Sunday, February 26, 2017

Virginia’s Alt Right: A Bunch of Crap

Virginia’s Alt Right: A Bunch of Crap

In the seemingly endless exchanges of comments on social media and in political discussions between people of similar political beliefs, there is one group that stands out above the conservative crowd as totally unreasonable, unwavering and a total bunch of blowhard asses: The Alt Right.  In Virginia, the Alt Right has a blowhardy blog called the Virginia Underground Railroad, which publishes incendiary pieces about leftists and attacks those on the right it deems as “establishment” politicians in office for their records, their affiliations and a myriad of other things. 

The Alt Right “movement” is not a brand new phenomenon.  The term was adopted by white supremacists in 2010 and the leftstream media seems to have amped-up awareness of an Alt Right movement during the 2016 Presidential campaign, falsely labeling Donald Trump and some of his staff and supporters as “Alt Right”.  However, there are still some (perhaps many) in the conservative political ether that cling to the Alt Right ideal, which is disturbing upon inspection.

In the Virginia Underground Railroad’s September 23, 2016 blog defining “Virginia’s Alt Right”, they give credit to the outline of the basic tenets of the movement to another blog, Vox Popoli.  Interestingly, while they give credit and link these basic principles, they changed some of the wording from the cited Vox Popoli blog.  So what are these tenets?  Here they are, enumerated and commented upon as listed in the Virginia Underground Railroad blog:

  1. The Alt Right is of the political right in both the American and the European sense of the term. Socialists are not Alt Right. Progressives are not Alt Right. Liberals are not Alt Right. Communists, Marxists, Marxians, cultural Marxists, and neocons are not Alt Right.
So we’re defining who is not Alt Right, but who is Alt Right, right?  We’ll keep going.

2.     The Alt Right is an ALTERNATIVE to the mainstream conservative movement in the USA that is nominally encapsulated by Russel Kirk's 10 Conservative Principles, but in reality has devolved towards progressivism. It is also an alternative to libertarianism

Read: The Alt Right is so conservative, even the Tea Party wasn’t conservative enough for us.  This tenet also editorializes that the mainstream conservative movement has “devolved toward progressivism”, but fails to define what that means in their view.  My question would be, what is your idea of “progressivism”?  Both sides trying to work together?  That’s progress I can get behind because it serves the people.

  1. The Alt Right is not a defensive attitude and rejects the concept of noble and principled defeat. It is a forward-thinking philosophy of offense, in every sense of that term. The Alt Right believes in victory through persistence and remaining in harmony with science, reality, cultural tradition, and the lessons of history.

So they claim to be forward-thinking, but don’t like progressivism?  I actually appreciate the belief in victory through persistence, but the comment about “remaining in harmony with science, reality, cultural tradition and the lessons of history” is interesting.  It’s also the first mention of science.  There are more as you will see.  I’d also like the term “cultural tradition” to be defined, but it isn’t.

  1. The Alt Right believes Western civilization is the pinnacle of human achievement and supports its three foundational pillars: Christianity, the European nations, and the Graeco-Roman legacy.

I’m down with Western civilizations being the pinnacle of human achievement, but doesn’t supporting the pillar of Christianity fly in the face of science?  And please note the omission of the “Judeo” part of what is normally referred to as a “Judeo-Christian” ethos. This tenet is also very Euro-centric.  Hold on to that, we’ll come back to that in a bit.

  1. The Alt Right is openly and avowedly nationalist. It supports all nationalisms and the right of all nations to exist, homogeneous and unadulterated by foreign invasion and immigration.
  2. The Alt Right is anti-globalist. It opposes all groups who work for globalist ideals or globalist objectives

These two are lumped together because they piggy-back off of one another.  The statement about homogeneous nations unadulterated by foreign invasion and immigration is interesting, don’t you think?  Has America ever been homogeneous?  Will it ever be?  And if you believe this tenet, there must be a plan to work toward this, yes?  I’d be interested to know what that is, because it sounds like it could be alluding to ethnic cleansing, if you ask me.

  1. The Alt Right is anti-equalitarian. It rejects the idea of equality for the same reason it rejects the ideas of unicorns and leprechauns, noting that human equality does not exist in any observable scientific, legal, material, intellectual, sexual, or spiritual form.
This is the first one I can get on board with.  Equality is a unicorn.  It does not exist.  Neither does fairness.  Rock on with this philosophy, but so far, this is the only one that doesn’t sound like bullshit.  Oh, and leprechauns totally exists.  You’ll see on March 17th!

