Deb and I had the pleasure yesterday of welcoming our younger boy and his fiancée to celebrate Mother’s Day a week late. (Last weekend didn’t work out.) It was a warm visit and a productive one — they’re moving into a new-to-them house at the same time we’re purging Second Chance Ranch, so they’re glad to accept lots of things we’re equally glad to unload.

After helping us with chores around the house, the two of them put on a killer cookout on our patio (car port) — burgers, sweet corn and all the fixins. Then it was off to Squeek’s Bar & Grill for beer and live Country music.

Terry Douglas is a local artist with the talent, vision and relentless work ethic to go far in a tough business. It was a duo act last night at Squeek’s, with sideman Dave Parks skillfully adding perfect electric accents — great musical chemistry, plus a set of originals and covers that could’ve been pulled from my own personal playlist.

A number of the Squeek’s regulars were in the house for the show, including a few we hadn’t seen since we returned from the road. The climate of connectedness (for lack of a better word) never fails to amaze me. In all the years we’ve been going to this bar, I’ve never seen it wane.

If my aching back had held out longer, no doubt we would’ve stayed ’til the end. We ended up leaving before 11pm.

The young folks spent the night here at The Ranch and headed for home this morning, but not before we all enjoyed Deb’s Famous Breakfast Casserole. As they rolled down the driveway, Deb and I silently congratulated ourselves, knowing that we have, to some degree, succeeded as parents.

The 18 or so hours we shared with them was a gathering of grownups. Those two are no longer kids but adults — accepting adult responsibilities, dealing with adult problems, making adult choices. They’ve embraced the passage. And they’re thriving.

For us that’s extraordinarily satisfying to see. Some of you will understand.

One year ago today: On this gray day we relaxed and acclimated to our spot on the White River. Deb’s cousin stopped by with a friend, and we sipped sweet tea while learning more about the history and culture of the area. A simple day in a very good place.

There was a massacre yesterday in Buffalo, New York. Ten are dead, three injured, at the hands of a lone assailant — an 18-year-old, for fuck’s sake, a child who reportedly had published a lengthy manifesto expressing his hatred of other races and other religions.

I can summon anger at the murderer, compassion for the community and hope that earthly justice will be done. I don’t much care if that happens within the justice system or without it.

Politicians, pundits and progressive proselytes aren’t constrained by standards of rationality. They’re elbowing their way in front of the cameras, shamelessly and almost giddily seizing an awful moment to press their agenda. The state’s governor, herself a contemptible individual, wasted no time in assuring us “that’s what white supremacist terrorism is all about” and vowing to make sure that gun laws are “ironclad.”

She and others are calling for social-media providers to do more to scrub “hate speech” from their platforms. Naturally.

I’ll begin by acknowledging the obvious — that the People’s Republic of New York has enacted more totalitarian control schemes than almost any other political jurisdiction, intellectually lazy attempts to throttle illegal behavior by hobbling the Liberty of law-abiding citizens. That didn’t prevent yesterday’s massacre in Buffalo, of course. It didn’t work because it never works.

Evil walks among us. It can’t be stopped by laws that target good.

Let’s also agree that hate is not a crime — it’s human nature. Laws against the inevitable and immutable forces of human nature are destined to fail.

“Hate-crime laws” — those which prescribe penalties based on the motivation of the perpetrator and the identity of a victim — are an abomination. They’re a frontal assault on the Founding Principle that “all men are created equal.”

Murder is murder. It’s no more or less murder if the victim is a cop or an elderly man a black woman. Presuming to make those crimes somehow more serious than others establishes, de facto, special classes of citizens. Last I checked, that’s not America.

(Then again, neither is the People’s Republic of New York.)

What’s more, “hate speech” is still speech. The promise of the First Amendment — “Congress shall make no law… abridging the freedom of speech” — doesn’t make an exception for hate. Suggesting that some speech be criminalized, however reprehensible its content but without a corresponding criminal act, is anathema to Liberty.

Finally, I urge you to pay close attention to characterizations like these:

  • “White supremacist terrorism
  • Racially motivated act of white supremacy”
  • “White supremacist, radicalized in all the ways we can think of”
  • “White supremacist who just perpetrated a hate crime on an innocent community”
  • “Both a hate crime and a case of racially motivated violent extremism”
  • “Anyone who subscribes to the ideals professed by other white supremacists”
  • “Latest in a long line of violent domestic terrorists”
  • “Racially-motivated hate crimes or acts of violent extremism are harms [sic] against all of us”

And this statement from the current occupant of the Oval Office rings every progressive bell:

“A racially motivated hate crime is abhorrent to the very fabric of this nation. Any act of domestic terrorism, including an act perpetrated in the name of a repugnant white nationalist ideology, is antithetical to everything we stand for in America. Hate must have no safe harbor. We must do everything in our power to end hate-fueled domestic terrorism.”

(Strangely, there was no mention of “The Great MAGA King.”)

In terms of substance, that’s just progressive piffle. What we must recognize, however, because we’ve seen it so many times before, is that this rhetoric is a broad brush meant to paint all conservatives, all gun owners, all white Americans, all Patriots. It sets the table for retribution against all who don’t represent an approved ideology or identity.

A supporting media narrative will bloom before our very eyes — just you watch. It won’t make a damned bit of difference that the perp is a disturbed child, that he acted alone, that there’s no basis for claiming that “white supremacy” or “domestic terrorism” is endemic or widespread. They want you to give up your speech, your guns, your principles and your pride in America.

Don’t bow to the bullshit.

I mean it — don’t you fucking dare apologize for the color of your skin, or for your traditional American values, or for prizing Liberty over safety. The crisis-addicted Left will try to make you accept blame for the murders in Buffalo, along with every other “mass shooting” that fits their narrative, and I’m here to say that you don’t have to take that shit.

Reject the narrative. Don’t surrender a damned thing. Apologize for nothing. Be ashamed of nothing. Change nothing.

Take care of yourselves, Patriots. Stay calm. Stay sharp. Stay free.

#WiseUp #LibertyOrDeath

#LetsGoBrandon #FJB

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