Irony Abounds 0024: ObamaCare Penalties

Reading someone’s “ObamaCare FAQ” list (that ought to tell you everything you need to know, right there), I stumbled across this little gem, buried in the section on penalties for not buying insurance (remember, ObamaCare mandates that everyone buy health insurance):


How’s that again?



Gun Owners Not Progressives, Refuse to Be Cowed By Psychological Campaign

[Owning] A smoking gun could be as bad for your social image as a smoking cigarette, if liberals have their way.

The Christian Science Monitor, the far-out publication of the Christian Scientists, has muddled the facts once again on an important cultural issue. The magazine, which recently classed Palestinian-funded terrorist attacks against Israel as “military action,” now insists that the way to curb gun violence is a public perception campaign designed to stigmatize gun ownership, much akin to the campaign that successfully stigmatized smoking.

Cogitating Duck’s Profile Graphic

(Visit Stigmatize gun ownership like smoking? on Cogitating Duck to read another interesting article on this subject.)

Recent surveys, however, may indicate that such attempts are doomed to dismal failure. According to Dr. Rob Spurgeon, holder of the chair of Aristotelian Professor of Logic and Co-chair of the Department of Farming (yes, really) at Real Life University in Western North Carolina, gun owners belong to the group of people who still evaluate any line of reasoning according to the logical merits of its arguments, rather than its emotional impact. “Those who advocate this line of reasoning aren’t thinking clearly,” Dr. Spurgeon explains. “The gun owners the progressives seek to embarrass about their guns are much more emotionally robust than their liberal counterparts. What the stigmatizers fail to admit is that many of those same gun owners are employed in professions that bring them face to face with the harsh realities of real life and the real world.

“Not every animal that is born on the farm lives to see the next spring,” Spurgeon continues. “There are many factors that contribute to a high mortality rate among the animal population of the average agrarian establishment: storm, disease, fire, predators, and yes, some of them are slated to give up their lives to feed the humans that maintain the grange.” But what does this have to do with the argument he posits against a “public shaming” campaign targeting gun owners? He explains:

“Because of the high investment in the animals in terms of time, an unavoidable emotional attachment will form as a result. Furthermore, a farmer’s great compassion for animals–despite the stereotype to the contrary–gives him a desire to see all prosper under his care. He is not overly concerned with his animals’ comfort, but neither does he neglect them. Instead, he looks most solicitously after them, for their well-being is directly tied to his own success. Thus the death of a six-week-old lamb due to complications of pneumonia is not an event which takes place in a vacuum. Unlike city-dwellers, whose primary concern is that the animals from whom the meat they purchase derives did not suffer during the ‘manufacturing’ process, these folks have deep ties to their animals. When one dies, it’s a very real and significant event in the lives of its caretakers. However, the real world dictates that the farmer–after an appropriate interval–must dry his tears, bury the dead, and get back to work.”

Nor is farming the only profession which requires a realistic, grin-and-go-on mentality. Dr. David Crain, Sr., Vice Chancellor of Real-Life University, explains:

Our student body is unique. It’s diverse. There are many different backgrounds and origins represented. Many of our students are preparing for careers in business. Some spend their time volunteering in various non-profit organizations. Others feel the call to full-time vocational ministry. Whatever the course of study in which a student is enrolled, the core curriculum is the same…

We don’t discriminate, but we don’t worry about active recruiting (affirmative action) procedures either. We believe that the students who desire to study here will come of their own volition. If they don’t want to be here, telling them how great our campus is won’t change their mind, and neither will our curriculum. Does this mean that we don’t promote the University when people ask? Certainly not! That’s half of the mission of RLU…to engage with the culture and convince others of the truth of our beliefs and practices.

Basic Economics, Politics 101, Public Speaking, English Grammar, Critical Thinking, Logic, and The Fine Art of Growing Thick Skin are courses that are non-negotiable. Here at RLU, we believe that if our graduates are to succeed, then they must learn and apply to their everyday lives the principles imparted by the dedicated staff in these departments. Our purpose is not to educate people into uselessness, but to educate them in useful disciplines that will make them profitable citizens, informed voters, critical thinkers, rational parents, and stable adults…

Dr. Crain founded Real Life University in early 1997, at the time that his oldest son, David Crain, Jr. was in the 7th grade. “I knew,” he later reminisced, “that I didn’t want my boys going out into the world without understanding where the progressive professors in the state-run education system got their ideas, and how patently false the assumptions behind accepted modern thought really are.”

