Friday, July 31, 2015

Hells Angels

The Hells Angels Motorcycle Club (HAMC) began as a post-World War II motorcycle club initially formed by a group of veterans looking to ride their motorcycles, hang out, drink beer, and have fun. The organization has grown radically since the early days and is now incorporated as the Hells Angels Motorcycle Corporation.

The Hells Angels website says that the name was suggested by Arvid Olsen, a vet who had served in the Flying Tigers' "Hells Angels" squadron in China during World War II.

According to Sonny Barger, founder of the Oakland chapter, early chapters of the club were founded in San Francisco, Gardena, Fontana, as well as his chapter in Oakland, and other places independently of one another, with the members usually being unaware that there were other Hells Angels clubs.

Other sources claim that the Hells Angels in San Francisco were originally organized in 1953 by Rocky Graves, a Hells Angel member from San Bernardino ("Berdoo") implying that the "Frisco" Hells Angels were very much aware of their forebears. The "Frisco" Hells Angels were reorganized in 1955 with thirteen charter members, Frank Sadilek serving as President, and using the smaller, original logo. The Oakland chapter, at the time headed by Barger used a larger version of the "Death's Head" patch nicknamed the "Barger Larger" which was first used in 1959. It later became the club standard.

The Hells Angels are often depicted as free-spirited, iconic, bound by brotherhood and loyalty. Most often these days, they are depicted by the media and law enforcement as violent and nihilistic. Ironic in that we could also ascribe those characteristics to many law enforcement types.

The club became notably prominent during the 1960s counterculture movement in San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury scene, as well as London, England, and other places where it played a visible part at many of the movement's seminal events. Original members were directly connected to many of the counterculture's primary leaders, such as Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters, Allen Ginsberg, Jerry Garcia and The Grateful Dead, Timothy Leary, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Mick Farren and Tom Wolfe. The club is also well-known because of "Gonzo" journalist Hunter S. Thompson's riveting book, Hell's Angels: The Strange and Terrible Saga of the Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs (1966).

The Hells Angels are classified by law enforcement as one of the "big four" motorcycle gangs, along with the Pagans, Outlaws, and Bandidos, and contend that members carry out widespread violent crimes, drug dealing, trafficking in stolen goods and extortion and are involved in prostitution as well. Club members assert that they are only a group of motorcycle enthusiasts who have joined to ride motorcycles together, to organize social events such as group road trips, fundraisers, parties, and motorcycle rallies and that those crimes are the responsibility of the individuals who carried them out and not the club as a whole.

The Hells Angels utilize a system of patches, similar to military medals to denote rank and experience. Although the specific meaning of each patch is not publicly known, the patches identify specific or significant actions or beliefs of each biker. The official colors of the Hells Angels are red lettering displayed on a white background—hence the club's nickname "The Red and White". These patches are worn on leather or denim jackets and vests.

Red and white are also used to display the number 81 on many patches, as in "Support 81, Route 81". The 8 and 1 stand for the respective positions in the alphabet of H and A. These are used by friends and supporters of the club, in deference to club rules which purport to restrict the wearing of Hells Angels imagery to club members.

The diamond-shaped one-percenter patch is also used, displaying '1%', in red on a white background with a red merrowed border. The term one-percenter is said to be a response to the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) comment on the Hollister incident, to the effect that 99% of motorcyclists were law-abiding citizens and the last 1% were outlaws. The AMA has no record of such a statement to the press, and call this story apocryphal. Yeah, right.

The book Gangs, written by Tony Thompson (a crime correspondent for The Observer), states that Stephen Cunningham, a member of the Angels, sported a new patch after he recovered from attempting to set a bomb: two Nazi-style SS lightning bolts below the words 'Filthy Few'. Some law enforcement officials claim that the patch is only awarded to those who have committed, or are prepared to commit, murder on behalf of the club. According to a report from the R. v. Bonner and Lindsay case in 2005, another patch, similar to the 'Filthy Few' patch, is the 'Dequiallo' patch. This patch "signifies that the wearer has fought law enforcement on arrest". There is no common convention as to where the patches are located on the members' jacket/vest.

In order to become a club prospect, candidates must have a valid driver's license, a motorcycle over 750cc and have the right combination of personal qualities. Generally, the club excludes child molesters and individuals who have applied to become police or prison officers which is another sore point among law enforcement.

After a lengthy, phased process, a prospective member is first deemed to be a "hang-around", indicating that the individual is invited to some club events or to meet club members at known gathering places.

If the hang-around is interested, he may be asked to become an "associate", a status that usually lasts a year or two. At the end of that stage, he is reclassified as "prospect", participating in some club activities, but not having voting privileges while he is evaluated for suitability as a full member. The last phase, and highest membership status, is "Full Membership" or "Full-Patch". The term "Full-Patch" refers to the complete four-piece crest, including the "Death Head" logo, two rockers (top rocker: "Hells Angels"; bottom rocker: state or territory claimed) and the rectangular "MC" patch below the wing of the Death's Head. Prospects are allowed to wear only a bottom rocker with the state or territory name along with the rectangular "MC" patch.

To become a full member, the prospect must be voted on unanimously by the rest of the full club members. Prior to votes being cast, a prospect usually travels to every chapter in the sponsoring chapter's geographic jurisdiction (state/province/territory) and introduces himself to every Full-Patch member. This process allows each voting member to become familiar with the subject and to ask any questions of concern prior to the vote. Some form of formal induction follows, wherein the prospect affirms his loyalty to the club and its members. The final logo patch (top "Hells Angels" rocker) is then awarded at the initiation ceremony.

Even after a member is patched-in, the patches themselves remain the property of HAMC rather than the member. On leaving the Hells Angels, or being ejected, they must be returned to the club.

The Angels are very possessive about club logos and stories abound concerning pretenders who are eventually persuaded to stop portraying themselves as club members when they actually aren't.

The club is not a racially segregated organization by design. Sonny Barger stated in a BBC interview in 2000 that "The club, as a whole, is not racist but we probably have enough racist members that no black guy is going to get in it".

The truth is, there are some black Hells Angels, notably Gregory Wooley, a high-ranking member in Montreal who was the bodyguard of Hells Angel boss Maurice Boucher (labeled a white supremacist by the media). Wooley became the first black person accepted into the Montreal charter in the 1990s and later became a Hells Angel leader who tried uniting street gangs in Quebec after Boucher was imprisoned.

In another interview with leader Sonny Barger in 2000 he remarked "if you’re a motorcycle rider and you're white you want to join the Hell's Angels. If you black you want to join the Dragons. That's how it is whether anyone likes it or not." Tobie Levingston, who formed the black motorcycle club East Bay Dragons MC, wrote in his book that he and Sonny Barger have a long-lasting friendship and that the Hells Angels and Dragons have a mutual friendship and hang out and ride together.

