Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ)

There has been some blog and reddit posts about Antifa taking over part of the Capitol Hill area in Seattle:

There are a few conventional media stories but not many:

As I reported some of the links people have been sending me and what I have read on the blogs Barb kind of rolled her eyes.

25+ years ago Barb lived on Capital Hill. For another 20 years she worked not far from there. She describes the people who live there as “in transition”. “They’re mostly young and trying to figure out who they are.” That some people moved some barricades isn’t all that much out of character for that demographic. They think of themselves as revolutionaries but it’s more of an extended teenager rebellious phase they are going through.

Today I visited CHAZ. It’s kind of a nothing burger. I half expected checkpoints with masked armed people and snipers in windows and on the rooftops. I brought my telephoto lens and planned to take pictures from a block or more away. I worried about someone seeing me, multiple people flanking me, taking my camera, and/or hurting me. I hid my camera under my loose fitting flannel shirt.

Continue reading

Gather evidence for the trials

Via Milo we have news confirming it’s time for the adults to take charge (see also here and here):

A group of Minneapolis City Council members have announced their intentions to proceed with disbanding the city’s police force.

Council president Lisa Bender made the announcement at a Black Visions Collective and Reclaim the Block rally at Powderhorn Park Sunday, just blocks from where George Floyd lost his life at the hands of police on May 25.

Bender says that the plan is to “end our city’s toxic relationship with the Minneapolis Police Department.”

“It’s our commitment to end policing as we know it, and recreate systems of public safety that actually keep us safe,” she said.

One could make the case these people have carefully reviewed the history of the police in our country and others, decided the early 1800s skeptics were correct and we should go back to volunteer or privately paid watchmen and inspectors rather than a publicly paid professional organization.

Anyone making such a case would risk a charge of manslaughter as I might laugh myself to death upon hearing such a claim. The political left is composed of some of the most ignorant people I have ever met. Among other topics they appear to have no knowledge of relevant political history and/or how it might apply to the present day. The history of professional police forces? No. There is not any possibility of them taking that into consideration in this decision.

One could make the case these people don’t understand what they are doing. They don’t understand that the police actually provide a justice system for criminals rather than have them exposed to mob justice. Mob justice has no due process. Mob justice has not right to be represented by a lawyer. Mob justice has no consistence and proportionality of sentencing. Mob justice results in false accusations leading to being beaten to death within hours.

Maybe they merely clueless. Assuming no evidence to the contrary, at their trials they probably could claim to be useful idiots and get a lighter sentence.

The case could also be made these people know exactly what they are doing. This reminds me of the Sullivan Act. They are deliberately enabling criminals to prey upon innocent citizens.

You don’t think so? Look at the history of the Sullivan Act in the link above. They knew what they were doing.

As incredible as it might seem, they could be deliberately engineering the end of our constitutional form of government. We have people openly stating this is their goal. While I’m not entirely convinced this is the case for everyone advocating the apparent insanity I am certain it is true for many of them. And because of this people should be gathering the evidence for their trials.

Riots are justified

There are people claiming the riots are justified:

Apparently if you can’t get the change you want via peaceful means then riots and massive destruction of property, injuries, and death are part of the acceptable solution space.

If you happen to have someone make such a claim to you please ask them the nature and extent of the violence they would recommend for gun owners such that we can eliminate the oppressive laws we struggle with every day.

Very nice

Roberta reported on how the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Force and the deputy mayor handled things last night such that there were no violent confrontations associated with the large protest:

The police and protestors marched the rest of the way to the Governors house intermingled.  The protestors agreed to disperse afterward, and police walked with them back downtown to their cars.

No one got hurt.  There were no riots in Indianapolis last night.  There was no looting.

I’m proud of the people of my city.

I read someplace else, I forget where, that research from the 1960s and 1970s on crowd control came up with a solution similar to what Roberta described which resulted in similar outcomes.

Nice. Very nice.

