Note to PJ: James Lileks has Your Number

A couple of posts below I respond to a bit of hate-mail from reader “PJ.” Well, I wish I’d read this before I wrote my response, because James Lileks has been there, done that: Another Swing Vote: the Sufferers of Sudden Bush Hatred Fatigue Syndrome. Two pertinent excerpts:

He’s a tool of big oil, small minds. He’s a scarily devout Jesus-freak Christian AND the dupe of Saudi Wahhabist puppetmasters. He led the country to war on bizarre and fabricated assumptions — sure, Clinton made Iraqi regime change standard American policy, but that was just a scarecrow to stick in the field. Plus, George W. Bush is Satan! Just look at the cover of Jim Hightower’s book, where the author draws devil horns and scribbles a mustache and goatee on a Bush poster. Bush isn’t just wrong. He’s bad. Super-extra evil. Get it? GET IT?

One can understand why Southerners like him, since they’re all two-toothed crackers with gun racks and Klan sheets neatly folded in the trunk in case they drive by a good ol’ fashioned flaming cross. Right?

It’s harder to understand why putatively normal people like him. These creatures are frankly incomprehensible to any right-thinking person. Maybe they’re just so full of Fox News and Rush Limbaugh they don’t understand that their drinking water is now composed ENTIRELY of arsenic, or that we have completely squandered the goodwill of several hundred chain-smoking French intellectuals.

How scarily similar is that?

I’ve Said it Before, I’ll Say it Again…

England is done. Stick a fork in it.

Acidman points to this Bloomberg story illustrating, once again, the complete inability of the gun-fearing to see any difference between legitimate and illegitimate gun use (and they have absolutely no sense of humor):

Ford’s Land Rover Ad Banned by U.K. Regulator on Use of Gun

Aug. 31 (Bloomberg) — Ford Motor Co., the world’s second biggest carmaker, has had a television commercial for its Land Rover brand banned by the U.K. communications regulator after it was judged to “normalize” the use of guns.

The advertisement, which featured a woman brandishing a gun later revealed to be a starting pistol, breached the Advertising Standards Code and must not be shown again, Ofcom said in an e- mailed statement. The regulator received 348 complaints against the ad, many concerned that the commercial glamorized guns and made it “appear that guns are fun and cool.”

Might that be because guns are “fun and cool?”

Carmakers in the U.K. often come to the attention of regulators for their portrayal of speed in ads, which the advertising code says must not “encourage or condone fast or irresponsible driving.” Ford’s Land Rover division did not immediately comment on the ban.

Ofcom said glamorization is “part and parcel” of the advertising process but this commercial “normalized” gun ownership in a domestic setting. The pistol, fired by the woman into the air as a man got into his car, was used in “an apparent casual manner and just for fun,” Ofcom said.

I shoot all of my guns mostly “just for fun”. So?

The large number of complaints compares with 427 against an ad for Virgin Mobile Holdings Plc, the highest number Ofcom received this year. Earlier this month, the regulator dismissed the complaints against Virgin Mobile’s ad, which portrayed a young man being helped to urinate by an attendant at a urinal.

So, let me see if I got this straight: In a country with a population of, oh, 60 million, they receive complaints from 348 people with their panties in a bunch, and have an ad yanked. BUT when 427 people (22.7% more) complain about a DIFFERENT ad, it’s NOT yanked.

Because there was a different ‘gun’ involved.

What are they putting in the water over there?

UPDATE: David Carr of Samizdata comments there:

The right to keep and bear arms is not a debate in this country. Nor is it an issue or an idea or an argument. It has all been subsumed into a deep national psychosis for which I see no prospect of any cure.

That’s what I just said.

Hell, That was EASY

I read in this week’s Tucson Weekly the obligatory News of the Weird. The story that caught my attention (naturally) was this one:

Almost All True

Three of these four things really happened just recently. Are you cynical enough to figure out the made-up story?

(a) The New Zealand government issued a 100-page occupational health and safety guide for prostitutes.

