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Well…

July 30th, 2022|Politics|

To his eternal shame, as appalled aides implored him to publicly call on his followers to go home, he instead further fanned the flames by tweeting: “Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution.”

His only focus was to find any means — damn the consequences — to block the peaceful transfer of power.

There is no other explanation, just as there is no defense, for his refusal to stop the violence.

It’s up to the Justice Department to decide if this is a crime. But as a matter of principle, as a matter of character, Trump has proven himself unworthy to be this country’s chief executive again.
I suppose it’s safe to say that Donald Trump has lost a key ally in his bid to retake the White House in 2024. If the NY Post is off the board, there aren’t exactly a lot of supporters left for Trump within the legacy media.

Those racist pro-lifers

July 27th, 2022|Politics|

It may not be immediately obvious how the fight over abortion rights is tied to the “great replacement” theory — the debunked conspiracy theory promoted by some Republican politicians who claim that Democrats support more immigration to “replace” white American voters. But the explanation for, say, an alleged gaffe that overturning the constitutional right to an abortion is a “historic victory of white life” or a concern that not enough white babies are being born in the U.S. can be found in the history of the anti-abortion movement.

The movement to end legal abortion has a long, racist history, and like the great replacement theory, it has roots in a similar fear that white people are going to be outnumbered by people believed to hold a lower standing in society. Those anxieties used to be centered primarily around various groups of European immigrants and newly emancipated slaves, but now they’re focused on non-white Americans who, as a group, are on track to numerically outpace non-Hispanic white Americans by 2045, according to U.S. Census projections.

It’s been decades since the anti-abortion movement first gained traction — and the movement has changed in certain ways — but this fundamental fear has never left, as demonstrated by attacks on people of color, such as the shooter in Buffalo, New York, who expressed concern about the declining birth rates of white people. That’s because the anti-abortion movement, at its core, has always been about upholding white supremacy.

— FiveThirtyEight

Remember when Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight blog was a reputable and trustworthy site for bipartisan analysis of political issues and opinion polls? Yeah, me too. Sadly, that was before it was acquired by Walt Disney Co. and corrupted by the political-activism tripe that infiltrates ESPN/ABCNews/etc.

And that’s why we now get ridiculous nonsense like this from FiveThirtyEight: an attempt to claim that racism and the Great Replacement Theory is behind the pro-life movement.

The woke movement attempt to tie everything to racism nowadays. If you vote Republican, you’re racist. If you support police, you’re racist. If you believe professional athletes should stand for the national anthem, you’re racist. Et cetera and so on. It’s certainly not a surprise that someone would attempt to claim people who are pro-life are racist. No, the theory isn’t surprising, but the source might be, just a little bit.

As the political pendulum begins to swing back to the right in America, and the woke pundits desperately claw and scratch in their efforts to paint anyone whose political thought processes don’t fit the status quo, I’m constantly being proven wrong when I think I can’t possibly read an op-ed that makes any less sense than the one I just read.

And that’s the case today, as I scroll through the FiveThirtyEight diatribe. It’s an argument that’s simply moronic, so rotten to its core that there’s no way even its authors believe the drivel they’re spewing.

Opposition to abortion is rooted in racism and white supremacists desire to hang on to racial power? Since when? Based on what? It is an argument that is such a stretch that the authors attempt to tie the race-motivated supermarket shooting in Buffalo, N.Y. to the anti-abortion movement — despite the fact that there’s absolutely zero evidence that the Buffalo shooter was motivated by the abortion issue in any way.

As for the argument that white people are opposed to abortion because they feel some absurd inner desire to see white women have more babies, there’s simply nothing to back up the claim. As The Federalist correctly points out, black women have abortions at a rate that is four times that of white women. So if white supremacists are motivated by the abortion issue, it should be to support abortion as a legal tool for seeing fewer babies of color born.

Furthermore, opinion polling data from Gallup shows that black Americans find abortion morally unacceptable at about the same rate as non-black Americans (54% vs. 57%). So, again, how is this a racist issue?

Fulmer should’ve fired for cause, too

July 27th, 2022|Football|

If we believe Majors and a few others who’ve dared to speak up over the years, Fulmer ruthlessly muscled his way into the head coaching role in 1992. It all turned out pretty well, of course, as long as your name wasn’t John Majors. But that breathed an entirely new life into Fulmer, and much later he spent another 10 years muscling his way around behind the scenes of the Tennessee football program until he got what he wanted in 2017. And, this time, it ended in disaster.

Fulmer should’ve been fired for cause, just like Jeremy Pruitt, just like Brian Neidermeyer, and just like the others who were actually breaking the rules. Because everything that happened with Pruitt was a disaster of Fulmer’s making. He didn’t cheat; his intentions may have even been pure. But he created the disaster even if it was only because he sold himself into a job that he was unequipped to perform — even if it was because in his attempt to create a new version of himself as a coach he accidentally created a Frankenstein.

