A Well-Educated .32!

That’s one of the pictures illustrating this otherwise excellent story on self-defense and concealed-weapons licensing in Memphis. (At least it wasn’t described as a .9mm or a 40mm Glock service revolver.) Excerpt:

A 53-year-old Thai woman who works behind the counter of a convenience store in Hickory Hill has been robbed four times. And so she got a Smith & Wesson 9mm pistol and formal training.

It comes in handy early one morning just three weeks later when she is doing inventory behind the counter and has the front door locked. As shown on store video, a lone male knocks on the window at 1:45 a.m. He asks if the store is open. She tells him it is, but to pull back the hood on his jacket and she will buzz him in.

He complies and the door unlocks. But as he comes through the door he crouches down and pulls a mask over his face. As soon as he reaches the counter, he pulls a gun and points it at her.

She sees what’s coming. She moves to her left and bends down below the counter as his gun comes out. She then rises slightly, still using the counter for cover as much as possible, and has both hands wrapped around the grip of her gun.

She fires one shot. The robber flinches, then turns and flees without firing his gun.

“I think I hit him in the shoulder,” she says.

The whole thing takes mere seconds.

“It was like automatic,” she explains. “I’m not excited. I don’t want to shoot anybody . . . it’s just automatic.”

Except, it isn’t just automatic. It is training combined with instinct and poise.

“After I attend class, I know how to operate,” she says late one night at the store, where she still works. “I really trust this gun.”

• •

“A gun is morally neutral,” says Givens. “It works for a good man; it works for a bad man.”

And as the store clerk’s story proves, it works best for a trained man (or woman).

Apparently Chris Muir read the same piece:

(h/t Arms and the Law)

Another Depressing Thought.

That really cute YouTube video I posted a few days ago? It struck me just a couple of minutes ago that it’s almost an allegory.

“Allegory? For what?” you may ask.

For socialism.

Bear with me.

The Kiwi, through superhuman (superkiwi?) effort constructs a world that allows him (her?) to realize its greatest dream. Experiencing the dream is awesome, overwhelming.

Until reality raises its ugly head, as it always must.

If there was a postscript to the film, we’d see the remains of the forest that the Kiwi had to strip to build its dreamworld, and all the creatures whose habitats had been destroyed in the pursuit of that dream.

The only thing that ruins the allegory is that this story was performed by a single Kiwi, and not a flock of them following the dream of a single charismatic leader to their own destruction.

I DO need a break.

In Keeping with My Recent Gloom-n-Doom…

I don’t know how I missed this piece when it was originally published, but stumble across it I did, and it rings just a little too plausible for comfort: December 7, 2008. Excerpt:

In 2006 America, tired of War in Iraq, had elected Democrats to modest majorities in both houses of Congress. Representative Nancy Pelosi became Speaker of the House, third in line for the presidency. In the spring of 2007, on a narrow, party-line vote, Congress, led by Senators John Kerry and Ted Kennedy and Barbara Boxer refused to authorize spending to continue the war in Iraq, and set September 30, 2007, as the deadline for complete withdrawal of American troops.

President Bush spoke to the country, to the American forces in Iraq, to those who had been there, and to the Iraqi people, to apologize for the short-sightedness and irresponsibility of the American congress and the tragedy he believed would follow after leaving task of nurturing a representative and stable government in Iraq half done, his voice choked, tears running down his stoic face, a betrayal of emotion for which he was resoundingly criticized and denounced in much of America’s media.

The level of violence across Iraq immediately subsided, as the Americans began preparations to redeploy back to the States. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad praised the new Congress for its clear vision and sound judgment. America’s Democrats rejoiced and congratulated themselves for bringing peace with honor and ending the illegal war based on lies that George Bush had begun only to enrich his friends in the military-industrial complex, and promised to retake the Presidency in 2008.

At 1000 on September 30, 2007, precisely on schedule, the last C-5A Galaxy carrying the last company of American combat troops in Iraq had roared down the Baghdad runway and lifted into the air. Only a few hundred American technical and military advisers and political liaisons remained in-country.