In an article about motorcycle rebels in the African-American community magazine Ebony, the Chosen Few MC stated that they see no racial animosity in the Hells Angels and that when they come into Chosen Few territory they all get together and just party. A Hells Angel member interviewed for the magazine insisted there was no racial prejudice in any of their clubs and stated "we don't have any negro members" but maintained there have not been any blacks who have sought membership. At one point in the 1970s the Hells Angels were looking to consolidate the different motorcycle clubs and offered every member of the Chosen Few MC a Hells Angel badge, but the Chosen Few turned down the offer.

Young Sonny Barger
The HAMC acknowledges more than one hundred chapters spread over 29 countries. Europe did not become widely home to the Hells Angels until 1969 when two London chapters were formed. The Beatles' George Harrison invited some members of the HAMC San Francisco to stay at Apple Records in London in 1968. According to Chris O'Dell, only two members showed up at Apple Records, Frisco Pete and Bill "Sweet William" Fritsch. Two people from London visited California, "prospected", and ultimately joined. Two charters were issued on July 30, 1969; one for "South London" - the re-imagined chapter renewing the already existing 1950 South London chapter - and the other for "East London", but by 1973 the two charters came together as one, simply called "London". The London Angels provided security at a number of UK Underground festivals including Phun City in 1970 organized by anarchist, International Times writer and lead singer with The Deviants, Mick Farren. They even awarded Farren an "approval patch" in 1970 for use on his first solo album Mona, which also featured Steve Peregrin Took (who was credited as "Shagrat the Vagrant"). The 1980s and 1990s saw a major expansion of the club into Canada.

A list of acknowledged chapters can be found on the HAMC's official website.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

The State Is Closing The Gap

Attention America's Suburbs: You Have Just Been Annexed
by Tyler Durden

It’s difficult to say what’s more striking about President Obama’s Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) regulation: its breathtaking radicalism, the refusal of the press to cover it, or its potential political ramifications. The danger AFFH poses to Democrats explains why the press barely mentions it. This lack of curiosity, in turn, explains why the revolutionary nature of the rule has not been properly understood. Ultimately, the regulation amounts to back-door annexation, a way of turning America’s suburbs into tributaries of nearby cities.

This has been Obama’s purpose from the start. In Spreading the Wealth: How Obama Is Robbing the Suburbs to Pay for the Cities, I explain how a young Barack Obama turned against the suburbs and threw in his lot with a group of Alinsky-style community organizers who blamed suburban tax-flight for urban decay. Their bible was Cities Without Suburbs, by former Albuquerque mayor David Rusk. Rusk, who works closely with Obama’s Alinskyite mentors and now advises the Obama administration, initially called on cities to annex their surrounding suburbs. When it became clear that outright annexation was a political non-starter, Rusk and his followers settled on a series of measures designed to achieve de facto annexation over time.

The plan has three elements: 1) Inhibit suburban growth, and when possible encourage suburban re-migration to cities. This can be achieved, for example, through regional growth boundaries (as in Portland), or by relative neglect of highway-building and repair in favor of public transportation. 2) Force the urban poor into the suburbs through the imposition of low-income housing quotas. 3) Institute “regional tax-base sharing,” where a state forces upper-middle-class suburbs to transfer tax revenue to nearby cities and less-well-off inner-ring suburbs (as in Minneapolis/St. Paul).

If you press suburbanites into cities, transfer urbanites to the suburbs, and redistribute suburban tax money to cities, you have effectively abolished the suburbs. For all practical purposes, the suburbs would then be co-opted into a single metropolitan region. Advocates of these policy prescriptions call themselves “regionalists.”

AFFH goes a long way toward achieving the regionalist program of Obama and his organizing mentors. In significant measure, the rule amounts to a de facto regional annexation of America’s suburbs. To see why, let’s have a look at the rule.

AFFH obligates any local jurisdiction that receives HUD funding to conduct a detailed analysis of its housing occupancy by race, ethnicity, national origin, English proficiency, and class (among other categories). Grantees must identify factors (such as zoning laws, public-housing admissions criteria, and “lack of regional collaboration”) that account for any imbalance in living patterns. Localities must also list “community assets” (such as quality schools, transportation hubs, parks, and jobs) and explain any disparities in access to such assets by race, ethnicity, national origin, English proficiency, class, and more. Localities must then develop a plan to remedy these imbalances, subject to approval by HUD.

By itself, this amounts to an extraordinary takeover of America’s cities and towns by the federal government. There is more, however.

AFFH obligates grantees to conduct all of these analyses at both the local and regional levels. In other words, it’s not enough for, say, Philadelphia’s “Mainline” Montgomery County suburbs to analyze their own populations by race, ethnicity, and class to determine whether there are any imbalances in where groups live, or in access to schools, parks, transportation, and jobs. Those suburbs are also obligated to compare their own housing situations to the Greater Philadelphia region as a whole.

So if some Montgomery County’s suburbs are predominantly upper-middle-class, white, and zoned for single-family housing, while the Philadelphia region as a whole is dotted with concentrations of less-well-off African Americans, Hispanics, or Asians, those suburbs could be obligated to nullify their zoning ordinances and build high-density, low-income housing at their own expense. At that point, those suburbs would have to direct advertising to potential minority occupants in the Greater Philadelphia region. Essentially, this is what HUD has imposed on Westchester County, New York, the most famous dry-run for AFFH.

In other words, by obligating all localities receiving HUD funding to compare their demographics to the region as a whole, AFFH effectively nullifies municipal boundaries. Even with no allegation or evidence of intentional discrimination, the mere existence of a demographic imbalance in the region as a whole must be remedied by a given suburb. Suburbs will literally be forced to import population from elsewhere, at their own expense and in violation of their own laws. In effect, suburbs will have been annexed by a city-dominated region, their laws suspended and their tax money transferred to erstwhile non-residents. And to make sure the new high-density housing developments are close to “community assets” such as schools, transportation, parks, and jobs, bedroom suburbs will be forced to develop mini-downtowns. In effect, they will become more like the cities their residents chose to leave in the first place.

It’s easy to miss the de facto absorption of local governments into their surrounding regions by AFFH, because the rule disguises it. AFFH does contain a provision that allows individual jurisdictions to formally join a regional consortium. Yet the rule leaves it up to local authorities to decide whether to enter regional groupings — or at least the rule appears to make participation in regional decision-making voluntary. In truth, however, just by obligating grantees to compare their housing to the demographics of the greater metropolitan area, and remedy any disparities, HUD has effectively turned every suburban jurisdiction into a helpless satellite of its nearby city and region.

We can see this, because the final version of AFFH includes much more than just the provisions of the rule itself. The final text of the regulation incorporates summaries of the many public comments on the preliminary rule, along with replies to those comments by HUD. This amounts to a running dialogue between leftist housing activists trying to make the rule more controlling, local bureaucrats overwhelmed by paperwork, a public outraged by federal overreach, and HUD itself.