8.     The Alt Right is scientodific. It presumptively accepts the current conclusions of the scientific method (scientody), while understanding a) these conclusions are liable to future revision, b) that scientistry is susceptible to corruption, and c) that the so-called scientific consensus is not based on scientody, but democracy, and is therefore intrinsically unscientific

Ok, guys… scientodific, scientody and scientistry are not words in the English language!  Where the hell did you come up with these?  And if you’re so concentrated on science, where does Christianity (or Judeo-Christian ethos) factor into it?  Smelling the bullshit yet?
(Side note, yes, I know “leftstream” is also not a word in the English language, nor is “blowhardy”)

9.     The Alt Right believes identity > culture > politics

Identity is greater than culture.  Who’s identity?  Individual identity?  Group identity?  National identity?  What are we talking about here?  Culture is greater than politics. But doesn’t culture drive politics in most democratic republics?  This is how a society progresses and evolves, is it not?

  1. The Alt Right is opposed to the rule or domination of any native ethnic group by another, particularly in the sovereign homelands of the dominated peoples. The Alt Right is opposed to any non-native ethnic group obtaining excessive influence in any society through nepotism, tribalism, or any other means.
“Opposed to any non-native ethnic group obtaining excessive influence…”  So by that rationale, the Native Americans should be in power, yes?  To be fair, I think the sentiment behind this tenet is altruistic, but when combined with some of the other bullshit on this list, it loses its altruism entirely.

  1. The Alt Right understands that diversity + proximity = war.
Again, a nice little hat-tip to a homogenous society, which can likely only be accomplished through ethnic cleansing.  I would argue that diversity + proximity = evolution, but who the hell am I to throw common sense and reason into the mix?

12.  The Alt Right doesn't care what you think of it

Including self-avowed members of the Alt Right?  And who is “you”?  Unfortunately, I’ve seen this tenet played out in person and in social media.  It’s a very “I’m right, you’re wrong… and you’re a ‘liberal’ for disagreeing with us” mentality.  This is how dipshits like Corey Stewart get to run for Governor and gain a following.  He doesn’t care what you think about him.  He also appears to hold true to many of the above tenets and some to follow. 

  1. The Alt Right rejects international free trade and the free movement of peoples that free trade requires. The benefits of intranational free trade is not evidence for the benefits of international free trade.
Another hat-tip to nationalism.  I could probably write a whole article on the pros and cons of international free trade.  Suffice it to say, trade anywhere, whether international or intranational needs to be equal to work for everyone, right?  But they already told us equality is a unicorn, so where does that leave us. Throw out your smart phones, folks!

Now here’s a doozy…

14.  The Alt Right believes we must defend and protect the Caucasian race. We must reverse the population decline of whites in the Western world.

Interestingly, this tenet was the only one altered by the authors of the Virginia Underground Railroad from the cited Vox Popoli blog.  The original #14 from the linked blog reads:

The Alt Right believes we must secure the existence of white people and a future for white children.”

Now, the difference is in the language.  The sentiment is exactly the same.  And it’s racist.  This is taken right out of the Nazi playbook and, when combined with several other of the tenets espousing ideologies of nationalism and homogeneous society, the picture starts to become clear.  And let me be equally clear: If you adhere to the Alt Right ideal and read this and think to yourself “that’s reasonable” or it inspires you in any way, you are a racist too.  I’m white, my wife is white, my kids are white.  So what?  “Defend and protect” vs. “Secure the existence of” is the same thing.  I find it oddly disingenuous that the Virginia Underground Railroad blog author(s) (whomever they are) would change the wording on this and not much else.  If you defend this, you’re either stupid or a liar.  So which is it?  Time to pick a side, Alt Righters.  You either agree with this or you don’t. 

Now, they follow up that racist crap with this statement:

15.  The Alt Right does not believe in the general supremacy of any race, nation, people, or sub-species. Every race, nation, people, and human sub-species has its own unique strengths and weaknesses, and possesses the sovereign right to dwell unmolested in the native culture it prefers.

So, ‘up the whites’, but no “supremacy of any race…, people or sub-species.”  Is that right?  This is in direct conflict to #14.  The stench of bullshit is now enveloping the whole movement. 

Ok, last one…

16.  The Alt Right is a philosophy that values peace among the various nations of the world and opposes wars to impose the values of one nation upon another as well as efforts to exterminate individual nations through war, genocide, immigration, or genetic assimilation.

We value peace, but as #11 points out, “diversity + proximity = war”.  We oppose war, but in #11, we just gave you a recipe for it.  We believe in a homogeneous society, but not through genocide or genetic assimilation.  Now the bullshit is piled so high, you’d need a periscope to figure out where it ends. 

Here’s the problem with the Alt Right:  Their heads are so far up their own asses telling themselves they’re “standing up for conservatives” and digging their heels in on every little thing that they fail to see they’re part of the problem.  And unfortunately, as time goes on in the Trump administration, they stand to be an even bigger part of the problem.

