Quote of the day—Tom Luongo

The big reveal in Afghanistan is that what happened there can happen here, quickly. Those goat-herders just showed us how to defeat an Empire abroad. Now it’s time to defeat the empire within.

Tom Luongo
August 16, 2021
What If Afghanistan is More Than Just a Failed War?
[I suspect the rot is very deep and collapse could be much closer than what 99% of the people realize.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Allan Stein

While many individual preppers and prepper organizations try to remain anonymous, the number of people preparing appears to be growing. In the last year alone, roughly 45 percent of Americans, or about 116 million people, said they spent money preparing for hard times or spent money stockpiling survival goods.

Allan Stein
August 6, 2021
‘Preppers’ Quietly Stock Up for the ‘Perfect Storm’
[We live in interesting times.—Joe]

California assault weapon declared unconstitutional!

It’s about time!

SAF Court Victory: Judge Says Cal. ‘Assault Weapon Ban’ Unconstitutional

Like the Swiss Army Knife, the popular AR-15 rifle is a perfect combination of home defense weapon and homeland defense equipment. Good for both home and battle,the AR-15 is the kind of versatile gun that lies at the intersection of the kinds of firearms protected under District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008) and United States v Miller, 307 U.S. 174 (1939). Yet, the State of California makes it a crime to have an AR-15 type rifle. Therefore, this Court declares the California statutes to be unconstitutional.

Plaintiffs challenge a net of interlocking statutes which impose strict criminal restrictions on firearms that fall under California’s complex definition of the ignominious“assault weapon.” Hearings on a preliminary injunction were consolidated with a trial on the merits pursuant to F.R.C.P. Rule 65(a)(2). Having considered the evidence, the Court issues these findings of fact and conclusions of law, finds for the Plaintiffs, and enters Judgment accordingly.

Of course the defendants, rather than be put on trial, will appeal and probably get an injunction putting the right of the people to keep and bear these type of arms on hold for a few more years. In the mean time I suspect this means that the people of California can buy new AR-15s (if they can find them) for at least a few days.

Who could have guessed?

Seattle police union chief fears losing 400 officers in a year as crime levels soar

As crime levels in Seattle continue to climb, more police officers are fleeing the force for jobs in police departments outside the city, where politics may play less of a role in shaping law enforcement decisions.

More than 200 officers have left the Seattle Police Department in the past year, leaving staffing levels below what department leaders say are necessary, and the head of the police union fears that number could double by next year.

“I’m fearful that we could lose up to 400 people within a year’s time, and then, where does that put us in our community?” Mike Solan, the president of the Seattle Police Officer’s Guild, told the Washington Examiner.

“It would take decades to recover,” he said.

In 2020, Seattle saw its highest number of murders in 26 years, and crime in the city has trended upward in keeping with a national rise in violence.

This is such an obvious result I find it necessary to believe the politicians responsible intended this outcome. They are deliberately destroying “The Emerald City”.

Sign of things to come?

Is this some sort of communist takeover and a sign of things to come?

Squatters take over multimillion-dollar Sammamish home, police say hands are tied

Neighbors identified the two people as the squatters and both were arrested for burglary, according to Pingrey. Both were out of jail within days and headed back to the home, bringing more people with them.

“After they were out of jail, we had a large group trying to get back into the house,” Pingrey said. “No one was supposed to be there. The homeowners were not allowing anyone to stay there.”

Taking the advice of local prosecutors and lawyers, Pingrey said law enforcement is limited in what they can do. His frustrations hit a boiling point when the squatters demanded to be allowed to take property inside the home with them. Pingrey said, legally, his hands were tied and officers conducted a “civil standby.”

Pictures taken by a neighbor show police vehicles lined up on the street with officers watching, as the squatters filled a U-Haul truck with items inside. Another picture shows a garage full of appliances, including an ATM.

“We were not allowed to go in there with them and had to allow them to take this property out,” Pingrey said. “The person who had been illegally living there (was able) to come in and get what they stated was their property.”

Or is it some sort of misguided law with a loophole being exploited?

No surprise to me

After gold being below $1700 in March and now near $1900/ounce we have this:

Bitcoin, ethereum plunge as sell-off smashes crypto sector:

Bitcoin and ether tumbled on Wednesday to 3-1/2 month lows, on track to post their largest one-day loss since March last year, in the wake of China’s move a day ago to ban financial and payment institutions from providing cryptocurrency services.

