Quote of the day—Alan Dershowitz

I’ve never heard of a case where an attorney general’s tried to dissolve a first amendment – and in this case First and Second Amendment protected political organization – that is a bridge too far constitutionally.

If she is selectively prosecuting and selectively investigating the NRA because she disagrees with its politics, that’s wrong,

I believe in the Second Amendment, but I also believe in reasonable gun control. But I would defend the NRA’s right advocate its position without being subject to selective investigation and prosecution if it turns out that the attorney general is looking into this organization because she disagrees with its politics.

Alan Dershowitz
August 5, 2020
Alan Dershowitz to Newsmax TV: NRA Move Political Prosecution
[I’ve known about the NRA’s wasteful use of money since 1997 and have put the vast majority of my 2nd Amendment dollars elsewhere. But I’m with Dershowitz. I strongly suspect New York Attorney General Letitia James is attacking the NRA for political reasons.She openly says this:

Strong gun laws in NY haven’t been enough to stop the gun violence that rips communities of color apart every day. Today, I’m announcing my plans as Attorney General to stop gun violence & take on the NRA, gun manufacturers, retailers & banks that fund these weapons of death

I would like to see NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre out but that can be done without destroying the NRA.—Joe]

Beirut explosion

Via MSN:

A large cache of explosive material seized by the government years ago was stored where the explosions occurred, according to top Lebanese officials — specifically ammonium nitrate…

The cache was estimated to be 2,750 tons. Boomershoot uses about 1 ton each year. Timothy McVeigh used (IIRC) about 2.5 tons in the Oklahoma City bombing.

This is the best video I’ve seen so far:

Incredible tragedy. I’m sure the death toll will rise for many days. And of course the property damage will be horrendous as well.

As Boomershooter Aaron M. said in email:

Check out that white in that explosion. Remind you of something? They are now saying it was something like 2000 tons of ammonium nitrate. It looks correct for that.

I agree. The white “smoke” is probably the water vapor from the ammonium nitrate decomposition.*


* NH4NO3 –> N2 + 2H2O + 1/2 O2

Quote of the day—Sam Jacobs

Most Americans have never heard of these acts of terrorism from leftist groups that were so numerous throughout the 1970s. But this is a prime example of “those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” The urban unrest, which has rocked America in the early 2020s, is nothing new. The 1960s saw both race riots and left-wing terrorist groups looking to exploit animosity between racial groups in America.

The question is what are we going to do about it? The answer so far from our elected officials is “not much.” If leftist terrorist cells were willing to go this far when they had active opposition from government and corporate figures alike, what are they going to do when confronted with apathy or encouragement from elected officials and the business sector?

The answer remains to be seen, but will certainly be some variant of “nothing good.”

Sam Jacobs
July 2020
America’s “Days of Rage”: The Extensive Left-Wing Bombings & Domestic Terrorism of the 1970s
[See also:

It’s a great book with surprising parallels to the current leftist violence..—Joe]

Quote of the day—Elyssa Khalifé

So here is what happened yesterday at the “protest.” We were waiting and watching live from the precinct as the rioters set 5 portable construction offices on fire. They then completely destroyed, looted, and lit the Starbucks on 12 ave and E Cherry St. on fire. As the group was walking they were breaking random car windows, car prowling, and spray painting everything…

They made their way to the East precinct with all of us inside. They spray painted the building, tried to break the fence, they threw a mortar that left an 8 inch hole in the wall… We could see a person pouring gasoline around the building that we were occupying, which is when all of us came out. We commanded people to “move back” as we advanced. People who assaulted us were arrested. We formed a line guarding the block. People threw paint, rocks, metal, frozen water bottles, glass and improvised EXPLOSIVES at us which is when we used our dispersal tools. In the process I was injured along with 20 other officers. Yes, I was injured even though I was wearing shin guards, and other protective gear.

The puzzling part is people were chanting “I don’t see no riot here, take off your riot gear.”

