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    New Mexico
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    The study of History, Liberty, and the Art of Righteous Violence

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  1. Coming into this VERY late, but I personally prefer the rural lifestyle to the urban. More freedom, more quiet, and more to do insofar as those things I find most interesting to do. That said, however, I do like being just close enough to a relatively urban area that when the wife and I get a hankering we can drive for less than an hour to take advantage of fine dining, theater, and ready resupply of basic necessities.
  2. I won't deny that pretty much everybody has a certain level of bias in how they evaluate things; whether the bias is based in their upbringing, culture, or their general worldview. I will even freely admit to having been guilty of it in my own life; though I will also state that it irritates me to my core when I realize I've let myself be sucked into accepting something at face value simply because it fits what I want to believe. It's why I try to research everything of substance and always at least endeavor to challenge myself to be honest with myself in my conclusions. I still have my principles, ideals and core beliefs of course; but then we all do. ...And scores of the CDC studies were based in baked and skewed statistics. The researchers involved - Arthur Kellermann being one of the biggest offenders - believed in gun control prior to initiating their studies, and pursued validation of their preexisting opinions instead of performing unbiased research in quest of the actual Truth of the issue. Except that their reason for wanting to reduce gun ownership is not valid. Is it an "evil plot"? Some researchers I grant have a legitimate concern in their desire to see a safer, less violent society, but others have an agenda of greater control over the American people because they arrogantly think they know what is best for the "uneducated little people" and want to see greater constraints placed upon people's rights and freedoms in defiance of American traditions and Constitutional precedent simply because they have decided the people need to be controlled and protected from themselves. As for those who legitimately want to see a safer society, they sadly just don't get that a controlled and safe society is not a free society. Freedom brings with it certain dangers and risks, but a free people accept that risk knowing the benefits outweigh those risks. https://arizonadailyindependent.com/2020/05/19/a-society-singularly-focused-on-protection-of-life-will-fail-to-produce-lives-worth-living/?fbclid=IwAR0BVWRcNAHQFHpa0YvuckER8gN7BAtfQHdq-2_UV9kaDQimYbYTSeOkUa0 I've read those same studies, and they're not left out because of any "dishonesty" but because those studies have been thoroughly discredited and exposed for what they are: propaganda. Have you ever read the adage about how it's dentists that always have the worst teeth? Mental Health professionals sometimes have a psychological distaste and aversion for guns and what they perceive they represent, so they seek ways to demonize and denigrate that which they irrationally hate; just like other researchers with an agenda do. The fact that gun ownership has exploded in recent years while our societal violence rate has precipitously dropped over the same period is a pretty effective counterargument to what the researchers you cite like to claim. https://www.ammoland.com/2020/05/malum-prohibitum-guns-immoral-because-they-say-they-are/?fbclid=IwAR1KDUzqs0Zc-2RoS7QKjZPfyELBZJqxuOquXjg5csPGaliJvQEwasV3Fag#axzz6NxI724Px See, here's where we get into dangerous territory: the belief that our problems are based in "Left" or "right" being the source of evil. I've come to believe that almost the entirety of our nation's "left" or "right", "liberal" or "conservative" conflict is being stirred up and manipulated for the very purpose of preventing the American people from uniting in opposition to an ever more brazenly corrupt government. Have you ever noticed that Democrat and Republican congressmen and senators rage against the other side to inflame their constituency... but when one party gets power over the other.... nothing changes except the players? See, here is where you and I find ourselves on the same page. I agree whole-heartedly in what you're saying here, and support it. I think draconian gun laws create an environment where innocent people are deprived of even the most basic means of self-defense, where criminals can get whatever they want and can commit any depraved acts they want with impunity with a victim-rich environment where no one can even think to fight them off. I also dismiss the argument that gun bans fail because the ban didn't go far enough. When Washington D.C. enacted its blanket ban on firearms in the 1970's it's violent crime rate went up over 300% over the next decade, while the crime and homicide rates in the demographically identical areas surrounding the ban-affected area continued to decline. For those who argue for gun control to have a valid argument the crime rates should have followed what happened in D.C. proper... and the exact opposite happened; the only difference being the ban itself. Besides, we DO have a federal bans on things like drugs, and all those bans have created is a black market in those items... along with the concurrent criminal organizations that then feed the violence. When I was in law enforcement I dealt with a lot of violence created by drug cartels along the southern border; all violence that would end pretty much overnight if we simply legalized and regulated the drugs that feed the cartels' wealth and power. And yet Trudeau enacted a blanket ban on ownership of specific times by naught but executive decree, without discussing his actions with anyone else in the government or putting it to a vote by the people to know exactly what the "will of the majority" of his country actually was. As for the Supreme Court, regardless of who is the President, Justices are nominated for their lifetime positions on the court according to the political agendas of whoever is in office at a given time. Liberal Presidents result in Liberal Justices, and Conservative presidents result in Conservative Justices, and while politically liberal Democrats might rend their tunics and wail at Trump's actions regarding the court Conservative Republicans did the same when Obama was in office. The fact is that for all of the discussions of Presidential "legacy" the REAL legacy Presidents leave behind is the Justices they appoint, which have far greater and more fundamental impact on our society for a far greater period of time... for good or ill. As an aside to that, I agree with you regarding the progression of political power of the office of the President. The President, as the head of the Executive Branch, is not supposed to have more power than the Legislative Branch or the Judicial Branch; they are supposed to be three equal branches of government, each held in Check by the other two... and our Constitutional system of government is becoming unbalanced.