At one point during the meltdown, nearly $1 trillion was wiped off the cryptocurrency’s market capitalization.

“Bitcoin’s sharp price drop should come as no shock to the market,” said Gavin Smith, chief executive officer of crypto consortium Panxora.

“Any asset which has risen as much as bitcoin over the past year can be expected to have pullbacks as some investors withdraw profits, like we’re currently seeing. While often a brilliant investment opportunity, traders must remember that Bitcoin is still an emerging asset class and will continue to experience large price swings,” he added.

It’s only a brilliant investment opportunity if you don’t have any moral qualms about “fleecing the sheep” and have good timing.

This is no surprise to me and apparently not Tam either.

A good omen

It’s not directly related to the “Red Flag” laws they are using to infringe upon our rights, but it’s very close:

Supreme Court Unanimously Rebuffs Biden Administration on Warrantless Searches for Handguns

The Supreme Court unanimously rejected Biden administration arguments in a case from Rhode Island that police should be allowed to enter homes without a warrant to seize handguns.

The ruling in the case, Caniglia v. Strom, court file 20-157, came May 17.

In a separate concurring opinion, Justice Samuel Alito wrote that the Supreme Court is “properly reject[ing] the broad ‘community caretaking’ theory.”

At the same time, he noted that the case implicates “another body of law that petitioner glossed over: the so-called ‘red flag’ laws that some States are now enacting.”

Such laws, he wrote, “enable the police to seize guns pursuant to a court order to prevent their use for suicide or the infliction of harm on innocent persons.”

Although this particular decision does not address those issues, “provisions of red flag laws may be challenged under the Fourth Amendment, and those cases may come before us.”

Also of note is that the decision was unanimous.

Building the foundation for a broader recovery of our infringed rights is a good thing. I just wish it were progressing faster.

See also:

I found this version of the story particular “interesting”. This is a completely different version of the facts compared to all other sources I have read, including the SCOTUS opinion:

Caniglia had brandished a gun while expressing a possible intent to inflict harm on himself.

I originally saw the first quoted material via an Epoch News Alert (Breaking News) but Rolf also send me a link to the reposting on Zero Hedge.

Things happen fast

A police officer arrives on the scene to reports of teenage girls trying to stab other girls. Nine seconds after opening his car door the officer draws his gun as the perpetrator chases a girl while trying to stab her. Two seconds after that he fires his first shot as she winds up to stab a different girl. Four shots are fired in two seconds and the perpetrator is on the ground with a knife by her side. That is how fast things happen in real life.

It’s tragic, but everything I see in this video indicates it was a legally justified use of lethal force. Yet we have people saying things like this:

image

image

Are these people just ignorant? Or are they evil? It’s difficult to decide given the current data. Regardless of the correct assessment of this set of people (and millions of those who have similar attitudes) I don’t want them in my neighborhood or even in the same state. They are seriously messed up.

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]

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—Jim Quinn

Based on the first three weeks of this year and what appears to be on the short-term horizon, I am confident the term “detonation” will apply to this fateful year. The intensity level has already reached 10 but is headed up to 11.

Jim Quinn
January 25, 2021
FOURTH TURNING DETONATION (PART TWO)
[Quinn points out the events of 1781, 1861, and 1941. These were 80 years apart. And 80 years from 1941 is 2021.

Interesting.

And while 2021 has a lot of potential to be something more for the history books than we have already seen I find it difficult to believe history rhymes that perfectly.

Of course they could have used a very poor pseudo random number generator in the simulator and we can now see the pattern.—Joe]

The next pandemic

Just when Barb and I thought we were getting a pretty good view of the light at the end of the tunnel.

Next Epidemic Could Be a Potentially Deadly Fungus

The next pandemic could be a sometimes deadly fungal infection called Candida auris, according to experts with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The yeast-like fungus can be fatal if it enters the bloodstream, experts said, namely if it enters the body via healthcare and hospital settings.

“One of the things that makes Candida auris so scary is the fact it can linger on inanimate surfaces for long periods and withstand whatever you throw at it,” Johanna Rhodes, an epidemiologist with London’s Imperial College, told the New Scientist several weeks ago.

