Acts of Defiance

noun: defiance
open resistance; bold disobedience.
“the demonstration was held in defiance of official warnings”


resistance, opposition, noncompliance, disobedience, insubordination, dissent, recalcitrance, subversion, rebellion

The country has been watching an act of defiance in Nevada for the last week. That confrontation between citizens and members of the federal government has subsided…for now. There was another act of defiance occurring in New York. That one received little attention from the media.

The state of New York requires gun owners to register certain firearms. Compliance to that law, known as the SAFE Act, has been low. Protesters to that law met outside the office of State Senator Mark Grisanti to protest the act.

Shredding SAFE Act Registration Forms In New York

Caleb Howe (Diary)  | 

On Tuesday in upstate New York, outside the office of State Senator Mark Grisanti, gun owners gathered in protest. Together they shredded their SAFE Act registration cards to signify their non-compliance with the controversial new law. Grisanti is a Republican who helped to pass the SAFE Act, including by offering up changes to the bill to make it bipartisan.

Human Events wrote last week about a recent SAFE Act protest that had a huge turnout, and involved many of the same people and groups as the rally on Tuesday, where gun owners intend to shred their registration forms as a form of protest. One of the organizers, Rus Thompson of TEA New York, was recently interviewed about this event, and discussed in depth the reasoning behind the shredding.

Gun owners across the state have been speaking out and protesting the SAFE Act from the beginning. As Bearing Arms reported yesterday, as many as one million are refusing to register their weapons.

Non-compliance of the ban is expected to be between 90%-99%, but a provision in the NY SAFE Act prevents registration data from being shared with the public.

Non-compliance in the neighboring state of Connecticut is thought to be in excess of 85%, with an estimated 80,000-100,000 gun owners refusing to register their firearms. Connecticut State Police have made no move to enforce their law four months after their registration deadline, fearing possible armed resistance.

Conservative estimates are that at least 300,000 and as many as one million New Yorkers will likewise practice civil disobedience and refuse to comply with the registration requirement.

The Shredding Registration event has a Facebook page here, and was covered live by a local Buffalo talk radio station here.

The defiance in New York isn’t limited to gun owners. Some officials—county Sheriffs, have declared they won’t enforce the law, either.

Despite deadline, protesters ‘will not comply’ with SAFE Act

Registration deadline for law was Tuesday

on April 15, 2014 – 8:30 PM, updated April 16, 2014 at 2:04 AM

Rus Thompson, a tea party activist, shreds the state assault weapon registration form during a rally Tuesday outside the Mahoney State Building.

Rus Thompson, a tea party activist, shreds the state assault weapon registration form during a rally Tuesday outside the Mahoney State Building. Harry Scull Jr. /Buffalo News

Owners of assault-style weapons were supposed to have registered their guns by Tuesday.

But there is no way of knowing exactly how many of these weapons there are in the state and how many were registered under the NY SAFE Act.

The state refuses to say how many were registered, claiming it is confidential information protected by the law.

Gun-rights advocates estimate compliance will be less than 10 percent.

And in Erie County, the sheriff says he will not force his deputies to enforce registration.

“Theoretically, any law enforcement officer who encounters anyone with this type of gun at a minimum is supposed to record the serial number and the individual’s identity and report it to Albany,” Sheriff Timothy B. Howard said.

But will his deputies do that?

“I don’t know. I am not encouraging them to do it. At the same time, their own consciences should be their guide. I am not forcing my conscience on them. That is a decision they should make,” Howard said.

The sheriff’s opposition sits well with roughly 70 opponents of the law who gathered outside the Walter J. Mahoney State Office Building in downtown Buffalo late Tuesday afternoon to shred State Police registration forms for assault weapons.

It was seen as a form of civil disobedience to a law that opponents say was hastily drafted some 16 months ago in response to the December 2012 massacre in Newtown, Conn., where 20 elementary school children and six adults were slain by a heavily armed gunman.

But rather than make the public safer, opponents contend the law’s main accomplishment has been to create a new classification of criminals – individuals who out of conscience refuse to register their assault weapons because they believe the law overstepped their Second Amendment right to bear arms.

The column continues at the website. The Erie County Sheriff echoes the sentiments of many law enforcement officials across the country. “Will…shall I comply with a law that is clearly unenforceable and does nothing more than make criminals out of formerly law-abiding citizens?”

