Quote of the day—Gabriel Keane

A few stores in Brooklyn Center were left unmolested, however: businesses guarded out front by armed civilians.

Despite calls to violent “revolution” by looters, they did not appear interested in a confrontation with determined shopkeepers.

Gabriel Keane
April 13, 2021
Only Stores Left Untouched In Minneapolis Area Riots Were Guarded By Armed Civilians
[Unexpectedly!

Via email from Rolf.—Joe]

Existential threat to Bitcoin

I don’t trust the stability of Bitcoin. I trust it even less than fiat U.S. dollars. I see mining bitcoin as wasting electricity to produce… well, what does “mining” actually turn those gigawatt hours into? Isn’t it simply faith in it’s value by some subset of the worlds population? What if people start losing their faith? Doesn’t the value of Bitcoin decrease exponentially with this loss of faith? Once some sufficiently large number of people lose faith isn’t there a high likelihood of an avalanche of people losing faith? Isn’t it likely Bitcoin will go down in the history books as another Tulip bulb or Mississippi bubble?

There is also the risk of one or more countries declaring it illegal and reducing it’s trading value to near zero in that country.

It turns out there are far more subtle yet greater or equal threats to it’s value: Bitcoin’s Greatest Feature Is Also Its Existential Threat: The cryptocurrency depends on the integrity of the blockchain. But China’s censors, the FBI, or powerful corporations could fragment it into oblivion.

Quote of the day—Sensing Online

That is where we are: politics in America is the literally religious-type quest for power – and for nothing else at all. We are way past (I say years past) the times when effective, enduring compromise was possible. It is not.

I do not see any way to reverse this. I am reminded of a disease I read of some time ago, that once it becomes symptomatic, it is too late to treat it. I think that politically that is where we are now. It seems clear to me that we no longer live in the “United” States of America, and I see no way to regain that.

The question is whether the United States will survive in its present form, or will some kind of dissolution come to pass. Personally, I am not optimistic.

Sensing Online
March 22, 2021
The Priesthood of Politicism Offers Only Damnation
[I’m probably more optimistic than this. But a good case can be made for a pessimistic outcome as well.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Rashida Tlaib (@RashidaTlaib)

Policing in our country is inherently & intentionally racist.


No more policing, incarceration, and militarization. It can’t be reformed.

Rashida Tlaib (@RashidaTlaib)
Tweeted on April 12, 2021
[It’s not as stupid as you might think at first thought. Thieves and robbers are the natural allies of socialists and communists. They all steal from (and murder) capitalists. Elimination of the restraints on such criminals enables the destruction of people and property.

This was extraordinarily well demonstrated in the USSR. Tlaib and gang are just using an slightly updated playbook from 1917 Russia.

Prepare and respond appropriately.—Joe]

Quote of the day—U.S. Rep. Jerry Carl

My colleagues and I are working hard to protect the 2nd Amendment. One measure I’ve taken is cosponsoring the Gun Owner Registration Information Protection (GRIP) Act, which would put an end to these two sweeping gun control measures. The GRIP Act would clarify existing law prohibiting the federal government from storing information acquired during the firearms background check process. Additionally, it would clarify the prohibition on the use of any federal funding by states or local entities for the storage or listing of sensitive, personal information related to the legal ownership or possession of firearms.

Jerry Carl
U.S. Representative Alabama’s First Congressional District
April 12, 2021
Carl: The fight to protect the 2nd Amendment
[Even if successful this would hardly “protect the 2nd Amendment”. It would be little more than a gesture in the correct direction.

This is not to say that Rep. Carl and his colleagues are enemies of the 2nd Amendment or even that they do not understand the problem or are not doing the best they can given the current situation.

But what is ultimately going to be required is the repeal of thousands of the laws that infringe the 2nd Amendment and the prosecution of those in government who have, or conspired to, violate our rights. Sure, it would have an extremely low chance of passage at the Federal level today, but how about introducing legislation providing for the funding of Federal law enforcement and prosecutors to investigate and prosecute state officials who have advocated for, passed, and enforced some of the most egregious gun control laws?

