Libertarian Commentary on the News, 23 December 2015, #15-51C: Holidays and Government Stupidity

By Nathan Barton

A merry Christmas and other holidays to all. I’ve no problem with wishing everyone a merry Christmas and even a happy New Year; sorry if you are offended. To be honest, I’m probably more offended by Christmas than Jews or Muslims or Atheists or Pastafarians are: it is a personal issue regarding religious holidays in general. But for many people, it is a nice family time and very important, and the constant fussing and feuding about it in schools and government offices distracts from the real issues.

As always, there claims that Christmas has become “commercialized” or “too commercialized,” when the history of the holiday shows that it was created for the purpose of public relations – of selling a religion (Roman Catholicism and Orthodoxy) to pagans. But we still see people moaning over the “degradation” of the holiday. One story on ABC News (Thanks to Scott for this one) compares a wish list from 1915 from a seven-year-old boy to the 2015 wishlist from a seven-year-old girl, noting how little the child a century ago was seeking from Santa, compared to the modern girl wanting a thousand dollars as one of more than a dozen items. Of course, every generation figures the next couple of generations have totally trashed traditions and decency.

Christmas and guns DO go together, don’t they? I know many people who got weapons for gifts, and always thought that ammo (especially those little boxes of .22-cal) was something that ALWAYS got put in stockings, along with Hershey’s Kisses and Matchbox cars. But apparently not everyone believes that. Last Resistance talks about the way people are upset about a billboard with Santa holding a semi-automatic rifle. Goodness, folks, if you don’t want to give your loved one a useful gift that shows you love them, then just DON’T! Don’t freak out about a guy in a Santa suit who is packing visibly. (Hmmm. This brought back memories of a Christmas about 40 years ago, when my Pershing Rifle Company (National Society of Pershing Rifles is a national college honor society for military cadets) volunteered to provide the Santa and elves for a bank near our campus. I got to be Santa (the suit and pillow fit me), and the elves consisted of cadets ranging from 6-4 and 220 (Don) to 5-1 and 95 (Kathleen). Mostly in Army green (this was pre-BDU days) with red tabs and hats. And I am fairly certain that every one of us was armed. Heavily. Didn’t have ANY kids OR parents freak out.

If you are going to celebrate Christmas and New Year’s as many people do, you are probably going to drink alcohol. Maybe lots of it. Well, the radio news today had the headline, “too much heavy drinking makes you stupid.” This was referring to an article in the Wall Street Journal and Fox News that we “under-diagnose” the effects of chronic heavy drinking on the brain. Seems to me that they have it backwards: if you are STUPID, you do too much heavy drinking. Is there ANYone in the West over the age of ten who does not know, usually from close observation, that drinking alcohol, and especially too much of it, has severe consequences? Maybe it is the media that is stupid, drinking or not?

Was THIS guy drinking? The latest Secret Service scandal just erupted: CNN reports that a Secret Service agent’s gun, badge, radio, handcuffs and flash drive were stolen in broad daylight Monday behind the agency’s headquarters in Washington. This idiot, apparently part of the presidential protection detail, left his gear in his convertible, so that all that was necessary to steal them (besides some chutzpah) was to unzip the ragtop.

This reminds me of idiot cops who leave their pistols in the toilet. Actually, I witnessed an incident yesterday in a certain Utah town: an unmarked police car, engine running (it was all of 45F at the time), and unattended, parked behind the police station (but still on a public street) with the doors unlocked. Now, maybe there were security cameras observing the area, but this sort of behavior is what you expect from a juvenile. Just like the SS guy. They can’t protect themselves and their “own” property (paid for with money stolen from taxpayers), and we trust them to do what to protect us??? As the next story reminds us.

Thanks to Tim for this one.  Once more, government agencies, which supposedly exist to protect Americans and our businesses and communities from attack, have failed not just to do their jobs but to warn us about what happened and could happen, until years after the fact.  The Wall Street Journal reports on the paper’s investigation into an incident in 2013 in which Iranian (government) hackers infiltrated the software controlling a small dam on Long Island, New York, and the incredibly poor response to the attack.  These are excuses for more “crackdowns” on the internet by government security forces, but which accomplish little except to restrict normal use and free speech.

Thanks to Mama Liberty for this one. HORROR ON THE LAS VEGAS STRIP One dead, dozens hurt as driver plows pedestrians on sidewalk, according to Fox News. INVESTIGATORS SAY a woman intentionally drove her car onto the sidewalk on a crowded section of the Las Vegas Strip ‘two or possibly three times’ late Sunday, killing at least one person and injuring 37 others — 6 of them critically — but are not calling it an act of terrorism.