The Galaxy’s wheels had scarcely retracted when Iraq erupted in the real civil war many had feared and foreseen, and which many others had predicted would not happen if only the American imperialists left Iraq. Sunni militias, Shia militias, and Al Qaeda militias ravaged and savaged the country, killing hundreds of thousands of Iraqis known or suspected to have collaborated with the Americans, killing Shias for being Shias, Sunnis for being Sunnis, Americans for being Americans, and anyone else who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

By noon, not one of the American advisers and liaisons left behind remained alive. Many had been beheaded as they screamed. Most of their bodies were dumped in the river and never seen again. In the next thirty days more than a million Iraqis died. The General Assembly of the United Nations voted to condemn the violence, and recessed for lunch and martinis. In America, there was no political will to redeploy back to Iraq. And after a few months of rabid bloodletting, the situation in Iraq calmed to a tense simmer of sporadic violence and political jockeying, punctuated by the occasional assassination, while several million refugees fled the country. Only Kurdistan, in the north, which had thrown up a line of its Peshmurga fighters to keep the southern violence away, remained stable and at relative peace.

RTWT. Note that the original publish date was Oct. 24, 2006.

As Thanksgiving approaches I’m finding it difficult to feel all that thankful. The best I can do at the moment is be thankful that we haven’t been nuked.


I think I need a break.

UPDATE: Joe Huffman comments.


A couple of posts below I linked to An Infuriating Man, an essay by Leo Rosten about economist Milton Friedman. In the post between this one and that one, I mentioned that I fairly recently read the book Conversations with Eric Sevareid: Interviews with Notable Americans. It so happens that Leo Rosten was one of Mr. Sevareid’s guests, and that transcript was one in the book. Taped on August 24, 1975, Sevareid introduces Rosten:

“Wisdom,” according to Leo Rosten, “is only the capacity to confront intolerable ideas, with composure. Most men debase the pursuit of happiness by transforming it into a foolish pursuit of fun. But where was it promised that the purpose of life is to be happy? To me, the most important thing in life is to matter, to count, to stand for something. In short, to have it make some difference that you lived at all.”

Leo Rosten has taught at Yale, Stanford, Columbia and the University of California. In addition to all else, he’s an astute economist trained at the University of Chicago and the London School of Economics. He belongs to an interesting intellectual mutation. He was a New Deal liberal in Franklin Roosevelt’s day; today he’s a neo-conservative. From old liberal to new conservative is paradoxically a function of aging and changing society. Neo-conservatives don’t believe that education or government can determine the total picture of American society.

This is the earliest reference I have seen of the term “neo-conservative.” I was a little surprised that it dates back to at least 1975.

The interview begins:

Rosten: We didn’t assume thirty years ago that the schools could solve all our problems. We never assumed that politics could solve them. In fact, this country was based on the commanding idea that the politicians should do and what the government should do is make it possible for people to pursue happiness. Now the disenchanted say, “Make me happy!” Schools can’t make anyone happy.

Sevareid: What happened? Some of the Supreme Court decisions, some of the rules from the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, from the federal government, are going to instruct every high school in every local community what boys and girls can do, what sports they can play at together, and what can or can’t be done in the locker room. (Title IX passed in 1972.) This would have made Alexander Hamilton and Ben Franklin turn in their graves. Why shouldn’t local communities have something to say about how children are educated?

Rosten: I think the tide has to turn. The story of the growth of federal power is one of the most lamentable in American history. I think historians of the future will mark 1932 as one of the black years of American history – not that Roosevelt was a bad President, not that he didn’t do extraordinary things. His greatest talent was that of a politician. He cemented a society that was falling to pieces in very ugly ways. But what he did was start the pattern by which instead of fixing your community’s bridge you wrote to your Congressman and asked him to get Congress to appropriate $28,000 for your bridge – a pattern by which everything is taken care of by federal money. What’s wrong with this is that it prevents the most powerful engine mankind has ever known, the free market, from working.

I think we are now beginning to learn that it is foolish to assume that people in Washington know better how to run Alameda County that the men who are farming in Alameda County.

I don’t think the lesson stuck.

Rosten on the press:

Sevareid: A long time ago, during the 1930’s, you wrote the first real sociological study of the Washington press corps. A lot has changed since then. It’s now a vast herd of people. The tone has changed. The press has itself become a great controversial issue. What’s the big difference now?

Rosten: The decline of newspapers, the decline of local papers, the pabulumized news leads me to read weekly journals more than ever because they at least put things into perspective. The kind of person who now goes into journalism may also be different.

Now even the weeklies are pabulum, and the dailies are dying from decreasing readership.

