for the fire. CO2 is largely a following, not a leading, indicator of a rise in temperature.
...

Cavalier's First Theorem:
Every time, Liberals will fight to protect the guilty and kill the innocent, while Conservatives will fight to protect the innocent and punish the guilty.

Cavalier's Second Theorem:
Liberals are just Socialists who want to be loved... then again, Socialists are just Communists who lack the courage of their convictions.

Cavalier's Third Theorem:
Any strongly moral, hawkish or pro-American statement by a Liberal will inevitably be followed by a "but."


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Infamous Monsters of Filmland

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The Ultimate War Simulation: Why does this scenario seem so familiar?

What Kind of Liberal Are You?
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Blame Bush
Because Bush is to blame... for everything

Sacred Cow Burgers
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Satirical Political Beliefs Test

Communists for Kerry

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Fellowship 9/11: Sauron never attacked Rohan, Saruman did! Yet a small group of elitists convinced Middle-earth to divert resources from the real war to attack Mordor for personal gain.


Analysis

When Democrats Attack
Did prominent Democrats switch positions on Iraq just to attack President Bush for political gain? (See the updated list.)

Was Iraqi Freedom Justified?
An honest, step-by-step analysis of the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq that Congress voted into law shows that it was.

Saddam's Philanthropy of Terror
Details of solid ties to organised international terrorism

How The Left Betrayed Iraq
by Naseer Flayih Hasan

Did We Botch The Occupation?
No, not of Iraq: of Germany. Read the media's take on how we "lost the peace" in 1946 and compare.

Debunking 8 Anti-War Myths About the Conflict in Iraq

Pictures from Hate Bush/Hate America/Hate Capitalism/Hate Israel/general wacko rallies
- by Zombie

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Now Reading

The Fatal Conceit:
The Errors of Socialism
by F. A. Hayek



Articles Previously Published at
Useless-Knowledge.com

- When Good Liberals Go Bad - 05/29/03
- How Stupid Do Democrats Think You Are? - 05/31/03
- Who Are These 'Rich' Getting Tax Cuts, Anyway? - 06/02/03
- How Can We Miss The Clintons If They Won't Go Away? - 06/04/03
- Whining of Mass Distraction: How To Discredit A President - 06/05/03
- Liberal "Rules" for Arguing - 06/10/03
- Liberalism: Curable or Terminal? - 06/14/03
- Filibustering Judges: Hijacking Presidential Powers? - 06/17/03
- Is Hamas Exempt from the War on Terror? - 06/22/03
- How Malleable Is The Constitution? - 06/26/03
- Rejecting Our Biological and Cultural Heritage - 06/30/03
- I Need Liberal Assistance, Now! - 07/02/03
- Bring Them On - 07/03/03
- We Need You Arrogant Warmongering Americans...Again - 07/09/03
- Much Ado About Nothing, Again - 07/13/03
- Double Standard: Blindly Blame Bush - 07/18/03
- Was WWII Also Unjustified? - 07/20/03
- Clinton Backing Bush? Don't Bet On It! - 07/24/03
- How To Be A Hypocritical Liberal - 07/28/03
- The Clinton Legacy: In Answer to Mr. Stensrud - 07/30/03
-What Is 'Good News' To Liberals? - 08/02/03
- Bush's Big Blunder - 08/06/03
- The Meaning of Right - Why I Supported the Iraq War - 08/10/03
- More Liberal "Rules" for Arguing - 08/14/03
- You Can Have Cary Grant; I'll Take John Wayne! - 08/19/03
- Where Is The ACLU When It's Actually Needed? - 08/25/03
- Who's Afraid Of The Big Bad Ten Commandments? - 08/28/03
- From The Weasels: Thanks For Nothing - 08/30/03
- The Liberal Superfriends - 09/02/03
- Liberal Superfriends 2: The Sequel - 09/05/03
- Saddam and 9/11: Connect the Dots - 09/08/03
- Throwing Away the Southern Vote - 11/02/03
- Libya: The First Domino Falls - 12/20/03
- Is the UN Playing Games with American Politics? - 03/04/04