(b) An appeals court in Michigan ruled that a man suffering chronic depression can, under the Americans With Disabilities Act, carry a loaded pistol in public because holding it in his hands helps him therapeutically, according to doctors.

(c) Turkmenistan ruled that drivers cannot get licenses unless they pass tests on the moral values described in President Saparmurat Niyazov’s writings.

(d) The owner of a gym in downtown Baghdad held a bodybuilding competition on July 30 in honor of the birthday of Arnold Schwarzenegger.

(Answer: The three foreign stories are true.) [Hindustan Times- Agence France-Presse, 7-31-04] [Reuters, 8-2-04] [Reuters, 8-2- 04]

I had absolutely no problem figuring it out. An appeals court letting a man have a loaded firearm in public? You MUST be joking!

It does say something about our laws and court systems, however, that the author thought that the idea was plausible enough to include in the list, doesn’t it?

I Think He’s Right

Mike over at Feces Flinging Monkey has called the election:

I’ll go way out on a limb and call this one: Bush is going to win this election, and it’s not even going to be close.

Why? Four reasons:

He’s got graphs and links and everything, so he must be right…


But I think he is anyway.

And here’s the quote-of-the-day:

The Anybody-But-Bush people are diehard stalwarts this time around, but the Enthusiastic Kerry Supporters Of American could hold their national convention in a Hotel Six.


I Feel Special! I Got Hate-Mail!

Reader PJ, who also resides in Arizona, sent me an email today. I’ve responded, but I had to put it up here. My responses are interspersed in his screed, below:

Mr. Baker,

I am a Democrat and proud owner of several fire arms. I don’t believe that our government is going to protect us so let’s just say that I am prepared for the worst. It seems to me that you are not being fair to Democrats. You are labeling them Liberals when we are not.

Not all of you, certainly, but the moonbat wing has certainly grasped the reins of power in the party. And they’re NOT liberals, they’re Leftists. (Big “L”).

I’m sure Junior Bush and his administration has had a hand in brain-washing the words “Liberal Democrat” into your mind.

You are? Let me assure you, four years of Jimmy Carter followed by eight years of William Jefferson Clinton cemented the words “Liberal Democrat” in my mind long before George Walker Bush was tapped by the Republican cognoscenti to be the 2000 nominee for President. And a reminder: Al Gore was “Junior,” as in Albert Arnold Gore II. George Walker Bush is the first son of George Herbert Walker Bush. He is not G.H.W. Bush II. Do try to strive for accuracy.

Do you always believe everything Mr. Bush tells you?

I do not, but I have found him to be much more plainspoken (in all meanings of the word) than previous spinmeisters who have occupied that office. Do you believe every utterance of John Forbes Kerry? He’s proven to be deliberately mendacious, you know.

Did you duct tape your home when he told us to?

Actually, I believe it was Tom Ridge who made that announcement, and no, I did not. Again, strive for accuracy.

Did nipple-gate distract you and take your mind off of what was really happening in Iraq?

Do you think Bush invented “nipplepgate” or that the Bush Administration simply grasped it as something to wave in America’s face? Or do you understand that there is a large percentage of the population that found that incident to be offensive, and the government felt quite a bit of pressure (you remember government – supposed representative of the People?) to respond?

And you wonder why I call so many Democrats “Liberals” (Actually, I prefer the term “Leftist” – I’M what used to be called a ‘classical liberal’ – interested in freedom for all and minimal intrusion by government into our lives.)

Do you really believe that stem cell research to help cure diabetes and other illnesses is evil?

Haven’t read much of my blog, have you?

Do you really believe that women who have endometriosis and other “female diseases” should just pray to God instead of getting treatment (like our great commander and chief believes)?

Got a cite?

You REALLY haven’t read much of my blog. That’s obvious.

I have one request…When you write, please remember that there are two parties: Libertarians and Democrats. Dem’s are not going to follow the religious right wing like your current President does.