Tennessee football is embroiled in uncertainty today because one man’s ego was bigger than any man’s ego ought to ever be.

Continue reading…

Tennessee a bad place to live? This is why people don’t trust the news

July 21st, 2022|Politics|

CNBC ranks Tennessee as America’s ninth-worst state to live in. Why? Because the state legislature recently passed — and Gov. Bill Lee signed into law — a bill that bans transgender students from participating on girls’ sports teams in the state’s middle and high schools.

The outlet points out that Tennessee has “notched some impressive economic development victories lately,” which have led a number of workers to relocate to the Volunteer State. “But those workers are moving to a state that is chipping away at inclusiveness,” it adds.

Yes, you’re reading that correctly: CNBC says that Tennessee is one of the nation’s worst places to live and work because it passed a law stipulating that biological males cannot participate in girls’ sports. And, it claims, “That’s not politics, it’s business.”

Continue reading…

Bad guy with a gun vs. good guy with a gun

July 21st, 2022|Gun Rights|

For weeks, gun control advocates have picked at the “good guy with a gun” argument like buzzards pick at a deer carcass on the shoulder of a sun-baked Tennessee highway.

Since the horrific Uvalde massacre in May, when hundreds of armed “good guys” cowered first outside the Texas school and then in the hallway while a madman murdered students and their teachers from behind the safety of a locked door, proponents of gun bans have sneered that “good guys with a gun” can’t stop a “bad guy with a gun,” after all.

The abject failure of law enforcement officers in Uvalde — whose inaction still baffles the mind of any objective observer — wasn’t a death knell to the “good guy with a gun” argument. It was a complete breakdown of police training and policy. But that hasn’t dampened the glee of gun control advocates who think they’ve found a way to one-up the National Rifle Association’s rhetoric.

Last week, though, the “good guy with a gun” argument was proven true inside an Indianapolis shopping mall, where a rampaging murderer’s attack was cut short after just 15 seconds when a 22-year-old bystander — a “good guy with a gun” — turned the bad guy with a gun into a dead man with a gun. The bad guy killed three and wounded three more after firing 20 shots, but it could have been so much worse. He had much more ammunition to expend.

Most Americans are lauding the 22-year-old savior of an untold number of lives as a hero. But CNN isn’t “most Americans.” An op-ed published by CNN on Thursday attempts to minimize the heroism as just more propaganda by the NRA and conservatives.

Continue reading…

When riots aren’t riots

June 11th, 2022|Football, Politics|

“I want to make it clear that our organization will not tolerate any equivalency between those who demanded justice in the wake of George Floyd’s murder and the actions of those on Jan. 6 who sought to topple our government.”

— Washington Commanders head coach Ron Rivera, after fining his defensive coordinator, Jack Del Rio, $100,000 for comparing the Jan. 6 capitol riots to the BLM riots in 2020.

Read those words and let their meaning sink in.

Thank God I’m not woke.

Not only does Rivera say there’s no equivalency to the despicable riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 and the equally despicable riots in multiple American cities in the Summer of 2020, but he also says that no one associated with his organization will be allowed to suggest that there is — which is exactly what wokeism demands: Submission and compliance.

Again, thank God I’m not woke.

No, Sen. Manchin, you don’t understand guns

June 7th, 2022|Gun Rights, Politics|

Why do politicians who push gun bans always start by touting their merits as a hunter and/or sports shooter?

Take U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, the moderate West Virginia Democrat who is usually a voice of reason but on guns repeats the same mistruths as so many of his colleagues. Speaking to CNN today, Manchin said this:

“I never thought I had a need for that type of a high-capacity automatic weapon. I like to shoot, I like to go out and hunt. I like to go out sports shooting. I do all of that. But I’ve never felt I needed something of that magnitude.”

I would certainly hope that anyone who likes to shoot, go out and hunt, and go out sports shooting would know that an AR-15 is not an automatic weapon. It’s one of the biggest lies of the gun control lobby — referring to semi-automatic civilian-grade weapons as fully-automatic military-grade weapons. Those who say it are either people who don’t know firearms and say it innocently because they’ve been duped, or people who are intentionally trying to mislead others.

So which one are you, Sen. Manchin?

Matthew McConaughey’s call for action

June 7th, 2022|Gun Rights, Politics|

Writing for the Austin American-Statesman today, Hollywood celebrity and Uvalde native Matthew McConaughey makes the case for what he calls “gun responsibility”:

I believe that responsible, law-abiding Americans have a Second Amendment right, enshrined by our founders, to bear arms. I also believe we have a cultural obligation to take steps toward slowing down the senseless killing of our children. The debate about gun control has delivered nothing but status quo. It’s time we talk about gun responsibility.