Why didn’t we deploy and stop them when the looting started? Our instructions were not to respond to property damage. The fire department was delayed in response because of the big hostile crowd but they made it and started putting out fires. We only responded when they were about to literally burn down our precinct with everyone in it and the connecting apartment complexes. This is insane. I don’t know what the message here is anymore. These people were 99% white and young. They were saying the most horrible things you can imagine to officers of color. They were also assaulting each other in the crowd. I saw signs and shirts that indicated Anarchy, Anti-Christ, abolishing religion, bringing down the government, defund/abolish SPD, defunding Seattle Parks and Rec (huh?), abolishing America?! I don’t think that the point to those riots is anything but inflicting as much damage and injury as possible.

About my injury: I sustained a torn medial meniscus and I most probably will require surgery to be able to live an active lifestyle again.

Elyssa Khalifé
City of Bothell Police Officer
Posted on Facebook July 26, 2020
[This is about what happened in Seattle.

It’s not so “puzzling” to me. The bigger the lie…

The stories of the “weak government” of pre-Nazi Germany keep coming to mind.

These “people” are closer to feral animals. The officials who give orders for the police to not protect property are showing their true colors. Both groups should be dealt with appropriately. They all should be arrested and prosecuted.—Joe]

Quote of the day—J. KB

These protesters and activists are the most supremely ignorant people in history.

They literally have the entire wealth of recorded human knowledge at their fingertips. It’s all available online and immediately accessible through the smartphones that they all have.

I can only believe that they have to be willfully ignorant because they should have at least accidentally stumbled onto some bit of knowledge by now.

J. KB
June 27, 2020
Splatter is coming, Part 5
[And/or lying and/or delusional.

In any case J. KB concludes with:

There is no reasoning with them. That is abundantly clear.

As they used to say “civilize ’em with a Krag.” I have a feeling it will come to that.

I don’t think it has to come to that. I think arrests, convictions, and a few years in prison will help them reconnect with reality. Getting them out of their bubble for even a few months will be therapeutic.

H/T to less fat Dave @BigFatDave for the pointer.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Stephen Kruiser

The nagging feeling that these putrid progressive cities should be left to riot and rot long enough for people to vote with their feet keeps growing on me.

Stephen Kruiser
July 27, 2020
The Morning Briefing: It Might Be Time to Let the Liberal Riot Hellholes Burn — Let Seattle and Portland Riot Themselves Into Oblivion 
[I suppose one could say, “It worked” for Detroit.

I realize it’s not legal or practical but I fantasize about conditioning such abandonment on the building of a wall around the city to keep the vermin from escaping. It could be the inspiration and location of a movie for someone like Kurt Russell, Escape from Seattle.—Joe]

Living in a bubble

Early yesterday Alien asked:

Random thought: Joe, are you and Barb giving any consideration to relocating?

I mentioned this to Barb as we were getting up and received the expected answer, “No.”

That’s a little more strongly worded than the reality and also deserves a bit of an explanation. Barb and I talked about it some as we went on our morning walk and I took a few pictures to help explain. As we walked along I was struck by the alternate reality she and I are living in compared to downtown Seattle only a few miles away. Barb elaborated with, “We are living in bubble.”

In this picture, a short walk from our house, you can see the U.S. flag on the left edge of the image:

20200726_085042

Below is an expanded snip of another flag near the car on the right in the image above:

image

It’s extremely rare to see a U.S. flag in downtown Seattle. Unless, of course, if someone is burning it.

Here is a common view on our walk:

image

In the distance to the south you see Mount Rainier which is over 50 miles away. The air is frequently that clear. My cell phone camera doesn’t do it justice but you can almost as frequently Mount Baker 80 miles to the north from another location on our walk.

In the picture below you can see Seattle (click to get higher resolution and see the Space Needle) in the distance the night after the most recent “peaceful protests”. I imagine the couple on their deck reading about the riot in the newspaper as if it had happened 1000 miles away instead of 10.

image

Our reality is much different from downtown Seattle. The streets and air are clean, the neighbors are polite, the police are responsive, the views in all directions with only a short hike are a joy to behold. There is a lot of territory between us and ground zero of the riots. There are thousands of homes and a large lake between us and the terrorists. The roads into our neighborhood are few with lots of cover and concealment along the sides. It is my belief that there will be a lot of warning and a heck of a lot of “vigorous”  resistance to the terrorists migrating out of their turf into ours. And the primary resistance will be supplied by the local police department who has not been shackled like the Seattle Police.Department. When I was shooting matches I frequently had a Bellevue police officer on my squad. The next chance I get I will ask a few questions about how he thinks an attempt at a riot migration to our side of the lake might turn out.

