Honor and Integrity

The Laughing Wolf has an excellent post up (nod to WindsofChange for the pointer) on this topic. The piece opens:

You know the world is changing when the anchors on the morning news show start talking about honor and integrity. Not merely talking about it, but calling for its return in near reverent tones. Strong, yes, but reverent as well.

Such conversations are delightful, and things I thought I would never hear on a nationally broadcast news show. At least I did not think I would ever hear them in a positive context. Such values started coming under attack back in the late 60s as I was coming up, usually in an attack on all virtues.

Such things were Western Imperialism, the path of the white, middle-class male, and as such to be denigrated. They represented moral absolutes, and in the age of cultural relativism that was not allowed since it would imply, infer, or flat out state that some values were better than others.

Go read. Leave a comment.

“It’s frightening when you think that we started out with just ten commandments”

That’s the punchline of a Frank and Earnest cartoon where the two bums are standing in a law library, agog at the vast ranks of legal tomes.

Now it appears that the residents of New York City are getting a feel for all the “good work” their local legislators have done over the last hundred years or so.

Arthur Silber has this story about NYC’s shall we say rigorous enforcement of every law they can dig up in an effort to cover the city’s budget shortfall.

I’ve long believed that legislative bodies should have to spend two-thirds of their time reviewing old laws and deciding whether they should be scrapped. At a minimum it would minimize the passing of more. I read somewhere that in 2000 the California legislature passed, and the appropriately named Gray Davis signed, over 900 new laws.


How is anyone supposed to keep up?

And who the hell is responsible for foisting bills 150 pages long?

If you can’t explain what you want to accomplish in five pages or less, BREAK IT UP INTO PIECES. Or don’t bother.

All I have to say is Ayn Rand was right on this one:

“There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals, one *makes* them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What’s there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced nor objectively interpreted – and you create a nation of law-breakers – and then you cash in on the guilt.”

Atlas Shrugged

Can you say “Zero Tolerance” boys and girls? I knew you could.

(I’ve got to read that book.)

More Serious This Time

The Friday Five this week isn’t a fluff piece.

Here we go:

1. What do you most want to be remembered for?

This assumes I place some importance on “being remembered,” which I don’t. I do care about being thought of as a good, honest man, though.

2. What quotation best fits your outlook on life?

“It stands to reason that self-righteous, inflexible, single-minded, authoritarian true believers are politically organized. Open-minded, flexible, complex, ambiguous, anti-authoritarian people would just as soon be left to mind their own fucking business.”

— R.U. Sirius in ‘How To Mutate and Take Over The World’

3. What single achievement are you most proud of in the past year?

Nothing in particular.

4. What about the past ten years?

Convincing the woman I love to be my wife.

5. If you were asked to give a child a single piece of advice to guide them through life, what would you say?

“One of the common failings among honorable people is a failure to appreciate how thoroughly dishonorable some other people can be, and how dangerous it is to trust them.”

— Thomas Sowell

Be trustworthy. Trust, but verify. And above all else – THINK!

Socially Acceptable Bigotry

Glenn Reynolds points to this piece concerning the bigotry of the left. A taste:

When somebody makes a prejudicial comment about Republicans in my presence, I play a private game. I replay the sentence in my mind—only I substitute a word like “black” or “lesbian” or “Mexican” in place of the word “Republican.” In performing this verbal sleight-of-hand, it becomes increasingly apparent that the speaker of the sentence may harbor views not generally considered to be tolerant or open-minded.

No, really?

But I loved the climax of the piece:

The bigotry of America’s Left-leaning intelligentsia is based upon cold logic that unfolds in the following predictable, if venal, fashion: I’m very smart. I’m well educated. So are most of my friends. I give generously to liberal causes. I’m a kind and caring human being. I defer to nobody in my exemplary set of values. I care about equality. I believe in a just society. These values are integrated into the core of who I am. I work diligently to teach these values unto my progeny. And these are just the values that, generally speaking, have been represented by the policies and actions of the Democratic Party.

The corollary logic continues: I don’t have much respect for the values of the Republican Party. Oversimplified, Republicans stand for the rich, for the status quo, for selfishness, and for war-mongering. These logical trains of thought are tinged with intellectual arrogance and gross stereotyping. Of course, some liberals who speak ill of Republicans have an ulterior motive. They use the tactic to undermine the credibility of all Republicans, who must be evil, stupid—or both.

Reagan, and his crowd, were a bunch of cowboys. NRA supporters are dumbfucks from Wyoming. The Christian Right is the imbecilic underbelly of the South, led by money-grubbing preachers. George W. may have gone to Yale and the business school, but he’s basically a shallow frat boy and—yikes!—a Christian. Locals who line up with such thinking tend to be knee-jerk right-wingers with low IQs.

In short, the justification for bigoted comments directed at those with whom the educated Left disagrees politically is based on two foundations: 1) We’re a lot smarter than they are; and 2) We’re better people than they are. That logic leads to three inescapable conclusions: We’re right. They’re wrong. QED: All Republicans are assholes.

Yup. That about covers it. It never occurs to them that they might be wrong.

Go read the whole thing.

And leave a comment.

OK, Can Anybody Explain What the Hell They’re Saying?

JoinTogether has this little blurb up:

Assault-Weapons Ban Has Little Effect on Gun Makers

As the debate continues on whether to extend the federal assault-weapons ban, firearms experts say the ban has had only a slight financial impact on gun manufacturers, CNS News reported May 27.

“As an overall industry, the ban didn’t have that much of an effect one way or the other,” said Andrew Molchan, publisher and editor of the American Firearms Industry, which tracks production and sales of firearms.

While some smaller companies may have suffered more of a financial impact, Molchan said large gun manufacturers maintained profitability because they successfully adapted their products to match the law’s requirements.

Bushmaster Firearms of Windham, Maine, for instance, increased its sales by 900 percent since the 1994 ban. However, the company is opposed to the ban’s extension.

Bushmaster makes nothing but “assault weapons” as defined by these morons. And they’ve had a 900% increase in sales! Ooooh! What a great law!

Gun-control advocates argue that allowing the ban to expire would erase the progress made in fighting crime caused by assault weapons.

What progress? The incidence of “assault weapons used in crimes” is so low that you can’t draw a statistical conclusion! And it also depends on how you define assault weapons. In this piece I showed that the Gun Ban Violence Policy Center misidentified 19 firearms as “assault rifles” used in the killings of police officers. I guess it all depends on how you twist the data to meet your agenda.

“We’ll see the manufacture of what are now banned weapons returning to circulation,” said Rob Wilcox, spokesman of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. “They obviously have a certain appeal to the criminal element.”

Oh yeah. Criminals really dig those flashhiders and bayonet lugs.


So, what are they saying? Don’t extend the ban because it didn’t hurt the “assault weapon” manufacturers? Do extend the ban because it helped reduce gun crime? Does anyone else detect a bit of wishy-washyness here?