Quote of the day—Grady Judd

I would tell them, if you value your life, they probably shouldn’t do that in Polk County. Because the people of Polk County like guns, they have guns, I encourage them to own guns, and they’re going to be in their homes tonight with their guns loaded, and if you try to break into their homes to steal, to set fires, I’m highly recommending they blow you back out of the house with their guns. So, leave the community alone.

Grady Judd
Polk County Florida Sheriff
June 1, 2020
Peaceful protesters gather in Polk County; curfew in effect at 8 p.m.
[We live in interesting times.—Joe]

Reality is difficult

Via Red Dog: who references this blog post of mine.

RealityIsDifficult

Thank you Red Dog.

It may be that we have another very public example of reality being really, really difficult to understand.

We have probably 100s of thousands of people protesting, getting all worked up, killing police officers, and doing 100s of millions of dollars worth of property damage over the death of George Floyd.

From every thing I know about the event it should be considered an unlawful death and those responsible should be prosecuted. I talked to a former cop about it and he said, paraphrasing, the head and neck action, in addition to being totally unnecessary, was extremely strongly “discouraged” (forbidden) since at least 1994 when he first went through training. He is also of the opinion that the other cops should be charge with participating in the illegal death of Floyd as well. I have no reason to disagree with his analysis.

That said, the theme of probably 99.9% of the protests and public discussion is about racism. But is it? What evidence do we have that this cop is a racist thug? It could be that he does this crap with people he arrests regardless of their race. There are supposedly has many prior complaints against him. It’s entirely possible that he is an equal opportunity thug. It’s even possible he gives white suspects rougher treatment than non-whites.

I’m really looking forward to the cops public trial(s). I want to know what is in those prior complaints about his behavior. My bet is that describing him as an equal opportunity thug is more accurate than as a racist thug.

The racist theme met the preconceived beliefs of the vast majority of people and that theme spread across the country at almost the speed of light. It infected far more people, far faster, than any viral pandemic. And yet, it may well be nothing but a delusion. A deadly delusion of massive proportions and consequences, but still a delusion.

While the belief may be true, until we know for certain, the focus of the demands for reform should be on that which we have evidence for:

  • The handling of a person in restraints does not require pressure on their head, neck, or even chest. That the cop mistreated the suspect in this manner suggests he was inadequately trained and/or violated policies without being disciplined.
  • Police have qualified immunity which makes it far too difficult to punish bad behavior.

But that’s not my main point. My main point is that people believe things without evidence. Evidence is almost irrelevant to the beliefs of most people. And this tragic, almost for certain, illegal death is another example of why I believe rational thought is nothing but a thin veneer over the belief systems of the minority of the human population.

Communists being communists

From here:

Individual Sign On: Support the Call to
Defund the Seattle Police Department

By signing on to this document, you are endorsing the following statement:

Police reform efforts—from Minneapolis to Seattle—have failed. To stop police violence, the police must be reduced in size, in budget, and in scope. The police have never served as an adequate response to social problems. They are rooted in violence against Black people. In order to protect Black lives, this moment calls for investing and expanding our safety and well-being beyond policing. To that end, we demand:

1- Seattle’s Mayor and City Council must immediately defund Seattle Police Department (SPD). The city faces a $300 million budget shortfall due to COVID-19. Seattle City Council should propose and vote for a 50% cut from the $363 million already budgeted for SPD.

2- Seattle’s Mayor and City Council must protect and expand investments to make our communities safe, prioritizing community-led health and safety strategies. Full access to affordable housing, community-based anti-violence programs, trauma services and treatment, universal childcare, and free public transit are just a few of the non-police solutions to social problems.

3- The Seattle City Attorney must not prosecute protesters, including those arrested violating curfew, and those living in encampments. Protesters took to the streets to call for the end of the murders of Black people by police, and SPD unnecessarily escalated tensions and violence.