Sevareid: The Watergate adventures have something to do with it. Press people have been lured and forced out of their normal roles to a degree. They’ve become actors in the play themselves. They’re writing about each other. There also is a new level of howling monkeys at news conferences. They’ve given the press a pretty bad image with lots of people. Some reporters seem to think they’re prosecuting attorneys at every encounter with officials. They don’t understand that civility is not the enemy of freedom; it’s an ally.

Rosten: I have the feeling that the editorial pages of this country, with the exception of the Wall Street Journal, are repeating the cliches of the 1940’s and 1950’s. “If a government program fails it’s because not enough money was put into it. Let’s put more money into it!” And more and more money is poured down the rat hole.

Or, as Steven Den Beste put it, cognitive dissonance leading to “escalation of failure.”

And, finally, Leo Rosten on education:

Sevareid: Leo, you’ve written about everything, thought about everything, studied everything. You’re a great generalist, which is not much in fashion any more. What’s happened to the knowledge industry? Sociologists, economists, psychologists, psychiatrists, seem rather bankrupt. Have we overburdened the human mind with too many facts? Vocabulary seems to have outrun knowledge, which has outrun wisdom. Where do we turn?

Rosten: We’ve always gone on the assumption (a good one) that education will liberate the human mind or the human spirit. There’s a second assumption that’s forgotten. Some people are meant to be educated and to learn and to enjoy the uses of the mind. Some people are meant to paint. Some people are meant to draw castles in the sand and make them into sculpture. Some people love to prune trees and gardens. What we have done is assume that everyone can potentially become an intellectual. We’ve confused learning with schooling.

It’s absolutely absurd that in this country today there should be seven million youngsters going to college. There are not seven million people who want to read Plato or Aristotle or Montesquieu. And there’s no reason why they should. We have failed to see that there aren’t enough jobs for those who learn esoteric things. For a while there was a big fling on learning Swahili in New York. Lots of kids were studying it because it was part of the Black movement, the idea of Black identity, Black liberation. It so happens that Swahili was the language of the Arab slave traders. In any event, what good does it do to know Swahili? I don’t mean “good” simply in terms of economics. What sort of good does it do?

When you’re young, when your mind and spirit are like a sponge, there is no better time to learn certain things and there is no worse time to learn certain things. I would abolish the study of some courses except for students aged thirty and above.

I was lucky as a child of the depression. I couldn’t get a job for three years. I was lonely and miserable. At the end of those three years, because I was desperate, I went back to school. I was older than my classmates, I had learned something. I had learned how hard it is to walk all day long, trying to earn a dollar. I had learned how important it is to save, to appraise people, to figure out if this or that guy can be trusted or not trusted. This is what life and the world are about.

We’re practically using the colleges as a dump into which to put youngsters we do not know what to do with. There are today 45 million people between the age of roughly 7 and 24. Their parents don’t know what to do with them. They want them to go to college and they often think that they’re being trained for jobs. But they’re not getting training for useful employment.

Someone has said that education is what remains after everything you’ve learned is forgotten. The purpose of educating young people is not only to illuminate their spirit and enrich their memory bank but to teach them the pleasures of thinking and reading. How do you use the mind? As a teacher, I always was astonished by the number of people in the classroom who wanted to learn as against those who just wanted to pass. I took pride in my ability to communicate. Generally “communicate” meant one thing. Now the young think “communicate” means “Agree with me!”

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

But here’s the kicker:

Rosten: The student rebellions of the 1960’s exposed the fact that our entire educational system has forgotten the most important thing it can do prior to college: indoctrinate. I believe in the indoctrination of moral values. There’s a lot to be said for being good and kind and decent. You owe a duty to those who have taken care of you. You owe a duty to whatever it is that God or fate gave you – to use your brain or your heart. It’s senseless to whine, to blame society for every grievance, or to assume that the presence of a hammer means you have to go out to smash things.

The young want everything. They think they can get everything swiftly and painlessly. They are far too confident. They don’t know what their problems are, not really. They talk too much. They demand too much. Their ideas have not been tempered by the hard facts of reality. They’re idealists, but they don’t sense that it’s the easiest thing in the world to be an idealist. It doesn’t take any brains. This was said by Aristotle 2300 years ago. Mencken once said that an idealist is someone who, upon observing that a rose smells better than a cabbage, assumes that it will also make better soup.