Um, no. There’s that accuracy thing again. There are several parties. The two primary ones, and a scattering of ones that can’t get anybody elected to office.

The Dems aren’t going to follow the religious right? That’s fine with me. I’m not all that happy with the “religious right wing” myself, being an atheist. I am, however, less enthusiastic about the Socialist mandate of the Democratic party than I am concerned about the Religious Right.

He is a dangerous man with a dangerous religious right agenda.

You just echoed my favorite Bush criticism. It’s a quote I found in a Sacramento Bee piece from May of 2003:

“What is a little disconcerting for the French is an American president who seems to be principled,” said Jean Duchesne, an English literature professor at Condorcet College in Paris. “The idea that politics should be based on principles is unimaginable because principles lead to ideology, and ideology is dangerous.”

You’re apparently in fine company.

Bush is a man with principles based in his interpretation of the Christian religion. Which is, I am convinced, better in a President than having no moral center. We must, I think, agree to disagree here. It is the job of Congress to restrain him if he attempts to push a “Religious Right Agenda.” Bush runs the Executive Branch. Legislation is the duty of the Legislative Branch.

He needs to be removed from office.

Not if the alternatives are John Kerry, Ralph Nader, and Michael Badnarik. We happen to be in the middle of a war that wasn’t started by us, and Bush is the only one of that group I trust to prosecute it. There is much I dislike about Bush, but his actions in this war do not rank among them.

He dodged Vietnam by going to the National Guard. I don’t know how old you are, but back then, that was about as courageous as going to Canada.

Or dodging service as Clinton did? And consistency once again raises its ugly head. I don’t blame him for that, and thousands of others didn’t either. As I recall, bringing up Clinton’s avoidance of the draft during the 1992 election was pooh-pooh’ed because avoiding the draft was considered an HONORABLE thing to do, since everybody on the Left KNEW the war in Vietnam was illegitimate and illegal and horrible. I’d think you’d be PROUD that Bush avoided dropping napalm and killing babies.

You see, one of the problems I have with the Left is their absolute inability to be consistent on anything. It’s that lack of a moral center thing, I think.

At least John Kerry signed up to go to Vietnam, and that is more courageous than anything Junior Bush has ever done in his life (for maybe the exception of giving up cocaine and alcohol).

Yes, he signed up, got out of combat just as quickly as he could manage, came back here and (while still an officer in the Naval Reserves) testified that horrible things were going on in Vietnam on a regular basis with the full knowledge of the upper echelons of the military, giving aid and comfort to the enemy. Mr. Kerry stated in the 1971 “Winter Soldier” testimony that Vietnam represented no threat to the U.S., then he stands before the American people and states that as a young man he fought in Vietnam and “defended America.” Well, which is it? He testified in the Senate that he was in Cambodia on Christmas of 1968 – a memory SEARED into him – that never happened. Don’t tell me how courageous Kerry is. Flying a single-engined jet interceptor isn’t exactly a Sunday drive even on “routine” missions. So? Kerry got shot at. Tens of thousands of Americans got shot at in Vietnam. That doesn’t qualify them to be President. And if Clinton avoiding the draft wasn’t reason to reject him outright for the office, then Bush serving in the National Guard shouldn’t be either.

Again – try logical consistency. It might give you some insight into conservatism.

The great John McCain has stood up for John Kerry and said he is a friend and he has confidence he can handle terrorism and the security of our country.

Ah yes, John McCain. The Republican the Democrats wanted as Vice President. As FIRST CHOICE. Lacking a little depth in candidates?

The “great John McCain” is responsible for the first really egregious Federal violation of the First Amendment (along with Feingold) in the Campaign Finance Reform Act. I’m pissed at Bush for signing it, and appalled that the Supreme Court didn’t throw it out on it’s ear. Apparently neither the Congress, nor President Bush, nor SCOTUS can interpret “Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech…”

I believe Mr. McCain because he is not caught up in the religious right.

No, you believe McCain because his position agrees with yours. It’s an emotional response.