That said, daughter Jaime asked that Barb and I take a look at houses “out in the country” with her and her spouse last Saturday. They live in Bellevue near where the nearly completed light rail from downtown Seattle terminates near Microsoft. She tends a bit toward the neurotic side of normal and her location near easy access from the communist infected downtown Seattle bothers her. She received permission from “all the way up the management chain” at Microsoft to work from home “forever”. Barb and I looked at homes with them for several hours which were an hour drive from her current location. They made an offer on a place with a one acre lot next door to a home with a “Trump 2020” sign in the yard. That might as well be an alternate universe from downtown Seattle.

Also, I have accelerated my plans to buy or build a home in Idaho. A good part of our visit over the 4th of July weekend was to look at three different homes near Boomershoot we expect to be on the market soon. In this neighborhood property seldom gets formally “listed”. It’s almost always via word of mouth that you find out something is for sale or someone is interested in buying. We drove by the homes and told my brothers and sister-in-law that we are interested. We also looked at three different potential sites on my property to build. We chose one and have contacted a potential builder/architect. Then yesterday I completed a tentative floor plan. This would be small “summer home” or bugout location if things get too dangerous or politically intolerable in our current location.

So, to answer Alien’s question in something more than one word and less than a page, we feel pretty safe where we are for now and really like what we have here. We won’t be moving unless there is some pretty drastic changes happening a lot closer to home. However, we and others, are implementing plans to deal with that scenario.

Quote of the day—Carl "Bear" Bussjaeger @BearBussjaeger

Dear Seattle,

You’re screwed, and it’s the mayor and city council’s fault.

Best ‘luck with the riots.

Luv&Kisses,

Police

Carl “Bear” Bussjaeger @BearBussjaeger
Tweeted on July 25, 2020
[This was in response to this open letter from the Chief of Police to local businesses and residents.:

SpdLetter20200725

We live in interesting times.—Joe]

Karma

Via Milo Yiannopoulos @m

YourNext

While I got a chuckle out of this it’s quite misleading. There is a big difference between the gun owner protests which leave the streets cleaner than when they arrived with the most “violent” exchanges are spirited legal briefs compared to the riots, looting, and destruction of the Marxists of the last few weeks.

They can’t honestly believe we would be on their side. You almost have to start looking at elderly nun demographics to find a group of people more law abiding than people who have concealed carry licenses.

The only thing that I know of which we have in common is the skill set and tools to quickly create a lot of damage. It’s just that no one has flipped our switch yet with a valid target. There are a number of scenarios where the rioting Marxist change that. But in all the futures I see the police will give the gun owners a slight nod and turn back to engage the remaining commies.

What am I missing?

A Seattle Times reporter claims:

When asked to elaborate on the risk she replied,

We do not work for or with the police, and it’s important that we are not perceived as doing so. Journalists have been met with increasing hostility and threats because of this perception.

But, the subjects of those pictures and video surely would expect the recordings to fall into the hands of law enforcement when they were published. That is, unless they expected them to be edited or withheld in their favor before being published, right?

So, it would seem to me, that either the criminals would have to expect reporters to be biased in their favor or expect the recordings be available to the police. Hence, either the reporters are complicit in the crime or the risk to reporters is not changed.

Am I missing something here?

Peaceful protestors

Portland Mayor yesterday:

I keep thinking that nearby rooftops occupied by small teams with suppressed AR’s would calm things down quietly and quickly.

Apparently nothing really changed because we didn’t get a fresh batch of truly peaceful protestors last night. It was the same stuff with “peaceful protestors” trying to barricade the exits of the Federal building then setting it on fire with law enforcement officers inside.

Historic

A few minutes ago the price of gold reached a new high in relation to the U.S. dollar. Or, one could be equally accurate to say that the U.S. dollar reached a new low relative to gold. Click for a higher resolution version:

GoldHistory

In the mid to late 1990’s gold was selling for $300/ounce. I was making more money than I am now (contracting work for Microsoft with unlimited amounts of overtime allowed at 1.5X base rate) and bought a few ounces. But most of my money went into paying down the house mortgage and putting a new roof on it. And then half of that, which wasn’t very much to begin with, went to my ex-wife in the divorce. I wish I had bought more now. It would be worth a lot more than what the house appreciation was.

