Local incident highlights alarming trends in American public opinion

Widely held western notions such as rule of law, private property protections, enforcement of contracts, and trespass law–important components of the civil society–are showing signs of dangerous erosion. And in other news, a passenger was physically hauled off of a United Airlines aircraft. At least, that’s the order I chose.

The latest self important social media maelstrom immediately coalesced around the story of David Dao, a belligerent passenger aboard a Sunday United Express flight who was rudely hauled away after refusing to give his seat to company employees.

For now, let’s shelve the binary thinking trap that A must be correct, and B must be in error; A in this case being Dao and B being United. Of course binary thinking leaves no room for C, law enforcement; or D, every passenger booked on a downstream flight which would have been cancelled had Dao’s seat not been given over to crew. Obviously there was plenty of error on any side of this debacle.

The tone of the social media reaction to Dao’s rough handling is alarming, as it shows signs of erosion in basic principles that helped make America great and exceptional:

  1. Discernment.  It’s easy to become emotionally swept up in a video of another person screaming as they are forcibly removed from an aircraft; if you frequently travel on commercial air, you can see yourself in his shoes.  But have most Americans become so molded into the 140 character limit that they cannot peel apart the nuanced layers of this incident, separate those out, and address each on its merits and in its own context?
  2. Rule of Law.  Might doesn’t make right.  By extension, a mob of angry twitter keyboard pounding minions does not make right either.  FAA regulations mandate passenger compliance with crew instructions.  That’s just common sense: in the case of an emergency or abnormal situation, passenger compliance may be a matter of life and death.  Hopefully most Americans still believe that passenger compliance with air crew is important, and that common sense laws are binding.  Not to mention compliance with law enforcement when they arrive to deplane you, forcibly if required.
  3. Voluntary contracts.  No one compels, on pain of death, any person to fly on commercial air.  It’s a voluntary contract entered into by the passenger and the operator.  Of course, there is a lot of small print.  Then why do so many Americans react with rage when the operator, within the terms of the contract, asks passengers to deplane?
  4. Trespass law.  A peace loving society cannot thrive without the security of its people, made possible by the notion that violating a space carries stiff penalties.  When ordered to deplane, and by refusing, Dao violated trespass law.  Millions of enraged twitter zombies backing Dao is concerning; do they not believe in trespass law?
  5. Rule of reason.  Finally, Americans love or used to love reason and ration.  Our most sacred founding documents refer to and rely heavily on ration and this American step-wise climb out of monarchy and other central style civilizations.  Most of us know that when ruled by emotion, we are blinded, and act without regard to basic facts, and are often in error.  So why then do many Americans react emotionally and completely ignore just some the nuanced ideas I have listed?

We cannot proceed thinking this way and continue to be a free society.  Also, Southwest Airlines is way, way better.

Uncle Ben Was Correct

We were warned about this specifically, “Those who would trade a little essential Liberty for temporary security shall receive neither.”

We were told that we had to consent to monitoring to protect ourselves, but did that stop a security guard from going on a rampage in Orlando and killing dozens of people after swearing allegiance to IS?  Nevertheless, we consented by our apathy the bulk collections and targeted wiretapping of the massive Federal surveillance state.  We were told “it’s only meta data, we cannot know the content of your conversations.” Well that is apparently bogus.

Consider the case of Gen. Mike Flynn, the former National Security Advisor who resigned after transcripts from calls to a Russian ambassador surfaced, a story which is getting stranger by the day.  New revelations show that entrenched bureaucrats–unelected holdovers from the Obama administration–had some axe to grind with Flynn due to his resistance to the secret Iran deal.

While pundits and leftist mouthpieces focus on the merits of Flynn’s actions themselves, or the Trump administration’s inability to communicate efficiently, or this strange, faddish fascination with Russia, the deeper and darker story is the power and behavior of the Federal surveillance programs.

What we have now are elements of the intelligence apparatus leaking wiretaps and Top Secret compartmentalized intercepts of US citizens to politically assassinate advisors to the US president. Welcome to the police state.

  1. https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-02-14/the-political-assassination-of-michael-flynn?utm_campaign=buffer&utm_content=buffere4d72&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com
  2. http://freebeacon.com/national-security/former-obama-officials-loyalists-waged-campaign-oust-flynn/
  3. https://theintercept.com/2017/02/14/the-leakers-who-exposed-gen-flynns-lie-committed-serious-and-wholly-justified-felonies/
  4. http://theweek.com/articles/680068/americas-spies-anonymously-took-down-michael-flynn-that-deeply-worrying

Refugee Ruckus

President Trump’s Friday executive order imposing a temporary halt on visitors to America from a short list of seven countries deemed “very risky” by former Pres. Obama has caused a lot of smoke to be emitted from liberals, conservatives, independents, pundits, circus animals, basically everyone and anyone who has heard about it. But what’s the real deal?