Sure, call me a “liberal” because I *gasp* respect people as individuals, and don’t judge groups overall as a race or ethnicity.  Dub me an “uneducated leftists” because I appreciate that my kids go to schools where they’re exposed to different cultures, opinions and beliefs, then use what their parents taught them and their own good judgement in concert with that to come to conclusions on their own. Call me whatever you need to call me, just don’t ever call me a member of the Alt Right… because I have a very low threshold for bullshit and these tenets are pure, unadulterated, grade-A bullshit.

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Saturday, February 18, 2017

Reversal of the Political Bell Curve

Reversal of the Political Bell Curve

On one of my recent morning runs, I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts (Reasonable Doubt with Adam Carolla & Attorney Mark Geragos) and Mr. Geragos briefly mentioned an interesting theory which I have heard at least one other time in the past week.  The political bell curve, he said, is changing.  We used to have lunatics on the far left and lunatics on the far right and most people would fall in between as moderates.  Now it seems the lunatics on both sides are growing more and more vocal and pervasive and the moderate man in the middle is the one who is drowned out… or perhaps just forced into silence.

This same notion was put forth by Chuck Todd on la recent edition of Meet the Press when he was interviewing former Virginia Senator Jim Webb.  Webb, a former U.S. Marine, Republican and Secretary of the Navy under President Reagan, changed political affiliation in the 2006 to become a Democrat.  Chuck Todd questioned Webb, who by all accounts is very moderate, about the carving out of the political center, which is giving way to “hard-liners” (a.k.a. lunatics) on both sides of the political spectrum.  What’s the evidence to support these theories? There are more and more with each passing day.
First, let’s look at the obvious example, the election of Donald Trump as President.  Love him or hate him, you can be sure that Trump is, by in large, not a moderate.  He appeals to the marginalized majority -- the factory worker who lost his job in the past 5 years, the tradesman whose company packed up and moved Mexico, the firefighter whose health insurance copays and deductibles have skyrocketed under Obamacare.  He is as blunt as they come and is unapologetic about it.  Is he likable?  Those who meet him in person say he is.  But let’s just put it this way, Hillary Clinton is so unlikable that she lost to Donald Trump!  That should say something!

If we’re being 100% honest about Mr. Trump’s domestic and foreign policies and statements he’s made regarding same, he’s anything but moderate.  It’s more accurate to say he’s can lean moderate on some social issues like gay rights.  (Of course, that doesn’t stop the WaPo and the HuffPo from publishing stories about how much he hates homosexuals, but I digress).  His policies on illegal immigration, foreign relations with certain countries, refugees, etc. are all very hard-right.  That’s fine, that’s who we elected, but it signals a shift in American politics and social policy with regard to certain topics which makes the hard-right much more mainstream.  Unfortunately, a lot of the hard-right is also terribly unreasonable and unwavering in this mainstream awakening of their ideals (see article re: Corey Stewart).

The left has the same issues.  Jim Webb is what I would call a respectable, thoughtful, moderate Democrat, but even he acknowledged that “The Democratic Party… has moved very far to the left” and “They’re looking toward 2018 and they don’t have a message.”  He’s very correct.  At least Trump and his minions had a simple, succinct message: Make America Great Again.  The Democratic party, now full of leftist radicals both in the grass roots and in various public policy positions, has no leadership, no vision, no message… Other than to badger, bully and berate GOP Congressman on social media, cry out for town hall meetings, then complain when they’re given town hall meetings that ostensibly aren’t held in resistance member’s living rooms.  It’s ridiculous and the leftstream media isn’t helping. 

The media and their constant leftist barrage of “news” related to President Trump and his administration is insane.  I listen to NPR regularly because it’s the only decent news station on the radio in the morning where I live.  Virtually every half-hour starts off with a headline “Donald Trump…” and then goes on to editorialize about something the President or his administration did.  The concentration on the President is not limited to NPR.  As I’ve expressed many times, if Mr. Trump thought the leftstream media wasn’t kind to him on the campaign trail, wait till we have to endure 4 years of President Trump’s relationship with them.  They’ll be relentless.  In a recent NPR interview with a WaPo reporter about the Trump Campaign staffers having contact with Russian operatives, the reporter said they had 10 reporters working solely on the story.  Sounds like a witch-hunt to me.  And all that approach does is feed the radical leftist ideal like a hungry tiger.  The leftstream media is driving people further to the far left and they are complicit in the violence and hate that is a groundswell of the radical left.

This house in Henrico County, VA is a great example of the hate & vitriol spewing from the left.  The irony is not lost that “Hateful Republicans” is right next to a sign apparently calling for the immolation of a GOP U.S. Congressman. 

