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 Reynolds

Dominion’s suing Rudy Giuliani, but not these Democrats. But an “unbiased” voting machine company that only sues Republicans has kind of blown its credibility already.

Glenn Reynolds
February 13, 2021
WELL, YES. THE DEMOCRATS’ AND MEDIA’S — BUT I REPEAT MYSELF — EFFORT TO MAKE ELECTION FRAUD CLAIM…
[I have nothing to add.—Joe]

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]

Quote of the day—Tyler Durden

Of course, that is a bit of an idealistic take, one where hedge funds finally are forced to pay for their stupidity. Alas, in a country as corrupt as this one, that’s unlikely to ever happen.

Tyler Durden
January 28, 2021
JPMorgan Has Some Bad News For Hedge Funds Hoping The Nightmare Ends Soon
[I have nothing to add.—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.”

Quote of the day—Curtis Yarvin

Also, there was a tiny bit of violence. Tell me again about how much you hate violence. Neighbor, after 2020, I am all ears on that one.

Curtis Yarvin
January 8, 2021
The great coup of 2021
[It’s a bit long but I thought he did a good job of summarizing the different sides of the situation with a good bit of psychology.—Joe]

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]

They are coming out in the open

Amazon Is Booting Parler Off Of Its Web Hosting Service:

Amazon on Saturday kicked Parler off its Web hosting services. Parler, a social network favored by conservative politicians and extremists, was used to help plan and coordinate the January 6 attempted coup on Washington D.C. It has recently been overrun with messages encouraging “Patriots” to march on Washington D.C. with weapons on January 19.

Amazon’s suspension of Parler’s account means that unless it can find another host, once the ban takes effect on Sunday Parler will go offline.

Amazon declined to comment on the suspension.

Republican lawmakers including Sen. Ted Cruz and Congressman Devin Nunes as well as President Donald Trump’s family members and surrogates have all established Parler accounts, and have publicly encouraged their supporters to join them there. So too have many figures in conservative media.

Wow! This is really making it clear the political left has no respect for the rights of people of a different political persuasion.

I do a LOT of business with Amazon. Boycotting them would hurt me far more than it would hurt them. I’ll have to think about this…

That just happened here

Imagine some other country run by some despot, say, Venezuela, forbid their political rivals from public communication to their followers. What would you think? “Yeah, well, what do you expect from a commie dictatorship? It’s what they have to do to maintain control of their people.” Right?

That. Just. Happened. Here.

That it was private companies that did the silencing doesn’t make much difference. Those companies have a political alignment of something like 95+% opposed to Republicans, let alone, President Trump.

That they had “reasons” is irrelevant. All “commie dictatorships” have their “reasons”. Even Hitler and the entire Nazi party had their “reasons”.

Welcome to a new reality.

We live in interesting times

Twitter banned @realDonaldTrump. Trump switched to @POTUS and made three tweets before they were removed by Twitter:

Trump has an account on Parler. Parler claims it is a “Free Speech Social Network”. It has had it’s app banned from Apple and Google stores. Web access currently does not show any content. Not even my own posts.

Gab, another free speech social network, is extremely slow. The founder says,

Record traffic, hold the line. Scaling up as fast as we can. Pray for our team. God is good.

I think I need to move to my (non-existent) underground bunker in Idaho to make a lot more ammo.

We live in interesting times.

Quote of the day—Rick Klein

Trump will be an ex-president in 13 days. The fact is that getting rid of Trump is the easy part. Cleansing the movement he commands is going to be something else.

Rick Klein
Political Director @ABC
Tweeted on January 7, 2021 then deletedRickKlien
[Via email from Drew who also asks:

Now, do you think the cleansing will happen before or after the common sense gun safety buyback registration law is passed?

I really don’t know the answer to that question. But at this time it appears the political left is a little too eager.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Jaime Huffman

If the game is rigged you don’t play. You flip the table.

Jaime Huffman
January 6, 2020
[This was during a call last night. The entire point of the call was to discuss yesterday’s activities in the U.S. Capital building. She also quoted John F. Kennedy as being particularly relevant in the current context.

This post, from almost exactly six years ago, is quite relevant as well.

After the people made it inside the capital I didn’t expect them to leave without reducing this country’s’ population of communists in positions of power by a significant number. That certainly would have made the voting on the certain issues a lot more “interesting” in the next few days.