Blogs to Browse

Across the Pond
AlphaPatriot
Arts for Democracy
Betsy's Page
Bill Karl
Blonde Sagacity
Bull Moose Strikes Back
Common Sense & Wonder
Conservative Pleasure
Dangerous Logic
DowneastBlog
ElectionProjection
Everything I Know Is Wrong
Freedom of Thought
Sally Girl
Korla Pundit
LogiPundit.com
MarkLevinFan
Mark Nicodemo
Michelle Malkin
Moonbattery
My Arse From My Elbow
QandO Blog
RadioBS.net
Rebel Rouser
RightThinkingGirl
Sally Girl
Samantha Burns
Semi-Intelligent Thoughts
Sighed Effects
Sister Toldjah
Stark Truth
Take A Stand Against Liberals
The Resplendent Mango
The Right Society
The YNC
Tom's Common Sense
Tom DeLay
Tomfoolery of the Highest Order
Trying to Grok
TS Right Dominion
Violent Daydreams
Watcher of Weasels
Word Around the Net
WuzzaDem.com



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Monday, August 31, 2009
A Short Ted Kennedy Post

I tried to avoid speaking about the death of Ted Kennedy amid the media slobberfest, but the blatantly opportunistic political funeral he was given made the Paul Wellstone debacle look tame by comparison and has removed all restraints. Several people have asked my opinion of the whole thing, so here it is in a nutshell: Ted Kennedy was a drunk, a womaniser, a coward, an opportunist, a traitor and above all else, a murderer -- and those were his good points. His last public act was one of supreme partisanship -- attempting to alter state law to allow a Democrat governor to appoint his successor, after having gotten the law changed specifically to prevent a Republican governor from appointing John Kerry's. I am appalled by the fact that a man like that was allowed to have a Catholic funeral. It speaks very badly of the Church, in my opinion.

Posted at Monday, August 31, 2009 by CavalierX
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Thursday, August 20, 2009
Obama Gets Religion... Sort Of

Yesterday, while speaking to Liberal religious leaders (an oxymoron if I've ever heard one), Obama claimed a religious imperative behind his push for a government takeover of our health care system. "I know that there's been a lot of misinformation in this debate and there are a some folks out there who are, frankly, bearing false witness. ... These are all fabrications that have been put out there in order to discourage people from meeting what I consider to be a core ethical and moral obligation: that is, that we look out for one another; that is, I am my brother's keeper, I am my sister's keeper."

Frankly, using the way he cares for his brother as an example is poor salesmanship on Obama's part. George Obama still lives in a Kenyan slum on "less than a dollar a month." It's as bad as his use of the Post Office as a model of government efficiency and competitiveness -- if the law preventing any other entity from delivering the mail were repealed, the Post Office would cease to exist overnight.

I was disgusted and outraged by The Messiah's blatant attempt to use religion to push his health care takeover package, and I'm not even very religious. Like he -- or anyone -- uses the phrase "bearing false witness" in normal conversation. It takes a sick mind to turn disagreeing with political policies into a sin... yet that's exactly what Obama's trying to do. And to claim that Christian teachings about taking care of the less fortunate translate into support for a wasteful, corrupt government program that would end up doing more harm than good is ridiculous and insulting. If you feel you have a duty to help others, than you personally should give your own money and/or time to do so. If you feel that government programs are a better way to help people than charities, then by all means feel free to pay extra taxes out of your own pocket! It is a personal duty and responsibility to care for the "less fortunate," not a government mandate.

This should, I hope, turn out to be a politically fatal miscalculation on the part of Obama and his anti-Christian handlers, who think all he has to do is mouth a few catchphrases and Christians will say "oh, yeah, I guess the Bible does say we ought to let the government run our lives." And here I thought I could not be more disgusted with this man and his Collectivist foolishness. In that respect, I was wrong.


Posted at Thursday, August 20, 2009 by CavalierX
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Monday, August 17, 2009
Nannie Mae and Freddie Doc?