Just introducing such legislation will move the Overton Window and be a “shot across the bow” of the current course of gun grabbers.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Charles Hugh Smith

The lesson of China’s Cultural Revolution in my view is that once the lid blows off, everything that was linear (predictable) goes non-linear (unpredictable, fragmented, contingent, emergent, prone to extremes, uncontrollable). If America experiences a Cultural Revolution, the outcome won’t lend itself to tidiness or predictability.

To use an analogy from previous blog posts, if the pendulum is pushed to an extreme, when it’s released, it will reach an equivalent extreme (minus a bit of friction) at the opposite end. That could be an unexpected but entirely foreseeable Cultural Revolution.

Those who claim that can’t happen in America are safely outside the pressure cooker, protected by a delusional confidence that since I’m doing great, everyone is doing great. Since real political agency is no longer allowed, then the pressure will find release outside the political system. It’s just Wetware 1.0 running defaults few recognize.

Charles Hugh Smith
April 9, 2021
Is a Cultural Revolution Brewing in America?
[Interesting hypothesis.—Joe]

ATF director nominee Chipman at Ruby Ridge and Waco

According to Daily Mail REVEALED: Biden’s nominee for ATF head is an anti-gun lobbyist who was at the Ruby Ridge standoff and Waco massacre – and lied about cult members shooting down helicopters.

The picture below is from the article. I’ve also seen this image several other places (here for example—H/T to John S. for the email):

DavidChipmanWaco

That is the smoldering ashes of the Branch Davidian compound in Waco Texas and 76 of its residents in the background. It takes a special type of person to pose in front of that.

That he also apparently played a part the murders of innocent people at Ruby Ridge should make it clear what type of agency President Biden wants the ATF to be.

Prepare appropriately.

Quote of the day—Doc. Block @MedicPlastic

By nominating the man responsible for Waco, President Biden is sending a message.

He will kill you and your family by burning you alive, just to get your guns.

Doc. Block @MedicPlastic
Tweeted on April 7, 2021
[H/T to Robb Allen.

While it’s plausible, perhaps even certain, President Biden is unaware he is sending this particular message. But that message has certainly been sent.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Frank J. Fleming @IMAO_

Are ghost guns guns useable by ghosts or guns that allow you to shoot ghosts? Because that makes a big difference in whether I want them banned or not.

Frank J. Fleming @IMAO_
Tweeted on April 8, 2021
[As pointed out by Shawn Slipknotyk @slipknotyk06, there is another possibility which should be considered. Perhaps a ghost gun is a gun that shoot ghosts out the barrel.

I think we need to move very slowly on this whole ghost gun banning thing. There are constitutional questions as well. Surely if the guns are for ghosts of U.S. citizens then such a law would be unconstitutional. And if the ghosts were “undocumented immigrants”, once they are in this country don’t they have the same rights to gun ownership as citizen ghosts?—Joe]

Quote of the day—Barb L.

It will be glorious!

Barb L.
March 31, 2021
[Last Friday I took the day off from work and drove to Idaho to purchase something for Boomershoot. It was delivered and installed on Monday.

It will primarily affect some of the staff making their jobs easier. It’s amazing how you do something a particular way for years never realizing how much faster, easier, and just smarter a simple change will make to your work flow.

For example, for years we made the reactive targets on a folding table (or two). Our backs hurt from bending over the tables for hours. Then one day either Ry or I realized we could put concrete blocks under the table legs and raise the table top up to a height that allowed the target makers to stand straight. Wow! Why did it take so long to think of such a simple improvement?

Another example. For the first couple of Boomershoot events the targets were placed directly on the ground. Even though the grass wasn’t very tall you couldn’t find the target from 300+ yards away. And at the end of the event we couldn’t find them as we walked the field looking for the left overs. Leaving explosives around is almost certainly frowned upon by the ATF and the neighbors. We tried double stick tape to attach them to stakes. It rained that year and the wet stakes were not stickable. The next year we make somewhat elaborate target stands out of milk cartons which were stapled to the stakes (scroll down to the fourth picture). They were time consuming to make, the staples tended to pull out, the targets would be blasted off the little stands by nearby detonations and it was hard for shooters to distinguish the target from the target stand. Finally, I realized a single #64 rubber band to hold a target on a stake worked great. It was cheap, quick, and easy to attach a target.