Dr. Tom Chiller, who runs the CDC’s anti-fungal division, said it’s unclear where the fungus originated.

“It is a creature from the black lagoon. It bubbled up and now it is everywhere,” he said, according to the New York Post over the weekend.

I want an underground bunker someplace where the nearest neighbor is at least a half mile away. With Barb, a good Internet connection, reliable electricity, a well, and a few acres, I could be relatively content, and survive the pestilences and plagues.

Quote of the day—danwiddis @BeNiceToRobots

Ms. Unger is right to compare the GME short squeeze to the Jan 6 ‘insurrection’ only because both events are causing the ruling class to panic; not because of a real threat to ‘free markets’ or democracy but due to the ruling class feeling threatened by both.

danwiddis @BeNiceToRobots
Tweeted on January 29, 2021 in response to this:

[It’s good to know she is a former commissioner.

But it’s not former enough. Any news media with a lick of sense should have never have published something as wacky as this unless they were going make an example of her.—Joe]

Twitter, Facebook: $51 billion erased

Glad to see it:

Social media giants Facebook and Twitter have collectively seen $51.2 billion in combined market value wiped out over the last two trading sessions since they banned President Donald Trump from their platforms following the U.S. Capitol breach.

It’s possible they had nothing but good intentions and really did believe they were going to prevent harm to life and property:

User reports of violent content jumped more than 10-fold from the morning, according to documents viewed by The Wall Street Journal. A tracker for user reports of false news surged to nearly 40,000 reports an hour, about four times recent daily peaks. On Instagram, the company’s popular photo-sharing platform, views skyrocketed for content from authors in “zero trust” countries, reflecting potential efforts at platform manipulation by entities overseas.

Facebook’s platforms were aflame, the documents show. One Instagram presentation, circulated internally and seen by the Journal, was subtitled “Why business as usual isn’t working.”

Company leaders feared a feedback loop, according to people familiar with the matter, in which the incendiary events in Washington riled up already on-edge social-media users—potentially leading to more strife in real life.

It’s also possible, and this is my hypothesis, they had preconceived notions of the morality of President Trump and anyone who supports him. When they saw an upsurge in chatter that supported him they read any ambiguous, and perhaps even neutral, language as threatening. That is, there was a confirmation bias.

My evidence in support of this comes from the same article quoted above:

By Monday, Facebook said it would prohibit all content containing the phrase “stop the steal”—a slogan popular among Trump supporters who back his efforts to overturn the election—and that it would keep the emergency measures that it had activated the day of the Capitol assault in place through Inauguration Day.

Stop the steal”? Really? That is the sole basis for banning a Facebook post?

These people need to be taught a lesson. A $51 billion lesson is a good start. Facebook has a Market Cap of about $717 B. Twitter about $37 B. When they’ve lost another combined $200 B (a third of their total value) then I’d be willing to consider the possibility they had learned the lesson.

The next time they come up with an excuse to ban people for engaging in innocent protected speech I would be inclined to see them on street corners holding signs that say, “Will code for food.”

Ghosts of the Constitution, past, present, and future

Yesterday I posed this quote from someone:

The constitution is the conservative equivalent of a gun-free zone.

I followed up with this deliberately very open ended question:

Now, can we use that insight and turn it into what needs to be done next?

The comments indicated everyone took a much narrower view of things than I had. One even took bizarre break from reality saying that my post meant I, “decided to go full-on Brownshirt/Blackshirt/Silvershirt” regarding the election. What? I wasn’t even talking about the election. How did they get there? Did they think they were able to read my mind through the Internet? That was really weird.

Here is what actually happened.

When I read the quote it was like first few nanoseconds of the big bang. Out of nothing there exploded a whole universe. It was like how some people describe their first LSD experience. I’ve never used LSD so I wouldn’t know for certain but that is my best analogy for how it affected me.

There were three comments (here, here, and here) which accurately touched an extremely small fraction of that universe that I saw unfold. And it was all about the past and the present. I was hoping for something more about the future as I was pretty sure I had explored enough of the past and present and satisfied myself that there wasn’t a whole lot more to be learned from those domains. I could be wrong about that so I present that part of my expanding universe for comments, corrections, and additional observations.

But what I really want is for people to think about and suggest a solution to the problem that can be implemented in the near future.