The New York Sheriffs Organization has examined the SAFE Act and has found a number of flaws and inconsistencies. They noted these flaws on their website and point out that a number of the Act’s provisions are unenforceable and produce undue burden of their offices and other agencies and institutions.

Three acts of defiance with days of one another: the Bundy Ranch vs. the BLM, gun owners of New York vs. the SAFE Act, and the NY Erie County Sheriff versus that same SAFE Act. When you add the defiance of many states against Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion, the refusal of those same states to create state exchanges, a person could reasonably expect more acts of defiance to occur at any time, any where.



It’s snowing at Casa Crucis…light snow mixed with a bit of sleet. It’s the middle of April! Yeah, it won’t stick, but still…


The American Thinker

An article in The American Thinker echoed, to an extent, with an experience of mine. It was some time ago. I was a contractor working for AT&T on a software project. One of the people I had to work with was Mark (I don’t remember his last name now, the events occurred twenty years ago.) Mark was a Unix system administrator and a proud member of the CWA, the Communications Workers of America.

I was a database administrator and had to work closely with Mark to insure database changes were implemented quickly and accurately. In a usual work day, I would spend a couple of hours with Mark—listening to his continuous tirade of AT&T oppression against the union, unfair wages, too much work, long working hours, etc., etc., etc. It grew tiresome. By my second day, I was disgusted with his litany. As a contractor, I wasn’t union. Mark gloated that the union would soon force me to pay union dues.

It didn’t happen. The union went on strike, for other reasons, and all of a sudden, I was assigned to do Mark’s job. I did his and my jobs together. Not only did I keep pace with the project, I eliminated a back-log of tasks Mark had neglected.

Three weeks later, the strike was over. Due to wage hikes, some administrative positions at AT&T were eliminated. Mark was one whose job was eliminated. He had not been aware his position was considered, ‘administrative.’ His tasks were assigned to a contractor. Mark had two weeks to find another job or be laid off.

A by-product of the strike was my project. It was over-budget and behind schedule. It was canceled and I was off to another contract.

Fast forward ten years. I was now employed at Sprint as a middle manager. My group had to work with a team in Texas. My team would develop software, the other team would support the servers for the production system. I scanned the names and saw a familiar name—Mark’s.

AT&T was union. Sprint was not, except for the Local Division, the former United Telephone Company that was the end-user local telecom provider in several states. Mark was employed by Sprint in a non-union position.

Early in the project, we spent a few minutes catching up. Mark had not found another union position within AT&T—the union had all such positions locked by contract. Mark was laid-off a few weeks after my contract with AT&T ended and he found another UNIX administrator job near Dallas, TX, a non-union job. Suddenly, Mark’s outlook changed. He was being paid less than when he was employed by AT&T, but now his take-home pay was more. Texas was also a Right-to-work state.

Mark shifted jobs. Each one paying a bit more until he joined Sprint. His attitude had changed. The CWA still tried to unionize Sprint and each attempt failed. Mark was no longer a union advocate. Instead, he was now strongly against the CWA and unions in general. It was surprising the change in environment, moving from a union to a non-union job and moving to a Right-to-Work state can make in a person.

What has this to do with The American Thinker? This article.

Escape from Liberal Despair?

By Andrew Thomas, April 14, 2014

If you want to understand why there are so many liberals in New York City, listen to the story of a couple I know all too well.  Donna and Frank, earning six-figures in salary, lived in relative squalor in Brooklyn, NY, as I related to AT readers in February.   They resided in a dark, dingy, rat-infested one room apartment.  Their neighborhood consisted of streets of dilapidated industrial buildings and sidewalks littered with trash and makeshift habitats for the homeless.  This was punctuated by the deafening traffic noise and exhaust fumes from the elevated expressway that ran overhead.

Like flies in the proverbial vinegar jar, they believed it was the sweetest place on Earth.  However, there was a subliminal anger dwelling deep within them, a vague feeling that some outside force was waging war on their existence.

Frank joined the local chapter of ISO, the International Socialist Organization.  There, he learned to cultivate his anger and resentment, and focus it on a hatred for capitalism, evil corporations, and greedy CEOs.  Donna was easily drawn into this dark cloud of bitter antipathy for all things capitalist and conservative.

Here I have to confess that Donna and Frank are more than just friends, they are family.  I am stuck with them.

Whenever they would come over for a visit, there was tension in the air.  Although Donna was upbeat and loquacious, any mention of conservative values or beliefs would set her off.  Frank was always in a bad mood.  He would stomp into our house without saying a word, sit in a corner with his arms crossed and wait for someone to light his fuse. 