Read carefully, the section of the rule on “Regional Collaboration and Regional Analysis” (especially pages 188–203), reveals one of AFFH’s key secrets: It doesn’t really matter whether a local government decides to formally join a regional consortium or not. HUD can effectively draft any suburb into its surrounding region, just by forcing it to compare its demographics with the metropolitan area as a whole.

At one point (pages 189–191), for example, commenters directly note that the obligation to compare local and regional data, and remedy any disparities, amounts to forcing a jurisdiction to ignore its own boundaries. Without contradicting this assertion, HUD then insists that all jurisdictions will have to engage in exactly such regional analysis.

Comments from leftist housing activists repeatedly call on HUD to pressure local jurisdictions into regional planning consortia. At every point, however, HUD declines to demand that local governments formally join such regional collaborations. Yet each time the issue comes up, HUD assures the housing activists that just by compelling local jurisdictions to compare their demographics with the region as a whole, suburbs will effectively be forced to address demographic disparities at the total metropolitan level (e.g., page 196).

When housing activists worry that a suburb with few poor or minority residents will argue that it has no need to develop low-income housing, HUD makes it clear that the regulation as written already effectively forces all suburbs to accommodate the needs of non-residents (pages 198–199). Again, HUD stresses that the mere obligation to analyze, compare, and remedy demographic disparities at the local and regional levels amounts to a kind of compulsory regionalism.

HUD’s language is coy and careful. The Obama administration clearly wants to avoid alarming local governments, so it underplays the extent to which they have been effectively dissolved and regionalized by AFFH. At the same time, HUD wants to tip off its leftist allies that this is exactly what has happened.

At one level, then, the apparatus of formal and voluntary collaboration in a regional consortium is a bit of a ruse. AFFH amounts to an annexation of suburbs by cities, whether the suburbs like it or not. Yet the formal, regional groupings enabled by the rule are far from harmless.

Comments from housing advocates (pages 194–197), for example, chide HUD for failing to include a mention in AFFH of the hundreds of federally-funded regional plans already being developed by leftist activists across the country (the “Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant” program). These plans entail far more than imposing low-income housing quotas on the suburbs. They embody the regionalist program of densifying housing in suburb and city alike, and they structure transportation spending in such a way as to make suburban living far less convenient and workable. HUD replies that these plans can indeed be used by regional consortia to fulfill their obligations under AFFH.

So a city could formally join with some less-well-off inner-ring suburbs and present one of these comprehensive regionalist dream-plans as the product of its consortium. At that point, HUD could pressure reluctant upper-middle-class suburbs to embrace the entire plan on pain of losing their federal funds. In this way, AFFH could force the full menu of regionalist policies—not just low-income housing quotas—onto the suburbs.

There are plenty of ways in which HUD can pressure a suburb to bend to its will. The techniques go far beyond threats to withhold federal funds. The recent Supreme Court decision in Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. Inclusive Communities Project has opened the door to “disparate impact” suits against suburbs by HUD and private groups alike. That is, any demographic imbalance, whether intentional or not, can be treated by the courts as de facto discrimination.

Just by completing the obligatory demographic analysis demanded by AFFH—with HUD-provided data, and structured according to HUD requirements—a suburb could be handing the government evidence to be used in such a lawsuit. Worse, AFFH demands that suburbs account for their demographic disparities, and forces them to choose from a menu of HUD-provided explanations. So if a suburb follows HUD’s lead and formally attributes demographic “imbalances” to its zoning laws, the federal government has what amounts to a signed confession to present in a disparate-impact suit seeking to nullify local zoning regulations. With a (forced) paper “confession” from nearly every suburb in the country in hand, HUD can use the threat of lawsuits to press reluctant municipalities to buy into a regional consortium’s every plan.

Regionalists consider the entire city-suburb system bigoted and illegitimate, so there are few local governments that HUD would not be able to slap with a disparate-impact suit on regionalist premises. It’s unlikely that any suburb has a perfect demographic and “asset” balance in every category. All HUD has to do is decide which suburban governments it wants to lean on. With every locality vulnerable to a suit, every locality can be made to play the regionalist game.

Leftist housing activists worry that AFFH never specifies the penalties a suburb will face for imbalances in its housing patterns. These activists just don’t get it. A thoughtful reading of AFFH, including its extraordinary “dialogue” section, makes it clear that HUD can go after any suburb, any time it wants to. The controlling consideration will be politics. HUD has got to boil the frog slowly enough to prevent him from jumping.

It will take time for the truth to emerge. Just by issuing AFFH, the Obama administration has effectively annexed America’s suburbs to its cities. The old American practice of local self-rule is gone. We’ve switched over to a federally controlled regionalist system. Now it’s strictly a question of how obvious Obama and the Democrats want to make this change — and when they intend to bring the hammer down. The only thing that can restore local control is joint action by a Republican president and a Republican congress to rescind AFFH and restrict the reach of disparate impact litigation. We’ll know after November 8, 2016.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series, is the first person to become a billionaire (U.S. dollars) by writing books.

On a historical note, 28 July 1914 is the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War I -– the War that irreparably changed geopolitics. Officially, the war lasted until November 11, 1918, but American troops were still running around shooting Russians until well into 1919.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Sustenance For The Spirit

At its best, religion is a means for an individual to maintain or pursue hope in a world that seems bent on destroying us all. Religion can provide a guidebook for individuals in both their inner and outer lives; a reference to prolonging life and avoiding problems, as well as how to deal with problems when they do arise. Religion can provide relief from the pain of life and to some degree, an understanding of why things are as they are.

At its worst, religion can be used as a device of control and a means to divide people. It can be used to rationalize wars, to give excuses for evil actions, even to turn on itself. Religion can be a distraction, an unnecessary pastime that may obfuscate rather than clarify. In the hands of egoists and materialists, and evil men, religion may be used to enslave and twist the truth for their own purposes.

And yet, the world is better off with religion than without it. Here is why: The state cannot sanction morality without declaring itself to be as mighty as any god and that position is as transparent to ordinary citizens as it is to worldly philosophers. If one believes there is no god, that there are no greater powers than the devices of man, then one takes on the same burden of proof as those who reckon there is a higher order. The resulting debates are like watching a cat chase its own tail.

The morality we get from religious sources has been worked out over tens of thousands of years. It is practiced morality taken from the experiences of all the judges and philosophers and leaders (both good and bad) and writers and people of distinction that have ever lived in the history of mankind. Trifling with the underpinnings of civilization is risky business indeed. Shall we elevate the current generation to the top of the heap and allow significant changes to our understanding of human culture simply because of the perceptions of a few, however misguided or misanthropic they may be? If so, why? Because it is politically expedient? Because a faction of scientists say so while another faction disagrees?