The Past

The authors of the constitution could have set up a separate branch of government which had the job of enforcing the adherence to the original intent. If not this then at least explicitly given the Federal courts some independent enforcement capability and protection from court packing. This may not have been practical or even possible but an attempt in this direction might have made some difference.

This attempts to address the issue, as McChuck, in the comments said, “The Constitution failed because it had no “OR ELSE” clause.”

At numerous critical times there were fairly clear cut issues before the courts which probably, at least a simple majority of people decided the Constitution was inadequate for the present circumstances. And rather than go the long route and get an amendment to the constitution through the process the courts allowed a short cut. This short cut was then used for things not nearly so clear cut. The short cut became a super highway with no restrictions.

I haven’t done the research but a couple very early, reasonably well known examples of such “clear cut issues” were the Lewis and Clark expedition and the Louisiana Purchase. Where does the constitution allow that in it’s enumerated powers?

There are probably hundreds if not thousands of case where little short cuts were taken over the centuries and they enabled all kinds of criminal trespass on the constitution.

What if, instead of politicians and judges instead of giving these short cuts a blind eye, they had handled it differently? What if they had said, “I think this is a good idea. I think this is within to domain of proper government power. BUT, it is also outside of the powers granted to the government”? Let’s, as rapidly as is practical, push through a narrowly scoped constitutional amendment to address this “clear cut issue”. This would have at least attempted to prevent the short cut from becoming a superhighway.

But the politicians of the time didn’t see, didn’t care, or wanted the superhighway and neither of those things happened.

The Present

The U.S. government debt is almost $28 trillion with $159 trillion in unfunded liabilities and constantly going up. Had the original intent of the U.S. constitution been adhered to that could not have happened. The superhighway of criminal trespass on the constitution is is a superhighway to disaster.

The criminal trespass on our personal liberties are just as gargantuan as the economic disaster. The First, Second, and Fourth enumerated rights in the Bill of Rights may have the most lanes of the superhighway over them but all of them, with the possible exception of the Third Amendment, have been paved over with at least a bike path clearly marked where there was once a tall fence with no gate and a NO TRESPASSING sign on it.

People who believe the constitution should be respected according to original intent started talking with each other. The Internet made it far easier to connect with others of a similar mindset. They realize, “Not only is the government infringing upon our rights, the courts aren’t coming to our aid.”

The criminals see the Internet chatter and see erosion of their voting base as more people come up to speed on the situation. The criminals shadow ban people. They freeze their accounts for a day or a week. Then they start completely banning people.

This couple was completely banned by Facebook and they have little* to no idea what it was about. A few weeks later they were both banned within minutes of each other from Instagram. All they posted on Instagram were family pictures. No explain was given. No appeal was possible.

Other people have received some clues. And it’s over the tiniest of stuff:

They are making every post of mine with #DontCaliforniaMyTexas as hate speech and deleting it. I got one day in jail for it

In the last week it was the President of the United States who permanently banned from Twitter. Shortly after POTUS moved to Parler, Apple, Google, and Amazon in a matter of just a few days deplatformed their apps and then the entire site. Poof! Gone! The company is possibly permanently destroyed.

Yesterday morning AR15.com was booted from GoDaddy (see also here). They are now back up on AWS Amazon. I wonder how long that will last as AWS Amazon was the host for Parler.

The political left is saying, “It’s time..” and “Cleansing the movement…” is next.

“Maybe they are being hyper sensitive to people of any political persuasion”, you suggest. It doesn’t look like that to me and others:

Big Tech did not remove House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s accounts when she called for “uprisings” against the Trump administration. Facebook and Twitter did not target Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez when she claimed that allegedly marginalized groups have “no choice but to riot.” These platforms did not act against Kamala Harris when she said the riots “should not” stop.

This week, Joe Biden condemned the Capitol rioters, saying, “What we witnessed yesterday was not dissent, it was not disorder, it was not protest. It was chaos. They weren’t protesters, don’t dare call them protesters. They were a riotous mob, insurrectionists, domestic terrorists. It’s that basic, it’s that simple.”

Yet he refused to speak in those terms when Black Lives Matter and antifa militants were throwing Molotov cocktails at federal buildings, setting up “autonomous zones,” and burning down cities. Instead, he condemned Trump for holding up a Bible at a church — without mentioning the fact that that very church had been set on fire the night before.