With teeth clenched, Frank once told me that he had been oppressed all of his life.   I couldn’t help but laugh out loud, since I knew that he had led a relatively blessed upper-middle class existence since childhood.   Note:  He is not a blood relative, so his oppression fantasies are not my fault.

In January, Donna received a job offer from a company in Orlando, offering approximately the same six-figure salary as she was making in Brooklyn.  She accepted, and they moved immediately.

All of this is prologue to our latest encounter.  A dramatic change has taken place with Donna and Frank since their move.  They appear to be genuinely happy, and at peace with the world.

My wife and I took a long vacation to Orlando in March.  We spent a lot of time with them, and I was struck by the absence of tension in our relationship. 

Their new apartment is beautiful.  Everything in it is brand new, clean, and brightly lit.  The view from their balcony of the Orlando skyline and Lake Eola is breathtaking.  Their rent is about half of what they paid in Brooklyn. 

We walked to the downtown Church Street area for dinner.  The streets were filled with young, upscale professionals dining at the sidewalk cafés and dancing at the clubs.  The environment was vibrant and life-affirming.  I have never felt so old.

At dinner, Donna talked about her new job.  The work ethic of Millennials is atrocious, said Gen-X’er Donna.  They demand shorter work hours and flexible schedules.  She was appalled by their lack of commitment, and has had to fire several of them.   As a Boomer, I had to chuckle at the irony.

Frank seems totally different, as well.  He hasn’t yet found a job in teaching, but he is definitely upbeat about the future.  He talked about the horrors of the Common Core curriculum, and the difficulties in dealing with the latest generation of students.

With an enthusiastic, positively energized voice, he spoke about the promise of Orlando’s future and the vast opportunities available for entrepreneurs and investors there.   Frank has developed a passion for real estate, and has done some intensive research on potential areas of growth and development in the city.  As we drove through downtown, he pointed out several properties he thought I should purchase for investment.

I was amazed.  The anti-capitalist angst and negative energy I had felt from the two of them has been replaced with an optimism and an inner peace that is a stunning transformation.

I credit the “broken windows” theory.  A deleterious and toxic environment, such as the one Frank and Donna experienced in Brooklyn, is a cancer to the soul.  The result is a darkness that produces envy, frustration, and a hopelessness that is the foundation for a distorted leftist political philosophy.  As a growing, less-regulated and more free-market environment, sunny Orlando has been their repaired window.

Frank reminded me of Mark. Mark may not have been as rabid as Frank in the article above but they did have similarities. When we worked together at AT&T, Mark was at a hair-trigger, ready to take offense and ready to denounce any opinion that didn’t align with his.

Like Frank, when I next met, well, spoke with Mark, he had changed as radically as had Frank. A new environment, a new home in a conservative state, out from under the union thumb, Mark now had a new attitude, a new and much better life than the bitter one I had seen a decade earlier. I never met Mark again after we separated at AT&T but we spoke nearly every day while on that project and became friends.

Environment does impact life. Perhaps not in the way many assume. It is not the old ‘nature vs. nuture‘ argument, but similarities exist. It still takes an open mind to change. Unfortunately, given our government schools and massive welfare, all too many have no desire…nor need, to change while existing off the labor and money of others.

That life of dependency can and will change. At some point, to quote Margaret Thatcher, “You will eventually run out of other people’s money.” What will they do then?

A Rose by any other name…

There have been strange items appearing in the news today. Cuba has announced that “everyone” will pay taxes in the future. In general, the Cuban people have not paid taxes since the 1959 revolution—the country was subsidized by the former USSR. That ended in the 1990s.

With the reshuffle of their government two years ago, small, low-level capitalism was allowed in Cuba. Some were small business, a few were small private farms. The Cuban government wanted their share of those small successes.

It wasn’t enough. Now the Cuban government says everyone will pay taxes, not just those few “greedy” capitalists.  Sounds familiar, doesn’t it.  The parasite class in the US was sold a bill of goods by Obama and the dems declaring a plethora of free goodies. They, too, will discover like Cubans, that the list of freebies will end and someday the bill will come due. For the parasite class, that will begin next year with the first portions of Obamacare is implemented.


Here in Missouri, and I expect in many other states across the nation, conservative groups are gathering to form a unified platform they hope to implement in the Republican Party. Included in these groups are conservative ‘Pubs, Libertarians, Constitutionalists and Ron Paul supporters.