The nature of the world is self-correcting. When mankind strays too far from the proper path, it is as though pressure builds until some type of release is necessary. It could very well be that this is what is happening today in a world that is filled with tremendous doubt and confusion coupled with avarice and greed. And so it is that we are reminded once again that nature works in cycles.

When our faulty institutions fail, our religions will remain. Some may be modified and some may revert into more fundamentalist positions, but they will remain because they offer what worldly institutions cannot: sustenance for the spirit.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

"Apparently, peace, freedom, and financial stability is simply
too much to ask from our current leadership."

-- snarky comment by yours truly

The Counted Project

US police kill more in days than other countries do in years.

US police killings projected to number 1100 people this year.

The Counted is a project by the Guardian online news service that works to count the number of people killed by police and other law enforcement agencies in the United States throughout 2015, to monitor their demographics and to tell the stories of how they died.

The database combines Guardian reporting with verified crowd-sourced information to build a more comprehensive record of such fatalities. The Counted is the most thorough public accounting for deadly use of force in the US, and operates as an work in progress – it is updated by Guardian reporters and interactive journalists as frequently and as promptly as possible.

The Guardian has embarked on The Counted project (go here to view) because the US government has no comprehensive record of the number of people killed by law enforcement.

The Guardian agrees with those analysts, campaign groups, activists and authorities who argue that such an accounting is a prerequisite for an informed public discussion about the use of force by police.

Up to today, the totals for the year are:

315 white people killed
172 black people killed
96 Hispanic/latino
51 other/unknown
12 Asian/Pacific Islander
8 Native American

The FBI runs a voluntary program through which law enforcement agencies may or may not choose to submit their annual count of “justifiable homicides”, which it defines as “the killing of a felon in the line of duty”.

This system is arguably less valuable than having no system at all: fluctuations in the number of agencies choosing to report figures, plus faulty reporting by agencies that do report, have resulted in partially informed news coverage pointing misleadingly to trends that may or may not exist.

No guns were necessary for this fatality. Just a chokehold.
Between 2005 and 2012 just 1,100 police departments – a fraction of America’s 18,000 police agencies – reported a “justifiable homicide” to the FBI.

The FBI system counted 461 justifiable homicides by law enforcement in 2013, the latest year for which data is available. Crowd-sourced counts found almost 300 additional fatalities during that year. The Counted, upon its launch on June 1, 2015, had already found close to that number of killings in just the first five months of this year.

about Guardian US

Covering American and international news for an online, global audience.

Our team of US-based journalists is most recently renowned for its Pulitzer Prize-winning revelations based on the disclosures made by whistleblower Edward Snowden.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

The End Of Liberty

It's washing over us all while the politicians and the bankers, the communists, and the civil servants continue to deny anything is wrong.

This is a link to a video (1 hour, 14 mins) you might want to watch if you don't think we're in trouble as a people and as a nation. The video was released back in 2010 but is still relevant, even more so today because we are five years closer to the end game. It's not too late to do something.

While we have been distracted by the hollowing-out of values amid false cries of racism and notions of equality that serve to lessen freedom rather than expand it, we have been fed a series of staged events on the national scene designed to condition our minds, to convince us to turn over our individual and national sovereignty, so that many of us simply fail to see what is happening to the American experiment. We are in a period of “post-constitutional drift,” and moving steadily, without debate, away from our foundations.

There have been two provocations for this. The first was the attack on 9/11. President George W. Bush seized unprecedented power for the executive branch of government.

The second has been our Great Recession. The Great Depression sparked the rise of Hitler and Stalin and World War II. You cannot have that much wealth taken from that many people without sociopolitical repercussions. But it also gave the world FDR and Churchill. As a student of history I wondered what cataclysmic changes our Great Recession would birth. And lo and behold, the biggest change was us. President Barack Obama seized on economic events to assert government involvement on a breathtaking scale. Even former socialist countries in Europe were aghast. Welfare was increased to the masses while corporate welfare was even more lavish. The result? The rich got richer, and the poor got poorer at an astounding rate.

In Bush we had our moment of nationalism, in Obama, socialism. Unless we can recapture the ideals of our American Constitution quickly, we are destined to experience our own American version of National Socialism.

We wage pre-emptive wars, torture our captives and monitor our own citizens on a massive scale. Our government agencies are accountable to no one and openly defy, even lie to Congress. Consider this: Only a few years ago a president could not get a wire tap without a judge. Now he can kill you.

In 1946 we joined an international tribunal that indicted Nazi war criminals. One of the four counts was defined as “war of aggression.” Our prosecutor, Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson, made an eloquent case against what is now American policy, the immorality of a so-called “pre-emptive war.”

Jackson’s opening statement at Nuremberg should be required reading for television pundits. He pointed to the June 30, 1934, Blood Purge as the turning point in German justice. Without formal charges or a trial, Hitler ordered the execution of Nazi Brownshirts (terrorists) who were suspected of planning a counter revolution. “In this hour I was responsible for the fate of the German people,” Hitler later reported to the Reichstag and the nation. “And thereby I became the Supreme judge.” The decision was applauded in Germany as a move back toward moderation, but Jackson asserts that it was this abandonment of Germany’s own constitution that began its descent into lawlessness.

Barack Obama’s decision to kill American citizen Anwar al-Awaki is instructive. Al-Awaki was a one-man Islamic propaganda machine. His online sermons of hatred inspired terrorism. In Nuremberg, only one top Nazi propagandist was in the docket. He was Hans Fritzsche, a popular Nazi radio voice. But as repugnant as his words had been, the American, Soviet, British and French judges acquitted him. How can you hang a man for free speech no matter how repugnant?

Months after the al-Awaki death, his 16-year-old son, an American citizen born in Denver, Colorado, with no ties to radical Islam, went to Yemen in search of his father’s body. He was likewise killed by an American drone. We call it a mistake.

Throughout our history we have condemned torture. The Eighth Amendment to the Constitution prohibits “cruel and unusual punishments.” Our motion pictures and culture have shown the barbarism of our enemies. The Japanese and the Germans tortured, so did the North Koreans and later the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese. Who can forget Michael Cimino’s gut wrenching scenes from “Deer Hunter”?

Now, in the new post-constitutional America, we, too, torture. For legal purposes we do “a little sidestep” in the tradition of Charles Durning in “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.” We torture outside the United States and thus our Justice Department contends we are not violating the Constitution.

It isn’t too late. There are about 50 men and women in this country who run the television industry. They are far more powerful than members of the Federal Reserve or elected officials, such as members of Congress. They and their television companies have the power to open up a debate on all of this. If not, we are in the process of losing the great American experiment without even a chance to say goodbye. Otherwise, it’s the end of America as we know it. I guarantee you that a better America is not waiting in the wings.