What makes you think it will end with social media? What if the political left pulls your Internet connection for some flimsy excuse, or none at all? You think that would be going too far because Internet is essentially a requirement of life these days? Really? You think that would stop them? Do you think I am extrapolating way out into never-never land? “That can’t happen here?”

What if banks refused to do business with you. Wouldn’t that be worse than pulling your Internet connection? Guess what…The Obama administration was telling banks, “If you do business with risky customers, such as gun manufactures or dealers, you will suffer the consequences.” It was called Operation Choke Point.

What about other services such as FedEx, UPS, USPS, your water, waste disposal, and electricity? They didn’t “censor” you, you can still print a newsletter or hold a sign up on the street corner, right? And as long as it wasn’t a government entity refusing you service it’s entirely legit, right?

It used to be motels, restaurants, gasoline stations, etc. could, and did, refuse service to people based on their own criteria. There was a Federal law passed which prohibited such discrimination when it was based on the grounds of “race, color, religion, or national origin.” But it doesn’t protect you if you happen to be one of those nasty people who believe the constitution means what it says.

Do not be surprised if there aren’t soon “blacklists” that result in a surprising number of restrictions on what we normally consider public services. Don’t think so? Today Senator Chuck Schumer called for authorities to add the Capitol rioters to a national no-fly list.

The net result of this? Individual constitutionalists are, metaphorically, standing on some random street corner holding up homemade signs saying, “Repent! The End is Near!” Thousands of criminals occasionally glance at the “Gun-free zone” sign as they zoom by on the nearby superhighway at 100+ MPH and snicker.

The comparisons to the early days of what is described in Gulag Archipelago are eerie. Have a chat with someone with Venezuela, or East Germany sometime.

The Future

This is where I was/am hoping to get some discussion. How can we regain a limited government and our personal liberties?

An armed rebellion? Maybe. But I’m not seeing that as a high probability path. I could see that bringing down the government. But I don’t see that as necessarily building a consensus for the resurrections of limited government rising from the ashes. And your going to start your own cancel culture with a scoped rifle? And how does that work out? You shoot every politician with a ‘D’ beside their name? Then what? Hold another election with the same people voting (and/or cheating) as last time?

And at what point to you start shooting? Are you justified in shooting if you get booted off Facebook or Twitter? And who would you shoot if you somehow managed to convince yourself it was justified? Who do you shoot if some anonymous bureaucrat told your bank to stop doing business with you?

What’s the path to victory here? I am a details oriented guy and as I dig into the details I’m not seeing a viable path.

There is the Lyle option, as I like to think of it. A (supposed) return to Protestant values. This is, perhaps, due to the Second Coming—this isn’t entirely clear to me. I largely dismiss this, not just because I don’t believe in the existence of god(s) but because if the constitution was originally divinely inspired then why did it go so terrible wrong and how can we expect to be better the second time around?

The best I have been able to come up with is that we are probably headed for a Minsky Moment and/or a currency crisis in the somewhat near future. This could be a worldwide event and it could involve the collapse of our currency and perhaps our government. Perhaps out of the ashes of the collapse a more constrained government will have more appeal and will rise.

I see this second option as more probable of success, but still improbable, because the government size proved to be its own downfall rather than being brought down by individualist rebels. Clear and positive proof of big government failure is probably required to convince a majority of people to try small government again.

What I don’t see is a high probability of success path that can be traversed by a few people on the street corners with their handmade signs.

Please discuss.


* Barron recently told me, “I may have been tagged because I didn’t use the complete spelling of my last name.” Yet I know people who have been using completely, and pretty obviously, fake names for their Facebook accounts for years.

Quote of the day—Kamala Harris

This is a movement, I’m telling you. They’re not gonna stop. And everyone beware because they’re not gonna stop. They’re not gonna stop before Election Day and they’re not going to stop after Election Day. And everyone should take note of that. They’re not gonna let up and they should not. And we should not.

Kamala Harris
June 18, 2020
[This was in regard to the “mostly peaceful, but fiery” riots that caused over a billion dollars in property losses and dozens of deaths.

I find it very telling that instead of calling for her resignation from the Senate for this support of violence the political left made her the Vice President (elect) of  the United States.

Violence by the masses is the political currency of the left and they jealously guard their ownership of it.—Joe]