“Words matter.” Citing part of the 27 January executive order, “I hereby proclaim that the immigrant and nonimmigrant entry into the United States of aliens from countries referred to in section 217(a)(12) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1187(a)(12), would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, and I hereby suspend entry into the United States, as immigrants and nonimmigrants, of such persons for 90 days from the date of this order (excluding those foreign nationals traveling on diplomatic visas, North Atlantic Treaty Organization visas, C-2 visas for travel to the United Nations, and G-1, G-2, G-3, and G-4 visas).”


The Short List.  The list of countries on the 90 day travel ban reads like a “who’s who” of failed states and jihad incubators:  Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen, Iraq, and Syria.


Reaction.  Some folks have recoiled from this executive action, labeling it a “ban on Muslims,” or a “religious test” for entry… in the latter case, a phrase specifically prohibited in the US Constitution.  But is this a ban on Muslims entering the US, as some claim?  The words “Muslim” and “Islam” appear nowhere in the 27 Jan executive order.  In fact, foreign nationals from the seven countries of any religion, sex, creed, and race are temporarily prohibited from entry into the US while a review is conducted.  I’m a numbers guy: consider that there are about 1.6 billion Muslims worldwide.  If we assume all 218 million people from the seven predominantly Muslim countries are in fact Muslim–they aren’t–that means the 90 day travel ban applies to around 13.6% of all Muslims.  Thus a reasonable person can only conclude that the 27 Jan executive order is not a ban on Muslims.  As to the motives of those who incorporate and promote these claims, we can only guess.

Using a 2000 pound JDAM to swat a fly?  Are there other measures that can mitigate terror attacks here at home in America?  On the face of it, a blanket ban–even a temporary one–on travel and refugees seems like a plan that lacks finesse and discretion.  Consider some of these terror attacks:

  • Fort Hood, 5 Nov 2009:  Army Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan [an American] shot and killed 13 people and injured 30 more before being subdued.  “Before the shooting rampage began, [he] was sitting quietly among the soldiers going through medical preparations for deployment.  He then stood up and reportedly shouted “Allahu Akbar!” — Arabic for “God is great!” — before revealing his weapons and beginning to fire, according to Chuck Medley, Fort Hood’s director of emergency services. The first 911 call came at 1:23 p.m. Four minutes later, Hasan was down.” http://www.stripes.com/news/civilian-police-officer-acted-quickly-to-help-subdue-alleged-gunman-1.96218
  • Fort Hood, 2 April 2014: Army Specialist Ivan Lopez, an American, led a one man shooting spree at several locations on the Fort Hood military base near Killeen, Texas. Four people, including the gunman, were killed, while fourteen additional people were injured, twelve by gunshot wounds.  The shooter died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.  This was not a terror attack, but is important in responding to any person or group intent on inflicting maximum death. http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/army-report-finds-warning-signs-triggered-2014-fort/story?id=28436047
  • Chattanooga, TN, 16 July 2015: Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez, a naturalized American citizen born in Kuwait to “strict, conservative Muslim” Palestinian-Jordanian parents, committed a drive-by shooting at a recruiting center, then traveled to a U.S. Navy Reserve center and continued firing, where he was killed by police in a gunfight. Four Marines died on the spot. A Navy sailor, a Marine recruiter, and a police officer were wounded; the sailor died from his injuries two days later. http://edition.cnn.com/2015/07/16/us/tennessee-naval-reserve-shooting
  • San Bernardino, CA, 2 December 2015: 14 people were killed and 22 others were seriously injured in a terrorist attack consisting of a mass shooting and an attempted bombing at the Inland Regional Center. The perpetrators, Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik, a married couple, targeted a county training event and Christmas party, of about 80 employees, in a rented banquet room. Farook was an American-born U.S. citizen of Pakistani descent, who worked as a health department employee. Malik was a Pakistani-born lawful permanent resident of the United States. http://www.cnn.com/2015/12/04/us/san-bernardino-shooting/index.html
  • Garland, TX, 3 May 2015: Elton Simpson and Nadir Hamid Soofi, both born-in-America citizens, attacked an event at the Curtis Culwell Center. They attacked officers with gunfire at the entrance to an exhibit featuring cartoon images of Muhammad.  The attackers shot a Garland Independent School District security officer in the ankleShortly after the attackers pulled up and opened fire, both were shot and wounded by a police officer (who was wrongly credited with killing the two men in initial news reports), and eventually killed by four members of a SWAT team. http://www.cnn.com/2015/05/04/us/garland-mohammed-drawing-contest-shooting
  • Moore, OK, 24 September 2014: Alten Nolen, an American who called himself “Jah’Keem Yisrael” on his Facebook page, attacked two employees at the Vaughan Foods food processing plant with a knife. Colleen Hufford was beheaded, while another employee, Traci Johnson, was stabbed and critically injured. Nolen was then shot and wounded by Vaughan Foods Chief Operating Officer Mark Vaughan.  The attack came to national attention due to its gruesome nature, which followed a well-publicized recent series of beheadings carried out by the ISIS.  Nolan had a criminal record and his Facebook page featured photos of Taliban fighters and Osama bin Laden, as well as a photo of the September 11 attacks that was captioned:”A Future Prophecy Revelation 18:8 She (The statue Of Liberty) is going into flames. She and anybody who’s with her.” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/26/alton-nolan-beheads-cowor_n_5888500.html