So Sarah Palin was excoriated in the media as some kind of fool for saying she didn't want her son or anyone else to have to stand before a "death panel" which would judge his worthiness to receive health care. Yet the uproar she caused by pointing out that care would necessarily be rationed under any government-run system was such that Obama felt compelled to answer her in one of his scripted, staged "town hall" speeches.

The best the supposedly great orator could do was ridicule, not reply -- and the people understood that. They understood even better when Palin produced another Facebook comment lashing out at the provision which mandated that doctors initiate end-of-life counseling sessions. So -- in the Senate version, at least -- the provision was removed.

Not too bad for a stupid, marginalised, quitter ex-Governor from a backwater state who supposedly gave up her place on the national stage and killed her own political career, is it?

However, the person who originally (at least, in the current debate) brought up the idea of health care being rationed out by a group of individuals not directly answerable to the people was not Sarah Palin, but Barack Obama himself, in April of 2009. As Tom Maguire pointed out in the blog Just One Minute, "Obama actually advocated end-of-life panels issuing voluntary guidelines with Timesman David Leonhardt, as reported in the (New York) Times."

THE PRESIDENT: So that's where I think you just get into some very difficult moral issues. But that's also a huge driver of cost, right?

I mean, the chronically ill and those toward the end of their lives are accounting for potentially 80 percent of the total health care bill out here.

LEONHARDT: So how do you how do we deal with it?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, I think that there is going to have to be a conversation that is guided by doctors, scientists, ethicists. And then there is going to have to be a very difficult democratic conversation that takes place. It is very difficult to imagine the country making those decisions just through the normal political channels. And that's part of why you have to have some independent group that can give you guidance. It's not determinative, but I think has to be able to give you some guidance. And that's part of what I suspect you'll see emerging out of the various health care conversations that are taking place on the Hill right now.

Personally, I don't want an "independent group" either inside or outside "the normal political channels" to give me any "guidance" regarding my personal health care decisions. The inevitable direction such "guidance" takes is already known in countries that have instituted government-run health care systems. Even the stalwarts in Great Britain are beginning to admit that "what the Americans have is, for the most part, better than the NHS." The new president of the Canadian Medical Association says of her fellow physicians, "We all agree that the system is imploding, we all agree that things are more precarious than perhaps Canadians realize." Health care in Canada and the United Kingdom have been held up by the Left as examples we should follow down the path to socialised medicine. Is that really a good idea, when medical horror stories keep emerging from those and the other countries which have preceded us?

Closer to home, maybe you should ask Barbara Wagner what a "death panel" looks like. She knows. Oregon has had state-run health care for a while, and this is what happens to people who need expensive treatments but are not considered worth treating:

Her doctor offered hope in the new chemotherapy drug Tarceva, but the Oregon Health Plan sent her a letter telling her the cancer treatment was not approved.

Instead, the letter said, the plan would pay for comfort care, including "physician aid in dying," better known as assisted suicide.

Wagner's life was saved by one of those evil drug companies who, according to Obama, only act in pursuit of the almighty dollar... like those evil doctors he claimed perform unnecessary tests, then casually remove patients' feet and tonsils just for money. Under a national health care system, Barbara Wagner -- and a whole lot of people whose lives are not considered "cost-effective" to save by a huge, soulless bureaucracy -- would be sentenced to death.

The White House is now talking about removing the "government option" from the health care bill and replacing it with a "co-op" system that will be staffed, funded and managed by the government. Supposedly, we are told, that's different from government-run health care. So instead of directly managing our health care, the government will set up a Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac-type fake independent agency to do it -- and to take the heat when the system inevitably fails, as it is doing in Canada and UK. Just like Fannie/Freddie, the government can then "solve the problem" by reabsorbing the agency.

Once health care becomes a "right," it will be impossible to stop the slide into bureaucratic mismanagement and corruption, inevitably leading to unnecessary suffering and death. We need to stop this before it's too late.

21 Aug 09 UPDATE: Here's a local tv news report on Barbara Wagner's story. The money quote (no pun intended) is from Dr. Som Saha, chairman of the commission that sets policy for the Oregon Health Plan: "If we invest thousands and thousands of dollars in one person's days to weeks ... we are taking away those dollars from someone." Alright, so it's a death commission, not a death panel. Big difference.