I’m a middle-aged white male.  I am politically aware and I pay attention to what’s going on in the world.  In my lifetime, I have never seen such hate and vitriol, not just toward the President, but toward anyone of conservative ideal.  While the Tea Party may have given a voice to the lunatic right, the “indivisible” or “resistance” movement is giving a voice to the lunatic left.  And increasingly, you have to pick a side, otherwise you’re labeled an enemy of whichever side you thought you fell into.  After my article on Corey Stewart, some labeled me a liberal on social media.  I know you don’t know me, but I’m far from liberal.  Like Corey did in the GOP meeting referenced in the article, some simply assumed I was liberal because I had an opposing view. That’s unreasonable and the unreasonables on both sides are growing in number and in voice.

The “no-brainer effect” of the lunatics on both sides having a louder voice and more influence is that our elected officials are increasingly having to tow the party line if they want to keep their jobs, hardly ever giving audience to any moderate ideas.  I’ve seen over the past few weeks how the leftists attack conservative officials who may not share their ideals or enact policy as they see fit grow louder, more intolerant and unreasonable.  The same thing happens on the right, hence the rise of lunatics and zealots on that side as well.  Yes, I’m looking at you, alt-right folks riding the Underground Railroad. 

What’s with the “alt-right” anyway?  The Tea Party wasn’t conservative enough for you? Too much of an "establishment"?

So what are reasonable people supposed to do?  Are the reasonables like Jim Webb and Adam Carolla a dying breed or are the normal, reasonable people just afraid to speak out?  Does no one want to hear an opposing viewpoint just because it comes from the opposition?  Rep. Tom Garrett said in his online Town Hall recently, no one has a monopoly on good ideas.  He’s right.  So let’s all try to be a little more reasonable and work together to get some of these good ideas into practice.  Because the way things are going now, I’m not seeing a lot of unity in anything other than disdain for the other side.


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Wednesday, February 8, 2017

“Peace-Loving” Leftists on the Warpath

Peace-Loving” Leftists on the Warpath

A few weeks ago, I attended a town hall meeting hosted by my local Delegate in the Virginia General Assembly.  I’ve attended two of these in each of the years prior, and all of the previous ones have been a very cordial exchange of information and emphasis of legislative policy points to help keep the constituents of the district informed as to what their representative(s) were doing in Richmond.  Then there was this year’s town hall. 

As I arrived, I noticed there were probably at least a third more attendees than in years prior.  That’s fine, no biggie.  After the events surrounding last year’s election, I expect more involvement.  But many of these people were far more than involved, they imposed a vocal monopoly, were confrontational, argumentative and at times, borderline rude.  By virtue of the fact that they dictated the direction of the conversation and all huddled together, front & center, I could tell very quickly that a conservative opinion or point of view would not be welcomed by this crowd.  One older gentleman even brought up a point about the government interfering too much in people’s lives and I thought they would stab him. 

What was even more telling about these obvious leftists is the complete nincompoopery of the issues to which they assign importance.  Marijuana legalization topped the list.  I hate to be Mr. Buzzkill, but who really cares, what with all the major problems in society and the world?  I really don’t give a fiddler’s fart about marijuana.  If you’re conservative and prioritize your top three issues in order of importance, does marijuana legalization really hit anywhere in your top three list?  Public safety, quality affordable education, job creation, free market commerce, abortion, right to self-defense, less government/regulation, lower taxes, etc… all of those and more probably top the list for 90% of conservatives over marijuana legalization.  And to be frank, the argument that it may (or may not) serve a medicinal purpose is largely disingenuous and horribly transparent.  There are other reasons to legalize it, but the medical reason doesn't affect most people.  It really makes me wonder if legalizers just want to sit in their living room and get high without getting arrested.  As far as I’m concerned, rock on!  I get it, so let’s stop talking about it as if it really matters, because it really doesn’t in the big picture.  But that didn’t stop the group from monopolizing the conversation for 10-15 minutes or more, hashing it out with the Delegate (pun intended).

If you really want to get a glimpse into the overall mindset of the leftists at this meeting, it’s summed up by their answer to one question that was asked by another attendee:  Would you support a tax increase if it meant better services for those in need?  All of the leftists in the room raised their hands!  First off, this is not a basic function of government.  Second, the determination of who is "in need" is largely up for debate, depending on who is in power.  Third, the government has shown repeatedly that handing them more of our hard-earned money doesn’t work out well for most people most of the time, so why would we want to give them MORE?  Churches, civic organizations, tax exempt charities all do a much better job at this and have more incentive to do so, other than continuing to exist and bloat the public coffers with our tax dollars.