I want to see him out of office. He’s done enough damage.

I will do everything in my power to remove Junior Bush and his radical right wing agenda out of office.

As long as you act within the law, more power to you. I will do what I can to see him re-elected.

Just yesterday a stem cell research facility was bombed (more wacky right wing nut-balls).

Tell me, are they in any way associated with the Leftist nutballs that trash medical research centers that use animals for testing? (Even stem-cell research?) Or the ones who burn down SUV dealerships and high-end houses that are under construction? It seems that nut-balls are to be found on both sides, eh?

Tell me, why is it okay to use stem cells for in-vitro practices, but not to help people with child-hood diabetes?

You’re shooting at the wrong target here PJ. I’m all for stem-cell research. I think Bush is wrong on this one. But I hold that the problem of radical Islamic nutballs who want to see us ALL dead is the bigger problem here. I’ll deal with the stem-cell problem through my congresscritters. They’re the ones who write the laws.

The stem cells are discarded after the in-vitro process….what’s the difference between in-vitro and stem cell research other than it’s their agenda to produce more children in this world…I would think for an engineer you would be more intelligent than what I am reading on your site.

I’d think you’d do more reading before leaping to conclusions.

Your views are simply more “brain-washed”, hateful etchings of what Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity spew each day.

As opposed to the reasonable, dulcet voices of Michael Moore, Janeane Garofolo, Al Franken, et al?

These men are sad, pathetic, dangerous men.

Because they say things you don’t want people to hear? And I thought the Left was all for Freedom of Speech! Except, of course, when that speech shows the Left up as hypocritical in the extreme. Here’s another example of the party that believes in Democracy not trusting the American public’s own bullshit detectors. No, according to the Left, Americans are too stupid to be trusted to vote correctly because Limbaugh and Hannity are able to brainwash them, but the Left is unable to do the same. So, again, which is it? Are we to be trusted to make our own decisions, or is the enlightened intelligentsia of the Left to make our decisions for us because we’re just too stupid to do so? A stupidity exemplified by the fact that half the nation was willing to vote for Bush over his obvious intellectual superior, Al Gore?

Sorry, PJ. The “sad, pathetic, dangerous men” are the ones who don’t trust the People. Check a mirror.

You sound like a decent guy, but the more I read, the more you frighten me.

Good. I’m glad.

I would not want to go shooting with you in fear that you might shoot me in the back.

That’s the difference between us, PJ. I’m apparently something you have no experience with. I am a man of honor and principle. It’s the Left that has a long history of shooting people such as me in the back of the head as a means of “re-education.” I assure you, if I ever found it necessary to shoot you, you’d be facing me, and you’d be armed.

UPDATE 8/30: I received a reply from PJ: “Why am I not surprised?” Hmm… Lack of imagination?

Late Again

But at least I found it. (Via Knowledge is Power)

Relatively new blogger Varifrank has a damned fine analysis of The Grand Unified Theory Of Vietnam. There’s just far too much to excerpt from, but to give you an idea, I saved it to my “Essential Library” file. It’s that good. But, in the interest of making sure everyone reads this piece – and I mean EVERYONE, here’s a taste:

And then, something happened that no one foresaw.

An outside force, for the first time since December 7th 1941, had attacked and killed Americans at home. Only this time, it wasn’t at an obscure military base in the Pacific, but was in Manhattan, Liberal, Libertine, New Yorker Magazine– If you lived here, you’d be home by now– Manhattan.

For the first time, the generation which had rejected war as a tool of the oppressor, used largely by American business as a club to subjugate poor countries, was itself faced with an enemy that did not differentiate between the military and civilian, between Marines and little girls on their way to Disneyland and worse, between the real enemy and the enlightened masses of Manhattan. This generation was faced by an enemy that wanted to kill us all, left and right, progressives, liberals, men, women; it made no difference to them. The only choice the Jihadi’s gave us was submission to Islam, or death. This generation had never concided this dogma in their “Grand Unified Theory Of Vietnam.” Kill us? Why? We didn’t vote for George W. Bush! The Terrorists should have attacked Texas!

