The Virginia flashpoint: a clear and present danger?

I’m getting more and more concerned about the buildup of partisan anger and determination on both sides of the political aisle over the situation in Virginia.  As you probably know, the Democratic Party took the governorship and both houses of the State assembly in last year’s elections.  They take office on January 20th.  They’ve already promised a raft of politically correct legislation, including gun registration and/or confiscation, overturning local zoning regulations, and others.  Don Surber offers an acerbic overview of them. It’s noteworthy that the Democratic majority came from just a few counties in Virginia, most of them dominated by workers

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Doing greater harm by trying to do good?

I note that New York’s new discovery reform laws, which take effect on Wednesday, contain a double-edged provision that might threaten victims of crime. Have you ever made a call to 911 to report a crime? Next year if you do, your contact information will end up in the hands of the suspect police arrest. It’s a new reality of New York’s discovery reform laws taking effect just 12 days from now on January 1st. . . . Albany County District Attorney David Soares is dreading the conversations he knows we will have to have with crime victims. “By the way, I

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Gun violence, race and culture

A fascinating article at Medium examines the map of suicides and homicides in America involving guns, and comes to some conclusions that are sure to be controversial – but the author seems to make a good case.  Here’s a very brief excerpt from a long and detailed article, that you really should read in full (the maps are essential to understanding the author’s case).  Bold, underlined text is my emphasis. We hear a lot of banter from the “anti-gun” media that these problems are gun problems, and they’ve concocted this “gun deaths” number in order to lump these into the same problem

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Frustrating Big Brother about firearms

We’re seeing more and more talk from the political extremes in the USA concerning imposing their views on others, or violently rejecting such attempts.  A good example may be found in Virginia right now.  A newly-elected Democrat majority is threatening to impose draconian restrictions on firearms rights, which has led to a backlash where almost 90% of the counties in the state have passed resolutions declaring themselves “Second Amendment sanctuary zones“, or words to that effect.  The language from both sides is becoming more heated, and I think there are serious implications for the future. (It’s also worth noting that the

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Wolves, cattle, wilderness and control

I’m reminded, yet again, that in so many cases, government edicts or actions don’t necessarily have anything to do with the problem they claim to address.  Instead, they’re an attempt to impose greater control over part or all of the populace, so that bureaucrats and special interest groups can force their will upon them.  Gun control?  It’s about control, not guns.  Obamacare?  It’s about centralized control of health care and those who need it, not about medicine as such.  Draconian traffic rules and regulations?  It’s all too often about “revenue generation by cop”, rather than road safety. The latest example

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Not so fast on the Afghanistan analysis!

The Washington Post recently published a lengthy article headed “The Afghanistan Papers:  A secret history of the war“.  It purports to show how the US military lied to the public about the conduct of the war, and covered up important information. The former Naval officer who blogs as Cdr. Salamander was there at the time, and he has a rather different view.  He’s taken the time and trouble to write an extensive essay challenging the errors he sees in the Washington Post article.  I found it intriguing.  Here are a few excerpts from what is, of necessity, a very long essay. With

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“Government employees multiplying like rabbits”

That’s the title of a thought-provoking article at BizPacReview.  Here’s an excerpt. By 2015, the Bureau of Labor Statistics stated there were 80% more people employed by government in America than those employed in the manufacturing sector. And federal, state and local governments employed about 21 million people. By October, 2019, this number had risen to 24,421,000 government workers, if we include the 1.4 million military employees. Of this amount, 17.3% worked for the federal government, 21.9% worked for state government, and 60.8% were employed by local governments. The expanding federal government helps to explain why this country is running a federal

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No, things were NOT better under white rule in South Africa

There seems to be a perennial attempt to insinuate that the only reason things are so bad in South Africa these days is because white supremacist rulers and their policy of apartheid are no longer in charge.  I addressed this at some length in a previous essay (which, if you haven’t read it, remains very relevant, IMHO), but there are still plenty of doubters out there. Now Kim du Toit, another expatriate South African who’s now an American citizen, brings his own contribution to the debate.  He concludes: So there’s no point in reevaluating apartheid:  it was a savagely iniquitous and evil system, and the

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It’s the end of the world as we know it – and we feel terrible!

Three articles struck a powerful chord in me over the past few days.  They all approach a central theme from different directions, but their conclusions are very similar:  today’s extremists see politics, ideology, and life itself in religious terms rather than secular.  Their beliefs may have nothing to do with any Deity that we might recognize, but they’re nevertheless oriented towards a cause that assumes God-like proportions in their eyes. First, Alma Boykin (a good friend in meatspace as well as cyberspace) compares the attitudes of modern, secular millennialist extremists to religious fundamentalism. Millennialism, leaning on Richard Landes’ definition and discussion, is an emotional, socially

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Is the Catholic Church becoming just another hotbed of secular humanism?

American pentecostal evangelist Bob Mumford, whom I’ve mentioned in these pages before, once defined secular humanism as “what happens when the world evangelizes the church”.  I don’t think he was far wrong in that assessment.  More and more often, one sees churches and denominations behaving just like the world around them, ignoring the clarion call from the Divinity, in whatever way they proclaim him, to be a “sign of contradiction” to the world, the flesh and the devil. I should acknowledge that, as a former Catholic priest, I have a partisan perspective on this issue.  You’ll find my story in a series

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