I believe I speak for all of us when I say, “Sorry, but you’re wrong, Mr. US Official. This is like Top Gun. Shoot it down.”
How do I know we’re right?
First, I became a US military pilot because of Top Gun.
Second, anytime a representative of China speaks, they are lying.
Third, on the topic of espionage, anytime any government official from any nation, even our great USA, speaks, they are lying.
Fourth, what great patriots they would be who sacrificed their lives to the falling debris.
Fifth, instincts have a role in decision making. And we all have an instinct that the puny Chinese believe they’d win if they fought us. We have an opportunity here. I’m talking send up a B actor or X Games “has been” with an Air Soft to bring it down. Doesn’t anyone desire glory anymore?
In any case, I repeat, I believe I speak for all of us when I say, “Sorry, but you’re wrong, Mr. US Official. This is like Top Gun. Shoot it down.”
My wife responds to my news, with barefaced contempt, “Because he’s black?”
“No. I didn’t say he brought the gun to school because ‘he’s black’. He did it because he’s stupid,” I clarified. “The reason I said he is black is because your son thinks all things black are right and cool, which itself is stupid, but the main point is I want to know what your son, A-, has told you about it. Because it is important that he agrees with me that this kid did something truly stupid.”
“He told me it was stupid.”
“Really?” I wondered, in blunt disbelief.
“Hey. How come you didn’t tell me about W- bringing the gun to school?” I asked A- nonchalantly as we drove home from school ball.
“I don’t know.”
“Well, what do you think?”
“I don’t understand why he would be expelled for bringing it.”
“Did you mention it to your mom?”
“On Monday I told her about it, but I thought it was a toy gun then.”
“Did you ever use the word ‘stupid’?”
“I may have said that I thought it was stupid that he was in so much trouble.”
“Okay,” I said. (I knew the boy would not react, ‘W- did something stupid.’ Check.) Then I took a father’s breath. “Here’s the thing. The most famous school shooting happened when I was a senior in high school. That’s over twenty years ago. And they have been happening regularly since then. For someone to bring any kind of gun to school at this point is absolutely, totally, and irredeemably stupid. Understand? Guns destroy. School, in theory, is about creation. The two will never mix. He was stupid. Or his decision was stupid. I don’t really know him.”
“Well,” I answered my own 12 year old, H-, that night on FaceTime, “one of A-’s teammates brought, like, a bb gun to school. He’s probably gonna be expelled. So that’s causing some drama amongst the kids.”
“Why is this shocking?”
“I can see suspended, but expelled? From the entire district?”
Drawing enough air to fill a sermon, “Guns kill people. Kids have been killing people in schools for twenty years now. What are we even debating, my daughter? So what if the kid has to go to another school. His parents maybe should be forced to move and try to live another way somewhere else. What they’re doing so far has failed. No person alive can suggest that ‘they didn’t know’ to NOT bring a weapon to school. How are we even talking about this, H-?”
“Tell me that your father thinks it is absolutely stupid to bring a gun to school and that it is absolutely fair to expel a kid who does.”
“-No, say, ‘my father’,”
Oh, the glare.
“My father thinks it is stupid to bring a gun to school and fair to expel anyone who does.”
Please, dear reader, lament with me. You already know how much I loathe public school. To hear that both my not-so-bright step-son and my I’d-like-to-believe-has-paid-attention-at-least-once-in-while daughter believe that expulsion or exile from the community is worse than being killed by a school shooter only feeds the fire.
Education is supposed to liberate, not indoctrinate. It’s supposed to turn the brain on, not off. Create, not conform.
Choose life, kids. Especially if it means alone.
People are stupid.
So I took A- (12 year old step-son, immigrated to America at 8–not my 2 year old daughter of the same initial letter) to the community center earlier today so he could horse around playing basketball.
Being the overbearing, meaning perfect, step-dad that I am, I initially wanted to work on his individual skills—like last Saturday—but he clearly indicated that he just wanted to be a kid today. Whatever.
While there, I witnessed the typical community center basketball court open gym scene. One of the two courts had a 5-on-5 pickup game going. The other two hoops had free shooting. Oh, and big dreams could be seen every time a kid made a basket.
Next, two Somali kids barged in with a decently loud presence. They headed to the wall where some gymnastic pads were hanging and it soon became clear that some sort of mischief is afoot. Behind the mats, emergency exit doors. Two Somalis soon grew to four. Isn’t that always the case, Minnesota?
(Switching to present tense, for effect.)
I yell out, “Hey. Why don’t you just pay?” (It’s $3.)
“Why don’t you just pay?”
I live for these moments. Everyone has to decide what’s appropriate. Escalate? De-escalate? Either choice requires a decision that the entire world witnesses.
The kid says, playing it cool, “We don’t have the money.”
I shake my head. They walk away knowing I’m watching them. For a second I feel unresolved. I’m not interested to get them in trouble. I’m interested to get them to improve. At this moment, I’ve lost. But I won’t give up hope. What can I do? What options do I still have to achieve my goal?