Our schools, workplaces, and government offices frequently collaborate with police. The police are an occupying force in Black communities. Their brutality towards Black people is condoned and accepted as business as usual. We urge all local governmental and non-governmental entities to cut ties with the SPD. When they put on their badges, police officers cease to be members of the working class. In fact their primary role is to surveil, control, and silence all forms of dissent to support the continuity of a racist, harmful, murderous status quo.

#BlackLivesMatter #DefundSPD #DisarmSPD #DismantleSPD #DecriminalizeSeattle #CareNotCages #FreeThePeople #FreeThemAllWA #DecriminalizeSeattle #CharleenaLyles #ShawnFuhr #TommyLe #CheTaylor #JTWilliams #IsaiahObet #JesseSarey #JusticeForStoney #SayTheirNames


*These demands are prepared by COVID-19 Mutual Aid Seattle, a network of organizations and individuals who came together in response to COVID-19 to demand an abolitionist, anti-racist public health response to the COVID-19 crisis.

You can reach us at covid19mutualaidsea@gmail.com. You can follow us on Instagram at @covid19mutualaid, on Facebook at @covid19mutualaid, and on Twitter at @covid_mutualaid. Thank you for supporting this important effort.

Want to sign on behalf of an organization? Sign here: tinyurl.com/defundSPDorg

The police are some of the biggest supporters of the right to keep and bear arms. The communists can’t have those types around. And besides they get in the way of direct, individual, “redistribution” of wealth by the masses.
It’s good to have clarity.

Very telling

Via SAF, BIDEN, STAFF FUEL GUN SALES BY SUPPORTING RELEASE WITHOUT BAIL, emphasis added:

The Second Amendment Foundation today said the support Democrat Joe Biden’s staff is showing to violent protesters in Minneapolis by donating to a bail fund is an “outrage,” and it demonstrates why alarmed Americans are buying more guns to protect their homes and businesses.

“After all the violence we’ve seen in major cities, Biden’s position is simply outrageous,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “No wonder gun sales surged 80 percent in May over the same month last year. People watch their cities burn, while Biden and his staffers think those responsible should be allowed to walk. That’s a bad formula for public safety, but apparently Biden and his crew don’t get it.”

A group called the Minnesota Freedom Fund reportedly received contributions from 13 Biden staffers. The Freedom Fund reportedly opposes the practice of making people arrested pay cash bail to avoid “pre-trial imprisonment,” according to Reuters.

But a Biden campaign spokesman told Reuters the former vice-president opposes the institution of cash bail altogether, calling it a “modern day debtors prison.” He doesn’t think these anarchists should pay bail at all.

“So,” Gottlieb observed, “while Biden opposes guns for honest people, he’s all for turning dangerous rioters loose on personal recognizance, maybe so they can go somewhere else and wreak havoc.

“We wholly support the First Amendment as much as we advocate for and defend the Second,” he continued. “Peaceful, non-violent protest is as much a part of the American fabric as the right to keep and bear arms, but last weekend’s violence completely overshadowed such efforts.

“What we saw over the weekend were numerous incidents of violent vandalism, arson, theft and even criminal assault and murder committed by people who have their own agenda that has nothing to do with the tragedy in Minneapolis,” Gottlieb stated. “Biden and his staff obviously can’t tell the good guys from the bad guys.”

Too close to home

Barb and I live in Bellevue. Several miles and the other side of a large lake (Lake Washington) from Seattle. Mob violence is almost common in Seattle and has been for at least 20 years.

We’ve never seen or heard of riots and looting in Bellevue. That changed yesterday:

Bellevue declared a civil emergency throughout the Eastside city and imposed a curfew Sunday evening for downtown in response to protests that began in the afternoon and turned violent after groups broke into the city’s high-end malls and started stealing items.

The crowds and looting prompted Mayor Lynne Robinson to request assistance from the National Guard for the first time in at least 30 years, and a warning from Bellevue Police Chief Steve Mylett that anyone caught not adhering to the curfew would “go to jail.”