The hoped for fusion of these groups is to create an opposing force against the tactics of the ‘Pub establishment and the rule changes the establishment forced through in last Summer’s convention. They have a long list of grievances against the ‘Pub establishment—most of them well justified.

The discussions have, for the most part, been limited to private Facebook groups and other private lists. The initial goal of these groups is to work within the party to force a bottom-up change to core the party. Most of the members but not all, recognize that unification means power. They don’t want to create a new third party. A third party doesn’t have sufficient power to enact change—witness the futility of the Libertarians and the Constitution party. No, their goals are to change the nature of the Republican party, to stop the slide towards being just another democrat party, to reform the ‘Pubs to the original conservative, small government party of Reagan and Goldwater.

I haven’t seen much unification so far. All the motivations that created the conservative splintering still exists. The Libertarians cling to their party manifesto with its legalization of drugs and emasculation of themilitary. The Ron Paul faction still has their personality cult. It is now shifting to Rand Paul with the expectation that he, Rand Paul, is a clone of his father. That’s not yet proven. And, the Constitutionalists still hate the ‘Pubs for all their supposed offenses against conservatism.

So the name calling, the backbiting and backstabbing continues. Maybe, just maybe, these divergent groups will settle their differences and merge into a single force for change in the Republican Party. I’m not confident of their success. It will be interesting to see what happens. After all, as the old story goes, “Perhaps the horse will learn to sing.”


1. strict and demanding obedience: favoring strict rules and established authority
2. demanding political obedience: belonging to or believing in a political system in which obedience to the ruling person or group is strongly enforced
au·thor·i·tar·i·an NOUN
au·thor·i·tar·i·an·ism NOUN

Synonyms: strict, tyrannical, demanding, totalitarian, despotic, absolute, dictatorial, autocratic

Antonyms: liberal

Why bring this up? Well, Harry Reid is attempting to create a dictatorship in  the Senate with himself as the dictator. How? By eliminating the fulibuster…the sole remaining weapon of the ‘Pubs against a rubber stamp for Obama’s political appointments and foreign treaties. The dems were all against this when the ‘Pubs controlled the Senate prior to 2006 and they were the “obstructionists.”

Reid threatens filibuster change

McConnell hits back, says move threatens collegiality

By Stephen Dinan – The Washington Times, Monday, November 26, 2012

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid confirmed Monday he will push to change Senate rules and curtail some Republican filibusters next year, setting up a major test of collegiality and power politics in the usually chummy chamber that bills itself as “the world’s most exclusive club.”

Republicans said that if Mr. Reid goes ahead, he’ll not only ruin the unique nature of the Senate, but he’ll poison chances for bipartisan cooperation just as members of the next Congress are taking their seats in January.

The back-and-forth spilled over onto the Senate floor Monday, with Mr. Reid facing off against Sen. Mitch McConnell, the chamber’s top Republican, in a rare and acrid head-to-head debate.

“This is no exaggeration. What these Democrats have in mind is a fundamental change to the way the Senate operates, for the purposes of consolidating their own power,” the Kentucky Republican said. “In the name of efficiency, they would prevent the very possibility of compromise and threaten to make the disputes of the past few years look like mere pillow fights.”

The fight is not only about the filibuster, but the way the Senate writes all of its rules — of which the filibuster is just one example.

Mr. Reid plans to use his newly expanded majority to make the changes on the first day of the new Congress next year, which is the only time rules can be adopted on a simple majority vote. Any other time, a rules change requires a two-third vote, and most major changes are done through the two-thirds method.

Mr. Reid, though, said Republican blockades of bill after bill have left him no choice but to use the majority route — dubbed the “nuclear option” in some quarters — and said voters in this month’s elections showed they want faster action in the chamber.

“We’re going to follow the rules to make a couple of minor changes to make this place more efficient, and that’s what the Senate has always been about, is revising itself to become more efficient,” Mr. Reid said, dismissing GOP “threats” as bluster and wondering, “What more could they do to us?”

If Harry Reid is successful, the minority party—the ‘Pubs, will be powerless. A simple majority—which the dems already have, will be sufficient to pass anything not already requiring 2/3rds of the Senate. And, with this rule change, those 2/3rd requirements could be changed to require simple majorities as well. That is the real danger of Reid’s proposal.