Operating on a shoe-string budget, and in spite of overwhelming disapproval from his peers, Dr. Crain hand-selected his own textbooks, supplemental reading, and spent countless hours writing and re-writing tests, quizzes, and course notes, many of which are still used today in the core classes at RLU. “Despite the many hours of sleep I lost,” he said in a recent interview, “the ultimate reward was in seeing my boys grow up to be clear-eyed, level-headed thinkers who, actively refusing to imbibe the pleasant (but mind-numbing) wine of progressive socialism, entered into debate with those who espoused the progressive worldview. Above all, it was a joy to see them do so–not arrogantly–but fearlessly, regardless of the academic or political stature of their opponent.”

On hunting down one of these boys, we found young Mr. Crain, a lanky six-footer with a ready grin and a shock of curly brown hair, to be as ready a commentator as his father. He took a full two hours in the middle of mowing a pasture to answer our questions and talk politics. Wearing faded Wranglers that were dark stonewashed when new, a Ford ball cap,  and a plaid flannel shirt, he jumps off the tractor and grips the author’s hand like a steel trap gripping a coyote’s paw.

“I grew up on the farm, and it’s easy to forget that not everybody shakes hands with country folk everyday,” he offers apologetically as Scribens rubs his tingling digits. A clear speaker, his voice is nevertheless tinged with an authentic Southern burr that softens the pronunciation of some words. His years of public speaking experience are evidenced by the overemphasis of certain syllables when he’s making a point, however.

“I loved living out in the country…still do,” he continued in our January 24th interview. “There’s an atmosphere of peace and safety that’s refreshing and comforting, and I’ve yet to be in a city where that same sense of security prevails. Of course, there are things that happen out here from time to time in the way of crime, but nothing like the big cities where people are stacked up in cracker-box penthouses and apartments. Out here, there’s a little more space between houses, and people are more relaxed.”

Broach the subject of politics as it relates to logical thought, and you’ll get a glimpse of what makes this young man tick. He sits up a little straighter, his voice grows a little stronger, and his eyes gleam, not with the wild light of the lunatic but the passion of an to informed man eager to guide others on the road to truth.

“Eisenhower said it, and he said it well: ‘Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.’ Granted, he was talking specifically about the military-industrial complex, but America has ignored the deeper and broader implications to her own peril.

“We live in a nation today that is convinced that truth is something that can only be obtained by a renunciation of all that has gone before, and a disinterested search through the uncharted wilds of the relativistic ether for an equally elusive concept of relevant truth for this postmodern world,” he elucidates. “The classic interpretation of truth as objective and relevant to all ages is a concept that is no longer embraced by the culturally enlightened. Objective truth has gone the way of the dinosaur, and they hope it stays there. But only by a return to this paradigm, now a pariah in the very society that gave it its greatest expression, can we hope to turn this country back to its founding principles and documents.”

At this point I mentioned the Christian Science Monitor article, and asked him what he thought of the suggested “public perception” campaign to “stigmatize gun ownership.”

He laughed. “You’re kidding, right?” Then his grin disappeared and he looked thoughtful. “It’s going to take a lot more than that, quite honestly. I mean, they compare it to smoking, but that’s just foolish. Do I agree with the stigmatization of smoking and smokers? No. I believe there’s enough evidence to convince people of the harmful effects of smoking. I have personal reasons for abstaining that include (but are not limited to) the health concerns, but I don’t believe that the government should tell anyone: ‘Thou shalt not smoke,’ or, ‘Thou shalt smoke only here, and only under these circumstances.'”

“Before you stone me as being anti-health, stop and think about it for a moment. How consistent would it be for me to lobby for the government to restrict the choice of some folks to engage in activities that I don’t like, but don’t necessarily harm others, and then scream when those same people use that same government to take away certain of my rights with which they do not agree?”

“Now, I’m not equating smoking to bearing arms as a right; I’m just drawing a parallel. A much more equal comparison would be between free speech and bearing arms; or between right to protection from unreasonable search and seizure and bearing arms. These are all rights as granted by the Constitution and the Amendments thereof, and they are not, as the Second Amendment states, to be infringed.”

“So do I think the progressives will be successful in their campaign to stigmatize guns? No, I don’t. The people they seek to bully into cowering submission are largely well-educated, familiar with real life, accustomed to hardship, and are pretty set in their convictions on these matters. They’re not doing something that is harmful to their health, something that they took up years ago because everybody thought it was cool…that’s what smoking is for many people. But gun ownership is different, and ingrained in the DNA of every conservative father is the drive to pass on the safe use of, and love for, guns.”