Posted at Monday, August 17, 2009 by CavalierX
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Monday, July 06, 2009
Sarah Palin Steps Down... To What?

In case you've been living under a rock the last few days, spending the Fourth of July holiday away from all televisions, radios, computers, cellphones and other text messaging devices, Sarah Palin resigned from her job as Governor of Alaska. She announced on Friday that she had decided not to run for re-election, but didn't want to be a typical "lame duck," taking trips and vacations on the state's payroll. She will turn over the governorship to Lieutenant Governor Sean Parnell at the end of the month. 

The legion of Palin-haters in the media have gone wild with speculation about her "real" reason for leaving-- everything from the scandal they've been trying to discover (or create) since they first heard of her, to another pregnancy, to their favorite: "she just abandoned her job." Well, I'm not willing to pronounce judgement on her resignation and doom upon her political career without more information. It makes perfect sense to me that she finds herself unable to function as Alaska's governor with the national media circus going insane every time she sneezes. It makes sense that she would have decided not to run for re-election for that reason alone, and having decided not to run again, figured she might as well absent herself from the office altogether. Between being unable to perform the duties of her office, considering a run for President in 2012 and being half a million dollars in the hole from defending herself against the constant baseless legal attacks, it makes sense to me that she would turn the state over to someone who could do the job without such distractions.

But we haven't heard the next part yet. Is she going to run for Senator, and use that office as a platform from which to launch her 2012 presidential campaign? Is she going to form her own third party based on traditional American values like freedom of worship, the right to self-defense and adherence to the Constitution? Is she going to spend the next 16 months campaigning for Conservative Republicans, to help them take back Congress -- and then launch a presidential bid? Or is she going to move to Iowa and start the earliest election campaign ever? In her resignation speech, Palin told the crowd, "
I'll work hard for others who still believe in free enterprise and smaller government; strong national security for our country and support for our troops; energy independence; and for those who will protect freedom and equality and life... I'll work for and campaign for those proud to be American, and those who are inspired by our ideals and won't deride them."

So the only thing we know for sure is that she's not giving up politics; we have no idea what form her future will take. Nobody knows what her plans are yet. So I'm not going to judge whether her resignation was a smart move or the worst decision since the Bay of Pigs invasion.
Not yet.


Posted at Monday, July 06, 2009 by CavalierX
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Saturday, July 04, 2009
How Do Dependents Celebrate Independence?

I'm finding it extremely hard to celebrate freedom and liberty when our government is doing everything possible to enslave us under powerful centralised control of nearly every aspect of our lives. I'm finding it hard to cheer for America when our President is siding with thugs and dictators against oppressed people crying out for deliverance from those same tyrants. I can't seem to find it in me to celebrate our independence when our own government is working day and night to make us a nation of dependents and victims. Our government has already taken authority over huge portions of the banking and automobile industries. They're now working on assuming direct control over our healthcare and every aspect of our energy usage. We're losing our precious, irreplacable freedom to fat government leeches. We're throwing away everything for which our Founders and countless men and women since have fought. If we don't start standing up for our rights, we're going to discover we have no independence left to celebrate some fine Independence Day.

Posted at Saturday, July 04, 2009 by CavalierX
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Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Losing Representative Government

Barak Obama's massive "Cap and Trade" Waxman-Markey energy bill passed the House of Representatives without anyone having read it, and no one seems to think that unusual anymore. Our elected representatives have more important things to do with their time than read bills before passing them, it seems. More than 300 pages of additions and alterations were added to the bill at the last moment, and 219 members of Congress still went ahead and voted "yes" -- including 8 Republicans. Many of the 44 Democrats who voted "no" sought permission from Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to do so, knowing that they would be blamed for the massive price hikes on everything that will result from this economy killer of a bill if it passes the Senate.