  3. I appreciate that; but I have to admit, I'm generally prone to giving the onsite LEO's the benefit of the doubt when certain kinds of situations come up. They're the ones on the scene, they're the ones who have to make the call, and Monday-morning quarterbacking is inevitably colored by the harsh glare of hindsight. HOWEVER... I've been beyond appalled by recent events. The circumstances of Ahmaud Arbery's death are troublesome in the extreme. The fact that the police told locals to call Gregory McMichael because he was a former LEO who lived in the neighborhood was nothing short of negligent. McMichael was retired and no longer an officer; he was not operating as a law enforcement officer and for the department to grant him what was apparently unofficial sanction by telling people to call him in the event of problems is astonishing to me. What, he was going to have authority to be his own neighborhood vigilance committee?? For him to then get a call about a supposedly "suspicious" subject and then not only grab weapons but informally deputize his son to help him chase down a man who had every right to be in that neighborhood, confront him, and ultimately gun him down in the street in broad daylight? I'm sorry, but no. If I was in that situation as a former LEO and somebody called me to say, "Hey, there's a suspicious guy over here" my response is: "So call the cops! Why are you calling me?" When I was in LE, the agency I worked for would back you to the moon and back... so long as you followed policy. My fellow agents and I thus had confidence entering a situation that the agency would back us, but we were VERY careful to follow policy. Once I left the agency I became a private citizen; without authority and without sanction to act as my neighborhood's informal enforcer. No way in Hell I'm putting myself in that kind of situation. Just my quick and dirty take on the situation; for whatever that's worth.
  4. That is simply not true. It is ALL about researching the full facts; I accept nothing at face value and research issues as deeply as I can before I form an opinion. The online resources I pursue cite far more sources and generally have far more credibility than anything in the mainstream media in my experience. The article you cited is nothing but a partisan propaganda piece in and of itself, and does not even come close to accurately evaluating the situation discussed. https://www.forbes.com/sites/larrybell/2013/02/12/why-the-centers-for-disease-control-should-not-receive-gun-research-funding/#10c62a8a282d There is some truth in what you're stating here. I do believe that a lot can be done when kids are taught from the beginning about self-responsibility instead of allowed to grow up without any kind of discipline or training in value-based behavior. But I also recognize that my interactions with, as you describe, the worst of the worst, does make me prone to question the core motivations of anyone I meet; even those who have genuinely meritorious viewpoints. Well, that's a subject for another time. I believe democracy has its dangers and its pitfalls and should be constrained in certain ways to prevent overarching mob rule. Another point: if you removed several of our most violence-prone cities - generally cities with some draconian gun control laws - you would find that most of the United States has violent crime rates, per capita, that are approximately that of Canada. That said, however, Canadians do tend to be more laid-back and less defensive than their American brethren. In all seriousness, I appreciate the thoughtfulness you are bringing to this conversation.