The protests over police misconduct, triggered by the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody, have seized larger metro cities, including Seattle, but surprised Bellevue, which, as a city of about 148,000 residents, traditionally sees fewer instances of street activism. Gov. Jay Inslee activated the National Guard in response to the request, with up to 200 unarmed troops to assist the city’s officers.

“They became a force, a force of destruction,” Mylett said at a news conference Sunday evening. “They were not there to protest the death of George Floyd, the tragedy of George Floyd. They were there to destroy.”

Several people broke into Bellevue Square and stole items from the mall’s stores, according to the police department. Neighboring businesses had windows smashed. Outside a New Balance store, empty red shoeboxes were strewn on the ground.

The Police Department called more than 200 law enforcement officials, including all its officers, along with police from the Kirkland and Redmond and Washington State Patrol troopers.

Yesterday I also received information there is another protest planned at a different Bellevue location. It is almost within rock throwing distance from the company where I work.

This is way too close to home.

I’m preparing in case they move out into the suburbs.

Quote of the day—Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump

The United States of America will be designating ANTIFA as a Terrorist Organization.

Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump
Tweeted on May 31, 2020
[It’s way overdue. But better late than never.

See also Trump announces US to designate Antifa as terrorist organization following violent protests.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Devin Nunes

We will be making criminal referrals in the coming weeks against the Mueller team. We’re just now putting that together.

..

This started as a dirty campaign operation run by the Clinton campaign. At some point they got dirty operatives involved, including the dirty cops.

Now, remember, in the middle of 2016, the dirty cops that are involved, it’s almost impossible to believe it didn’t reach the highest levels of the Department of Justice, when they opened so-called Crossfire Hurricane.

Devin Nunes
May 25, 2020
GOP ranking member on the House Intelligence Committee
Top GOP Lawmaker Says There Will Be ‘Criminal Referrals’ Against Mueller Team
[We live in interesting times.—Joe]

Unemployment fraud

There are a very large number of people being affected by unemployment fraud. My company HR department is almost overwhelmed. Usually they get about two or three a month. There have been something like 500 so far this month. I know three people affected by this.

You can save yourself some hassle if you create an account with a secure password on the Washington State Employment Security Department website.

https://www.esd.wa.gov/

You will need your SSN, mailing address, date of birth and an email address.

What’s happening is that people get this information from public (or illegal) sources and create an account in your name then have the unemployment checks sent to them. It takes a cycle or two before your employer and Washington State get it figured out and you might get hassled in the process. Prevent this by creating your account and just “Look up your past wages” rather than apply for unemployment. It’s just the creation of the account that is the important part.

I suspect this is not restricted to Washington state.

We live in interesting times

This could get interesting:

Mexico’s foreign minister on Monday posted a video online detailing a diplomatic note to the U.S. embassy requesting answers about a gun-running sting under the Obama presidency, keeping a spotlight on the controversial issue.

In the video, Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard cited former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder as saying Mexican authorities knew about the 2009-2011 scheme known as ‘Fast and Furious.’

The current Mexican government has zeroed in on the program to highlight possible corruption under previous Mexican administrations amid a debate over how much they knew about the U.S. operation.

If the current administration has access to such records it could be useful in the prosecutions of corrupt politicians on both sides of the border.

A little light on the ammo

In Columbia South Carolina:

Federal authorities found more than 23,000 rounds of ammunition, 90 guns and tactical gear inside the home of a Midlands Technical College student who researched mass shootings, according to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

That figures out to only about 255 rounds per gun. That’s a little light on the ammo side.

When I read the various headlines I wondered why the Feds were hassling him. It turns out he was defrauding a bunch of different people and/or businesses:

According to an affidavit, the ATF’s investigation began in October 2018 after getting a tip about Kimpton’s PayPal transactions.

According to the document, Kimpton used false names to buy the items from sellers and retailers from PayPal accounts—and then contested the sale, saying he never got the items. The affidavit said that left Kimpton with the items and the sellers without payment.