Unfortunately, I did not come away with a warm-fuzzy feeling about the populous and their legislative priorities after this meeting.  It occurred to me later, however, that I was one of several silent people in the room, maybe as many as half.  Do you know why that is?  Because what my Delegate (and others, as illustrated later) underwent hosting a town hall would be met upon the conservative element in the room if we opened our mouths.  That much I know, and I was too tired and it was too late for me to want fist fight a greenie weenie.  I did email my Delegate the next day, thanked him and let him know that there was another perspective in the room and told him what me and my family prioritize when it comes time to vote.  I truly think he was appreciative.

Now comes the other prong in this attack by the left: The constant barrage of online attacks on social media by leftists upon Republican/Conservative legislators.  Do you have Facebook?  If you do and haven’t checked the official Congressional pages of any of your Republican Representatives lately, you may want to.  Get some popcorn, because the trolling freak show is a sight to behold!  And even though these Republican Congressmen and women are doing what the majority of their constituency voted them into office to do (some of them voted in by an overwhelming majority, by the way), the ostensibly unemployed, government-supported masses come out in droves under the relative safety of the internet, likely because they have nothing but free time.  I spent some time myself cataloging some examples this past week.

Suck the teat of donors and lobbyists to get rich?  That doesn’t sound too tolerant to me!  By the way, he's been in office for a grand total of a month!

That’s one call for a town hall… And what do you have against High School kids anyway?

That’s a second call for a town hall…

Do I hear a third call for a town hall?  And doesn’t represent the majority voice?  He won over his Democratic opponent by nearly 20 points!

There’s that phrase again!

Now there’s a whole Town Hall Project!

And last, but certainly not least, this impromptu march upon his office in Charlottesville:

Anyway, you get the idea.  And don’t try to tell me this is random and unplanned.

Seeing a pattern here?  Congressman Taylor’s office has been feverishly trying to keep up and placate these calls for a town hall since all of this started.

Some of the worst I’ve seen are on Congressman Dave Brat’s (R-7th) Official Facebook Page.
I cataloged about 8 of the most egregious examples on various posts within just a few days. The comments were by leftists insulting Congressman Brat and calling for town hall meetings.  Then I saw this series of comments on a post Brat’s page posted on February 7:

Each comment either nasty or threatening, all calling for a town hall meeting, and all of those comments are on one post, within about an hour of being published.  I thought these were supposed to be peace-loving hippies?

To be fair, Rep. Brat did put his proverbial foot in his mouth by recently stating publicly that “everywhere I go, women are all up in my grill”, but that gaff doesn’t deserve an onslaught of disrespectful and even threatening responses… not if you’re a reasonable human being, anyway.  Congressman Brat did hit the nail on the head, however, when he stated at the same event that the calls for town hall meetings by leftists are not to show him support. 

“But O’Hanrahan”, you may ask, “What about the Democrat’s Facebook pages”?  I did check them too.  Here are some selections from Freshman Congressman Donald McEachin’s Facebook page:

Impeach the President.  Okay, that’s certainly not anti-McEachin, nor is it threatening or insulting toward him.

Nothing but praise and appreciation.  A decidedly different tone than the ones seen on the GOP Congressman’s pages.

So now comes the point.  What can you do to help combat this tactic?  At recent meetings of my local Republican Committee, I noticed that there was a large number of older members.  Nothing against them, they have life experience, they’re involved, informed and they vote.  But they likely either don’t have Facebook, don’t use Facebook often and/or don’t know how to use Facebook.  Plus, they probably have more important things to do with their time.  But the best way to combat this obviously coordinated, calculated, negative message is with a good offense by those of use who do use social media regularly.  Come on, I know you’re out there!  We have two Democratic Senators in Virginia.  Go on over to their pages and give them what-fer!  Let them know you want Neil Gorsuch to be confirmed.  Let them know you want Jeff Sessions to be confirmed.  Demand an audience with them because you’re their constituent too.  Be respectful and don’t stoop as low as the leftists.  With as much Facebook trolling as there appears to go on within the Republican Party of Virginia, there has to be room to redirect that energy to something more positive and coordinated. 

I recently made the succinct point to some leftists on Facebook that if we are truly fed up with our Representatives in Washington not making any progress to help the citizenry, why inundate them with phone calls and demands for town hall meetings when they’re working hard to try and make progress in the first 100 days of the Administration?  The fact is, Republicans are a majority on Congress for a reason and now they have a job to do.  There’s an appropriate time & place for constituents to be heard. Be patient and let them do the work of the people.

Just because the GOP won the White House and a majority in Congress this past election doesn’t mean the battle is over.  You want to keep the White House and the majority?  You want to win the races for Governor, LG, AG and numerous statehouse positions?  Start fighting the battle on all fronts.  Start organizing an effort to combat these multi-faceted attacks.  Otherwise, the proverbial party (and progress) will come to a screeching halt.