The Bottom Line.  I highlight these cases because none of them would have been thwarted by the arbitrary travel ban imposed by Pres. Trump.  In two of these cases, the attacks were stopped by armed people already on the scene: an armed citizen in the case of Vaughn Foods (one fatality) and an armed security officer in the case of Garland, TX (zero fatalities).  The San Bernardino, Chattanooga, and both Fort Hood shootings–one of which was not terror related–happened in areas where local or Federal law prohibits individuals from concealing a firearm for self defense and defense of others, and predictably resulted in many fatalities.  In Chattanooga, Abdulazeez drove across town with police in pursuit before killing his final victim.  Where the ban of people from these seven countries may save some life in the future, the Second Amendment will surely allow people to defend themselves, and not just from terror, but from any deranged killer motivated to kill in bulk.  This is the vital message that has been obscured in all the smoke regarding the 27 Jan executive order.

The Secret War

Later today, thousands will march in opposition to the modern and ongoing pogrom and wanton destruction of human life, and in support of those millions of war dead who have no voice.
And it is a war: on one side stands accountability and shared humanity; on the other side a bizarre, child-like fantasy of freedom from consequence to the ultimate extreme, the willful termination of human life. The body count is already into the tens of millions. We know now through advances in medicine and imaging and others exactly the pain these unwanted humans feel as they are manually rendered down into parts until dead.
Only the American left can speak out of one side of their mouth denouncing racism and classism and wealth while openly advocating for the discard of millions of these people simply because they are small and poor and minority and have no voice of their own. But they have us.
In a reverberating echo of past human miseries as recent ago as 70 years, you will hear arguments supporting this modern purge of unwanted human life, such as “what business of the government is it to tell me what to do with my uterus?” We I say, “what business of it is yours to murder the most delicate of all human life as a matter of convenience?” “What business of it is yours to compel us to join in and fund this murderous orgy of self?”
The media will conduct a head count. Their argument will be: “See? Only ___ amount of people in the March for Life,” if they even cover it all. What a strange notion, as if a majority implies a certain morality. But this fits the liberal psychology of tricking the mind into a defense of the murder of millions, or just plainly ignoring the observable. This has happened before. And it is happening now. Who will resist this time?

CEO pay and the American left

How many times have you heard leftists whining about CEO pay?  Well an AP article tells that the globe’s 8 wealthiest people own as much as half the global population.  In light of frequent and predictable, pedantic, pedestrian remarks about CEO pay from the left and their sympathetic pundits, consider how many on this list are financial backers of the American leftist movement:
1. Bill Gates
2. Warren Buffet
3. Mark Zuckerberg
4. Michael Bloomberg
5. Jeff Bezos
(I don’t know anything about Oracle’s Larry Ellison)
(Slim is down south)
(Ortega is also abroad)
That’s a whopping FIVE OF EIGHT!
Now look, you can back whoever you want with your mega-bucks, cause this is Murica.  But don’t pretend like the CEO pay is a thing when the globe’s mega-rich pump money into your dying, anti-American, anti-liberty, and anti-capitalism bloviating.  What business does the  government
have in interfering with the shareholders, or with the board, the veterans of the company?  What business do people outside the company have in tearing down their success and the accumulated effort of the entire company, which benefits their employees directly?  This is just a symptom of the disease of mob rule.  The mob sees something nice, and wants to tear it down, to smash it into bits, in their mindless, jealous rage.  We don’t live in a society ruled by the mob, and thank God for that.

Binary Thinking: an abortion of intellect

A pattern of thought has crystallized recently, or maybe it has always been there. When discussing a policy or social issue, people tend to sort themselves out into two bins: A or B.  Yes or no.  Chevy or Ford.  World peace or nuclear armageddon.  This is a trap because there are usually one hundred positions a person could take between A or B, or below B, or further from the screen than A, and so on.

Consider global warming: the pundits dissect this issue into Earth loving clean free energy for all, or anti-science deniers bent on wrecking any ecosphere with any exploitable resource.  If you oppose A, then you are in camp B.  Well maybe I pitch my locally sourced, made-from-recycled-materials tent somewhere in the muddy battlefield between these two camps!  How many people have you met who don’t recycle?  I can’t think of one… but if they speak on word of skepticism, they are cast into the B bin.

Maybe this way of categorizing ideas into two and only two groups is a function of the human mind.  I could see how the brain’s ability to quickly form two plans of action, and deciding on the best one, would benefit our ancestor’s survival.  But today we should be able to explore a bit more depth of idea… if it weren’t for the need to have a catchy sound clip, or a pithy headline, or a 140 character thought.

Is it odd that a way of thinking selected by survival is being reinforced by the electronic age?


I am a WordPress newb and this is an experiment.  Ched’s Political Relief Valve was a closed FaceBook group where I dumped my political opinions in order to save my FaceBook wall from unfriending and other unsavory behavior in the strange new American political climate.  The rants grew longer, the readership got smaller, and I wanted another venue where I could sort out my ideas, jot them down, and have people discuss some of these ideas.  So here we are.