Our government is funded by a series of “continuing resolutions” not a budget. The Senate has become a democrat rubber-stamp. Obama continues to act like a dictator ignoring the Constitution whenever it prohibits his acts. And 51% of the voters lap at the public trough.

It’s going to be a rough four years.

Friday Follies for November 16, 2012

Union kills Twinkies, Ding-Dongs and Cup Cakes

Hostess Brands announced today they will cease business and liquidate their assets. The announcement ends a company that started in 1930. The company filed for Chapter 11 earlier this year. The bankruptcy court dissolved the contracts with the two unions to allow the company to negotiate wage and benefit cuts. One union, the Teamsters, agreed and negotiated a new contract. The other union, the Baker and Confectionery Workers, refused and went on strike.

The two unions, combined, number about one-third of the total 18,000 employees. The strike closed the company’s bakeries and put all 18,000 jobs in jeopardy.

The union complained they’d already made concessions after a bankruptcy several years ago and that the company had ceased contributing to the union pension fund.

Pension fund! That’s the reason for the strike?

Most companies now have no pension fund. They can’t afford any in today’s economy. Like their public-sector brethren, unions still cling to their pensions, killing companies and jobs while ignoring the welfare of their members and the other employees.


White House proven to be a liar—again!

Members of Congress shown drone footage of attack in Benghazi

November 16, 2012 | 6:36 am

Congressional intelligence committees yesterday got an exclusive look at video footage from the terrorist attack in Benghazi that killed four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens.

After the hearing, Reuters reports, Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Dianne Feinstein revealed that the video included footage of the attack from a Predator Drone.

“The film is a composite from a number of sources,” Feinstein said. “It is real-time, it does begin from when the incident, before the incident started, and it goes through the incident and the exodus.”

The video from the drone is proof the White House lied about the events in September. The drone video was available real-time.  The question is whether the White House actually had anyone on duty at the time to alert Obama, the State Department and the National Security Adviser of the attack? The investigation will continue today with the testimony of ex-CIA Director Petraeus.


Money allocated for security wasted

No wonder Hilliary won’t come home. An investigator revealed that money for Consulate security had been increased. Little was done with that money and the question now is where did the money go?

Investigator criticizes State spending on security

Says department was overly ‘reactive’
The State Department has seen dramatic boosts in diplomatic security funding and staffing but failed to spend the money strategically and didn’t fill key posts, a congressional investigator said Thursday as Congress took a closer look at how four Americans died in the Sept. 11 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya.


Where the blame truly lies

Finally, here’s Michael Ramirez’s contribution for the Cartoon of the Week.

Mad Max, Redux

I’ve been debating whether to write about this subject for several days.  It’s a column written by Victor Davis Hanson over the weekend and appeared in PJ Media.  The column sounds like a science fiction tale. Unfortunately, it isn’t. It is factual and it is happening today.

During World War II the government produced a series of movies, what we’d call infomercials today, called, “Why we fight.” Hanson’s column can be considered to fall into that category because if we don’t heed it, it will come to us.

When you read this, picture the events not in California, but here in Missouri.  Kansas City is just next door to our county. We already have criminal elements moving into our towns.  A number of years ago, a man was shot and killed in his drive-way. If I recall correctly, it later turned our to be a drug deal gone bad. That shooting occurred only a few blocks from my home.

Complacency is our enemy. It is our enemy to understanding our personal vulnerability and it is our enemy to our political vulnerability.  When half the population pays no taxes, is dependent on governmental largess, what do you think will happen when the gravy train stops, when Obama’s stash is empty? They will be coming at us to take our stash.

Where’s Mel Gibson When You Need Him?

George Miller’s 1981 post-apocalyptic film The Road Warrior envisioned an impoverished world of the future. Tribal groups fought over what remained of a destroyed Western world of law, technology, and mass production. Survival went to the fittest — or at least those who could best scrounge together the artifacts of a long gone society somewhat resembling the present West.

Our Version

Sometimes, and in some places, in California I think we have nearly descended into Miller’s dark vision — especially the juxtaposition of occasional high technology with premodern notions of law and security. The state deficit is at $16 billion. Stockton went bankrupt; Fresno is rumored to be next. Unemployment stays over 10% and in the Central Valley is more like 15%. Seven out of the last eleven new Californians went on Medicaid, which is about broke. A third of the nation’s welfare recipients are in California. In many areas, 40% of Central Valley high school students do not graduate — and do not work, if the latest crisis in finding $10 an hour agricultural workers is any indication. And so on.