The Beatitudes

If you don't read your Bible regularly, you've probably heard of, but don't really know for sure, what "The Beatitudes" are. well, here's a little article that will inform you. The Beatitudes are a set of verses spoken by Jesus Christ during his Sermon on the Mount.

The Sermon on the Mount is a famous sermon that Jesus gave that is recorded in the Bible, in Matthew chapters 5-7. It begins with: "Now when He saw the crowds, He went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to Him, and He began to teach them..." The Sermon on the Mount is the most famous sermon Jesus ever gave, perhaps the most famous sermon ever given by anyone.

The Sermon on the Mount covers several different topics. If I were to summarize the Sermon on the Mount in a single sentence, it would be something like this: How to live a life that is dedicated to and pleasing to God, free from hypocrisy, full of love and grace, full of wisdom and discernment.

Here is a breakdown of the verses:

5:3-12 - The Beatitudes
5:13-16 - Salt and Light
5:17-20 - Jesus fulfilled the Law
5:21-26 - Anger and Murder
5:27-30 - Lust and Adultery
5:31-32 - Divorce and Remarriage
5:33-37 - Oaths
5:38-42 - Eye for an Eye
5:43-48 - Love your enemies
6:1-4 - Give to the Needy
6:5-15 - How to Pray
6:16-18 - How to Fast
6:19-24 - Treasures in Heaven
6:25-34 - Do not worry
7:1-6 - Do not judge hypocritically
7:7-12 - Ask, Seek, Knock
7:13-14 - The Narrow Gate
7:15-23 - False Prophets
7:24-27 - The Wise Builder

The teachings of Jesus of Nazareth were simple but unique and innovative at the time of his life on earth. Shoot, they're innovative now, when you think about it. He began teaching about 30 AD during the ruthless Roman occupation of Palestine. At the time, there were four major groups in the Jewish religion, the Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenes, and the Zealots, all of whom presented a different viewpoint to the Jewish people. The Pharisees demanded strict observance of the Mosaic law expressed in the Torah, but also accepted the oral tradition of Jewish customs and rituals. The Sadducees were mainly from the priestly families and strictly accepted the Law of Moses but rejected oral tradition. The Pharisees, unlike the Sadducees, believed in the resurrection of the dead. The monastic Essenes awaited a Messiah that would establish a Kingdom on earth and free the Israelites from oppression. The Zealots were a militant Jewish group who wanted freedom for their homeland, and were centered in Galilee; one of the Twelve Apostles was Simon the Zealot.

The Ten Commandments, given to Moses on Mount Sinai in the Old Testament Book of Exodus, related a series of "Thou shalt not" phrases, evils one must avoid in daily life on earth.

In contrast, the message of Jesus is one of humility, charity, and brotherly love. He teaches transformation of the inner person. Jesus presents the Beatitudes in a positive sense, virtues in life which will ultimately lead to reward. All of the Beatitudes have an eschatological meaning, that is, they promise us salvation - not in this world, but in the next. The Beatitudes initiate one of the main themes of Matthew's Gospel, that the Kingdom so long awaited in the Old Testament is not of this world, but of the next, the Kingdom of Heaven.

Jesus gave us the eight Beatitudes in the Sermon on the Mount. While the Beatitudes of Jesus provide a way of life that promises salvation, they also provide peace in the midst of our trials and tribulations on this earth.

An early contemplation on the Beatitudes came from St. Gregory of Nyssa, a mystic who lived in Cappadocia in Asia Minor around 380 AD. He described the Beatitudes this way:

"Beatitude is a possession of all things held to be good, from which nothing is absent that a good desire may want. Perhaps the meaning of beatitude may become clearer to us if it is compared with its opposite. Now the opposite of beatitude is misery. Misery means being afflicted unwillingly with painful sufferings."


"Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are they who mourn,
for they shall be comforted.

Blessed are the meek,
for they shall inherit the earth.

Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they shall be satisfied.

Blessed are the merciful,
for they shall obtain mercy.

Blessed are the pure of heart,
for they shall see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they shall be called children of God.

Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."

-- Matthew 5:3-10

What follows is an explanation for each Beatitude.

"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."

"Poor in spirit" means to be humble. Humility is the realization that all your gifts and blessings come from the grace of God. To have poverty of spirit means to be completely empty and open to the Word of God. When we are an empty cup and devoid of pride, we are humble. Humility brings an openness and an inner peace, allowing one to do the will of God. He who humbles himself is able to accept our frail nature, to repent, and to allow the grace of God to lead us to Conversion.

It is pride, the opposite of humility, that brings misery. For pride brings anger and the seeking of revenge, especially when one is offended. If every man were humble and poor in spirit, there would be no war!

"Blessed are they who mourn, for they shall be comforted."

If we are humble and appreciate that all of our gifts and blessings come from God, we grow in love and gratitude for Jesus Christ our Savior. But this can only produce mourning and regret over our own sins and the sins of this world, for we have hurt the one who has been so good to us. One also mourns for the suffering of others.

"Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth."

St. Gregory of Nyssa taught that the Beatitudes build one upon another. A humble person becomes meek, or becomes gentle and kind, and exhibits a docility of spirit, even in the face of adversity and hardship. A person that is meek is one that exhibits self-control. St. Augustine advises us to be meek in the face of the Lord, and not resist but be obedient to him. Obedience and submission to the will of God are certainly not in vogue these days, but they will bring one peace in this world and in the next.

"Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied."

Justice and righteousness in the New Testament indicate the fulfillment of God's will within a person. It is not mere observance of the law (Matthew 5:20), but rather an expression of brotherly love (I John 3:10). A continuous desire for justice and moral perfection will lead one to a fulfillment of that desire - a transition and conversion to holiness. This is true for all the virtues - if you hunger and thirst for temperance, you will head towards the goal you have in mind. St. Augustine called the Beatitudes the ideal for every Christian life.

"Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy."

Mercy is the loving disposition towards those who suffer distress. Love, compassion, and forgiveness towards one's neighbor will bring peace in your relationships. We say in the Lord's Prayer: Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. As we are merciful to others, so our Heavenly Father will be merciful with us! Jesus reminds us that whatever "you did to the least of my brethren, you did it to me (Matthew 25:31-46)." Paul calls for the obedience of faith in the beginning and end of his Letter to the Romans (1:5, 16:25-27). The following are ways to be merciful to your neighbor as well as to be obedient in faith to Christ.

1 Feed the Hungry
2 Give drink to the thirsty
3 Clothe the naked
4 Shelter the homeless
5 Comfort the imprisoned
6 Visit the sick
7 Bury the dead

Here are the Spiritual Works of Mercy:

1 Admonish sinners
2 Instruct the uninformed
3 Counsel the doubtful
4 Comfort the sorrowful
5 Be patient with those in error
6 Forgive offenses
7 Pray for the living and the dead

"Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God."