Those are just two of many things we have made dramatic improvements in the work flow and experience of the participants that were “obvious” in hindsight. And so it is with the latest improvement. It is a bit on the expensive side but the Biden/Harris administration (ironic, huh?) was a big help.

I’m not going to spoil the surprise for staff, but it’s going to make event setup and breakdown/cleanup a whole lot easier. Barb is correct, “It will be glorious!”—Joe]

ATF director nominee David Chipman

Tomorrow President Biden will nominate David Chipman to be the director of the ATF. Chipman is no stranger to this blog. I wrote about him as “Senior Policy Advisor” for the Gifford Group. And he was part of a set of cherry picked “experts” at a Gun Policy Summit.

It’s like nominating a Grand Cyclops of the KKK* to head the office of the African American Administration. No such branch of government should exist. And putting someone who despises the rights of the people most affected by the organization is a recipe for some very tough times for those wishing to exercise their rights.


* I didn’t know this until I was verifying the title of Grand Cyclops, but before candidates for membership in the KKK would be accepted they were asked, “Are you now or have ever been a member of the Radical Republican Party?” I could easily see identical language being used today for admission to anti-gun groups.

Quote of the day—Glenn Harlan Reynolds

Looking at the FBI’s record, it’s hard not to conclude that it is far better at pursuing press and political opponents than at actually keeping us safe. It’s enough to make you wish those TV shows were fact and the FBI we actually have fiction.

Glenn Harlan Reynolds
April 1, 2021
The FBI is very good at woke politics, not so good at catching killers
[Agreed.

Mr. Reynolds enumerates a number of humorous as well as deadly serious FBI mishandled, if not malicious, investigations. He didn’t even get to the two incidents I consider the most serious of FBI misbehaviors. These are known as “Ruby Ridge” and the “Waco massacre”. I find it very telling these FBI murderers still have not been brought to justice.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Joe Biden

I’m the only one who has ever got them passed, man. The only gun control legislation that’s ever passed is mine. It’s going to happen again.

Joe Biden
POTUS
March 28, 2021
Biden Confident That Senate Will Approve Gun Control Legislation
[I know that Biden has been in politics for a long time but I didn’t realize he had the seniority to be a major player in the infringement of civil rights with NFA34. That’s truly impressive.

And I thought Senator Feinstein and Representative Schumer were authoring and pushing the evil Brady Bill and “Assault Weapon” ban legislation instead of Biden. I guess it must be the Alzheimer’s clouding my brain again such that I remember that wrong.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Dinesh D’Souza

If “woke” banks won’t do business with us, then people like me—political conservatives, mainstream Republicans—will have to have our own banks. If “woke” companies won’t sell to us, we’ll have to have our own merchandizing sector. If “woke” digital platforms won’t carry our views, we’ll have to make our own, and if—as in the case of Parler—there is a coordinated strike to take them down, we’ll have to restore our networks in a manner completely secure from such dangers.

This past weekend, my wife and I watched the movie “The Green Book.” In it, we saw a white and black man driving through the segregated South, where blacks basically lived in their own world—their own banks, restaurants, barbershops, and public lavatories and water fountains—and all because the whites flatly refused to do business with them.

It struck Debbie and me with the force of epiphany that this is where we seem to be heading. De facto segregation, not de jure segregation. And segregation not based on race but based on political viewpoint. It might seem overdramatic to say that Republicans and conservatives are the new blacks, but Republicans and conservatives are now treated in “woke” America with the same derision, contempt, and second-class citizenship that blacks were in the first part of the previous century.

Dinesh D’Souza
March 29, 2021
My Experience With ‘Woke’ Corporations
[Perhaps he was exaggerating some when he says they just now had the epiphany. If not, then he is a little slow on the uptake. It was obvious to me, and I posted about it, regarding the treatment of gun owners in 2006.