Gold surging is generally an indicator of troubling times which certainly describes 2020. But what is interesting now is that vaccine trials are looking pretty good and the economy is doing okay considering the circumstances. But yet, the price of gold continues to climb. I suspect the huge surge in the “printing” of money is a major contributor.

We live in interesting times. This year will be one for the history books.

Why can’t the U.S. be more like England?

Ever since I can remember anti-gun people have used England as an example of how guns should be regulated/banned. Here is what you get, UK Knife Crime Hits Record High, Murder Surges in Khan’s London

Knife crime in England and Wales reached a historic high in the year leading up to the end of March, as murders climb again in Sadiq Khan’s London.

London Assembly Member David Kurten said in response to the surge in crime: “There must be an end to politically correct policing — more stop & search, more arrests of burglars and violent gang members, less hassling people for having the wrong opinions.”

Former Brexit Party MEP Martin Daubney added: “All this while London’s dismal Mayor, Sadiq Khan, orders an urgent review into… ‘racist’ statues.”

The proportion of crimes actually being solved in England and Wales also fell to a record low, with just 7 per cent of criminal acts resulting in a court appearance for a suspect, down from 8 per cent last year and 16 per cent in 2014-15 when such records began to be compiled.

The Home Office report said that the fall represented some 33,460 fewer offences resulting in a criminal charge or court summons compared to the year prior. The number of sexual offences that resulted in charges fell from 5.2 per cent two years ago to just 3.2 per cent last year.

The number of rapes that ended in prosecution was just 1.4 per cent.

This is why we have the Second Amendment.

Just say, “No!” to gun control.

Cascading failures in policing

I recently had an opportunity to play a card I had been holding for a few weeks. I waited until a former Seattle police officer I know grumbled* again about his current job. So I asked, “I’ll bet you really wish you still had your old job back at the Seattle Police department.

This triggered a five minute monologue which began with “Absolutely not!” on the consequences of the political situation in regards to police in general and Seattle and surrounding areas in specific. He described it as “cascading failures”. Here is a synopsis of what he told me:

As of a couple years ago there were about 1350 people in SPD which was considered significantly understaffed. This number included support staff and rookies patrol officers up through to the captain level.

SPD is currently losing hundreds of people via retirement and them finding different jobs. Officers that have 20+ years on the job can’t take their pensions yet (I think he said they have to be 53 years old before they can do that) but they can quit and still get their full pension when they do cross the age threshold. Replacements are nearly impossible to get. Not because of defunding, but because no one wants those jobs. Detectives and other high skill areas are especially hard hit because those are the people most likely to have 20+ years on the job.

Some skill areas have mutual aid packs with surrounding areas. But while the surrounding areas have not had as severe political stress as SPD they have been affected. The mutual aid packs increase the stress on the surrounding areas and is causing people to leave their law enforcement positions there as well. It’s a cascading system of failure that affects the entire area.

Even some rural counties are pushing people out of law enforcement. One such country recently removed all U.S. flags from their patrol cars. This was to avoid offending anyone.**

SPD is rapidly approaching the situation where when you call 911 the only time someone will show up is if there is a life and death situation.

I’m now extrapolating from his observations.

If the police only show up for life and death situations and detectives are among the skills sets hardest hit by personal shortages then law enforcement protection of property is going to asymptotically approach zero. If a cold body with no obvious signs of foul play and/or no hot leads is found it will essentially ignored. Even clear murder cases will have low closure rates. Assault and battery will be ignored. Without justice for the victims of violent crimes and reduced odds of being punished self administered “justice” will become common.

These cascading law enforcement failures will trigger other cascading failures. This is city killer type stuff. Seattle is highly dependent upon high tech money. Most of those jobs can be performed by people 100s of miles away as easily as they can be performed by people within commuting distance. People and companies will leave the immediate area in droves. The property values, and all tax bases will crash. City services of all types will suffer. This could create Detroit like conditions within a few years.


* I think, overall, he actually likes his job. He just likes to grumble about things.

** I expect the people insisting the flags be removed are bewildered as to how the police could have a “real” issue with this. This probably extends to at least some of my readers.