Right or wrong, many people get their news and information from social media.  What’s worse is, the genius algorithms at Facebook have found that if we “like” a common topic or page or click on articles with a common theme with even a little consistency, they’ll just keep feeding us more of what they think we like.  It’s a digital snowball effect and it isn’t interested in fostering discussion or an open exchange of ideas.  The more people surf social media, the more their ideas (however crazy they may be) are validated and the more they see to keep that validation growing in their own minds. 

Social media isn’t going away and neither are these tactics on the left.  Let’s get on the same page with the message and start fighting back, lest we end up with another 8 years or more of leftist agenda being shoved down our throats.


Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Squeaky Wheel Gets Grease in Charlottesville While Richmond Declares Sanctuary

Squeaky Wheel Gets Grease in Charlottesville While Richmond Declares Sanctuary

It was a big day for leftists and their agendas in the Commonwealth on Monday!  First, Richmond Mayor (and former T-Mac staffer) Levar Stoney push forth a declaration that the “City will protect and promote policies of inclusion for all of its residents regardless of their national origin, immigration or refugee status, race, color, creed, gender, disability, sexual orientation or sexual identity.”

What, we couldn't shoe-horn another minority group out in our overly politically-correct edict so no one would feel left out or be offended?  We couldn’t include bald dwarfs in that sentence, too?  I’m offended!

He also stated in the memo “That the Richmond Police Department will not consent to participate with the Immigration Customs Enforcement… and in the interest of public safety and protecting communities, will maintain its policy of not inquiring as to the place of birth or immigration status of individuals with whom it comes into contact.” (underlined for emphasis)

Please note: The Directive cleverly does not use the term “sanctuary”

So let me get this straight… In the interests of “public safety and protecting communities” the police are not going to ask criminal suspects (or anyone else) their place of birth or immigration status?  I’m sorry, but you can’t preserve one responsibly and not do the other.  Why?  Because bad people will use this to manipulate the system to their advantage and you’ve just issued an order which hampers the police’s ability to effectively preserve public safty. Having been involved in this process in the past, I can say with first-hand reliability that the question about place of birth is not only uniform across the board for everyone, but is also a vital part of identifying things like wanted persons, criminal suspects, missing endangered people and so forth. 

If your name is Robert Smith and you were born in Springfield, Illinois and you’re a white male, 5’10”, brown hair with brown eyes with no scars or tattoos and you have no criminal history, how the hell are the cops to discern you from the other Robert Smiths, with the same exact features and history?  Place of birth/origin is a biggie.  Now imagine that your criminal history is stored in another country to which the local police do not have access and your name is Jose Martinez and now we have to try and figure out if you are the Jose Martinez they’re looking for.  Birthplace & country of origin are a few additional ways to do this, but important ones.  Simply put, this policy makes the cops’ job harder and decreases the ability to positively identify people with otherwise identical characteristics.

Then there’s the leftist bastion of Charlottesville, where last night, the City Council voted 3-2 to remove the statue of Robert E. Lee from the City and voted 5-0 to re-name Lee Park.  Why?  Because apparently it’s en vogue and politically correct to erase history because a vocal element of society (which is becoming more & more vocal all the time, more on that in another article) gets “offended”.   Then comes news that this vote will likely face a legal battle, for which the tax-payers of Charlottesville will have to foot the bill.  And if it stands up, they’ll still have to foot the bill for moving the statue, perhaps even after the lengthy legal battle.

I’m sorry, but aren’t there bigger proverbial fish to fry in Jefferson’s former stomping ground?  Don’t you people have a homeless population that could use some assistance?  I’ve been on the Downtown Mall and the answer is YUP!  Aren’t your cops, firefighters and teachers woefully underpaid?  Isn’t there something else of importance that might actually help to serve and improve the community that you could spend all this time, effort and money concentrating upon?  Or was this about something else?   The anti-Lee element likes to say this is about racial sensitivity and about rebuking the history of slavery.  I get it, but that was also 152 years ago.  Can we not find some current issues to rally behind? 

Or was it about money?

You see, UVA’s Founder and symbol of all things Charlottesville, Thomas Jefferson, was also a slave-owner.  Based upon the anti-Lee logic, will we now petition the City and UVA to remove, dismantle, or otherwise censor all things Jefferson?  Of course not, because UVA brings Charlottesville tons and tons of money.  Maybe that’s the real issue.  Robert E. Lee doesn’t pad anyone’s pocket on the City Council or give the City of Charlottesville as sense of “pride”, so we’ll remove it. 

I just wish these people would stop grand-standing over non-issue issues and maybe take that time to watch The Civil War documentary.  It’s actually quite good and you might come away with a different view of General Lee… but then again, facts and leftists don’t often get along.