“Despite any attempts to stigmatize the owners, guns are part of the American way of life. Their ownership is protected by our Constitution, their safe and responsible use is encouraged by countless thousands of conservative parents, and their presence–in the hands of well-trained civilians who know where and how to use them–is part of the reason my home town has a relatively low crime rate. Yes, evil men use them to commit evil deeds…but good men use them just as often to prevent evil deeds. In a gun-crime situation, the problem isn’t the gun…it’s the man behind the gun.”

“That’s the central message behind our stance on weapons and the Second Amendment.”

Text for this article is taken from interviews with the gentlemen listed and is the  proprietary intellectual property of Excogitatoris Scribens™.

Excog Profile Pic

(graphic credit)

© 2013, all rights reserved according to the copyright policy of The Southern Voice.

New Ideas? Not hardly…

“We need more gun control.”

No one has said this sentence in so few words, so concisely. That’s because politicians make a living by pretending to speak clearly when they’re really using the words they utter to obfuscate and confuse their listeners. But the above sentence has been screamed by bloggers. Tearfully promised by our President. Slavered by news anchor-men and -women, driven berserk by their insatiable lust for the blood of that most hated of all enemies of the retrogressive vision that fuels the raging fire in their souls:

The conservative, law-abiding, independently-minded, self-educated gun owners of this country.

But the slavering, eye-rolling, arm-flailing diatribe in which they specialize is filled to the brim with specious hatred, personal attacks on the character of those who dare to disagree, and flagrant appeals to the emotions of the uninformed masses, who view these delusional guttersnipes as their political saviors. Demagoguery has risen to the level where people from both sides of the political divide look to the chosen few to explain the 200-year-old documents that no common man can read properly. Those who promulgate this preposterous nonsense fail to point out to the constituents they patronize that these documents were written by common men, not “experienced politicians” such as themselves.

Then again, the era in which these documents were written was a different time, as they are quick to point out. This point is conceded: the common man in the 18th century would be highly uncommon in today’s world. The reasons for this are as multitudinous as the symptoms that our country is suffering from a terrible disease; indeed, they are the symptoms of this horrible disease.

Americans are running headlong into the arms of those who would snatch their liberties in order to promote their idea of a better world.

Huge bills, too long to read before they are brought to a vote, are rammed through Congress, and political death threats–though left unspoken–are bathed unmistakably in the light of inferential speeches, should any of those not in the circle of the anointed consider himself intelligent enough to breathe the barest monosyllable of dissent.

To anyone who has read Orwell’s 1984, the similarities are astounding.

Yet, Orwell did not cover the whole spectrum of events now unfolding in America.

Not all Americans have not been forced to surrender these liberties, per se. One who would claim to be able to document these reasons in a few short paragraphs would do so at the risk of becoming a reductionist, so two that intertwine as one example will suffice.

Education has gone to the dogs in this country.

Nearly 47% of Americans survive without rendering any productive service. While this author does not subscribe to the notion of “social responsibility,” only one who totally ignores our national history would be unable to see that this country was not built by those who rely on handouts from the government to provide incentive for life. That’s because handouts don’t provide incentive to succeed.

This country was built by those who worked their fingers to the bone to succeed. It was built by those who scrimped, saved, and–often–educated themselves with the necessary skills to become a productive member of society. It was built, not by those who demanded the respect of their fellow-men because of an imagined intellectual superiority, but by those who earned the respect of their fellow-men by working hard.

Millions of people, besotted by the pleasure of receiving something for nothing, fearing nothing but an unsafe situation, and “educated” in a system that is a shameless front for indoctrination into the new cult of socialistic humanism, quiver with a blind, all-consuming rage when any dare challenge the methods of the plutocrats who have taken charge of the reins of government, snatching them away from the ignorant plebeian wretches who fancy themselves intelligent enough to get involved in the governmental process.

If you don’t believe that the government should control the every breath and moment of John Q. Public’s life, then this means you. If you dare to dissent, even verbally, with the prevailing vision of the elitists in Washington, this means you. If you dare to retain for yourself the power of autonomous decision-making and–ultimately–the power to form your own opinions, this means you. And you are a domestic terrorist.

This, in bold-faced terms, is the self-anointed intelligentsia’s view of you. And me.

No, they wouldn’t dare say that. Not today; such words in today’s political climate would be tantamount to political suicide. But it is what is behind every piece of legislation that takes away the final word from the people. It is the mindset that drives our political leaders in today’s America.