Our culprit out here was not the Bomb (and remember, Hiroshima looks a lot better today than does Detroit, despite the inverse in 1945). The condition is instead brought on by a perfect storm of events that have shred the veneer of sophisticated civilization. Add up the causes. One was the destruction of the California rural middle class. Manufacturing jobs, small family farms, and new businesses disappeared due to globalization, high taxes, and new regulations. A pyramidal society followed of a few absentee land barons and corporate grandees, and a mass of those on entitlements or working for government or employed at low-skilled service jobs. The guy with a viable 60 acres of almonds ceased to exist.

Illegal immigration did its share. No society can successfully absorb some 6-7 million illegal aliens, in less than two decades, the vast majority without English, legality, or education from the poorer provinces of Mexico, the arrivals subsidized by state entitlements while sending billions in remittances back to Mexico — all in a politicized climate where dissent is demonized as racism. This state of affairs is especially true when the host has given up on assimilation, integration, the melting pot, and basic requirements of lawful citizenship.

…here are some of the concerns recently in the Valley. There is now an epidemic of theft from tarped homes undergoing fumigation. Apparently as professionals tent over homes infested with termites, gangs move into the temporarily abandoned houses to burrow under the tarps and loot the premises— convinced that the dangers of lingering poisonous gas are outweighed by the chance of easy loot.  Who sues whom when the gangbanger prying into the closet is found gassed ? When I get termites, I spot treat myself with drill and canisters; even the professional services warn that they can kill off natural pests, but not keep out human ones.

No one in the Central Valley believes that they can stop the epidemic of looting copper wire. I know the local Masonic Hall is not the Parthenon, but you get the picture of our modern Turks prying off the lead seals of the building clamps of classical temples.

Protection is found only in self-help. To stop the Road Warriors from stripping the copper cable from your pump or the community’s street lights, civilization is encouraged to put in a video camera, more lighting, more encasement, a wire protective mesh — all based on the premise that the authorities cannot stop the thieves and your livelihood is predicated on the ingenuity of your own counter-terrorism protocols. But the thief is always the wiser: he calculates the cost of anti-theft measures, as well as the state’s bill in arresting, trying, and rehabilitating him, and so wagers that it is cheaper for all of us to let him be and just clean up his mess.

In around 1960, rural California embraced modern civilization. By that I mean both in the trivial and fundamental sense. Rural dogs were usually vaccinated and licensed — and so monitored. Homes were subject to building codes and zoning laws; gone were the privies and lean-tos. Streets were not just paved, but well-paved. My own avenue was in far better shape in 1965 than it is now. Mosquito abatement districts regularly sprayed stagnant water ponds to ensure infectious disease remained a thing of our early-20th-century past. Now they merely warn us with West Nile Virus alerts. Ubiquitous “dumps” dotted the landscape, some of them private, ensuring, along with the general code of shame, that city-dwellers did not cast out their old mattresses or baby carriages along the side of the road. It seems the more environmental regulations, the scarcer the dumps and the more trash that litters roads and private property.

I walk each night around the farm. What is the weirdest find? A nearby alleyway has become a dumping place for the rotting corpses of fighting dogs. Each evening or so, a dead dog (pit bulls, Queensland terriers) with a rope and plenty of wounds is thrown up on the high bank. The coyotes make short work of the remains. Scattered about are several skeletons with ropes still around their necks. I suppose that at about 2 a.m. the organizers of dog fights drive in and cast out the evenings’ losers. I have never seen such a thing in 58 years (although finding plastic bags with dead kittens in the trash outside my vineyard was a close second). Where is PETA when you need them? Is not the epidemic of dog- and cock-fighting in central California a concern of theirs?

The public schools were once the key to California’s ascendance. Universal education turned out well-prepared citizens who were responsible for California’s rosy future — one based on an excellent tripartite higher education system of junior colleges, state colleges, and universities; sophisticated dams and irrigation systems; and a network of modern freeways and roads.

I think it is a fair assessment to say that all of the above is long past. Since about 1992, on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) testing, California ranks between 41 and 48 in math and science, depending on the year and the particular grade that is assessed. About half of the incoming freshmen at the California State University system — the largest public university in the world — are not qualified to take college courses, and must first complete “remediation” to attain a level of competence that was assumed forty years ago in the senior year of high school. The students I taught at CSU Fresno were far better prepared in 1984 than those in 2004 are; the more money, administrators, “learning centers,” and counselors, the worse became the class work.