A significant number police are former, and even current reserve, military. The U.S. flag is more than a piece of red, white, and blue colored cloth to members of the U.S. military. I have never been in the military and I only sort of understood this. A former Army Ranger described the depth of that meaning when he told me that if he were on the jury of someone accused of murdering a person who was burning a U.S. flag he would not vote to convict even if there numerous witnesses and video of the event, fingerprints in the neck bruises, and matching shoe prints in the blood. He wouldn’t kill someone burning a U.S. flag. But he could understand why someone would.

Quote of the day—J. KB

When enough blue-collar workers get canceled because they are too busy doing their hard and valuable to society jobs to bother with the sensitivities of the latest update from the grievance studies departments of the academic elite, they will get together and build a fucking killdozer and the pushback will be diesel-powered.

J. KB
June 29, 2020
When you’ve lost the Atlantic…
[I have nothing to add.—Joe]

Just exercising their rights

Via KOMO News:

A large group of demonstrators gathered in downtown Seattle Sunday afternoon.

The group gathered at West Lake Center for an Abolish ICE rally and then starting marching around downtown.

Seattle Police say they have received reports of property damage and looting.

Windows of the Starbucks at E Denny Way and Broadway East were seen smashed out as well as the windows of Victrola Coffee Roasters at 3rd Avenue and Pine Street. The Seattle Municipal Court Building was also vandalized.

I used to work across the corner from West Lake Center. Third and Pine is part of Mugme Street.

Watch the KOMO News video via the link at the top of this post. The reporter seems almost surprised the “demonstrators” exercising their First Amendment rights threatened them if they were to exercise their right to film them on a public street.

Here is some of the pictures (I have cropped some of them for better illustration of my point) they took of the “demonstrators” First Amendment activities:

FirstAmendment0

FirstAmendment1

FirstAmendment2

FirstAmendment3

FirstAmendment4

They need to stop calling them “demonstrators” and “protestors”. Call them what they are. They are criminals and terrorists.

There’s not enough kneeling you can do

As I’ve said before appeasement doesn’t work:

This afternoon, in broad daylight, this happened in downtown Seattle:

And as Joni Job @jj_talking said this afternoon:

“There’s not enough kneeling you can do.” I like that.

Quote of the day—Charles MacKay

Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one.

Charles MacKay
1852
Preface to Extraordinary Popular Delusions and The Madness of Crowds
[Via Jeffrey A. Tucker When Will the Madness End?

I haven’t read the book yet but I have it on my phone and it is next in my queue.

The current mass delusion has interesting parallels to the late 1960’s and early 1970’s with the hijacking of claims of racism against blacks by white Marxists. Read about it in America’s Radical Underground, the FBI, and the Forgotten Age of Revolutionary Violence Days of Rage. Many of the people who lived through that gradually came to their senses and were perplexed how they could have believed the stuff they were so certain of.

I haven’t read any books on it but I’ve read some newspaper clippings from the 1930’s about socialism/communism being openly viewed with great popularity in our country. Again, within a relatively short period of years, such views were strongly disavowed and even suppressed by government action.

That such cycles into madness have occurred before, and our country recovered, gives me hope that we can recover from this cycle into a political hell as well.—Joe]

Stalin, Hitler, or McCarthy?

I’ve been looking at the parallels of the cancel culture, riots, and looting of today in the U.S. to other times and places in history.

Numerous times I’ve mentioned Gulag Archipelago both on this blog and in private conversation with my children and others. The survivors of those times wrote of the truth not being “politically correct” and to speak the truth could result you being “reeducated”, sent to a slave labor camp, or being executed. But, as far as I know, they lacked the riots, thuggish mobs, and looting.

In Nazi Germany the removal of all Jews from government jobs and universities warrants at least a mention. The Brown Shirts, thuggish mobs, and looting ignored by the government certainly are a good match for what we are seeing today in some locations. But the removal of people from their jobs wasn’t because of their political beliefs and/or speech.

After reading Bari Weiss’s letter of resignation from the New York Times (via email from Paul K. and Reason Magazine which has a good article on the topic) another potential parallel was brought to my attention. From Weiss’s letter* (emphasis added):

The paper of record is, more and more, the record of those living in a distant galaxy, one whose concerns are profoundly removed from the lives of most people. This is a galaxy in which, to choose just a few recent examples, the Soviet space program is lauded for its “diversity”; the doxxing of teenagers in the name of justice is condoned; and the worst caste systems in human history includes the United States alongside Nazi Germany.