To some extent, Rosten sounds like all elders complaining about youths:

Our youth now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for their elders, and love chatter in places of exercise. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. they contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up their food and tyrannize their teachers. – Socrates

I am ambivalent on the topic of “indoctrination.” My problem is with what that indoctrination entails. Rosten objects to the failure of the educational system to indoctrinate moral values. I’d say it still does. It just doesn’t indoctrinate goodness, kindness, and decency anymore. It indoctrinates “multicuturalism,” “tolerance,” “sensitivity,” “fairness,” “socialism,” and “self-esteem.” It fails to instruct in history, civics, ethics, mathematics, English, or for that matter, job skills. The education system receives “young skulls full of mush” and processes them right on through, sending them into the world with what Ayn Rand described as “a junk heap of unwarranted conclusions, false generalizations, undefined contradictions, undigested slogans, unidentified wishes, doubts and fears.”

The reasons for this are myriad. Diane Ravitch puts part of the blame (convincingly) on the textbook companies who are loath to put anything in a text that someone, anyone, might find offensive. I put a large part of the blame on the influx of socialist True Believers into the ranks of educators since the time of John Dewey. As far as public schools are concerned, we’ve abandoned the idea that education can liberate the human mind or human spirit. Schools are now warehouses, run by administrators terrified of lawsuits and too many teachers who are literally tyrannized by their charges and their parents. Indoctrination still goes on, though. Read this lovely little op-ed by Mark Bradley, a history teacher from Sacramento. I bet his classes are popular!

It would seem that if you want some good indoctrination, your only choices are homeschooling or private – often ecumenical – schools.

Indoctrination of children is not necessarily a bad thing, but somewhere along the line we stopped paying attention to what was and what wasn’t getting poured into their heads, and it started long before 1975.


All who have meditated on the art of governing mankind have been convinced that the fate of empires depends on the education of youth. – Aristotle

I’ve been writing here for right at three and a half years. If the post counter is to be believed (blogspot being what it is), this is the 2281st post here. Prior to TSM I spent six months and a bit over 1800 posts at DemocraticUnderground.com in the “Gun Dungeon” irritating the Progressive faithful. (Most honest expression of the faith ever posted there: “There is no room in the progressive agenda for gun rights.”) Before that I spent a few months in the mosh-pit of talk.politics.guns and at the late, lamented Themestream.com. I have been a member of AR15.com since February of 2001. I have posted about 8,500 times there, and am still active.

In the last, oh, three years or so, on top of the fiction I prefer, I have read the following books (not a complete list, and certainly not in order):

Albion’s Seed: Four British Folkways in America, by David Hackett Fischer

Guns, Germs & Steel by Jared Diamond

Restoring the Lost Constitution: The Presumption of Liberty by Randy Barnett

Shooters: Myths and Realities of America’s Gun Cultures by Abigale Kohn

Born Fighting: How the Scots-Irish Shaped America by James Webb

Revolutionary Characters: What Made the Founders Different by Gordon S. Wood

1776 by David McCullough

On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society by LTC Dave Grossman

Ripples of Battle: How Wars of the past Still Determine how We Fight, how We Live, and how We Think by Victor Davis Hanson

Life at the Bottom: The Worldview That Makes the Underclass and Our Culture, What’s Left of It: The Mandarins and the Masses, both by Theodore Dalrymple

For the Defense of Themselves and the State: Legal Case Studies of the 2nd Amendment to the U. S. Constitution by Clayton Cramer (Contact Clayton directly. I’m sure he’d be happy to sell you an autographed edition.)

Bias: A CBS Insider Exposes How the Media Distort the News by Bernard Goldberg

Philosophy: Who Needs It and Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

Armed: New Perspectives on Gun Control by Gary Kleck and Don Kates

Whose Right to Bear Arms Did the Second Amendment Protect? edited by Saul Cornell

True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements by Eric Hoffer

and, by association,

Conversations with Eric Sevareid by Eric Sevareid, which has two interviews with Hoffer

Men in Black: How the Supreme Court is Destroying America by Mark Levin

The Vision of the Anointed: Self-Congratulation as a Basis for Social Policy by Thomas Sowell

Honor: A History by James Bowman

And, of course,

Silent America: Essays from a Democracy at War by Bill Whittle

This is in addition to all the blogs, court decisions, op-eds, news pieces, and other internet reading I’ve done. Next on deck are Milton Friedman’s Free to Choose and Capitalism and Freedom, and F.A. Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom. (Be still, my beating heart.)

