Observations on Local Protests

For over a year now, there has been a Saturday morning protest by BLM supporters in the town nearest to me. Mostly white, as I live in a rural, mostly white county. And mostly older folk. They stand along the side of the road at the main ‘downtown’ intersection, holding signs and waving at passers-by. They aren’t obnoxious, and you could drive right by without knowing they were there, if you weren’t paying attention…..and let’s be honest, most drivers aren’t these days.

Recently however, a ‘counter-protest’ has appeared across the intersection from them. Well within their rights, this protest is an odd smattering of signage for supporting the police, “defending the military” [whatever that means], anti-vaxx, and a mashup of ‘patriot’ slogans.

Now, I don’t consider myself any sort of support of BLM, though unlike most Conservatives, I will readily admit to the largely untaught racist history of policing in this country. But the BLM folks seem decent enough and end their vigil at 1100 am with a prayer.

The counter-protest…….are not that. A small group of screeching and obnoxious [also white] folks who spend their morning literally screaming across the road….often just repeating the same phrase over and over….and over and over again, until their voices start to give out. They also cross the road frequently to i guess intimidate the BLM folks? There is a police officer resent at these events, that I don’t believe was found to be necessary prior to the counter-protest.

I find this tactic odd. Ostensibly, the goal of a protest is to raise awareness and convert folks to your position on a issue. Now, one can argue that a protest is likely to generally appeal only to those who already hold said position and it;’s all really a waste of time. I wouldn’t argue with that.

But, if your undecided/uninformed on an issue, and were observing both protests….which tactic would cause you to learn more, or speak to the protestors?

I believe that I suffer from a militant practicality, so I’m handicapped in the ways of social norms and peculiarities….but I don’t see the value in acting like an asshole. But that’s certainly where a particular political demographic finds itself.

On Thanks……

A lot to be thankful for this year. Despite larger setbacks in foreign and domestic affairs…..the CI compound stands in good order, ready for the Zombie Apocalypse.

Until then, I’m thankful for having both of our beautiful, smart Princesses home for the long weekend. The home feels whole again.

I’m thankful that I’m not deployed again this holiday season.

I’m thankful for having a wife who is a partner my soul mate and my best friend. One who doesn’t conform to social norms and conventions just for their sake.……and who’s just as ferocious as I am when the dander is up. It doesn’t hurt that she’s still a smoldering hottie.

And I’m thankful for 57 pounds of good-boy puppy (Loki) for us to love this year……after losing our good girl (Molly) last year.

So today brings putting on the hiking kilt for a jaunt up the Appalachian Trail, followed by some custom pizzas and wine.

Round out the weekend with some quality time with my chainsaw and a bonfire……and hoping I don’t have any calls from work.

Life is pretty good. I need to stop and enjoy it a little more…..

Upvotes for Liz Cheney

I generally care little when members of the Duopoly hurl petulant pejoratives at one another, but I found Liz Cheney’s response….at least parts of it….hilarious.

@Liz_Cheney is hitting back at @tedcruz after he went on Fox News last night & accused her of “Trump Derangement Syndrome,” saying she was “broke” by Trump.

“Trump broke Ted Cruz,” Cheney told me. “A real man would be defending his wife, and his father, and the Constitution.”

Cucks deserve to be called out as such.

The Tomb…..Up Close

For the 100th Anniversary of the dedication of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Arlington National Cemetery allowed members of the public to lay flowers at the Tomb. People were allowed within a few feet of the Tomb, normally only accessed by dignitaries laying wreaths on occasions of remembrance, and of course the Tomb Guards and Sergeants of the Guard from the 3rd US Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard).

Like many, I had visited the site over the years and watched the changing of the guard, or just sat in solemn thought, from the marble steps overlooking the Tomb. Nothing was going to stop me from participating in this (literally) once in a lifetime event. Living within driving distance helped quite a bit.

So, reminiscent of countless days serving in uniform, my wife, youngest daughter and I……spent right around 5 hours commuting and standing in line…..for about a 45 second walk across the marble.

Absolutely worth it.

Snapped a couple of photos afterwards.

The Tomb Guard on the opposite side of the Tomb, due to the occasion. Will certainly never see that again.
Hopefully this kid remembers this Veterans Day.

The Cheapening of Veterans Day

Not just Veterans Day to be fair, but nearly everything that we (used to) hold in humble reverence.

This week is when we start seeing social media awash in memes and proclamations, exhorting that “if you support Veterans” you’ll share/repost some meme or another……that may or may not actually depict U.S. service members to begin with.

This is garbage.

If you support Veterans, go visit somebody at a care facility; go tidy up a forgotten grave site; attend a short commemoration hosted by a Veterans group, or a church, or the Boy Scouts; give a couple of dollars to a worthy charity. Heck, lobby your elected Representatives to lower the drinking age for serving military, to the age of enlistment. If you’re old enough to fight and die in the name of your country, you should be able to legally crack a cold one.

But good grief, stop proliferating the cycle of lazy, numbed garbage. It’s bad enough that we’re inundated with the commercialization of these remembrance days.

I’m fortunate enough to have the honor of participating in a once in a lifetime event today, and I’ll plan to post about it tomorrow.

Damn Girl……One Shot, One Kill!

A female Montana Army National Guard Soldier graduated from the U.S. Army Sniper Course at Fort Benning, Ga on Nov. 5, becoming the first woman in history to complete the course.