Somehow, Congress is becoming increasingly irrelevant in our Federal government, en route to being a mere rubber-stamp for the President and his unelected "czars." Where are the powers delegated to these czars enumerated in the Constitution, anyway? Sometimes even they are mere figureheads -- "Energy Czar" Carol Browner as much as admitted during an interview that she hadn't read the bill. So what's in it? No one knows yet, despite it being on its way to becoming law. It seems that faceless "experts" and bureaucrats write out the actual bills, and the members of Congress just throw in some pork for themselves and vote. Is that how it's supposed to work? 

I hope people start to notice that we're moving towards a one-man government before it's too late. No wonder Hussein supports the Leftist Honduran President Zelaya's attempt to overturn the constitution and set himself up as dictator -- he's looking to do the same thing himself, but far more subtly.

Somewhere on page 1,437 of an unread bill that passes in the dead of night will be a measure to bypass Congress altogether and put Presidential appointees directly in charge of writing bills for the President to sign into law, and that will be that.

Hat tip to Michelle Malkin and HotAir.com

Posted at Tuesday, June 30, 2009 by CavalierX
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Saturday, June 20, 2009
Obama 'Votes Present' on Iran

After thirty years of brutal repression under a theocratic dictatorship, the Iranian people are finally taking to the streets to protest what many of them have always known -- that their votes, like their lives, never mattered at all to their government. Millions of people are bravely ignoring threats from the regime to march in the streets vowing "Death to the Dictator" and asking "Where Is My Vote?" -- and for every person in the street, there are many more just as angry, but too afraid to march. People around the world have taken to the streets in solidarity with the Iranian people. Both Houses of Congress have voted to condemn the Iranian government for their crackdown on protesters. And what do we hear from our precious, "historic" President? Some empty words. A quote from Martin Luther King.

Obama's silence on this matter is the most shameful action (or, in this case, inaction) by the supposed Leader of the Free World since Jimmy Carter twiddled his thumbs while 52 Americans were held hostage for 444 days 30 years ago by the same group of terrorists now running Iran. "The Iranian government must understand that the world is watching. We mourn each and every innocent life that is lost," Obama finally said. What kind of weak-kneed spineless platitude is that to offer people struggling to throw off not just a stolen election, but three decades of totalitarian rule? What would Obama have said at the Berlin Wall in Reagan's place? I can only imagine it might have been "Mr. Gorbachev, some say that walls don't always make good neighbors, but it's not our place to meddle."

The Iranian people are finally awake and demanding their rights, and the US government -- once the greatest force for liberty and freedom in the world -- is hitting the snooze button and rolling over for another ten minutes of sleep. Obama claims he is waiting to see what happens in Iran before "meddling." In essence, Obama is still voting "present," as he did during most of his short stint in the US Senate. Why is it acceptable to "meddle" with the inner politics of a democratic government like that of Israel, but not a dictatorship like Iran?

We've come a long way down from "we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty" to "the last thing that I want to do is to have the United States be a foil for those forces inside Iran who would love nothing better than to make this an argument about the United States." In counterpoint to Michelle Obama's infamous statement during her husband's campaign, for the first time in my adult life I think I am actually ashamed of my country. Or at least our President.


Posted at Saturday, June 20, 2009 by CavalierX
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Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Beginning the Decline

Future historians will indeed look back on this day as an historic day, but not for the reasons the slobbering, celebrating Obamaniacs think. Today marks the day when America makes such a radical and deliberate departure from those things which made us the great nation we are that it's unlikely we will ever recover our current stature. We have lost our footing as a nation of rugged individualists working hard to make lives for ourselves and our children, and become a nation of sheep meekly turning over our children's inheritance to fund "the common good" as determined by Big Daddy Government.

Today is the day when a President takes office who was elected not on the basis of capability, experience or even a specific agenda, but purely because he looked and sounded good. While those may be more than adequate criteria upon which to base one's vote for American Idol, it paves the way for a disastrous American President.

We never before elected a President who promised in advance to ruin our economy by forcing energy prices to skyrocket. "So if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can," Obama said in an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle, "it's just that it will bankrupt them because they're going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that's being emitted." We've never elected a President whose answer to a looming recession was to take as much money from the job creators as can be grabbed and fork it over to those who caused the problem in the first place... while throwing the most expensive inauguration bash for himself the world has ever seen. And you thought those AIG executives who spent bailout money on fancy weekend getaways were bad? At least we didn't elect them President.