I’m 44 years old. I think I’ve finally developed a firm grasp on just how much I don’t know. I believe I’ve developed a firm grasp on what little I do know. I’m reminded of that quote from The Purple Avenger‘s blog:

“I now understand”, he said, “why engineers and their like are so hard to examine, whether on the stand or in a deposition. When they say a thing is possible, they KNOW it is possible, and when they say a thing is not possible, they KNOW it is not. Most people don’t understand know in that way; what they know is what we can persuade them to believe. You engineers live in the same world as the rest of us, but you understand that world in a way we never will.”

I’m interested in what works. In the course of writing this blog, I’ve had numerous discussions, both in posts and in comments, with others interested in the same things I am from similar and from widely divergent perspectives. In my six-part discussion with Dr. Danny Cline, he stated:

I do indeed believe that man has innate moral knowledge (I wouldn’t say an instinct, but that’s a pretty minor problem). I should say rather that I believe that I have innate moral knowledge.

In a comment to Freedom’s Just Another Word for Nothin’ Left to Lose, Billy Beck said:

At the root, I don’t understand how and why individuals don’t “lead” themselves.

But he had already answered his own question:

(Y)ou people are talking about blowing the place up, whether you know it or not. That’s the only way it can go, as things are now, because there is no philosophy at the bottom of what you’re talking about.

No philosophy.

Damned straight.

In Philosophy, Who Needs It, Rand said:

As a human being, you have no choice about the fact that you need a philosophy. Your only choice is whether you define your philosophy by a conscious, rational, disciplined process of thought and scrupulously logical deliberation — or let your subconscious accumulate a junk heap of unwarranted conclusions, false generalizations, undefined contradictions, undigested slogans, unidentified wishes, doubts and fears….

Dr. Cline may have an “innate moral knowledge,” I won’t gainsay him on that, but my observation of objective reality leads me to believe that he is by far the exception rather than the rule. The overwhelming majorty of people “accumulate a junk heap of unwarranted conclusions, false generalizations, undefined contradictions, undigested slogans, unidentifed wishes, doubts and fears” and are therefore incapable of leading themselves anywhere. Aristotle was absolutely right: the fate of empires depends on the education of youth.

And we’re failing in that – horribly. The entirety of Western Civilization is, apparently. If this was a WordPress blog, I’d have a category titled “Dept. of Our Collapsing Schools” filled with story after story of how parents, lawsuits, and socialist influences not limited only to political correctness and teachers unions have caused our education system to largely give up on the duty of education, and instead become twelve years of daycare. We’ve produced generation after generation of people with no coherent philosophy. At least, no single philosophy, or one that stands up to scrutiny.

For example, many localities passed minimum-wage increase initiatives with the last election. Speaker-elect Pelosi promises to address this apparently crucial issue in the first 100 hours of the new Congress. Why? Because a lot of Americans are convinced that the minimum wage is too low. Dale of Mostly Cajun isn’t. Neither is Tam from View from the Porch. They’re in good company. As Leo Rosten channeled recently deceased economist Milton Friedman on the topic:

“The public,” sighed Fenwick, “is not well-informed about economics, and will pay for its innocence. Increased minimum wages lead to increased costs, which lead to higher…. Then many honest, low-wage earners in the South (where the cost of living is lower; which is one reason wages there stay lower) will become disemployed. And many more of the young and no-skilled, in Harlem no less than Dixie, will remain more hopelessly unemployed than they already are.” Fenwick regarded Rupert Shmidlapp innocently. “Tell me, honestly: Would you rather work for $1.25 an hour or be unemployed at $1.40?”

While Shmidlapp was wrestling with many unkind thoughts, Fenwick gave his guileless smile: “I am strongly in favor of wages rising — which is entirely different from raising wages. Let wages go up as far as they can and deserve to, for the right reasons, which means in response to demand and supply and freedom to choose… Take domestic servants, Mr. Shmidlapp. Why maids, cooks, cleaning women, laundresses have enjoyed a fantastic increase in their earnings. And notice, please, that domestic servants are not organized; they don’t have a union, or a congressional lobby. Or take bank clerks…”

In Arizona, voters decided to ban smoking in public places but also decided to raise taxes on cigarettes to fund a child health-care program. What will they do with the fallout from dwindling tax revenues? (Oh. Silly me!) I’m sure there are other similar examples from all over the country.