The Soldier began the U.S. Army Sniper Course in Sept. 2021. This intensive seven week course trains selected individuals assigned to sniper positions in the skills necessary to deliver long range precision fire and the collection of battlefield information.

Link

A momentous achievement. This course is not for the faint of heart, will or body. As a graduate of the Army Sniper School in 1992, I can attest first hand on what it takes to complete the course, and graduate to be qualified as a Sniper. Good on her!

Me on the Sniper School stalking course, 1992. Rifle is on front of me, in the drag bag.

Thoughts on the Virginia Elections

Though I’m an Oregon Duck [U of O] through and through, Virginia has been my adopted state since late 2008, when I retired from the Army [or the John Wayne Lifelong School for Wayward Boys].

I’ve watched several elections here with varying amounts of interest, this a bit more so than others……even though there was no Libertarian candidate in any of the races I could have cast a ballot for. Some random thoughts below:

Good on Winsome Sears for winning [though I really don’t get the business attire/firearm photo that seems to be trendy among the virtue-signalling Right]. It’s a good win for the Virginia GOP, though most Virginians are waking up this morning and researching exactly what the hell the Lt Gov even does.

More concerning to civil liberties, is the AG race, which last time I checked, is still too close to call.

Youngkin is secretly thanking McAuliffe for handing him the victory, by way of his asinine comment during the last debate. All most knew about him before then was that he liked basketball. His rhetoric of an enormous education budget is worrisome, especially if he doesn’t throw a bone to the large home-school population of this State, like all of his GOP predecessors failed to do. Since the 1977 Gubernatorial election, the party out of power in the White House, has only lost one election for Governor. In 11 out of 12 elections, only Terry McAuliffe has bucked that trend during the Obama Administration…..so this isn’t exactly a momentous occasion.

The Second Amendment Foundation [of which I’m a member] published the following:

“Old Dominion gun owners were not about to allow anti-gun Democrats enjoy another two years of power after what happened in January 2020. They knew what Terry McAuliffe’s return to Richmond would mean for their Second Amendment rights. His party’s politics of attacking gun owners, and their outrageous record of eroding gun rights brought gun owners to the polls to say enough is enough.”

“What is most gratifying, was to see savvy gun rights voters ignore the despicable last-minute ad buy by desperate Democrats to suppress the gun vote by painting Republican Glenn Youngkin as an anti-gunner, when it is their own candidate who has a deplorable record on gun rights.”

To be sure, Youngkin seemed like and empty suit [or fleece vest] up until McAuliffe’s education gaffe. He never really took a strong position, that I saw, on 2nd Amendment Rights……..even in a year where SCOTUS started hearing oral arguments [today I believe] in a landmark NY case.

So, Trump…..or overt lack of ties to Trump aside…we’ll see how a Youngkin Administration pans out for civil liberties. I have an open mind, but I’m not exactly brimming over with confidence in any Republican.

So, this ‘Brandon’ Guy……

What an infantile society we have devolved to. Yes, I know what it means and how it began. Yawn.

Cutesy little catchphrases designed only to allow intellectual midgets to titter amongst themselves. To buttress low self-esteem? To fill some empty void in their life? To substitute for rational discourse…or the inability to pursue such?

Who knows. But the virtual signalling by the vapid, and memification of America continues unabated unabated.

The (Still) Unconstitutionality of the Texas Abortion Law

The Firearms Policy Coalition filed an Amicus brief supporting the Plaintiffs in the current lawsuit against Texas S.B. 8 set to go before SCOTUS. The entire brief is worth the read, if you’re a gun rights policy nerd like me…….but the conclusion is below:

This case is important not because of its specific subject matter of abortion, but instead for Texas’s cavalier and contemptuous mechanism for shielding from review potential violations of constitutional rights as determined by this Court’s precedents. It is one thing to disagree with precedents and seek their revision or reversal through judicial, congressional, or constitutional avenues; it is another simply to circumvent judicial review by delegating state action to the citizenry at large and then claiming, with a wink and a nod, that no state actors are involved.

From Amicus’s perspective, if pre-enforcement review can be evaded in the context of abortion it can and will be evaded in the context of the right to keep and bear arms. While the political valences of those issues seem to be opposites, the structural circumstances are too similar to ignore. As with Roe and Casey, many States view Heller as wrongly decided. Those States, with the help of many circuit courts, have showed an ongoing refusal to accept the holding in Heller and a continuing creativity in seeking to circumvent any protections for, and to chill the exercise of, Second Amendment rights. It is hardly speculation to suggest that if Texas succeeds in its gambit here, New York, California, New Jersey, and others will not be far behind in adopting equally aggressive gambits to not merely chill but to freeze the right to keep and bear arms.

TRUTH Social?

I’ll admit to not having much to say about Trump’s nascent social media platform…….beyond the irony of the name.

The sheer irony.

Oh, and for a “pro-free speech” venue, the terms and conditions, are likewise fascinating.

Users are not allowed to “disparage, tarnish, or otherwise harm, in our opinion, us and/or the Site.”

Is there a viable market for echo chambers? Not merely to survive, as there are already a multitude of those venues that cater to nearly every political and social bent in existence…….but to compete against forums that allow discourse between disparate points of view?

I don’t think Twitter and Facebook et al, are terribly concerned. But what do I know……I’m not on any of them.