Mama’s Note: (sarc alert) Ok, that’s IT! We need “common sense” car control immediately. No more excuses… full registration of every vehicle, licensing of the drivers, age limits, and complete tracking of both people and cars… Oh wait! That’s already being done? How in the world could such a thing as this happen? And what do they mean not “terrorism.” I suspect everyone on the street and sidewalk there was completely terrorized by this person. Sigh.

Nathan: Having been in Vegas once on the Strip, I am amazed that more are not dead. The Strip is thick with cops, but what did they do to stop this? To prevent it? Apparently, not a thing. This is certainly equivalent to a “mass shooting” even if it is “just” workplace violence or insanity.  But no calls – per usual. As for “not terrorism,” well, can we be catty and say since there isn’t a clear tie to an ideology, a religion, or government, it must not be “terrorism.”

Of course, is THIS “terrorism?” I’ve been to Calais, and the pictures are heartbreaking. Freedom Outpost reports that Calais, the south portal of the Channel Tunnel between England and France, has become a war zone as hordes of “Muslim refugees” overwhelm police and climb onto trucks (after blocking them) to travel under the water to the “refuge” that is England. Meanwhile, living in winter conditions in tents and under tarps in temporary camps, the “refugees” are preying on each other and local people. Not content with the efforts being made to care for them and provide food, clothing, and shelter, they are robbing and attacking. Meanwhile, the mainstream media has gotten bored and claims the European refugee crisis is fading.

The next story is a few days old, but deserves commenting on. Even while we see police and government failing more and more, on a daily basis, the call by the hoplophobes and hoploclasts for disarming ordinary citizens grows more strident. One of the latest, in the magazine “New Republic,” is discussed on the website, “The Truth About Guns”. Stupidity isn’t just due to alcohol; surely not ALL of these folks have fried their brain with too much heavy drinking.

Maybe they were on something else? Yahoo News reported that pallets made of ‘wood-lookalike’ cocaine were seized in a Spanish port. Spanish police said Friday they have seized 40 pallets made out of 1.4 tonnes of compressed cocaine that was made to look like wood that arrived on a shipping container from Colombia. The authorities arrested 12 people in Spain, Dubai and Britain as part of the operation, including two Colombians. Touted as a “victory” in the War on Some Drugs, this is actually a victory FOR sustaining high drug prices in Europe.

Missing Afghan men who were training at Georgia Air Force base reportedly identified, according to Fox News The spokesman for the government said that on Tuesday, he began hearing from Valdosta residents concerned about the missing men “in light of what’s happened out in San Bernardino,” but he called this “a totally difference [sic] circumstance.” “You’ve got to remember these folks were cleared by the U.S. military and by the Department of Defense to come in and train,” Childress said. “These guys have been here since February of 2015, and they have not caused a problem at all.”

Mama’s Note: They were “cleared” – sure thing. The San Bernardino pair were also “cleared” and didn’t cause any problems for two years or more. If these two are AWOL – I wonder who is supporting them…

Nathan: Yep, vetted just like the Afghan soldiers and police who were vetted and then did “blue on blue” attacks.  Why does this regime insist that “homegrown” terrorists are the major threat and that external terrorism is a minor worry, or no worry at all?  Of course, the regime owns most of the true “homegrown” types, don’t they? Once more, we have stupidity displayed by government agents.

Here are some more examples of government stupidity.

Daily Policy Digest explains that new EPA employee bonuses and paid expenses for relocation have sparked an investigation. Of course, what EPA did on the Animas River and elsewhere this year deserves bonuses, right?

Last Resistance shares the information that the suspect charged in an anti-Muslim hate crime, for attacking a Muslim taxi driver, turns out to be named “Mohamed” and was apparently an anti-Muslim Muslim. More Islamic wars?

Hiring problems? The man who is claimed to be part of the husband-wife team murdering people in San Bernardino, worked for a local health department. According to a story in Freedom Outpost, it appears that Terrence J. McNeil of Akron, Ohio, age 25, who was charged with three counts of solicitation of a crime of violence and threatening military personnel by a grand jury, was ALSO a Muslim and worked in a hospital. He wanted to go out and behead US soldiers. But apparently NOT because he was a pacifist.

Mama’s Note: Watch your six, my friends. The risk of an attack may be very small for each individual, but that risk is never zero, and may come at you any place, at any time. More and more I worry about attacks by those from the various levels of our own would-be overlords, but the evidence is mounting that we have other enemies indeed. All of them target the innocent, usually without provocation of any kind. Vigilance, and the willingness to defend yourself and others with deadly force is more important now than ever.

If you don’t carry a gun now, it’s long past time to get started doing so. You, and only you are responsible for your life and safety… and that of your legitimate dependents. That’s the best gift you can give yourself, your loved ones and the world in general.

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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