For far too many people, what they know is what they can be persuaded to believe, and they can be persuaded to believe two or more mutually exclusive things simultaneously with apparently little effort. Without putting my tinfoil hat on too tight, I’m convinced that the primary reason our education system, and that of the majority if not entirety of Western civilization has collapsed is that ignorant people are easily persuaded, and politicians like it that way. So do trial lawyers. A populace with a conscious, rational, disciplined philosophy cannot be easily lead around by the nose. Such a philosophy must be avoided in a democratic society if power is to be acquired and accumulated.

To have a populace with such a philosophy, it is crucial to start with the education of youth. Some of us have been lucky in our education. I owe my basic beliefs to the quite good education I received as a child growing up on America’s “Space Coast” during the Cold War and our race to the Moon. The rest of it has been a desire to educate myself that comes from I don’t know where. I know I’m relatively rare; I’ve seen who we keep getting for elected officials and the programs they keep foisting on us to keep getting elected. We don’t “lead ourselves” because most of us aren’t willing to lose what we have in order to become tomorrow’s forgotten martyrs. We know that there are not enough of us to affect radical change – and radical change seems to be the only answer. “Blowing the place up” worked once. I hold little hope that it will again, because the general populace does not share a common philosophy in any way, shape, or form. I’m afraid Henry George was right:

A corrupt democratic government must finally corrupt the people, and when a people become corrupt there is no resurrection. The life is gone, only the carcass remains; and it is left for the plowshares of fate to bury it out of sight.

And I’m afraid that Osama Bin Laden and his ilk through their madrassas schools have inculcated a shared philosophy that will allow them to build a new empire on the buried carcass of the West.

Aristotle never said empires had to be benevolent.

Milton Friedman has Died.

Another man whose writings I will have to delve into much more deeply. I wish I had seen this letter to then-“drug czar” Bill Bennett when I was writing It is Not the Business of Government. (h/t Instapundit)

In Oliver Cromwell’s eloquent words, “I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible you may be mistaken” about the course you and President Bush urge us to adopt to fight drugs. The path you propose of more police, more jails, use of the military in foreign countries, harsh penalties for drug users, and a whole panoply of repressive measures can only make a bad situation worse. The drug war cannot be won by those tactics without undermining the human liberty and individual freedom that you and I cherish.

You are not mistaken in believing that drugs are a scourge that is devastating our society. You are not mistaken in believing that drugs are tearing asunder our social fabric, ruining the lives of many young people, and imposing heavy costs on some of the most disadvantaged among us. You are not mistaken in believing that the majority of the public share your concerns. In short, you are not mistaken in the end you seek to achieve. Your mistake is failing to recognize that the very measures you favor are a major source of the evils you deplore. Of course the problem is demand, but it is not only demand, it is demand that must operate through repressed and illegal channels. Illegality creates obscene profits that finance the murderous tactics of the drug lords; illegality leads to the corruption of law enforcement officials; illegality monopolizes the efforts of honest law forces so that they are starved for resources to fight the simpler crimes of robbery, theft and assault. Drugs are a tragedy for addicts. But criminalizing their use converts that tragedy into a disaster for society, for users and non-users alike. Our experience with the prohibition of drugs is a replay of our experience with the prohibition of alcoholic beverages.

Read the whole thing. Please.

I also urge you to read An Infuriating Man by Leo Rosten. It serves as a fine eulogy, I think.

“A New Direction…”

“After six years of one party rule in Washington, the American people cast a definitive vote against the Bush administration, the war in Iraq and the corrupt Republican Congress, voting to send a strong Democratic majority to the House, and likely changing control of the Senate. It was an emphatic vote for a new direction.” – Congresswoman Barbara Lee, Election Reflects Call for a New Direction California Chronicle

Although the outcome was predicted weeks in advance, the results of Tuesday’s midterm elections still hit like a tsunami in their emphatic, insistent demands. By replacing dozens of Republicans with Democrats in the House and Senate, the voters made clear that they want a new direction in government. – Message from electorate: Time for a new direction, Miami Herald

“Mr. President, we need a new direction in Iraq,” said House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, celebrating her party’s return to power — and her own ascension as first female speaker in history. – Dems plan for a new direction, The Stanford Daily

Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid today released the following statement:

“The American people have spoken and they have demanded change. They want, they deserve and they are going to get a new direction — at home and in Iraq. – Reid: The American People Have Demanded a New Direction, US Newswire

You get the idea.