Day before yesterday Mike B. sent me this link and asked me for predictions about what would happen at the capital. Here was my response:

  1. Something less complicated than his worst case scenario through the maze of dark and twisty legal passages.
  2. Something more complicated than nearly all other presidential elections.
  3. Perhaps not tomorrow, but by January 20 Biden looks like the winner.
  4. The history books will make a special note of this election.

All vague and mostly difficult to falsify but I, and pretty much everyone else, certainly missed the noteworthy directional twist events took.

We live in interesting times.—Joe]

Quote of the day—A. S. Haley

Did you follow that? At the very least, you can see that the joint resolution adopted by the 117th Congress did not include the requirement of the statute that objections to any given slate of electors be made in writing, nor did it include the time limitations on debate over any given objection. And if you understood the remainder of the statute, you qualify for an advanced degree in statutory construction. But if you didn’t, join the innumerable ranks of legal scholars who have disagreed over the meaning and application of these provisions.

A. S. Haley
January 5, 2020
The Coming Donnybrook of January 6 (Part III)
[Via email from Mike B.

The post describes the maze of dark and twisty legal passages through which our U.S. representatives and Senators are going to traverse today.

It will be a day for the history books.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Ric Grenell

The Democrats have moved from there’s not any fraud, to there’s not widespread [fraud], and now their new mantra is there is ‘not enough fraud to overturn’ the election.

Everybody knows this election was full of fraud.

Ric Grenell
Former Director of National Intelligence
January 2, 2020
Trump in ‘Good Position’ for Electoral Vote Showdown: Grennell
[This is going to be a historic month.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Robert Caron

The fraud was so massive and so blatant, despite what the mainstream media said, that we need to get this information out to the public. That’s why more and more people from the intelligence community and law enforcement are coming out, which is unheard of.

Robert Caron
January 2, 2020
More than 400 Ex-intelligence Officers to Investigate Election Irregularities
[We live in interesting times.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Ted Wheeler

Lawlessness and anarchy come at great expense and great risk to the future of our community. It’s time to push back harder against those who are set on destroying our community, and take more risks fighting lawlessness.

These people need to hear, and to understand, the social and human consequences of their irresponsible actions. All of them should be requires to engage in public services like litter pick-up and graffiti abatement.

Ted Wheeler
Portland Oregon Mayor
January 2, 2021
Portland Mayor Committed to End Violence by ‘Antifa Radicals’ After New Year’s Eve Riot
[This is after:

At least two Molotov cocktail-style firebombs and large fireworks were hurled and launched at riot police, the Mark O. Hatfield Federal Courthouse, and the Multnomah County Justice Center, police and video footage confirm.

The mayor it going to get tough on these thugs by having them talk to some of the victims, pick up litter, and clean up graffiti. Yeah. That would really show them he means business.

NOT!

I think this is further encouragement of their action. And I find it difficult to believe Wheeler isn’t actually on the side of Antifa.

The person, and anyone assisting them, that threw the first Molotov cocktail at the cops should have hit the street with a bullet in their brain before the Molotov cocktail landed. Portland police has snipers more than capable of doing this. I know because some of them have been to Boomershoot several times.

Throwing those sort of devices was the use of deadly force and should have been treated as such.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Jovan Pulitzer

We would be able to tell if they were folded, if they were counterfeit, whether they were filled out by a human hand, whether they were printed by a machine, whether they were batch-fed continually over and over, we can detect every bit of that.

All of these problems that you’ve heard today can be corrected and detected now by the simplest of things. It takes you days or weeks to recount votes. Give me these 500,000 ballots, we’ll have them done in two hours.

Jovan Pulitzer
December 30, 2020
Georgia Senate Panel Requests Forensic Audit of Fulton County Absentee Ballots
[This should settle this issue:

One of the county’s polling managers previously told state lawmakers that she opened a box of mail-in ballots with a batch of 110 that were “pristine” and not folded, indicating that they were never put in secrecy envelopes, as is required.

Pulitzer said that he and his team can detect if that’s the case.

I will feel a lot more comfortable about the next few months, perhaps years, being relatively peaceful if this issue is resolved to the satisfaction of the vast majority of people.—Joe]