Still, better late than never and he has a much larger audience than I do.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Zuckerman, Chung, and Farrell

Wall Street is sifting through the aftermath of the biggest single-firm meltdown since the financial crisis. Mr. Hwang alone lost approximately $8 billion in 10 days, a person familiar with the matter said, in what traders and investors say was one of the fastest losses of such a large sum they had ever seen.

The firm’s implosion has rippled through the financial world, eroding tens of billions of dollars from the shares of media conglomerates and investment banks.

Gregory Zuckerman, Juliet Chung, and Maureen Farrell
April 1, 2021
[I”m reminded of Understanding Complexity  by Scott E. Page and similar content in RIckards’ books The Death of Money: The Coming Collapse of the International Monetary System and The New Great Depression: Winners and Losers in a Post-Pandemic World

The hidden interconnectedness of entities, the unpredictable tipping points,the emergent behavior, etc. The fragility of a critical component of all modern human society could be exposed and shattered in less than a week.

I doubt that this event is “the big one” but it reminds us there could be, and probably is, such a big one hidden in the non-linear, mostly opaque, complex, world financial system. And it probably is just a matter of time before the system implodes.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Ron DeSanti

It’s completely unacceptable for either the government or the private sector to impose upon you the requirement that you show proof of vaccine to just simply be able to participate in normal society.

Ron DeSanti
Florida Governor
March 29, 2021
Gov. DeSantis to Take Executive Emergency Action Against Vaccine Passports
[If internal passports hadn’t been so widely misused in the 20th Century I could see why people, in general, might think they were a good idea. As it is I can’t imagine why anyone other than tyrants and those ignorant of history could think they are a good idea.

I glad at least one politician has a clue.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Kurt Vonnegut

THE YEAR WAS 2081, and everybody was finally equal. They weren’t only equal before God and the law.
They were equal every which way. Nobody was smarter than anybody else. Nobody was better looking
than anybody else. Nobody was stronger or quicker than anybody else. All this equality was due to the
211th, 212th, and 213th Amendments to the Constitution, and to the unceasing vigilance of agents of the
United States Handicapper General.

Kurt Vonnegut
October 1961
Harrison Bergeron
[I had read this short story sometime long ago but I can’t really say when. A private post on Facebook caused me to go looking for it.

While the story has elements of truth in the trajectory predicted I don’t think this is in our future. I expect before things go much further something more like a USSR dystopia or a forceful reset to something resembling a meritocracy is far more likely. And I expect to see the outcome long before 2081.

But still, it puts into words the unarticulated fears many of us have.—Joe]

Quote of the day—James Rickards

The Federal Reserve does not understand that money creation can be an irreversible process. At a certain point, confidence in money can be lost, and there is no way to reconstitute it; an entirely new system must rise in its place. A new international monetary system will rise from the ashes of the old dollar system, just as the dollar system rose from the ashes of the British Commonwealth at Bretton Woods in 1944, even before the flames of the Second World War had been extinguished.

When the inevitable crash came, the losses were not apportioned to those responsible—the banks and bondholders—but were passed on to the public through federal finance. From 2009 to 2012, the U.S. Treasury ran a $5 trillion cumulative deficit, and the Federal Reserve printed $1.2 trillion of new money. Similar deficit and money-printing programs were launched around the world, as derivatives creation by banks continued unabated. Only a portion of the private debt defaults were written off.
The bankers’ jobs and bonuses were preserved, but nothing was achieved for the benefit of citizens. A private debt problem had been replaced with public debt larger than the private debt had ever been. These debts are unpayable in real terms, and defaults will soon follow. The defaults by smaller nations like Greece, Cyprus, and Argentina will be through nonpayment of bonds and losses for bank depositors. Defaults for larger nations such as the United States will come from across-the-board inflation that will steal from savers, depositors, and bondholders alike.

James Rickards
2014
The Death of Money: The Coming Collapse of the International Monetary System
[I mentioned this book a month ago and said, after consuming about 25% of it, that it is a good book. I have finished the book and I stand by that assertion.—Joe]