Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Pragged in Orlando -- literally and figuratively. Vertigo now explained. "Questions? Questions? We don' need no steenking questions!"

As far as the “prags” go, I don’t consider them cowards, or collaborators, or many of the other insults that “3 percenters” have tossed their way. I do consider them vastly overly optimistic about the prospects of gun rights prevailing through solely “within the system” activism. They remind me a bit of Neville Chamberlain, with the Heller decision being their Munich Agreement (and by the way–don’t give me Godwin’s Law–that ain’t what this is about).
And this brings me to the source of my confusion. The “pragmatic” strategy, apparently, requires gun rights activists to count on the Constitution for protection against people who have made it absolutely clear that they consider the Constitution to be so much Charmin substitute. At least one “prag,” for example, has railed against some other gun rights advocates, for their refusal to vote for one of the chief architects of one of the most brazen attacks on the First Amendment in recent history.
I have frequently criticized proponents of restrictive gun laws for their bizarre “strategy” of attempting to use laws to rein in the behavior of the lawless. I can’t really see much of a difference between that, and counting on the Constitution to protect freedom from those bent on subverting it. -- What I don’t understand about ‘pragmatism’
"Questions? Questions? We don' need no steenking questions!"
So, today I had an MRI brain scan. Tomorrow I'm scheduled for a Magnetic Resonance Angiogram scan. It seems that my vertigo was generated by a small stroke in the center of the brain that controls balance -- a stroke that took place, according to the doctor with the first onset of symptoms, the afternoon of 29 September 2012 while I was at the Gun Rights Policy Conference in Orlando.
My wife didn't want me to go, but since my way was being paid by a good friend who thought it important to be there, I went to support his efforts. I was already struggling with nausea caused by the anti-cancer medicine I was taking. I was weak and certainly should have stayed home, but I didn't. Some you may have seen me stagger out of the reception Saturday evening. I wasn't drunk, despite the rumors. I haven't had a drink in ten years. But sometime between the morning and the evening I had the stroke. And what happened that day? I tried to ask a question and was cut off by the prags in charge of the conference.
My question was occasioned by statements made by Mark Barnes in this panel early in the morning:
8:45 a.m. Federal Affairs Briefing
Mark Barnes, president, Mark Barnes and Associates
Jeff Knox, managing director, Firearms Coalition, gun issues columnist
Larry Pratt, executive director, Gun Owners of America
Joe Waldron, legislative director, Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms
There was a 11:45 a.m. Q & A scheduled on all morning panels but they announced that because of time constraints it would be postponed into the afternoon at 5:30 p.m. Among Mark Barnes statements I wished to question were these:
** We should not wish to sweep out the "old hands" of ATF because they exercised a "moderating" influence on the young cowboys and,
** That we too should understand that a permanent director was a good thing for the agency.
There was also a general feeling expressed by many speakers that the GOP would save us from the big bad boogie men of gun control, especially through the courts.
When the afternoon Q&A finally arrived, I was the first at the microphone, yet I never got a chance to ask my questions -- I was cut off. Here is the question I was never allowed to ask, for the record, from my original crumpled single sided note pad paper:
"I have a couple quick comments on the first panel and a question, which speak to the reality we face as far as the rule of law and the legitimacy of the two party regime:"
(Here was about where I was cut off.)
"Over a year ago the ATF whistleblowers were promised oversight hearings into ATF policies and procedures, Thanks to the intervention of John "Ol Yellowstain" Boehner, that has not happened."
"As far as the moderating effect of 'old hands,' I'll believe that when ATF ceases its 10 year persecution of an 'economic Waco' on Georgia firearms designer Len Savage, whose only sin was to successfully testify as an expert witness on behalf of ATF victims."
"As far as a 'permanent director for ATF, if Obama had his way we would have Chicago anti-firearm zealot Traver instead of the bumbling Melson."
I was going to conclude this preamble with this:
"My question is, does anyone on the panel believe that if Obama is reelected that we can avoid a civil war?"
That's the question I never got to ask, presented here for the record. After being repeatedly cut off, I wadded up the notepaper and threw it to the floor, and walking away from the microphone said, "Okay, here's my question, 'What does anybody on first panel believe we are going to do WHEN Obama is reelected?'" I then walked to the back of the room.
Shortly thereafter, or perhaps before, I had my little stroke, although it took until today to diagnose it. What was so inherently dangerous for Gottlieb and Company in that question, I do not know. I was warmly greeted by participants, both personally and with applause when my name was mentioned. Who knows what motivates Prags? All in all, it was a waste of blood pressure.
Anyway, keep me in your prayers tomorrow.


Anonymous said...

"My question is, does anyone on the panel believe that if Obama is reelected that we can avoid a civil war?"

"Oh you wingnuts. All you crazies trying to describe the world as it is instead of how it is in our heads. We don't need this; Cut the mic."

Anonymous said...

From the first issue of 'The Black Dwarf' by the radical journalist Thomas Wooler in January 1817.

"The people ought to have remembered that they were the guardians of the Constitution. Instead of that the simpletons expected protection from the constitution; which in fact nothing but the recorded merits of our ancestors...
Our ancestors, with swords in their hands and the tyrant John on his knees before them, would have been just as free, whether they had insisted upon the signature of the Magna Carta, or not.
Their freedom was in their power and their will."


Torque said...

I have heard a saying that goes along these lines; "A warrior is known by his scars, not medals." Words on a comments section may not be all that much in comfort, in the still of the night as the physical pain comes on.
Know that you continue to bring along silent masses who have yet found their voice into this battle of shinning light into an abyss of darkness.



Anonymous said...

Well, I guess we're going to have ourselves a little war.

OEF vet, III

PS: You've got my prayers, Mr Vanderboegh.

Anonymous said...

You are a brave man; thank you for what you do. I am praying for you.

Anonymous said...

God Bless and keep you Mike. Keep up the good fight and thanks for all you are doing. Keep yer powder dry and yer eye to the sky.Paul III%

Kurt '45superman' Hofmann said...

Wow, Mike--I am so sorry to hear about this new health problem to deal with. Take care of yourself, and get better--we're nowhere close to being done needing you.

On another note, thanks for quoting that stuff about the "prags"--I'd forgotten writing it, but as I read it, I kept thinking "that guy writes a lot like me."

Now I remember why.

Anonymous said...

Good work, God, that's a start. But a small stroke is just a small start. How about something larger? Please, God, please?

Anonymous said...

Mike, I was there, and I wanted to hear your question. Now I have.

The answer, of course, is "no"

I thought you got screwed on that one.It was good to see you, although, seeing how you were treated, I do not expect to see you there next year. The whole thing is a group grope anyway, most there have strained themselves patting themselves on the back.

Some of us believe in you. Stay free.


herbork said...

We regular Irregulars want you back on your feet, walking straight, and healthy as your instincts, sir -- which are perfect.

Anonymous said...

That's from an Obama commercial isn't it ?. I believe the actual dialog was , " Green card,s ? . We don't need no stinking green card's".

Anonymous said...

Mike, you in my thoughts and prayers. I suffered a mild stroke about tens years ago, God willing no perminant damage. just wanted to let you know that sometimes a stroke does not lead to perminant damage God Bless and a grateful thanks for the work you have done and the continued fightn you do for our freedoms Joe S

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