What makes The Road Warrior so chilling a metaphor is the combination of the premodern and postmodern. While utter chaos reigns in rural California, utter absurdity reigns inside the barricades, so to speak, on the coast. So, for example, San Franciscans will vote on whether to blow up the brilliantly engineered Hetch Hetchy water project (I bet they won’t vote yes), more or less the sole source of water for the San Francisco Bay Area. The National Park Service debates blowing up historic stone bridges over the Merced River in Yosemite Valley — as hyper-environmentalists assume that they have so much readily available power and water from prior generations at their fingertips that they have the luxury of dreaming of returning to a preindustrial California. Of course, they have no clue that their romance is already reified outside Madera, Fresno, or Bakersfield.

Hanson writes long articles. I’ve only quoted a small portion of his entire column. I urge you to follow the link and read all of it.  It could be prophetic, a cautionary tale coming to us if we are complacent. Now is the time to change our political climate. With that change in hand, we can attempt to reverse the social rot created by democrats and liberals. I know many who are taking Hanson’s warning to heart and, as individuals, are preparing as is Hanson.

Preparing as individuals does not change the future. We must work together, with a clear goal in mind, or as Franklin once said, “We will all hang together.”


The Missouri Primary is a week from today. The weaker candidates have begun, or in the case of a couple, continue their mud-slinging, negative ads. It is interesting to note the most of recipients of that mud have not responded in kind.

I don’t like mudslinging, especially by those who initiate it or take advantage of 3rd party attacks on their opponent. For me, it makes my choice of candidates easy. Easier still when I vet the claims personally (it’s easy with Google and internet search engines) and find them false.

I wonder why, in this internet age, more voters don’t do the same. I also wonder why my establishment ‘Pub friends don’t vet their candidates better when all the facts are readily available with only a few minutes search. Apparently one county office candidate not only does not live in the county, he doesn’t even live in the state! How did he get approval by the party to run? Good, unanswered question.

It reminds me of an old science fiction novel.  A planet is colonized by three groups. One group consists mostly of fundamental Christians (this novel was written in a time when Christian-bashing was not in vogue,) another group was anarchists (what we’d call dyed-in-the-wool libertarians today,) and the the last group was Amish.

When the planet is visited centuries later, the society on that planet is viable and growing. There is no government as such (some local committees are implied,) no money nor coinage, and…no poverty, no illiteracy, no crime.

When I said there was no money, I didn’t mean to say there was no medium of exchange.  In a nutshell that medium was…”You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.” Obs or obligations was that medium. If someone needed a pair of shoes, he went to a cobbler and got a pair. In exchange, he agreed to perform an obligation to the cobbler. That obligation could be tilling a field or helping with a harvest or teaching someone a trade.  Obs could be major or minor…and could be traded.

Obs are much like politics. In exchange for support, obligations are given, or traded. That ob can be called immediately, such as campaign support, or at some future date.  In today-speak we some times call this compromising. A distasteful word that—compromise. A weakening of a personal, philosophical or moral stand to gain some advantage.

I have to question the values of a person who would violate their personal values for gain in some form. That gain usually is ambition.  The old you support me, I’ll support you. Yes, I may be naive, but I find it difficult to compromise my values at any time.

That’s why I’ll never run for office.

I’ll close this segment with a question. When you vote next week, what obligation have you given…or received for your vote. Will your vote be given because you truly think your candidate is the best of all those running? Or, will your vote be given to one who owes you an obligation, who has purchased your vote. For me, it will be the former.


Remember the New Black Panther voter intimidation charge from 2008? The New Black Panthers were found guilty of intimidation. The penalty phase was in progress when Eric Holder’s Department of Justice dropped the charges allowing the New Black Panthers to go free.  There was a lawsuit filed over the interference of the DoJ during that process and a Judge has ruled.  Last week in fact.

Federal Court finds Obama appointees interfered with New Black Panther prosecution

July 30, 2012

A federal court in Washington, DC, held last week that political appointees appointed by President Obama did interfere with the Department of Justice’s prosecution of the New Black Panther Party.

The ruling came as part of a motion by the conservative legal watch dog group Judicial Watch, who had sued the DOJ in federal court to enforce a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for documents pertaining to the the New Black Panthers case. Judicial Watch had secured many previously unavailable documents through their suit against DOJ and were now suing for attorneys’ fees.