  5. The reality is that there are political extremists who will blindly follow a leader for the sole reason that they are a member of their chosen political party. There are Democrats who will do it, and there are Republicans who will. It makes me think of Washington's warnings of the dangers of political parties again. However, there are a great many well-armed Americans who have their own network of information sharing, and more and more are turning away from traditional media in favor of a more nuanced take on things. Blind adherence to whatever they're told to believe doesn't sit well with them... or with me. Yes, it is. It's sad and tragic... but still true. You are caught up on "right wing" and "left wing", but the issue is far more pervasive than that. In fact, the whole "right wing" vs. "left wing" is, to me, just another mind game of manipulation, to keep us focused on fighting with each other rather than uniting against the real threat - overarching government. Right wing and left wing are both part of the same bird. And I can cite numerous instances where the media purposefully, deliberately lied to push an agenda. All you have to do is look at just about ANY story regarding firearms use and applications and capabilities in the mass media. And that ain't the "right wing" at all; but instead pretty much totally the purview of those with more leftist ideologies. The most egregious example of this was an incident in 2004 when CNN did a "story" on the sunsetting so-called "Assault" weapons ban where they tried to claim banned rifles had capabilities they didn't. They chose to show a fully automatic, military-grade rifle - which was never covered by the law in question - and compared it to a rifle with all the cosmetic modifications mandated by the ban. Somehow the military rifle could smash concrete blocks into powder, while the politically correct rifle couldn't... even though they fired identical ammunition. It was a contemptible, laughable propaganda piece so egregious and brazen in its falsehoods that when they were called on it they put up a new story a couple of days later, same reporter and same demonstration but with honest results... though they never called it a retraction or even a correction, and they certainly never acknowledged they had bald-faced lied. There's some truth in this, but the bias goes both ways. Some don't want to acknowledge that or seriously consider it - the bias always goes against them and their beliefs, in their minds - but the bias is not the sole purview of one partisan entity over another. Societal predators have been taking lives since long before there were guns. Entire civilizations were destroyed with naught but fire and sword. Predators are only constrained when their potential victim pool has the means to fend them off. And yes, I find the lives of predatory creatures who actively brutalize their fellow citizens with rape and violence utterly without value. They are subhuman, and devoid of even basic decency. I was a law enforcement officer and I dealt with violent criminals on a regular basis and saw the harsh reality of their evil. I was in more than one gunfight, and I never once used my weapon with the intent of taking a life, but only for saving innocent life. As far as I'm concerned if a criminal had not made the conscious, purposeful decision to prey upon the innocent then they wouldn't have been in the position to get shot; so the onus for their deaths was on them. We put down mad dogs too, and violent criminals are a far more dangerous threat. That century later the British had a very different mindset, and even today Canada remains a Commonwealth of Great Britain. You're comparing apples to oranges. The Medical professionals I know are doctors and nurses on the front lines of this pandemic. One of my best friends is a military officer, and his wife is likewise an officer in the military who serves in the Medical field and is currently on deployment working in a "high-risk" part of the country. She left full of commitment and dedication, believing fervently in her duty to save lives... and she now is utterly disgusted by what she now knows is nothing but manipulation. COVID-19 is simply NOT the threat we were told it is. The powers that be don't give a DAMN about people's lives, and this entire thing is nothing but an attempt to manipulate the people and direct the nation down the path THEY want us on. I fully and completely respect other people's right to live their lives as they choose... so long as what they do doesn't interfere in my ability to live my life as I choose. Stripping me of my ability to work while empowering corporations to operate without constraint and kill the small business where I work is what I have a problem with. Mandating I can't go where I want, when I want - ESPECIALLY when it puts no one else at risk! - is what I have a problem with. Destroying a healthy, vibrant economy for false, sinister reasons is what I have a problem with. And yet places that did not initiate lockdowns have had flatter curves and fewer deaths. Not an accurate statement. More people have died of tuberculosis too. That's all propaganda and manipulation of numbers. Again, they put out ridiculously high, terrifying numbers that this virus was going to be nothing less than an apocalyptic event. When people began to wake up that they were being lied to, the officials hurriedly released revamped figures so they didn't look quite so thoroughly out of their minds. The government wants to CONTROL everyone. Government ALWAYS evolves towards authoritarianism, and the lockdowns and fear-mongering have enabled them to seize huge amounts of control over people's lives, and too many Americans are docilely rolling over and meekly letting it happen simply because the government tells them it's for their "safety". That's what Nazis also told people as they enacted ever more draconian rules: "Es ist zu Ihrer Sicherheit." "It's for your safety."