America has never elected a President who deliberately populated his cabinet with known criminals and people of questionable judgment. But here comes Obama, nominating a Treasury Secretary who refused to pay his taxes, a Secretary of State whose husband takes money from foreign governments, and an Attorney General who pardoned terrorists and those who did business with an enemy state. Why not put GM board member Erskine Bowles in charge of Transportation, or America-hating professor Ward Churchill in place as Secretary of Education? Dr. Kevorkian for Surgeon General?

This is the first time we've elected a President who promised to lose a war and treat enemies captured on the battlefield as though they were American citizens caught committing ordinary crimes. It's the first time we've elected a President who promised to take away any of our Constitutionally-protected rights, or deliberately make them too expensive to exercise for the ordinary citizen. It's the first time America has elected a President whose only legislative accomplishments involved ensuring that children who manage to survive an abortion, don't.

Never before have we elected a President who campaigned on the basis of giving everything to everyone and solving all problems. We were never that naive. Either Obama voters really believed he could deliver on all his conflicting promises, or didn't care how much he lied to the other guys as long as THEIR agenda item was taken care of. We never before elected a President because of his skin color, or because he could read a script well, or because he looked nice on camera and had a soothing voice. But now we have the American Idol President, the Affirmative Action President, the "community organiser" who worked his way up through the Chicago political machine by hobnobbing with known terrorists and fiery anti-American radical preachers.

During Obama's tenure, China will replace us as the world's most powerful nation, expanding its sphere of influence to include South and Central America as well as much of Africa. North Korea and Iran will become nuclear powers (unless Israel sacrifices itself to stop Iran, beginning a war in which we will not back them up). Russia, in cooperation with China and North Korea, will regain much of the power it held at the height of the Cold War. Europe will continue to slide weakly down the path to Islamic domination.

Al-Qaeda and their allies will be emboldened and strengthened by the closing of Gitmo, the end of strong interrogation methods and the quick retreat from Iraq. When Obama shows them weakness by "reaching out" to terrorist groups (Hamas) and their supporters (Iran), they will surely strike us again on our own soil.

Meanwhile, our economy will shrink as corporations move overseas, and much of what's left will come under the direct centralised control of the Federal government. Our military will become smaller and weaker, while Obama's "civilian national security force that's just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded" as the military will grow. The power of the Federal government will expand until nearly every aspect of our lives, from which cars we buy to what medicines or operations we get, will have to undergo approval by someone in Washington DC. And the Obama government will provide "free" money for all sorts of entitlement programs until we drown in them, taking that money from those of us who continue to work harder and harder for less and less. We will follow Great Britain down the path through socialised medicine, to the lapse of law and order, to determined submission to foreign cultures proliferating on our own soil, to the ruination of the economy by unfundable Big Government programs.

None of this is yet set in stone, but the chance to stop the decline of America is small indeed at this juncture. Only at the local level can enough people get involved in politics to make a difference. If enough big-government Democrats and, yes, big-government Republicans are replaced at both State and national levels in 2010, we may yet have a chance to stop the slide. But I fear we have already passed the high point of America's greatness, and too many will settle for the immediate gratification of getting something for "nothing" to turn the country from its path. Entitlements are a drug to which more and more people will become addicted every day between now and the next elections.

The election of an inexperienced, untested, far-Left chameleon candidate who makes promises no one can deliver will be seen in the future either as an anomaly or the real beginning of America's decline. Whether that anomaly becomes the norm depends on us.