Sunday, February 5, 2017

Terrible, Terrible Tactics

Terrible, Terrible Tactics

Before I go on my mini-rant about the article that spawned the topic of this blog, some background is in order to establish bonafides...

For the past 10 years (Good Lord, has it been that long!?) I've been an active Adjunct Instructor for a very well-respected, nationwide training organization, which mainly focuses their training on response to active threats -- active shooters, ambushes, etc -- for first responders in law enforcement and the military.  One of my side-gigs is also as an adjunct instructor teaching firearms at the police academy and yet another side-gig is teaching defensive handgun basics to citizens who wish to defend themselves with a firearm.  I'm an NRA-certified basic pistol instructor and a member of the NRA.  Along with other professional experience, it's safe to say I know something about the topic upon which the rant will ensue...

Yesterday, this article (published in 2015) showed up on my social media feed:

The article goes on to describe various "tactics" for clearing corners of rooms in a defensive situation.  It is also a total load of crap.  Here are a few points to support my position:

  1. Every corner-clearing "tactic" in this article has the good guy(s) posting in the doorway to clear the corners.  There's a name for the doorway, it's called the "fatal funnel" and it's called that for a reason.  

          Imagine, if you will, that there is a bad guy in the very corner(s) that you are trying to clear.                 There's only one way in or out of that room and the bad guy knows that if you want to come             into that room, you have to come through the doorway.  Therefore, if you hang in the                       doorway for any length of time, you become a very compact, easy target for the bad guy.  This             is why the doorway is called the "fatal funnel" and why you should never, ever spend any                   longer in that space than is necessary.  Get to it, get through it and get in the room!

I can think of no more fun in a training scenario
than playing the "bad guy" inside the room & using a 
sim gun to plink these two knuckleheads repeatedly 
as they sit in the doorway playing grab-ass.

    2. These "tactics" are unnecessarily complex and require a lot of practice to perform safely and               effectively.  And by "a lot of practice", I mean at least like its your part-time job.

         We used to (and sometimes still do) teach first responders a technique called high/low, which is          somewhat similar to what is illustrated here, but the problem with both the high/low and                      whatever is illustrated in the article is they take constant practice and communication.  Why?              Because they have a high propensity for danger, both from a potential bad guy in the room and            from "friendly fire".  Remember, "friendly fire" isn't friendly at all!  Practice & communication.          If you don't do those two things constantly, "tactics" like this can go bad very, very quickly.

3.     This excerpt from the end of the article erroneously tells readers that you have options if your              partner is injured:

    "If your partner becomes wounded, you have three options. You can leave your partner and go for help or continue on with the mission, you can stay and fight in place, or you can attempt to move your partner to cover or safety. There’s no single, ideal plan . The scenario—and maybe your partner’s size or the extent of the injury—will dictate the proper response."

       Wrong.  You have one option if you're still taking fire... RETURN FIRE!  The article goes on to        say that you can tie a belt around your partner, making it easy to drag them out of danger.  But if          there's still danger, what the hell are you doing fiddling around with a belt?  If you are taking fire,        your best chance for survival is to use the tools at your disposal to neutralize that threat.  Period.  

Perhaps the biggest thing the article fails to take into account is mindset, because these "tactics" assume no one is in the room.  Over 10 years of teaching proper room approach & clearing tactics, I can attest to the fact that if you are clearing a room, as illustrated in the article, and you start taking rounds, human instinct will kick in and you will most likely not engage the threat, rather you will retreat, making it easy for the bad guy to change his position, while maintaining the constant that you (or someone) will likely be coming back through the door at some point.  By retreating, you give up your tactical advantage.  I've seen it over & over in training scenarios.  However, if you have the proper mindset that there is a threat in the room prior to even approaching it and you will neutralize that threat should it present itself, you now have the proper mindset.  Plan for the worst, hope for the best.

I'm disappointed the NRA would put out an article like this.  It's replete with poor "tactics" and bad advice for people who likely don't have the level of training or experience with a handgun that most law enforcement or military combat soldiers may have.  It's irresponsible for them to publish an article aimed at citizens who wish to defend themselves that, in my view, could very well put them in further danger.  Have you ever heard anyone say, "I know just enough to be dangerous"?  Well, if you read the linked article and come away thinking any these tactics are sound and good, you've achieved the level of knowledge that is officially dangerous.

Finally, I don't portend to know everything or what I teach is the only way to do it.  But there's a line between appreciating and incorporating a differing point of view into your proverbial toolbox and looking at obviously poor, dangerous "tactics" and knowing that someone should call them out on it.


