Annoying My Facebook Friends

Posted: January 16, 2013 in Fun, Politics

kindleI have been known to post political links, comments, cartoons and observations on Facebook from time to time. Many of my friends there are ideologically akin in our thoughts and beliefs, and enjoy the posts. A few of my friends are ideologically opposite to me, so I try not to be inflammatory when I post things. A few other friends find politics so distasteful that they object not to the specific content, but to the entire genre. I don’t wish to annoy anyone with my comments, so I give some thought to what I post. I wish others would do the same with more regularity – I have “unfriended” one or two people for the simple reason that they blasted every vapid thought in their head out to the world. It got annoying.

I’ve decided to keep my heavily partisan comments and posts here at this blog. Unlike Facebook, you already know what you’re getting, here.

I received a Kindle Fire for Christmas. One of my favorite features is the ability to send news articles, blog posts and editorials to my Kindle when I’m on my PC browsing Drudge, Townhall or National Review, so I can read the articles later. Kindle also allows me to highlight text in those articles and add my own notes. I haven’t quite worked out how useful this is, so this blog post is something of an experiment. Here are some of my recently highlighted items.

The Tea Party 2.0 by Scottie Hughes

…[In response to the mortgage bailout of early 2009,] millions of folks were united under the founding principles of the Tea Party: limited federal government, the protection of individual freedoms and choices, personal responsibility and accountability, returning political power to the states and the people and most important a free market system.

The need for those principles is only more urgent four years into the Obama presidency.   I believe the number of Americans who believe in those tents has increased over that time period, even if they do not call themselves members of the “tea party.”

The Case for More Guns (and More Gun Control) by Jeffrey Goldberg

…A survey of almost 2,000 convicted U.S. felons, conducted by the criminologists Peter Rossi and James D. Wright in the late ’80s, concluded that burglars are more afraid of armed homeowners than they are of arrest by the police.

…guns were used defensively between 830,000 and 2.45 million times each year. In only a minority of these cases was a gun fired; the brandishing of a gun in front of a would-be mugger or burglar is usually enough to abort a crime in progress.

…universities also acknowledge that they are unable to protect their students from lethal assault. How do they do this? By recommending measures that students and faculty members can take if confronted by an “active shooter,” as in the massacre at Virginia Tech.

…Otterbein University, in Ohio, tells students to “breathe to manage your fear” and informs them, “You may have to take the offensive if the shooter(s) enter your area. Gather weapons (pens, pencils, books, chairs, etc.) and mentally prepare your attack.”

West Virginia University advises students that if the situation is dire, they should “act with physical aggression and throw items at the active shooter.” These items could include “student desks, keys, shoes, belts, books, cell phones, iPods, book bags, laptops, pens, pencils, etc.”

“As a security measure, it doesn’t seem like advertising that fact is a good idea,” Adam Winkler says of avowedly gun-free campuses…

…opponents of concealed carry “make an emotional argument rather than a logical one. No one could show me any study that concealed carry leads to more crime and more violence.

[Dave Kopel says,] “Telling the population that they are incapable of owning a tool that can be dangerous means you are creating a population that loses its self-reliance and increasingly sees itself as wards of the state.” James Alderden put it another way: “Your position on concealed-carry permits has a lot to do with your position on the reliability and sanity of your fellow man.”

…encouraging learned helplessness is morally corrupt…

[Even moderate gun-control activist Dan Gross] pointed out some of the obvious flaws in concealed-carry laws, such as too-lax training standards and too much discretionary power on the part of local law-enforcement officials. [Personal note: Libertarians posit that any authority granted to government should be granted at the most local level possible.]

The GOP — Not a Club For Christians by Johan Goldberg

A few years ago, Robert Putnam, a liberal sociologist, reported this finding: As racial and ethnic diversity increases, social trust and cohesion plummets. “Trust (even of one’s own race) is lower, altruism and community cooperation rarer, friends fewer,” Putnam found… The villain isn’t racism or bigotry or anything so simple. The phenomenon is much more complex… Part of the explanation stems from the fact that people with shared experiences and cultures draw strength from working together, whereas with strangers, language often becomes guarded, intentions questioned.

Notes on ‘Not a Christian Club’ by Jonah Goldberg

Ask, say, a Catholic charity to put its faith on the back burner to accommodate atheist or Jewish volunteers, and you’ll get more diversity but less esprit de corps. It’s not because Catholics are bigots, far from it. It’s just that certain groups attract people with shared values, cultures, and experiences. Take away that appeal, and you take away the appeal for many of the most loyal and dedicated members.

What unites these groups, and dominates their discussions,  is a love of country and a commitment to conservative and libertarian principles. The diversity of adding a few non-Christians to the room has no significant effect on the groups’ cohesion. (But, just to bolster my point about diversity, if you added some people to the room who didn’t like America or who were, say,  socialists, the only things left to talk about that wouldn’t sow discord would be the weather or sports).

Obama to Boehner: “We Don’t Have a Spending Problem” by Guy Benson

…consider Obama’s mindset on America’s unsustainable government outlays.  “We don’t have a spending problem” are the words of a cloistered ideologue, considering the incontrovertible evidence.  It’s actually frightening.

For Obama, the Economy Never Comes First by Byron York

In November, the federal government’s measure of those unemployed who are looking for work, plus those who want to work but have lost hope, was 14.4 percent.

Don’t Tread on Six-Toed Cats by Jonah Goldberg

After a decade of squabbling, a federal appeals court recently sided with the Obama administration, ruling the [Hemingway Museum in Key West] must comply with the federal [Department of Agriculture] diktat or get rid of the cats [which have become a tourist attraction]. To be fair, maybe the cats are a problem. But you know what? If they are, they’re not my problem. I don’t live in Key West. In other words, what on earth is Washington doing setting cat policy — polydactyl or otherwise — for Key West, Fla.?

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