Even now, I am confident that most people at The Times do not hold these views. Yet they are cowed by those who do. Why? Perhaps because they believe the ultimate goal is righteous. Perhaps because they believe that they will be granted protection if they nod along as the coin of our realm—language—is degraded in service to an ever-shifting laundry list of right causes. Perhaps because there are millions of unemployed people in this country and they feel lucky to have a job in a contracting industry.

Or perhaps it is because they know that, nowadays, standing up for principle at the paper does not win plaudits. It puts a target on your back. Too wise to post on Slack, they write to me privately about the “new McCarthyism” that has taken root at the paper of record.

McCarthyism certainly cost a lot of people their jobs (watch The Front, if for nothing other than the credits at the end which are incredibly sobering). And it was about political correctness of a type. But the thuggish mobs, riots, and looting are missing as well as the political persuasion of the villains being anti-Marxist rather than pro-Marist as we have in the circumstances of today.

The fictional dystopia of 1984 could be considered a match in many ways but it takes place deep in the depths of the fierce suppression of speech, written word, and even many thoughts are forbidden. Something closer to our present circumstance and non-fictional is preferable.

I’m left with less than great matches. Sunday evening I suggested to my children they read Gulag Archipelago. Kim eagerly asked for the spelling but Jaime protested that unless it offered a solution then she didn’t want to get even more depressed and upset by our current situation. That’s a valid point. And furthermore, without great parallels how can I shed light on what to expect next or what to suggest as a remedy? And then there are so many variables such as our technology lending itself to vastly superior suppression of free speech than the previous examples. On the other side of that coin is that same technology also can also be a tool for the enabling of free speech and punishment of the evil doers. And, of course, 100s of millions of guns and billions of rounds of ammunition in the possession of the persecuted also is a variable not present in any of the historical scenarios.

The McCarthyism parallel is by far the least tragic of the outcomes, but it is also the worst match so I’m going to dismiss it.

The conclusion am am left with is that the all the reasonably good historical parallels lead to really bad situations. We must do our best to avoid going in that direction.

I keep thinking that with more and more evidence such as Weiss’s letter, the lessons learned from CHAZ/CHOP, and the continuing destruction in other cities, Portland Oregon in particular, that there is a good chance of a political turn around in the November elections. We should work at making a political solution the most likely outcome while ensuring a 2nd Amendment solution is a last resort and crystal clear that if needed it will be used and will be overwhelming successful.


* I intended to extract a paragraph of the letter for a QOTD but nearly every paragraph would have qualified. I would like to suggest you read the entire letter.

Quote of the day—Kurt Schlichter

It is not transcendently stupid for the alleged anti-racism rioters to destroy a Lincoln statue, though, to normal people, it looks like the act of drooling morons. Now, a good number of these cesspeople are drooling morons, but that does not change the fact that trashing POTUS #16’s statuary is brilliant.

They have confused their targets – us – by casting off the constraints of coherence.

Oh wait, you thought that these folks were trying to make a point about racism being bad. And you thought, because that’s how those of us who weren’t raised on Instatwitbook, soy, and critical race theory, that if you point out that something is unreasonable then that will cause the person you were instructing to rethink it. After all, trashing some Honest Abe totem in order to illustrate how racism is double-plus-ungood is about a “12” on the 1-10 scale of unreasonability. And yet, you can point that out all day and they don’t care.

In fact, they laugh at you for doing so.

It’s not about making sense. It never was. It’s about making you kneel.

Kurt Schlichter
July 2, 2020
Stop Making Sense
[Just the other day I posted Not a contradiction which is somewhat related.

Some of his advice is similar to mine about not appeasing the terrorists (see also here and here):

So how do we beat them?

Step one is to understand the nature of the fight. It’s not one of right and wrong, though that’s how they like to disguise it. It is one of power. Give them nothing. Concede nothing. Stop trying to be reasonable with people who think a reasonable compromise is just impoverishing and disenfranchising you instead of stashing you in a gulag or worse.

Read the rest of his advice.—Joe]