Obama’s DOJ had claimed Judicial Watch was not entitled to attorney’s fees since “none of the records produced in this litigation evidenced any political interference whatsoever in” how the DOJ handled the New Black Panther Party case. But United States District Court Judge Reggie Walton disagreed. Citing a “series of emails” between Obama political appointees and career Justice lawyers, Walton writes:

The documents reveal that political appointees within DOJ were conferring about the status and resolution of the New Black Panther Party case in the days preceding the DOJ’s dismissal of claims in that case, which would appear to contradict Assistant Attorney General Perez’s testimony that political leadership was not involved in that decision. Surely the public has an interest in documents that cast doubt on the accuracy of government officials’ representations regarding the possible politicization of agency decision-making.

In sum, the Court concludes that three of the four fee entitlement factors weigh in favor of awarding fees to Judicial Watch. Therefore, Judicial Watch is both eligible and entitled to fees and costs, and the Court must now consider the reasonableness of Judicial Watch’s requested award.

The New Black Panthers case stems from a Election Day 2008 incident where two members of the New Black Panther Party were filmed outside a polling place intimidating voters and poll watchers by brandishing a billy club. Justice Department lawyers investigated the case, filed charges, and when the Panthers failed to respond, a federal court in Philadelphia entered a “default” against all the Panthers defendants. But after Obama was sworn in, the Justice Department reversed course, dismissed charges against three of the defendants, and let the fourth off with a narrowly tailored restraining order.

“The Court’s decision is another piece of evidence showing the Obama Justice Department is run by individuals who have a problem telling the truth,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said. “The decision shows that we can’t trust the Obama Justice Department to fairly administer our nation’s voting and election laws.”

The Fat Lady has yet to sing on this case.


I have never been a Romney fan. I thought, and still think there are better, stronger candidates in the field. But Romney is the chosen one by the ‘Pub establishment and he has the committed votes to insure his nomination. That said, the following news item brought a grin to my face.

Mitt Romney Spokesman Tells Reporters ‘Kiss My …’ at Polish Holy Site

WARSAW, Poland – A Mitt Romney spokesman reprimanded reporters traveling with the candidate on his six-day foreign trip, telling them to “kiss my a**” after they shouted questions from behind a rope line.

As Romney left the site of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Warsaw and walked toward his motorcade parked in Pilsudski Square, reporters began shouting questions from the line where campaign staffers had told them to stay behind, prompting traveling press secretary Rick Gorka to tell a group of reporters to “kiss my a**” and “shove it.”

It seems the “reporters” where shouting questions such as, “Governor Romney, do you have a statement for the Palestinians?” and “Governor Romney, are you concerned about some of the mishaps of your trip.”

The questions were not about Romney’s visit to the Polish War Memorial but were designed to cause embarrassment. Romney’s PR guy responded appropriately, in my opinion. In fact, he deserves a bonus.

And the MSM complains about losing business and the approaching bankruptcy. Newsweek is dropping their print magazine in favor of a website. By subscription, I presume.  That won’t help.  It’s not the medium that is causing their problems, it’s biased content. People recognize bias treatment of the news and out-right lies when they see it. The MSM is doomed. In a decade there will be only a handful left.

And few of us will care. It’s another example of Evolution in Action.

Time Shift

Like many, Mrs. Crucis and I spent a normal Independence Day. We did have one variance. We replaced one of my oldest personal possessions — my office chair.  I’ve owned this chair for 32 years. In 1980 I worked as a field engineer for a computer company.  I supervised around 30 other engineers and traveled to sites where a local engineer had a problem he couldn’t fix.  Between those field calls, I spent a lot of time in the office.

It was a normal HON swivel chair. A common design for the times.  When the company upgraded our office furniture from the standard office/desk arrangement to cubes and modular furniture, I was able to buy my chair.  It’s been my home office chair since that time.

Now, I’m no longer 33 years old. The chair isn’t new.  It’s still in good shape and I’ll keep it for visitors but with age, occasional bouts with bursitis and arthritis, I need something with a bit more…cushion. Whatever cushioning the old chair had is now long gone.  The new one is classified “For Profession Use.” Well, I certainly put in a number of hours at my keyboard each day. If time equates to being a professional, I fit the bill.

I’ll roll my old friend aside. It won’t end up on the trash heap.  Not for many years yet. If that ever happened it would be like abandoning an old friend.  I have many faults but disloyalty isn’t one of them. Let’s just say the chair will enjoy a peaceful retirement. Like me.