  6. No, it IS fair; far more "fair" than the popular vote would be, and I say that as someone who did not vote for Trump.
  7. "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for Lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote."
  8. Apparently I'M the one who has to keep it simple for YOU. We're not a democracy. Our Presidential election is not a democratic election; nor should it be. We are a Constitutional Republic, and not a contiguous nation. Again, we are a Republic made up of a union of 50 separate and disparate states. If Jimmy gets 11 votes and Sally gets 14 in one state, Sally wins the election in that state. Yay for Sally, right? But our Founders were smart enough to recognize that not all states have similar populations or even similar cultures. They also recognized the dangers of rampant democracy, but the people still needed to be able to choose their leaders. So, what to do? They chose to allocate electors based on state population. California has more people than, say, Montana, so California gets more electoral votes than Montana. But urbanized, high population concentration states have a different culture and mindset than rural, low population concentration states, and both deserve a voice in choosing the individual who will hold power over them all. So, the Founders created an enlightened and balanced system where if one state with a lot of electoral power goes one way, a multitude of smaller states with less electoral power can unite their electors to counter the bigger state's ability to dominate them. Thus, if Sally wins the big state, but the small states don't want her, they can prevent the big state from shoving Sally down their throats. Now, there are multiple states with high population concentrations and many with lower concentrations. If someone wants to be President over ALL the states, they can't just win the election in one state, they have to be able to gain support from a broad enough consensus of states to earn the electoral votes to earn the Presidency. It is balanced, and it is fair. Ironically, I remember when the polls in 2016 showed that Trump would win the popular vote, but Hillary was on a path to win the Electoral College vote. I remember when Democrats were proudly defending the brilliance of the Electoral College - I was one of them! - and the Republicans who were grumbling about it. To see Democrats now raging to dismantle the Electoral College is just one reason why I walked away from the Democratic Party and became an Independent.
  9. I've lived in a number of states as well; sometimes for work, sometimes by choice. People who live in places like New York City are diametrically different from someone who live in, say, rural Montana. Their views and values often vary greatly. Heck, in New York people who grow up separated by only a couple of streets from each other are often completely different culturally. Just the differences between New Mexico, where I grew up, and Montana, where I lived for five years, can be profound.
  10. Unrestrained democracy is nothing but mob rule.
  11. Obviously, I fundamentally disagree. The loser has never won an election here. That you can't comprehend how our system is designed, or why, is not a reason to change it.
  12. Not under our system he wasn't. He won by appealing to a broader cross-section of Americans, across more states, than his opponent. And the growing evidence of illegal aliens on the voting rolls in places like California skewing the "popular" vote shows he quite likely won there too. But they DO get a voice as part of our Republic. We are NOT a contiguous nation, but a Union of fifty very different States, and the Electoral College acknowledges that even if you don't want it to. No, it's NOT wrong, and it is NOT outdated, and you only think it's "garbage" because it keeps you from shoving your views and agendas down other people's throats. The fact that it is "undemocratic" is BY DESIGN. We are NOT a democracy, nor should we be. It is not a "hack" from the Founders, but a gift to future generation to bring balance to our Republic. It not only does NOT need to be "shitcanned", it needs to be protected and celebrated.
  13. There is not one recording instance - not one, Peng - where the "loser" won. Not one. Every time the system worked as designed: those who won enough state-level elections to win the requisite number of national electoral college votes won the election. Your delusions don't change that reality.
  14. Yeah, I've heard this nonsensical crap before; inevitably spewed by those intellectually incapable of comprehending how our system works. If a candidate can't win enough votes in enough states to represent the American people as a whole, they can't be President. Dirt doesn't get a vote, and the big population centers can't arbitrarily dictate to the rural states. The system works as designed.
  15. Jefferson said and did a lot of things I agree with... and a lot I don't. And that's why the Constitution blocks it. Every vote DOES count, within the state the voter resides. Once the state's voters have made their choice, the state is allocated the number of electors as the Constitution mandates. Then, as we are a Republic of 50 different states, the electoral votes are counted to pick the President who will act as the Executive for all 50... not just the ones with the biggest population densities. If you don't like how that works, then get enough like-minded people together to amend the Constitution as you see fit. Until you do that, your arguments are moot.
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