Libertarian Commentary on the News, #14-50F: Stormy weather, natural and political

By Nathan Barton

Good morning. Hope you have a great weekend.  Stormy weather swept the Pacific Coast for the past several days, possibly ending the “worst drought in 1200 years.” Of course, the Californians are never happy: now they are complaining about the 70-mile-ah-hour winds and more mudslides and the fact that the school children of San Francisco, Oakland and Berkeley are running loose for an unplanned three-day weekend. (Got news, guys, those “schoolchildren” in Berkeley have been running wild for the last several weeks protesting police violence against blacks.)  By Monday, it will be the parents screaming, “Hands up! Don’t shoot!” Anyway, the Rocky Mountains and the Great Plains (our stomping grounds) will get a new taste of winter weather this weekend as remnants of that storm pass through and mess up airflow.

I keep harping on news about cops and their wonderful way of dealing with people, which should make us all proud.  Certainly this piece of work in San Francisco is to be commended for his wonderful people and law-knowledge skills, for beating and arresting a man for taking his picture.  What can I say, except that people need to be armed against the cops “serving and protecting” them?

Well, well, it seems that our vaunted Department of Justice has “given permission” to the AmerInd tribes to grow and sell marijuana, provided they follow federal guidelines granted to Colorado and Washington (and other states that recently legalized it).  This of course just begs many many questions.  I’m familiar with the efforts of Alex White Plume, of the OST, to grow hemp (not cannabis) and how the DOJ and various federal agencies have harassed and abused him for a long time.  I also know how various tribes have taken advantage of their sovereignty to sell “untaxed” cigarettes and fuel and of course, operate or contract for casino operations.  This could be very fun to watch.  Of course, we also must remember that the DOJ really does not legally or constitutionally have ANY authority to “give permission” (or refuse permission, either), not if the nations (tribes) are truly sovereign.  However, with the various status of MJ across the nation, and seeing the experience of states adjacent to Colorado, this could be some exciting times, and mostly it might be a destination tourism concept, much as Colorado seems to be evolving: come to Indian Country and smoke it here.

I haven’t touched much on the Islamic wars around the world recently, but it is probably time to do so.  In DC, it seems the Conscript Fathers are well on track to authorize yet another non-war war, and “make” the Fuehrer’s five-month-old campaign against the Caliphate “legal,” as the Senate Committee approves it narrowly.

Meanwhile, a whole slew of claims that the Caliphate is stepping up the torture and murder of various christians, including “children” (age 15 and under) have popped up this week. The source of this, an Anglican official in Baghdad, seems reputable but I could not find photos or other documentation.  Much of what is available concerning both crucifixion and beheading of christians (including children) and people of other faiths (again, including children) dates back several years.  It is obvious that there are beheadings and executions: that many photos can’t be created by PhotoShop or good art work. (But to make it harder to sort out, apparently there is a bizarre sexual fetish that involves pretending to be crucified, and snuff films apparently are really into all sorts of methods of beheading.)  But whether this or the other claim is accurate or exaggerated or just made up is another thing entirely.  Crucifixion is a hideous death, and the way the Caliphate’s warriors behead people also has to be pretty horrific as well.  And of course, the killings by bombings and indiscriminate drone use and missile attacks and gunfire continues unabated.  Examples are the teenage “suicide bomber” that blew himself and 21 others up in a high school in Kabul, run by the French, and the French killing a jihadist leader in Mali.

The major news this week was the release of the so-called CIA “Terror Report” which (as I’ve noted previously) demonstrates that the FedGov lies and lies and lies.  And the extracts I’ve seen are also an indicator that many employees and agents of the FedGov are evil monsters no different than Torquemada or Attila or Pol Pot or Lenin, Stalin and their KGB/NKVD/Cheka types: rectal feeding and helplessness conditioning – the stuff of sick SF novels about dystopian futures.  Well, it is here.

As we approach Yuletide, we see more Grinches than Santas or Scrooges, to be honest.  Zero Hedge points out that despite record low oil prices (under $60/barrel for West Texas Intermediate, a five-year+ low not taking inflation into account), Russia will not dry up and blow away. Nor will American shale and other unconventional oil producers.  People are claiming we are near the bottom and it will rebound a bit, but I heard and read the same thing when it dropped below $90 and $80 and $70.  I still see it as good for the economy, as some gasoline (Oklahoma) is now selling for below $2/gallon) and even in SW Colorado it is down to under $2.50.