Posted at Tuesday, January 20, 2009 by CavalierX
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Sunday, November 09, 2008
A Need for Self-Defense

With the election of Barack Obama has come, for many people, a renewed realisation that the world is a very dangerous place; that we are still in the middle of a war against fanatical killers who deliberately target civilians. We must rely on an inexperienced, naive, UN-appeasing "world citizen" type to keep the enemy from carrying out more 9/11 style attacks -- or worse -- on our home soil. The economy is likely to increase the slide on which it's been since the Democratic takeover of Congress in 2006, which will lead to more unemployment, poverty, and desperation -- and thus to higher crime rates. Moreover, with the Democrats in charge of House, Senate and White House, it's almost certain that they'll make serious attempts to strip away our Second Amendment rights, preventing us from defending ourselves from the dangers around us. Lawbreakers aren't known for their sportsmanship -- criminals rarely wait for the police to show up, even if their intended victims manage to call 911 before they're attacked.

It's no wonder that so many people have considered buying a gun lately, most of them for the first time in their lives. Potential and veteran gun owners alike have rightly deduced that it's better to buy now, while we're still allowed to do so, than after draconian anti-gun legislation has made guns too difficult to obtain for law-abiding citizens. Most criminals honor gun laws in much the same way they obey laws against rape, robbery and murder. For the law-abiding citizen, guns are like umbrellas: it's better to have one and not need it than need one and not have it.

Guns are a tool like any other. You wouldn't use a screwdriver to hammer a nail, or a hammer to saw a plank (although I've often wanted to use one to "fix" my computer). You need the right tool for the job. Therefore, before purchasing a gun you have to define the job you want it to perform. Guns are meant to be a tool purely for self-defense, never aggression or intimidation. Besides hunting, competition shooting and collecting, the only reason to own a gun is to protect your life or the lives of others.

The first question most people ask is whether they should buy a revolver or semi-automatic. That depends on the intended use. Revolvers can be kept loaded practically forever. A semi-auto takes ammunition from a spring-loaded clip (used mostly for rifles) or mag (for handguns) that may lose strength when compressed for a very long time, which could cause the gun to jam. Semi-autos also have a higher chance to jam than revolvers due to the more complex feeding mechanism. Fans of revolvers, which usually hold six rounds, have a saying: "six for sure." On the minus side, revolvers are wider, something to consider if you intend to carry concealed. As a rule, revolvers hold fewer rounds of ammo than most semi-automatics. However, both revolvers and semi-autos can function well under any of the broad categories of weapon usage. It's a matter of personal choice.

It's important to know whether you are allowed to own hollowpoint (HP) ammunition in your state. Hollowpoints have, as the name implies, a dimple in the tip that causes the bullet to "mushroom" on impact. That means more energy is dumped into the target, reducing the chance of the bullet passing through and striking something -- or someone -- behind it. Transferring more energy to the target means there's a greater likelihood of knocking him, her or it down. Nine millimeter rounds have the reputation of being underpowered, but that's mainly due to the forced use of FMJ (full metal jacket) rounds in the military. These tend to pass through a target, making a hole but leaving him able to continue fighting. Our armed forces are restricted to FMJ rounds for "humane" purposes, but you may not have to hamper yourself in the same way. If you live in a state with such restrictions, purchase a .40 caliber or larger semi-auto, or .38 Special or larger revolver.  Alternately, you could buy "expanding full metal jacket" or EFMJ ammo, which is basically hollowpoint covered with a thin metal cap.

The following are my own way of categorising guns, and reflect my own preferences. (Since this is primarily about self- and home defense, I deliberately omitted rifles.) Keep in mind that I am not an expert or the definitive word on the subject. Your mileage, as they say, may vary.

Concealed carry weapons are exactly what the name implies. They're designed to be carried without broadcasting the fact that you're armed. Concealed carry weapons are generally light and flat, designed for carrying in a pocket or inside-the-pants holster. My choice: Kahr CW9 (9 mm) with a 7-round mag of HP. Other choices: Springfield XD 3" in 9mm or .40 caliber, Smith & Wesson Model 642 "hammerless" revolver in .38 Special.

Home defense weapons tend to be a bit larger and heavier. Weapons designed as sidearms for military or police forces are ideal for this purpose. The increased weight gives more stability when aiming. My choice: SIG-Sauer P226 (9mm) with a 15-round mag of HP. Other choices: 1911-style .45 (Colt, Springfield, SIG-Sauer), Springfield XD 5" in .45, .357 Magnum revolver (Ruger, Colt, Smith & Wesson).