Moses (Exodus 33:20), John 1:18, and Paul (I Timothy 6:16) all say that no one can see God here on earth, but Jesus said the pure of heart shall see God. To be pure of heart means to be free of all selfish intentions and self-seeking desires. Any act of pure and selfless giving brings happiness to all.

"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God."

Peacemakers not only live peaceful lives but also try to bring peace and friendship to others, and to preserve peace between God and man. St. Gregory of calls a peacemaker a man who brings peace to another; but one cannot give another what one does not possess oneself. Hence, God wants you first to be yourself filled with the blessings of peace and then to communicate it to those who have need of it. By imitating God's love of man, the peacemakers become children of God.

"Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven."

The biblical passage continues to elaborate: "Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so men persecuted the prophets who were before you" (Matthew 5:11-12). Jesus said many times that those who follow Him will be persecuted. "If they persecute me, they will persecute you" (John 15:20-21).

Stephen, Peter and Paul, nearly all of the Apostles, and many Christians in the Roman era suffered martyrdom. Oppressive governments and endless conflicts in the last one hundred years, such as World Wars I and II, and the Middle East wars in Iraq, Egypt, and Syria have seen their share of martyrs, such as Maximilian Kolbe, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Latin American martyrs, and Middle East Christians. St. Maximilian Kolbe offered his life in place of a stranger at the Auschwitz death camps on August 14, 1941. Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a Lutheran pastor who was hanged on April 9, 1945 for condemning the leadership of Hitler in Nazi Germany. The Central American Martyrs include the 38 recognized martyrs of La Cristiada, the Cristero War from 1926 to 1929, when the Mexican government persecuted priests of the Catholic Church, such as St. Christopher Magallanes, St. Toribio Romo Gonzalez, and the 14 year old martyr Blessed Jose Luis Sanchez del Rio. Another Central American martyr was Oscar Romero, Archbishop of San Salvador, who was assassinated while saying Mass at Divine Providence Hospital on March 24, 1980 for speaking out against government human rights violations.

As in the time of Jesus of Nazareth (Matthew 2:23) and the early Christian Church (Acts 24:5), a Christian in the Middle East today is still called a Nazarene or in Arabic Nasrani or plural Nasara. Middle Eastern Christians have suffered severe persecution since the Iraq War. At least 58 Christians were slaughtered during Sunday Mass at Our Lady of Salvation Syriac Eastern Catholic Church in Baghdad on October 31, 2010. Sixty thousand Christians in Mosul, Iraq have fled their homes since the beginning of the War. July 2014 the terrorist Islamic State marked remaining Christian homes in Mosul with the Arabic letter Noon - for Nazarene, Nasrani, or Nasara - and advised residents that they have 24 hours to leave, convert to Islam, or die. The present turmoil in Syria has left 500,000 Christian refugees displaced from their homes, having fled to Jordan, Lebanon, and other Middle Eastern countries. But the Lord promised those that suffer for his sake will be rewarded with the Kingdom of Heaven!

Pearls Before Swine

Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you. -- Matt 7:6

Wednesday, July 22, 2015


In Victorian slang, a flapdoodler was an annoyingly boastful or self-righteous person. Know anyone like that?

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The Fix Is In

It dawned on me a few years back that corruption in these United States has reached such incredible levels that we really can say now that everything is fixed. If it's not fixed, it can be fixed. That's simply where we are as a people, a culture, and an evolving form of government. You see, despite what you may hear in the media or from your local county commissioner or the head of the VFW, we're not a democracy anymore. Nope. Our leadership and our institutions are bought and controlled by the highest bidder.

On the face of it, it seems ludicrous that someone like Hillary Clinton could even fantasize about running for president. I mean, with the baggage she carries -- the debacle at Benghazi, the obviously poor leadership skills, the elitist attitude, her disdain for the military, her communist sympathies, the slaughter of innocents at Waco, Texas, the Vince Foster murder (oh, excuse me, er, suicide), and on it goes. The woman is a train wreck. Yet, she will probably capture the presidency the next time around (baring an act of God). Care to know why?

It's because of the integrity of elections -- perhaps I should say, the lack of integrity. In the US, rarely is the fairness and accuracy of the election system called into question in our controlled, sold-out media. With few exceptions, you cannot find a challenge to our completely manipulated and corrupt system. Through the HAVA (Help America Vote Act), jammed through by Abramoff partners such as convicted felon, congressman Bob Ney, billions of federal dollars were supplied to states for the purchase of electronic voting machines. These machines use secretive software that is easily hacked and not required to leave a paper trail. There is no way to actually check the count. I won't even go into voter suppression and illegal redistricting schemes, both of which are slaps in the face of democracy.

Additionally, the media has always provided exit polls, which used to be accurate predictors of actual election returns. Oddly, most exit polls now are held after the returns are in. Say what? That's right. These polls can now be manipulated to reflect the actual result. The funny thing is that they were always accurate until electronic machines started counting our votes. If you think one party exclusively cheats over the other party, well, you'd be wrong. They both do it. Whichever is currently in power is the one manipulating the machines.

So, if you think Cruz or Trump or Walker or Elizabeth Warren or even Colin Powell has a chance to grab the presidency in 2016, you are dead set wrong and I'm warning you not to put money on it. You see, the matter has already been settled. Like everything else in our dead, moral-free society, the fix is in.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Heritage, Not Hate

Revisionist history books, the media, and public school systems abound in falsehoods about the Confederacy and Southern history as well as slavery. While it may be politically correct and even expedient for people to say the Civil War was fought over slavery and that all things pertaining to the old South should be viewed as racist, that is simply not the truth. There is a rich Southern heritage that people of color have come to hate because it is associated with white culture (when there really is no such thing). The Southern racist arguments are like so many other cultural-based arguments -- they are politically motivated and manipulated to give certain groups more political clout over other groups. The following facts may help to clarify and dispel some of these rampant inaccuracies put forth by American communists and Democrats.

MYTH - The War of 1861 - 1865 was fought over slavery.

FACT - This is untrue. The North fought the war over money. Plain and simple. When the South started Secession, Lincoln was asked, "Why not let the South go in peace?" To which he replied, "I can't let them go. Who would pay for the government?" Sensing total financial ruin for the North, Lincoln waged war on the South. The South fought the War to repel Northern aggression and invasion.

MYTH - Only Southerners owned slaves.

FACT - Entirely untrue. Many Northern civilians owned slaves. Prior to, during and even after the War Of Northern Aggression.

Surprisingly, to many history impaired individuals, most Union Generals and staff had slaves to serve them! William T. Sherman had many slaves that served him until well after the war was over and did not free them until late in 1865.