Saturday, February 4, 2017

Corey Stewart: Blowhard for Governor

February 4, 2017

Corey Stewart: Blowhard for Governor

I just attended a meeting of the County Republican Committee in Virginia near where I live.  The guest speaker was Corey Stewart, Republican Candidate for Governor of Virginia.  The only things I knew about Mr. Stewart prior to the meeting were that he was Chairman of the Prince William Co. Board of Supervisors and he previously worked with the Trump Campaign and was dismissed from that role (read about that in the WaPo here). So it's safe to say I went into the meeting with an open mind, or as much as one can have when you're relatively politically aware.

To be blunt, I don't think I've ever come away with such a negative impression of a candidate in such a short period of time as I did today.  Mr. Stewart undoubtedly has energy, but it's the kind of polarizing energy that is almost visceral.  It's the kind of energy and arrogance that makes a discriminating mind come away and say, "who the hell does this guy think he is?"

While he was speaking, I sent a text message to someone very close to me, who is also conservative and who lived and owned several businesses in Prince William County most of his life:

"Do you know Corey Stewart?", I asked.
"I've met him at a few political functions", he replied.
"What do you think?"
His reply...
"He's the biggest blow hard, cocky, self-righteous piece of s**t I know."

He went on to say that Mr. Stewart's policies on the Prince William Co. Board of Supervisors caused his property values to plummet in half.  Not the success story Corey was putting out to us at the meeting, I assure you.

The point about Mr. Stewart's attitude was further driven home in a statement made by Mr. Stewart and a subsequent exchange with an attendee.  He stated openly in the meeting that in the coming week(s), he'll be working with the Trump Administration to "hunt down", apprehend and deport criminal illegal aliens.  This caused one of the Committee members, who is African-American to call him out on this statement, telling Mr. Stewart, in part, that he was being inflammatory and yes, racist (paraphrased).  The gentleman went on to say that he's never walked out of a meeting before, but he walked out of this one.

I'm one of the most politically incorrect people you'll ever meet (if you ever meet me), but I have to agree with this gentleman who called out Mr. Stewart.  The gentleman's point was further proven when Mr. Stewart subsequently assumed and labeled this member as a "liberal", ostensibly because of his skin color (I can think of no other reason why he would think an African American man at a Republican meeting was a liberal).  After this exchange was over, another member informed Mr. Stewart that the African American gentleman was in fact a good Republican and long-time member.  Corey doubled-down on his statement, saying that Republicans need to "stand up for themselves"... Wasn't that exactly what this gentleman was trying to do before you erroneously labeled him a "liberal" for disagreeing with you and your incendiary proclamation?

Well, Mr. Stewart, I'm standing up for myself and that gentleman who called you out.  You may have energy and ideas, but you're a jerk.  Not only are you a jerk, but you are part of the problem, not the solution.  My biggest message to everyone on both sides these days is, let's all be reasonable.  If you are unreasonable, you really can't be part of any substantive discussion, because the discussion will turn emotional and eventually mean and nasty and nothing will get accomplished.  Unreasonable people walk around with a self-righteous mindset, thinking everyone else is wrong and then they double-down when they're called out on their bullshit (and yes, I realize the blog is called O'Hanrahan is Right).

And again, as a thoughtful conservative, I would urge Corey Stewart, and indeed everyone who reads this, to think about something from another perspective:  If you were an African American, an illegal (or legal) immigrant, a person of Jewish descent or pretty much any other minority attending a public gathering and you heard a Candidate for public office say he was going to help "hunt down" people, possibly of your minority group, don't you think that would bring back some bad memories of history?   It may or may not have been a racist statement, but it sure was insensitive, unreasonable and stupid.  Furthermore, I'd like to know how any politician thinks they'll pay for this manhunt.  Hell, at least the fabled "war on drugs" generates revenue.  This proposal sounds like a gargantuan money-suck and one that I'm not 100% sure I'm on-board with paying for.

Maybe Corey Stewart fancies himself another Donald Trump.  Maybe he thinks he can rally the silent majority to a call to action and get them to turn what once was a red state back that way again.  Maybe he actually believes that the populous wants the government to "hunt down" people apprehend them and deport them, but if he does, he's in for a rude awakening.  Incendiary talk like that will have even the conservative base turning on you, as I saw first-hand at the meeting this morning.  Corey Stewart succeeded in polarizing and offending what should have been a very friendly crowd.

Be reasonable, Mr. Stewart.  And deflate your ego by a few hundred PSI, it'll do you some good.  As it is, you're not inspiring anyone who is reasonable to join you... In my humble opinion.

Author: O'Hanrahan

Author's note
In the interest of fostering [what I hope will be] a substantive exchange and discussion about this blog, I've turned on the comments portion.  Please be respectful... And try not to make me regret it.  Thank you.