Mama’s Note: And, of course, the tax on gas (and everything else) is insane. Not tied to the price, the gas tax levied by the feds and the states – not counting regular sales tax where it applies – will possibly soon be the greater part of what we pay at the pump. Gasoline has never been a high profit item for the retail merchant, and we may find it getting harder to buy if the price goes much lower.

Too many people think that the answer to that problem is more government force, and almost nobody is willing to talk about the destructive power of tax theft, but this situation may become a serious and visible example of just that.

For the first time in 21 years of measuring public opinion on gun ownership, the Pew Research Center has found more Americans favoring gun rights than gun control, in an opinion poll (and we realize that we have to take THAT with a grain of salt).  There ARE (surprise, surprise!) marked differences between people of different races and political parties. 52 percent said it was more important to protect gun ownership rights, while 46 percent said it was more important to control gun ownership. 57 percent of those polled said gun ownership does more to protect people from becoming victims of crime, compared with 38 percent who said it does more to endanger personal safety.  Of course, public opinion could change overnight – indeed, do not be too surprised if there is not another major mass shooting between now and Xmas, to try and counter this finding.  Will it be a college campus (again), or a school campus (again), or a shopping mall (again), or a religious center (again), or something new, like a medical facility or a Santa Claus parade?  Stay tuned…

By the way, as we near Xmas, it is important to think ahead and be nice in your gifts to friends and family.  So here are a few good suggestions to give, while we still can:

1.  Ammo: make sure you have the right kind, of course.  Even a small box of 22’s with a card “good for a free plinking session by New Year’s” is a nice gesture.

2.  Good weapon: is a very close family member or friend still putting up with that Saturday Night Special they bought in 1980 in college?  Nothing shows love like making sure they are well-armed.

3.  A good gun-cleaning kit: always welcome, especially if they have a habit of grabbing whatever is hanging in the bathroom or kitchen.

4.  A nice over-the-shoulder drawstring stuff bag with a pocket or two, good for trunk, backseat, or even to (gasp!) carry on your back.  Especially if you customize with a few first aid supplies or some nice “emergency rations.”

5.  A little battery charger (even AAA and AA) with a little solar panel, for urgent recharges for flashlights, walkie-talkies, or whatever.  (Wrapped in a few thicknesses of aluminum foil for EMP protection might be a nice touch.)

6.  One of those little wind-up (crank) LED flashlights that doesn’t need to be plugged in (again, foil is a nice reminder that LED lamps ARE subject to EMP.)

Well, I won’t make this a Baker’s Dozen ™ yet, but you get the idea. The holidays are nearly here!

Mama’s Note: Re the flashlight… Don’t get sucked into buying one of those you shake up to charge. I suppose it could happen, but I’m not able to shake it long or hard enough to make more than a vague glow for a few moments. The crank one sounds much better… just wish I hadn’t wasted all that money on the “shake” kind.

Back to guns… If you know someone who regularly carries a gun – ANY gun – in a pocket or purse without a holster covering the trigger guard, this might be a life saving gift to give. Gently help them understand the serious danger of an unintended discharge should fingers or other objects become tangled with the trigger…

A shooter’s Christmas party to remember. Invite your friends and family to a day at the range. Make sure you have plenty of guns and ammo to loan to those who don’t have their own. (Watch out in Washington state, of course). Invite or even hire an NRA (or other) instructor to come act as your range safety officer. He or she would probably be glad to offer informal coaching AFTER the range safety briefing that includes stern reminders about the safety rules. Or you could do all that yourself if you feel able.

After the range session, you can retire to any venue for the food and drink, and have your day’s adventure on the range as a ready source of spirited conversation. What’s not to love about that?

About tpolnathan

Follower of Christ Jesus (christian), Pahasapan, Westerner, Lover of Liberty, Free-Market Anarchist, Engineer, Army Officer, Husband, Father, Historian, Writer.
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