U.S. Grant also had several slaves, who were only freed after the 13th amendment in December of 1865. When asked why he didn't free his slaves earlier, Grant stated "Good help is so hard to come by these days."

Contrarily, Confederate General Robert E. Lee freed his slaves (which he never purchased - they were inherited) in 1862!!! Lee freed his slaves several years before the war was over, and considerably earlier than his Northern counterparts. And during the fierce early days of the war when the South was obliterating the Yankee armies!

Lastly, and most importantly, why did NORTHERN States outlaw slavery only AFTER the war was over? The so-called "Emancipation Proclamation" of Lincoln only gave freedom to slaves in the SOUTH! NOT in the North! This nonsense even went so far as to find the state of Delaware rejecting the 13th Amendment in December of 1865 and did not ratify it (13th Amendment/free the slaves) until 1901!

MYTH - The Confederate Battle Flag was flown on slave ships.

FACT - NONE of the flags of the Confederacy or Southern Nation ever flew over a slave ship. Nor did the South own or operate any slaves ships. The English, the Dutch and the Portugese brought slaves to this country, not the Southern Nation.

BUT, even more monumental, it is also very important to know and understand that Federal, Yankee, Union ships brought slaves to America! These ships were from the New England states, and their hypocrisy is atrocious.

These Federals were ones that ended up crying the loudest about slavery. But without their ships, many of the slaves would have never arrived here. They made countless fortunes on the delivery of slaves as well as the products made from raw materials such as cotton and tobacco in the South.

This is the problem with Yankee history History is overwhelmingly portrayed incorrectly by most of the Federal & Yankee books and media.

MYTH - The Confederate Battle Flag represented the Southern Nation.

FACT - Not true. While the Southern Battle flag was carried into battle, the Southern Nation had 3 different National flags during the course of the war.

The First National flag was changed due to a resemblance of the US flag.

The Second National flag was subsequently modified due to the similarity to a flag of truce.

The Third National flag was the adopted flag of the Confederacy.

The Confederate Battle Flag was never a National Flag of the Confederacy. It was carried into battle by several armies such as the Army Of Northen Virginia and the Army of Tennessee. Was also used as a Naval Jack by the Confederate Navy.

MYTH - The Confederate Battle Flag is known as the "Stars & Bars".

FACT - A common misconception. The First National Confederate Flag is correctly known as the "Stars & Bars". The Confederate Battle Flag is known as the "Southern Cross".

MYTH - The Confederate Battle Flag represents racism today.

FACT - The Confederate Battle Flag today finds itself in the center of much controversy and hoopla going on in several states. The cry to take this flag down is unjustified. It is very important to keep in mind that the Confederate Battle Flag was simply just that. A battle flag. It was never even a National flag, so how could it have flown over a slave nation or represented slavery or racism? This myth is continued by lack of education and ignorance. Those that villify the Confederate Battle Flag are very confused about history and have jumped upon a bandwagon with loose wheels.

MYTH - The United States Flag represented freedom.

FACT - No chance. The US flag flew over a slave nation for over 85 years! The North tolerated slavery and acknowledged it as a Division Of Labor. The North made a vast fortune on slavery as a commodity. It wasn't until the South decided to leave the Union that the North objected. The North knew it could not survive without Southern money. That is the true definition of hypocrisy.

The Great Emancipator -- in real life,
not so much.
MYTH - Abraham Lincoln was the Great Emancipator.

FACT - While Lincoln has captured a place in history as the Great Emancipator, many would not care to hear his real thoughts on people of color. Martyred President Abraham Lincoln was fervently making plans to send all freed slaves to the jungles of Central America once the war was over. Knowing that African society would never allow the slaves to return back to Africa, Lincoln also did not want the slaves in the US. He thought the jungles of Central America would be the best solution and conducive to the freed slaves best interest. The only thing that kept this from happening, was his assassination.

MYTH - The South revered slavery.

FACT - A very interesting fact on slavery is that at the time the War of 1861 -1865 officially commenced, the Southern States were actually in the process of freeing all slaves in the South. Russia had freed it's servants in 1859, and the South took great note of this. Had military intervention not been forced upon the South, a very different America would have been realized then as well as now.

Average Confederate soldiers.
MYTH - The Confederate Army was comprised of rich slave owners.

FACT - Very far from true. The vast majority of soldiers in the Confederate Army were simple men of meager income. Most of which were hard working farmers and common men. Then, as now, very few rich men ever fight a war.

MYTH - Only the North had men of color in their ranks.

FACT - Quite simply a major falsehood of history. Many blacks, both free and of their own will, joined the Confederate Army to fight for their beloved Southern home. Additionally, men of other ethnic extraction fought as well. Oriental, Mexican & Spanish men as well as Native American Indians fought with pride for the South.

Today, many men of color are members in the heritage group SCV - Sons Of Confederate Veterans. These men of color and pride rejoice in their heritage. The continued attacks on the Southern Nation, The Confederacy, and her symbols are a terrible outrage to these fine people. These attacks should be denounced with as much fervor as those who denounce the South.

MYTH - The Confederate Flags are an authorized symbol of Aryan, KKK and hate groups.

FACT - Quite the contrary. IN NO WAY does the Confederate Flag represent hate or violence except in the minds of progressive political activists with an agenda of race-baiting and making money from fear and distortion.

MYTH - The SCV - Sons Of Confederate Veterans are a racist, hate group.

FACT - This is a blatant attack on one of the finest heritage groups ever. The SCV - Sons Of Confederate Veterans are a historical, patriotic and non-political organization comprised of descendents of Confederate Soldiers and sailors dedicated to insuring that a true history of the 1861 -1865 period is preserved and presented to the public. The SCV continues to educate the public of the memory and reputation of the Confederate soldier as well as the motives for his suffering and sacrifice.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Mass Baloney, Mass Illusion

Really? You want me to believe that?
As you likely know by now, it was reported that nine blacks were killed in a shooting at a historic church in Charleston South Carolina. The deed was allegedly perpetrated by a 21 year old white man who, we are told, acted out of extreme racism. Or, at least, that's what the media has reported.

In the aftermath of the shootings, a familiar, shameful parade of exploitation unfolded yet again, seeking to reassert the notion that racism runs rampant across America and that gun control needs to be pushed (again) on the American public, despite appeals to the 2nd Amendment to the US Constitution.

Yet, once again the engineered, concerted, deceitful propaganda campaign launched by the corporate media and America’s political circles fails to put into perspective the recent shooting and the greater “gun control” debate.