I walk over to the bench where the future inmates are getting their shoes on etc. I say, “Hey, where are the two guys? I’ll pay for them.”
I take out some cash like a big shot.
“It’s only six bucks. I’ll pay. Let’s go up to the front.”
Only one of the criminals follows me. That’s enough for my purposes, I figure. The entire mosque will know who I am soon enough. These illiterate people have a knack for oral histories, I hear.
He patiently waits as I explain the situation to the young ladies at the desk.
He even said, “Thank you.”
What do you think, dear citizen? Did I waste my hard-earned money? Did I buy a jihad? Or was this the best path imaginable? Is Jesus knocking at their hearts? Maybe something in between?
My YouTube feed includes political memes, for whatever reason.
I just watched one which had President Biden, back in 2006, stating adamantly that marriage was between a man and a woman.
Apparently today, in some form or fashion, he supported the opposite.
If you haven’t read The Prince by Machiavelli, I don’t know that I can recommend it to you. But to summarize it must be equally as bad, so I’m not sure what to do. Proceed at your own risk, I guess.
The rock and hard place that we live between may best be illustrated by calling your attention to this event (Biden saying whatever is necessary to win—even directly lying) and also to the decision and technological capability to comprehensively investigate the missiles which landed in Poland before invoking Article 5.
Machiavellian leadership is rooted in evil and yet we have remained short of WW3 in a world which is ruled by it.
At this point, I wouldn’t trade one for the other.
Some of you have no doubt seen the headlines that Mayor Pete put pen to paper regarding his first year with the twin babies.
What most of you won’t have taken time to learn, what the news didn’t report, is that Mayor Pete also, after his year in the Land of Boobies, to his great astonishment, grew a beautiful pair of donkey’s ears.
It is moments like these where I am glad homosexual men are sterile. Seems nature has things under control after all.
I’m close. Page 108ish, I want to say. I was trying to make it to the end of the Bruen opinion and dissent, but my eyes are closing. All I want to capture in this blog post is that the dissent, as you may have heard in a summary article already, spends great effort to declare the following, “Guns are for killing people.”
Isn’t that what I just said the other day? And in, like, five words?
Man, I feel like how genius’s must feel.
Justice Breyer gives out, in a belabored manner, all the statistics which show that locations with many guns also have many gunshot deaths. OMG. Really?!
Next someone is going to take time to state that snow-capped mountainous regions have more downhill skiing, oceans have more ships, and racetracks have more racecars.
Why stop there? Women have more babies. Men have more penises. And children are short. That’s a sock-knocker-offer.
Then there’s the fact that airports have more air traffic than restaurants.
Basketball courts see more running than bowling alleys.
Justice Breyer says the issue is whether the Second Amendment can allow states to regulate gun ownership, but then he proceeds to argue that guns are for killing people.
Snark aside, there is plenty of interesting nuance in the document, but as a super poignant summary, back in Heller, Justice Scalia defined “Militia”. Now in Bruen Justice Thomas used his opinion to define “Right”, and in Bruen, Justice Breyer defines “Ends” or “Purpose”.
Good work, Justice Breyer. Now if we could only hear how that relates to the concept of a “right”, I’d be all ears.
No one is interested in living with perfect consistency or perfect coherency. Not even me. That feels robotic or mechanized, or simply inhuman.
My titular pairing of Uvalde and Ukraine is not about advocating consistency or coherency or that those should be aimed for in the gun control talk. I do not find it troubling that someone could want to arm Ukraine and also disarm school shooters.
Instead, my argument is: “Don’t be led astray from the obvious.”
Is that an argument? Maybe not.
So my advice, then, is “Don’t be led astray from the obvious.”
Guns are for killing people. Maybe not every gun is equally designed for killing people, maybe some guns are purposely designed for other uses, but in the sense that, “These boots are made for walking”, “T-Rex doesn’t want to be fed”, “Jesus saves”, and “The Navy needs Maverick”, guns are for killing people.
If you can’t imagine ever wanting to kill people, then don’t buy a gun.
If you can imagine wanting to kill people, then buy a gun.
Guns are for killing people.
Guns are not made to encourage honest dialogue. Guns are not made for laws. Guns are not made to save lives. Don’t be led astray, folks.
Furthermore, it is my belief that the content in this post can be agreed upon by all humanity. What do you think? Do you agree?
PS – Lastly, if you want my actual solution to the constitutional debate, here’s the amendment I crafted carefully after Parkland. Amendment XXVIII: In time of peace, Arms shall no longer be secured by the people. (Second Amendment stays.) You can find my other post’s on the topic back around March 30, 2018.
Most of you know I have been working my way through many writings and volumes of the 60 volume Great Books of the Western World set, via the 10 volume Great Ideas Program guided readings. Most readings so far have tended to be political essays, and so when I saw that the next volume, Volume 3, is Foundations of Science and Mathematics, well, you can imagine my thrill.