I received this tonight in an email:

“A New DEMOCRATIC Direction For America — “

The stock market is at a new all-time high and America’s 401K’s are Back. A new direction from there means what?

Unemployment is at 25 year lows. A new direction from there means what?

Oil prices are down A new direction from there means what?

Taxes are at 20 year lows. A new direction from there means what?

Federal tax revenues are at all-time highs. A new direction from there means what?

The Federal deficit is down almost 50%, just as predicted over last year. A new direction from there means what?

Home valuations are up 200% over the past 3.5 years. A new direction from there means what?

Inflation is in check, hovering at 20 year lows. A new direction from there means what?

Not a single terrorist attack on US soil since 9/11/01. A new direction from there means what?

Osama bin Laden is living under a rock in a dark cave, having not surfaced in years, if he’s alive at all, while some of Al Queda’s top dogs are either dead or in custody, cooperating with US Intel. A new direction from there means what?

Several major terrorist attacks already thwarted by US and British Intel, including the recent planned attack involving 10 Jumbo Jets being exploded in mid-air over major US cities in order to celebrate the Anniversary of the 9/11/01 attacks. A new direction from there means what?

Iraq was to be made “ground zero” for the war on terrorism terrorist cells from all over the region are alighting the shadows of their hiding places and flooding into Iraq in order to get their faces blown off by US Marines rather than boarding planes and heading to the United States to wage war on us here. A new direction from there means what?

Moreover, bear in mind that all of the above occurred in the face of the 1999 tech crash, the epidemic of corporate scandals throughout the 90’s, And the 9/11/01 terrorist attacks on NYC & DC took years in the planning which collectively sucked 24 trillion dollars and 7.8 million jobs out of the US economy.

God bless America.

Somebody ought to. We need all the help we can get.

TSM has Gone International!.

Checking my Sitemeter stats bright & early this morning, look at what I saw:

There were also a couple of hits from Australia, one from China (Shanghai), and one from Dubai. Pretty interesting.

OK, NOW Do We Get to See the Democrat War Plan for Iraq?

After all, it’s not really “cut-and-run,” they told us. But that’s all they ever told us.

Well, now I have to wrap my mind around the words “Speaker Pelosi” and the fact that she’s second in line for the Presidency behind Cheney. (Shudder.)

Did you note that the Republican’s weren’t shouting about “every vote being counted” and “voter suppression”? Neither did the MSM.

Tamara notes:

I’ve worked in a gun store during the passage of the ’94 Assault Weapons Ban, the eve of Y2K, and 9/11, so I’m ready. Coal Creek employees new to this gig, on the other hand, are probably in for a bit of a shock, because I’m predicting a Christmas season filled with a spectacular amount of panic buying. Get those .50 Cals and Evil Black Rifles now, kiddies. While you still can…

Yup. This year’s tax return will be going to a DSA SA58 Tactical Carbine, I think. And another EOTech, a bunch of magazines, brass, bullets, and powder. Unless Congress passes another retroactive tax hike and Bush refuses to veto. After all, according to Hillary, we don’t really need our money, the “common good” does.

Let’s hope (though all evidence is against it) that the Republican Party machine apparatchiks actually learn something from this.

Problem is, anybody running for high office is, as my earlier Mencken quote so accurately described, “indistinguishable from a streetwalker.” Though streetwalkers may be slightly more honest in giving service on par with their pay.

A commenter, “Joe,” at Tam’s says the following:

Some of you are making the assumption that there WILL be a gradfather clause in AW Ban 2.0. I can’t look up sources here at work but I do remember a few of the major gun-grabbing people stating the next AW ban won’t have the loopholes in it the first one did. I believe that one of the top gun grabbers made mention of ” no grandfathering ” any of the guns that were part of the original or any of the ones made after the ban – again, I’m at work and can’t look it up.

I don’t know if they’ve got the will or the numbers to pursue “AW Ban 2.0,” but I will state here clearly: if Joe is right and an AW Ban 2.0 carries a “Mr. and Mrs. America, turn them all in” clause, on the date that bill becomes law, I become an outlaw.

Molon Labe.