And it is why America is changing. Rapidly. Fundamentally. Perhaps…irrevocably.

As I’ve said, today’s politicians wouldn’t dare say that. But tomorrow?

If only the people who agree with these pueristocrats (men and women in positions of authority who consider themselves vaunted sources of all wisdom and knowledge, and yet behave like spoiled children in office) have the guns, your head will spin to see the rate at which they change their tune. If only those who agree with the government’s “progressive” view, those who wholeheartedly embrace the socialistic gospel of envy, those who drink deeply at the fountain of knowledge and yield themselves completely to the cult of the leader have a voice, this country will die.

And for the past one hundred years, the strategy of the leftist elite has been the same.

Do–or say–whatever necessary to discredit your opponent’s character. No matter what the cost in broken lives, shattered reputations, or sunken careers, do–or say–whatever necessary to stay in power. Coupled with the purposeful emasculation of the education infrastructure of this country, this approach has succeeded beyond the elitists’ wildest hopes.

The reason for the retrogressives’ desperate lust for maintaining the stasis of power among those who subscribe to the vision of the elite is two-fold.

First, power always corrupts. And absolute power still corrupts absolutely. Lord Acton’s words from so long ago still hold true, and cannot be improved upon.

The second reason is as simple as the first. If, by a chance so remote as to border on the mythological, the reins of power ever fell to true conservatives, the high-sounding, pleasant rhetoric of the leftist autocrats would be shown for what it is.

Empty castles in the air. A world that sounds good, and where costs are unimportant, but is impossible to achieve. A fleeting mirage. A non-existent Utopia.

In fact, such a shift in power would not be necessary to illustrate this point. Countless times–throughout human history–these “new ideas” preached by the statists have been tried. Countless times, the policies the self-anointed gods of the Potomac now seek to put in place have been implemented.

Each and every time, these policies have led to the destruction of the most powerful nation on earth.

Communal sharing of privately produced resources, “need-based” distribution of government assistance, price controls, and forcible disarming of civilians have all been previously implemented. With disastrous results. In times as far back as ancient Babylon. In times as recent as Nazi Germany under Hitler in the late 1930’s.

This proves two other old, trite-sounding phrases that have been around for centuries. The first is the Biblical statement, “There is nothing new under the sun.” The second is the old adage, “The only thing we learn from history is that we don’t learn from history.”

What does all this have to do with gun control? In this present age in which we live, government cannot be considered part of the solution to the problem. It must be established, firmly, clearly, and unequivocally, that government is the problem. President Reagan’s words are still true today, and again, cannot be improved upon.

I realize that this is a free country, and that there are people in this country who do not like guns. That is their right. But again, in the words of another old aphorism, “My right to swing my fist ends where your chin begins.” In other words, I am only free to exercise my rights to the extent that they don’t interfere with yours. What are these rights? The Declaration of Independence states that “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among them are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” (Pursuit of happiness was framed after a far more common phrase of the day, “pursuit of property.”) The Bill of Rights states others: freedom of speech, freedom of press, freedom of religion, and the right to keep and bear arms.

I lump all these together for two good reasons. First, they are contained in subsequent amendments in the Constitution. The second is, if one of these rights is compromised or taken, or declared to be null and void, all may be declared null and void. They are of equal importance.

Those who do not like guns are free to refrain from purchasing them. They should not try to use the government, however, to tell me that just because they don’t like guns, I may not own them.

Many men–and more recently, women as well–have fought and died so that I have the right to exercise my freedom of speech by criticizing those in public office. Soldiers in our Armed Forces, countless thousands in World War I and II particularly, paid the ultimate price to protect the world from the machinations of a man who embraced many of the same ideological principles preached by those who consider themselves the “progressive” element of American society and government. Yet conservatives sit wringing their hands, afraid to exercise their right to speak their mind because the left has them convinced that no one agrees with them, anyway.

I agree with far more of the points on the conservatives’ side of many issues than the liberals’. And I, for one, intend to speak out while I still can.

Who am I? I’m just an average citizen, smart enough to understand the documents upon which this country was founded, but not smart enough to question the Founders’ intent the way many of the self-aggrandizing elitists do. Smart enough to know that, no matter how long and how loudly the retrogressives preach their gospel of disarming the populace, it will never be true. Smart enough to know that, if I speak my mind, others may be emboldened to do the same. And smart enough to know that, unless the average voter reengages in the governmental process as the Founders originally intended, this country will never be the same.

In fact, this country may not survive.