I am nearly finished with JS Mill’s On Liberty, meaning tonight may be the night. Queue DeVito’s serenade to Arnold in Twins, “Tonight, is your night bro!”
I have never considered myself a math guy and I hated physics and chemistry in high school. Chemistry was actually the class that ruined my chance to get a motorcycle in high school. Straight A’s? See ya!
But as I attended seminary, I dug into epistemology and all the reasons folks don’t believe in Christianity and the resurrection etc. and have ended up finding myself intrigued to always have a leg up on the ability to intelligently and succinctly speak to the origins and limitations of science and mathematics.
Have I said that tonight could be the night? It could be. Queue Tony and Maria, “Tonight, tonight…”
Usually Tuesday’s are when my wife joins her friends in prayer for hours and I get a movie night to myself. But I don’t think so for tonight. Tonight I get the chance, no, the privilege to open new doors of mind-space.
I ask you, faithful reader, does it get any better than these moments?
Focus. We need to focus in order to “stay the course”. Without focus, there is no “course”.
Why are we here? What is the problem?
A while back, when Russia first invaded Ukraine, I posted a map as part of the six-step problem solving process I learned in the Air Force, and in which I still believe. In that post, I claimed we were on Step 2 “Gather the Data”. (Step 1 being “Recognize the Problem”.)
The problem, I said, was unclarity.
In gathering the data, clarity has begun to emerge.
(I love this.)
This is going to hurt some of you, so be ready. But it’s important to be able to speak simply.
Despite that map, Ukraine is not a country.
Ukraine is not a country. As for evidence, Look around. Their not being in NATO is one, probably the second largest, piece of evidence of this. The largest piece being the fact that no country’s military, including ours, is at war with Russia.
Remember, we’re defining the problem—by definition “defining the problem” is not jumping to conclusions. So calm down. Just because Ukraine is not a country, does not necessarily mean we skip the next five steps and “implement the solution”.
I don’t believe, and you don’t believe, that Ukraine is a country. Fact.
Ukraine is not a country.
So what does this mean? It means that we’re yet again merely providing weapons to the enemy of our enemy. Like we do in the Middle East, like we do everywhere else that isn’t yet civilized.
Kuwait: country. Ukraine, not a country.
New question: Does this mean that it’s not World War 3 anymore? Have I changed my tune?
I have. As the title of this post indicates, I am changing my tune for now.
Citizens of one country are not able to will another country into existence. We don’t put a border on a map and “ta da”—a country! It just doesn’t happen that way. Ukraine must assert itself, must manifest itself. Think gang initiation or all the scenes in movies where the friend group intentionally leaves a newbie to himself during a fight to prove that he is a man. Is the newbie proving himself to his friends or to himself? Both.
Ukraine, in essence, is the newbie. It has been since the Soviet Union broke up. And Ukraine is not yet a country.
Our actions, our help, are actually keeping Ukraine from becoming a country.
Settle down. I’m not suggesting we stop. Who knows whether Ukraine should become a country or not? Not me. And not you. Only Ukraine does.
So what does this mean for the concept of World War? And how has this focus helped us? What is our course?
World War, meaningfully, can only take place between countries. We were, I was, wrong to suggest this was a conventional war. That confession is the result of my “gathering of data.” As stated, it’s got to be an attack on a NATO member country. Let’s not kid ourselves. You don’t give a rat’s arse about the Ethiopian Civil War, or any tragedies in the other parts of Africa. Me, neither. Same thing here.
War has to be between countries. Either NATO on NATO, or some non-NATO country (almost a paradox—almost) on a NATO country.
The political question, then, is, “Does our support of Russia’s enemies increase Russia’s desire to attack a country?” The answer is, “Time will tell.”
What’s our course? Our course is no different than my course. The course is life. Abundant life. America lives on. If we begin taking actions that put America’s sovereignty in question, that’s a problem.
Does helping our enemy’s enemy put America in danger? I have to believe it does at some point. But if there’s anything we also now know, it’s that our enemy, Russia, is not as strong as some supposed.
How about us? Are we strong?
I believe so. And I believe we can be even stronger if we increase our focus.
I’m feeling philosophical as the world seems passed the idea that WW3 has begun.
Why do I want to be right?
What would I get for being right?
Short answer: being prepared. I like to be prepared. I believe in being prepared. I’m an Eagle Scout for crying out loud. Boy Scout Motto: “Be Prepared.”
But with being right about WW3, it’s more than that—especially as I’m no “prepper”.
With my belief that it’s important to know that WW3 is being actively waged right now, I also get to not be some stupid, head-buried in the sand, wealthy enough to not experience war, johnny come lately when the sacrifice really begins. Put in a simple analogy: toilet paper. That was you—not me. Over a cold.
If people lost their minds over a common cold, what do you expect will happen when the fire starts?
I know exactly what will happen. Denial. Chaos. And some sort of purification process wherein the only winners will be those who consistently tell the truth.
So today, I’m telling the truth.
The truth is this is it. The big one. Be prepared. Keep the long game in mind. And stay focused.