Emergency weapons are simply home defense guns you can keep loaded in your nightstand or behind the bed. Revolvers are best for this purpose. This is a superfluous category if your home defense weapon is already a revolver. My choice: Ruger Service-Six .357 Magnum with six rounds of .38 Special HP ammo (and a speed-loader for faster reloading). Other choices: Colt .38 Police Positive, Colt Cobra .38 Special.

Target practice weapons are a must, since even an hour's worth of shooting once a week with a large gun can be tiring to both hand and wallet. A lighter gun is needed with which to practice effective aiming and firing techniques (although occasional practice with all of your guns is necessary). A .22 caliber is the best choice for regular target practice. My choice: Harrington & Richardson "Sportsman" top-break .22 revolver which holds 9 rounds. Other choices: Colt Diamondback, Smith & Wesson model 41.

Shotguns are also handy for home defense and emergencies, and one can even obtain a shotgun for hunting in many states that won't allow handguns. 12 gauge is probably the most common size for a shotgun, and one can load it with solid bullet-like rounds (called "slugs") or buckshot pellets. (Bird shot is, of course, strictly for the birds.) The smaller the gauge of the shotgun, the larger the diameter of the barrel. Semi-automatic and pump-action shotguns hold extra shells in a magazine tube under the barrel. As with semi-automatic pistols, leaving them loaded for long periods of time may eventually weaken the spring slightly. A single- or double-barreled "break action" shotgun can be left loaded, but must be reloaded after each barrel is fired. My choice: Mossberg 500 "Persuader" pistol-grip 12-gauge shotgun which holds 8 rounds of 00 buckshot (plus one in the chamber). Other choices: Remington 870 pump-action, Rossi Overland double-barreled "coach gun."

The best course of action to take if you're considering a gun purchase is locate a range near you and visit them. Most ranges welcome questions, allow visitors to pay for range time by the hour, and keep plenty of rental guns on hand to try out.


Posted at Sunday, November 09, 2008 by CavalierX
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Wednesday, November 05, 2008
First Step on the Long Road

I hope the Republican party learns a lesson from their stunning defeat last night. As damaging a blow as it was to the country as a whole, we can still hope to turn things around after two years of Jimmy Carter-style fumble-fingered government (double-digit unemployment and "stagflation," with Socialised medicine to boot). Although it may already be too late to stop the march to Socialism entirely by 2010, the Republican party will still be the best chance to do that -- but only if they stop trying to be more Liberal than the Democrats. They have to understand what really happened in 2006 and 2008, and return to the "less is more" style of government that lets people manage (or mismanage) their own lives. McCain had no real hope of capturing the party's Conservative base, and why would Democrats vote for him when they had a perfectly good candidate of their own? But the Republicans cannot recoup their losses without effective leadership. With that in mind, I just wrote the following email to my only Republican Senator, Arlen Spector. I doubt he will do more than laugh, if indeed he ever reads it, but I'd urge anyone who wants to fight for this country to contact your own Republican Senators; call them, write them or email them -- if you still have any. You can find your Senator's contact info here.

"As you know, the Republicans suffered a devastating blow last night. Don't make the mistake of thinking it was because the country has moved to the Left, or that we want a Socialist nanny-state government. The reason the Republicans lost is because you have lost your way. Ronald Reagan once said "a political party cannot be all things to all people," and yet you Washington denizens thought that was the way to win. You were wrong. You nominated John McCain, and he utterly failed to win either the base of your own party or enough Democrats. If you want the Republican party to go the way of the Whigs, Tories and the Bull Moose Party, by all means keep doing what you're doing -- trying to out-Liberal the Democrats. But if you want the party to come roaring back in two years, I strongly urge you to put Tom Coburn in charge as the Senate Minority Leader. He is one of the few Republicans who knows how to bring the party back to power. He never lost touch with the base. He is the only hope that there will even BE a Republican party by 2012."


Posted at Wednesday, November 05, 2008 by CavalierX
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