Instead, a mad rush has ensued to exploit anger, sorrow, and fear to attempt to snatch from responsible Americans their right to bear arms based on the criminal actions of a single individual. And, I might add, this crime has not been sufficiently proven in my regard. Uh-oh, some of you may be quick to think, what's he talking about? Is there any doubt a crime has been committed? To which I say, of course there's doubt. It may fall into your category of conspiracy-deluded thinking, but I, for one, no longer believe anything the media has to say. All these prior bogus shootings and staged beheadings in the desert, all the political, agenda-driven lies coming out of Washington for, well let's see now, I guess it's been my entire life! What proof are we shown that children are dead and buried at Sandy Hook? Same with the theatre shooting in Aurora, Colorado, and at least half a dozen other questionable shooting events over the last three years. Do you believe anything the media tells you? Do you believe anything that comes out of Washington these days? You do? Then you're the fool, not me.

Look here, drunk driving kills 20 times more per year than mass shootings have in 30 years and they don't even have to prove the mass shootings (or staged events like the bombing and subsequent hunt for terrorists in Boston) actually happened. The powers that be simply issue a proclamation and the sheep gathered in front of their televisions lap it up.

In a recent Washington Post article, “11 essential facts about guns and mass shootings in the United States,” they claim that in the past 30+ years, 574 people have been killed in mass shootings. While in their article they attempt to make this number sound enormous, to put it into perspective, the US Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports that in the year 2013 alone, 10,076 were killed by drunk drivers. That is about 20 times more people killed in a single year due to drunk driving than in the past 30 years due to mass shootings (mass shootings being defined as 3 people or more killed in a single spree).

Rubber-stamp press.
The Post, amid its disingenuous spin, claims:

"In this post, adapted from previous versions that we released after mass killings in the past, we explore America’s unique role among advanced countries as a place where support for guns is widespread — and violence involving firearms is equally widespread. There are some perhaps surprising findings — gun ownership in the United States is declining overall, for instance. But despite mass killings — which have occurred with increasing frequency in recent years — support for gun rights is still resolute in America."

Essentially, the Washington Post argues throughout its article that gun ownership is increasingly unpopular, the primary cause of higher levels of violence than other industrialized nations, and that mass shootings are a major problem. Yet when placed alongside other senseless causes of death, mass shootings are better at grabbing headlines, but are also clearly not our greatest challenge.

That truth is, violence in America is caused by socioeconomic factors, not gun ownership.

Here's the false, simpleton progressive argument: America has guns. America is a violent country. Guns cause violence. This is perhaps the most elementarily absurd argument imaginable, yet it is in fact the cornerstone of the gun control agenda. When we examine violence and access to legally acquired weaponry, there is little correlation.

When comparing two nations, the United Kingdom and Japan, whose populations are for all intents and purposes “disarmed,” we still find immense, seemingly inexplicable disparity in the number of homicides. Despite both nations being disarmed and having almost no “gun-related homicides,” according to UN statistics, Japan and the UK still have an astronomical gap in homicide rates. Why?

A visit to either country reveals an entirely different culture, education system, infrastructure, and socioeconomic paradigm. This is why despite Japan having a much larger population, even total homicides are lower than the comparatively more violent but less populated United Kingdom – with homicide rates in the UK nearly 3 times higher than those in Japan.

According to the UN’s study, which includes the most recent annual data available, Japan, with a population of roughly 130 million, had a mere 506 homicides over the stretch of a single year. Conversely, the UK, with less than half of Japan’s population (53 million) had 722 homicides. The rates per 100,000 people for Japan and the UK are 0.4 and 1.2 respectively. The UK, despite being an unarmed population, and having virtually no gun violence, still has 3 times the murder rate than the nation of Japan. Those that are murdered in the UK or Japan, are just as dead as any human being murdered by a gun in the United States. And clearly, this indicates that the presence of guns, or their banning, is not a significant factor driving homicides and violence.

The United States suffers from more poverty, more disparity in income, more blight and stagnation across its economy and education system – particularly in the inner city and the south – than even the UK. This is why the United States is more violent than other industrialized nations, not because of the availability of weapons. And despite the fact that the United States has both more guns and more violence than other industrialized nations, it is still a relatively less violent nation than many others in the developing world, including nations that have far fewer guns per capita.

Ask yourself why they want to take away
a basic constitutional right?
You see, gun control is about dominating lives, not saving them. We can't be good citizens unless we do not present a threat to the government. Firearms in the hands of citizens are the basis for rebellion. You think the current government doesn't know that?

The inconvenient reality regarding the true nature of violence and its relationship with guns is entirely sidestepped by the gun control agenda, primarily because the gun control agenda is about disarming the American public thus removing an obstacle toward totalitarianism, not to preserve innocent lives. This fact is highlighted best by incessant calls to ban semi-automatic rifles termed “assault rifles” by the media.

Despite their vilification, “assault rifles” account for the least number of deaths per year due to gun violence. In fact, according to the FBI’s own statistics, rifles of any kind (including “assault rifles”) account for fewer deaths per year than murders involving bare hands and feet. Hand-held clubs are used more frequently in homicides in the United States than rifles of any kind, including “assault rifles.” The obsession with banning the least dangerous of all firearms, but also firearms best suited for defense during civil disorder as well as a check against tyrannical government, exposes the gun control agenda for precisely what it is: a blatant attempt to disarm citizens of their most basic rights.

This is why we must view the so-called tragedy in Charleston with a doubtful mind. Gun violence, along with all other forms of violence and irresponsible behavior (like propaganda efforts foisted upon the American public by government and a compliant media) are problems society must deal with, but not at the expense of the rights of responsible, free citizens. This includes drunk driving, by far a more pressing issue than mass shootings, yet it too must be solved without infringing on the rights of grown adults who are capable of responsibly consuming alcohol.

In any case, those who take up social crusades by preying on people’s emotions and hovering over tragedy like vultures in an attempt to collectively punish the rest of society for the ill will and deeds of a single individual represent a much greater threat to our way of life than any deranged shooter. This is because such people distract our collective attention away from solving the socioeconomic and cultural factors that will continue to drive violence with or without the presence of firearms in society, depriving us of our rights and liberty, all while inviting future tragedies to unfold.

Killing another human being with a firearm is already quite illegal. To prevent people intent on doing so regardless of the law, we should target the root cause of their homicidal intent. Those who understand this best also so happen to be those who stand the most from exploiting continued violence and using it as a pretext to further diminish the rights and power of the American people. As I previously stated, the real threat to our society is the steady stream of propaganda, the disinformation and outright lies that occurs on both sides of the political aisle resulting in a media that cannot be trusted to deliver any sort of information.

Ever heard of the Smith-Mundt Act? You should. Please follow the link.

Please Help

I am no longer happy being a man. I want to live my life as a fish. I'm going to have an operation to put fins on my body. Afterwards, I expect you all to admire my bravery and feel sympathy for my plight. Then I will thank you as I accept my award for being a pioneer in my field. It is my quest to learn how to swim and to help others who are going through similar changes. Admire me. Look at me. Listen to me. Smell me.

Send donations to the Please Make Me A Fish Foundation, c/o Tommyboy