There is a difference between control and responsibility. The first is a mandate that can infringe on our right; the second is a duty that will preserve it. There is no constitutional barrier to gun responsibility. Keeping firearms out of the hands of dangerous people is not only the responsible thing to do, it is the best way to protect the Second Amendment. We can do both.

Specifically, McConaughey lays out four steps he’d like to see taken:

1.) A background check for all gun purchases;
2.) Increasing the age to purchase assault rifles from 18 to 21;
3.) Making Red Flag Laws the law of the land;
4.) A waiting period for purchasing assault rifles.

I’m not saying that I agree with all four of McConaughey’s proposals, though I certainly wouldn’t be opposed to any of the four if it can be demonstrated that they’ll reduce shootings and gun deaths. Frankly, I’m not convinced that any of the four will reduce the mass shootings we’re seeing in this country. But my mind is open and can be persuaded.

Whether or not I agree with McConaughey’s proposals, though, this is the kind of refreshing take we need from Hollywood celebrities and other influencers of opinion. I applaud McConaughey for being able and willing to discuss compromising measures to tackle gun violence without falling on the tired old proposals to ban or confiscate firearms.

I’m no fool; I know there will be plenty of gun rights advocates who will say “absolutely not!” to McConaughey’s proposals. They’ll say the same things they always say: “No compromise, ever.” Or, “Give ’em an inch and they’ll take a mile.” Or, “It’s a gun ban in disguise.” Et cetera. But count me as one gun rights advocate who believes there’s room for action to be taken to control guns without compromising the rights of gun-owning Americans.

And while a mandatory waiting period to purchase an AR-15, or having to be 21 to purchase an AR-15, would certainly be an inconvenience for a lot of people who would never dream of using their semi-automatic rifle to murder someone, it’s certainly a much more reasonable step towards starting a meaningful conversation than calling for gun confiscations, like Saturday’s USA Today column that foolishly called for using a giant magnet to suck up everyone’s gun if it were possible.

It gets really old, hearing politicians and pundits call for “common sense gun laws,” and then in the next breath pushing a weapons ban or buyback program. Those aren’t common sense gun laws. Those are extreme measures that don’t have support in this country. And so while one side is pushing for gun bans and the other side is pushing back against the idea, nothing continues to get done while more mass shootings continue to take place. And around and around we go. Even if I might not agree with every point he makes, we need someone with a voice to start a conversation that has a chance to win support from both sides. Kudos to Matthew McConaughey for doing that.

UnAmerican, you say?

June 6th, 2022|Politics|

Now Trump — and his allies — are despicably planning to counterprogram the January 6 hearings that aim to explain to the American people about the efforts to prevent the peaceful transfer of power. It’s the very definition of un-American.

Dean Obeidallah for CNN

I’m no defender of President Donald Trump’s actions on Jan. 6. But Democrats weighted a congressional committee to investigate what happened that day, and they’ve hired a former network news producer to dramatize the primetime “revelation” of their findings. As Axios reports today:

I’m told Goldston is busily producing Thursday’s 8 p.m. ET hearing as if it were a blockbuster investigative special.

  • He plans to make it raw enough so that skeptical journalists will find the material fresh, and chew over the disclosures in future coverage.

  • And he wants it to draw the eyeballs of Americans who haven’t followed the ins and outs of the Capitol riot probe.

Firstly, I’m pretty sure if the evidence the Democrats have — the evidence that Obeidallah and CNN are crowing about so proudly — was really all that damning, they wouldn’t need to dramatize the presentation. Facts tend to speak for themselves.

Secondly, even if it could be claimed with a straight face that the approach to the Jan. 6 congressional probe has been straight-laced up to this point, there’s no better example of playing politics with the issue than hiring a former TV producer to come on board and create a dramatic production — and then you want to accuse Republicans of being un-American. Good grief.

Here’s what’s going to happen Thursday night: Democrats are going to screech about how traitorous Trump and his team were on Jan. 6, and act as if Jan. 6 is the worst political scandal in history. Republicans are going to dismiss the revelations as partisan pandering. But for the American public as a whole, the needle isn’t going to move. Trump is almost certainly not going to be the Republican nominee for president in 2024, but the focus of Democrats and their media allies (chiefly, CNN) will risk generating voter sympathy for the former president. The night will end with President Joe Biden’s approval rating still lower than Trump’s. After a few days of bickering, we’ll all move on to whatever political issue comes next … and it’s probably going to be an issue of the Biden administration’s creation, since Team Biden can’t seem to avoid tripping over its own feet these days.

The worst argument

June 5th, 2022|Uncategorized|

There are a lot of mistruths and misinformation centered around America’s great gun debate. But a new one emerged after Uvalde, and it might be the worst so far:

It cannot be emphasized enough, however, exactly what the AR-15 is: It is a weapon of war. It was made to blow humans apart. It is successful in doing just that. The requests for DNA tests in Uvalde stand as a testament to the gun’s success, but the conclusion that the weapon excelled at blowing people apart was well documented by the U.S. military itself during early field tests.