The Jihadi’s act of violence and insanity shook the world, but no group in it more so than the generation who’s “moral order” was established in Vietnam. “Why do they hate us?” They asked. “It must be our policies.” They said, “See! This is a reaction to globalization. This war thing makes no sense, Europeans live with terror, so why can’t we? Why – it’s just a pretense for the consolidation of power, THAT’S IT!…..

By George, I think he nailed it.

Please, please, PLEASE read the whole thing. And pass it around to your internet-challenged friends.

The Third Ad is Up

Here. (Windows Media file.)

How are Kerry and the media going to smear Steve Gardner?

Ignoring him is apparently out of the question.

“Ghost Voting” and Pressing the RESET Button

There has been some discussion over at over the California Assembly’s passage of AB50 – a bill prohibiting the sale of rifles chambered for the .50BMG round, and requiring registration of currently owned rifles. (Or does it? The bill text I have referenced says “bans the sale of” but this Tri-Valley Herald piece quotes Sandra DeBourelando, principal assistant to the bill’s sponsor Paul Koretz saying that acquiring a .50 after Jan. 1, 2005 will require a permit and:

It won’t be easy to get a permit. You would have to show a good reason why you need it.

Of course you realize that the position of the gun-grabbers is that no one needs a .50. She also says:

We’re not going to confiscate guns.

The “yet” is, as always, unspoken.

It was reported by the Fifty Caliber Institute that the bill lost on the original vote by a tally of 35 yeas to 36 nays (total: 71 total votes.) Then they revoted using what is known as “ghost voting” – that is, a legislator votes using the pushbutton at his or her desk, then gets up and walks over to the desk of an absent legislator and votes again. You know, like the people who are registered to vote in both New York and Florida can. This time the vote was 45 ayes, 32 nays with four abstentions (total 77 votes, 4 abstentions). Now, granted the number of nays dropped by four, but “ghost voting”??

This spawned, as you can imagine, some outrage over at, and this question came up: At what point do we fight?

First let me be clear.

It is not my intention to incite, propose a Turner Diaries solution or promote any violent activity on the part of anyone else.

But THIS generation has witnessed the 89 Import Ban, the 94 Crime Bill (including the various State versions which DO NOT sunset) and is now looking down the barrel of a Cali .50 Ban which could spread like a cancer to even the Federal level.

Some have witnessed the 86 MG ban and the initial restrictions of the 1968 GCA which gave us the unconsitutional “Sporter” clause.

So when do we stop permitting Representatives who don’t represent us and pass laws contrary to the Constitution?

Where do we draw the line in the sand? And when do we finally throw the tea in the harbor? If at all?

What are possible alternatives? Is there a way to turn it back?

Can residents of other states do anything besides just blame Cali residents?

And can anyone HONESTLY expect anyone with a family, good job, comfortable home and life to risk and sacrifice it all?

I don’t have the answers…

It is reminiscent of the the Pressing the “RESET” Button essay in this response:

I’ve already started.
There are plenty of laws I don’t obey. If I get caught for the smaller ones I’ll just suck up alittle slap on the wrist. If I ever get nailed for something big? I pity the person who puts his job in front of the U.S. Constitution. Will I win…no…but I damn sure will take some with me.

I know I know…the supreme court tells me what the constitution means…but ya know. I have a pretty good measure of common sense and I CAN read.

And this one:

(H)earing about “ghost” votes in CA is pushing me a lot closer. That is clear evidence of a tyrranical government.

I have the feeling I’ll be leaving this world the same way I entered it: kicking, screaming, and covered in someone elses blood.

There does appear to be a growing sense that Claire Wolfe‘s idea of “shooting the bastards” is becoming the only option.

At this time the discussion covers five pages of posts. Were I a legislator, I’d be paying attention to the grumblings of the populace.