Agents believed this scheme started in June 2018. They executed a search warrant for Kimpton’s home on April 20, 2020.

Okay. He deserved the wire fraud and mail fraud charges. The machine gun charge for the bump stocks? Not so much. But, it’s not totally bogus.

Quote of the day—Justice Lloyd Karmeier

The majority’s decision resolves this appeal based on an issue no one has raised, decides the issue through misapplication of principles we have no reason to discuss, and remands the case to the circuit court for entry of an order that is clearly meritless and serves no purpose. Neither the parties nor the interests of justice will be served by this unexpected and pointless exercise.

Justice Lloyd Karmeier
April 2, 2020
THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, Appellant, v. VIVIAN CLAUDINE BROWN, Appellee.
[I’ve blog about this case before.

This case began almost three years ago when a rifle was found in Brown’s home and she did not possess, and had not applied for, a Firearm Owner’s Identification Card (FOID). The majority in this decision are extremely reluctant to declare the licensing of a specific enumerated right unconstitutional and have sent it back to the lower court.

Contrary to the minority decision quote above it does serve a purpose. It preserves an illegal requirement imposed by the state for several months perhaps even a year or more. It causes the wronged parties, gun rights organizations as well as the innocent victim Brown, to expend more resources getting this illegal law partially overturned. It blocks the further liberation of gun owners suffering under oppressive laws in Illinois should the FOID requirement fall. This, I believe, was the real purpose behind the decision by the majority.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Hannah Furfaro

People will remain at risk until most are immune to the virus either through vaccination or extensive community spread, said Yonatan Grad, assistant professor of immunology and infectious diseases at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Without a vaccine, the end of the pandemic here could go like this: aggressive social distancing will help flatten the number of infected at any given time, but to prevent a serious reemergence, widespread testing is needed to detect those who have the virus, and those who are immune. Government officials will need to get serious about tracing who has come into contact with someone who has been diagnosed with the disease, Grad said. Once the virus is under control, he added, officials should attempt to keep infected people elsewhere from bringing the coronavirus back to Washington.

Hannah Furfaro
April 8, 2020
Coronavirus has closed Washington’s schools, at least through summer. When will it be safe to return?
[There are predictions the peak in resource use and daily deaths will in less than a week. But that assumes “full social distancing through May 2020”.

I don’t see May being a time we can return to normal. “Normal” will not return until there is a vaccine or herd immunity. Even then, because of our prolonged work from home and social distancing we will have made drastic changes in our society. I expect many companies will shed major portions of their office space. I expect schools will have made significant migration to online teaching.

I see some of this as a very good thing. For many jobs the office space and commuting in a era of high speed digital communications is a waste of resources. Imagine the time, fuel, construction materials, heating, ventilation, air conditioning, water, sewer, trash, and transportation bandwidth saved without there being “the office” to go to.

There will be a component of individual responsibility take place that I see as good as well. The need to be “in the city” will dramatically decrease. This will change the demographics and the politics of the nation and the world.

I see the loss of a major portion of the restaurants and small shops in our future. Large retailers will survive only because of their online sales. If something can be sold online and delivered in a small vehicles by one person who drops a package at your door there will be very few local shops which carry it. Items which need special handling such as perishable foods will be the partial exceptions.

We live in interesting times.—Joe]

Quote of the day—bitterb @bitterb

It seems that “Holy Shit March” is a phrase we can just use for everything in life at this point.

bitterb @bitterb
Tweeted on April 2, 2020
[This was in response to this tweet by Tamara K. @TamSlick which I was seriously considering for a QOTD in it’s own right until bitter topped it:

Almost four million NICS checks in March. That’s a lotta guns.

It’s interesting to see the normalcy bias in action. Six months ago I, in my rational mind, knew something like this was possible but it didn’t feel possible in any reality I might experience. Today, working from home, seldom going to stores, wearing a mask when you do, and wiping down everything that has had recent contact with another human before it comes in the house feels ordinary.—Joe]