This ridiculous claim was made by Murtaza Hussain, who said the Uvalde victims “were so grievously injured that it was likely impossible to identify their bodies,” because they were shot with an AR-15.

Hussain is basing his claims on a wild presumption that he made because Uvalde authorities asked parents for DNA samples to establish the identities of the children who had been killed inside the school.

But Hussain is certainly not alone. He’s joined by none other than the likes of President Joe Biden:

The damage was so devastating in Uvalde, parents had to do DNA swabs to identify the remains of their children — 9- and 10-year-old children.

And The Washington Post:

A shot fired from a handgun might enter and exit the torso cleanly; it might miss vital organs. Bullets fired from an AR-15 are akin to an explosion within the body. They cause maximum damage. The family of those killed in Uvalde were asked to provide DNA samples to identify the victims. There was maximum damage.

And a host of others.

All of these assumptions are based on a request made by the Uvalde justice of the peace, Eulalia Diaz, for DNA samples from parents.

We don’t know why Diaz made that request, which is presumably unusual even in mass shootings. The closest we come to an explanation is from the New York Post:

The process of identifying the children was excruciating, because Diaz noted that “children don’t carry IDs, they don’t have name badges.”

Many of the bodies were in bad shape, having been riddled with bullets. Diaz tried to spare the parents as much pain as possible, hoping to positively identify the murdered children through descriptions their parents gave of clothing they wore to school that day, or from photos parents showed him.

If any of the bodies were “riddled with bullets,” that would certainly make sense that they were unrecognizable. And it certainly makes sense that at least some of the bodies might have been riddled with bullets, since we know that police left the gunman behind a locked door with the children and their teachers for more than an hour, giving him time to inflict maximum damage.

However, what should go without being said is that almost any firearm — rifle or handgun, regardless of caliber — can be used to render a victim unrecognizable if enough bullets are fired into the body. But that’s not the argument that’s being made in the aftermath of Uvalde. The argument that’s being crafted from the DNA request is that you need DNA to identify someone after they’re shot with an AR-15. I’ve heard the claim repeated from multiple people in the past week. And, quite frankly, it’s bullshit.

It’s the kind of argument that will go over well with people who know little or nothing about firearms — which is exactly who the argument is intended for. The entire argument of any form of political lobbying is to convince enough people of your point of view that Congress is forced to act. And that’s why it’s important that gun owners do their part to educate the non-gun-owning public on the realities of firearms. Because we certainly cannot rely on the mainstream media to do it.

Anyone who is familiar with firearms knows that the .223 — the standard caliber of an AR-15 rifle — is actually a very small round. It’s illegal to use to hunt big game animals in some states precisely because it can’t be relied on to efficiently put down an animal cleanly if the shot isn’t placed correctly. Does that sound like the sort of gun that would render a victim unrecognizable? Of course not.

It cannot (and should not) be denied that a .223 is a high-velocity round that can cause a lot of damage. However, that leads to another basic point of firearms: A bullet causes its most significant damage INSIDE the body — between the entrance and exit. The entrance wound itself is roughly the size of the bullet — meaning that someone shot by an AR-15 is certainly not going to be unrecognizable. The exit wound tends to be slightly larger, and in some cases can be significantly larger, depending on the path the bullet takes through the body. But, again, it’s certainly not going to render someone unrecognizable. (Don’t believe me? Google it.)

Inside the body, yes, a .223 bullet fired from an AR-15 can cause devastating damage to organs and arteries — much moreso than a handgun, which is relatively low-velocity by comparison. However,  what you aren’t likely to see mentioned by people who use this fact as a reason for banning AR-15s is that virtually any rifle is a high-velocity firearm that will cause devastating damage inside the body — and a lot of them are shooting projectiles that are much larger than the .223 bullet that comes from an AR-15. Why isn’t this mentioned? Because, typically, people who lobby for the AR-15 to be banned believe there’s momentum for convincing lawmakers to ban the AR-15, while they correctly realize that calling for the banning of all rifles would be an overreach that Americans would never stand for. So instead of making an argument that’s based on facts, they make an argument that appeals to emotion.

I’m here to tell you that if banning AR-15s would stop mass murders in America, I’d be first on board to write a letter to my congressman. But it won’t. And that’s why it’s important that we debate this issue with facts, not emotion.

So, in closing: If you want to call for AR-15s to be banned, that’s your right. But don’t make ludicrous arguments to back up your point, like saying that someone shot with an AR-15 has to be identified by DNA. And if you don’t want AR-15s to be banned, do all law-abiding gun owners a favor and educate the non-gun-owning public who are being duped by politicians and the news media.

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