Quote of the day—Alan Korwin

People in the United States of America want it understood that designating arms, ammunition and related accessories, which are currently legal to make, keep or bear in any state, which may later be declared illegal to make, keep or bear, or encumbered in any way by any means and for any reason, constitutes Second Amendment infringement.

Such actions are null and void, amount to prima facie violation of the oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution, and are grounds for removal from office for failure to faithfully execute the duties of the office.

Any action or attempt by any person to enforce such infringement on property possessed in our state will be a class four felony for a first offense, and a class three felony for second and subsequent offenses.

County Sheriffs and law-enforcement agencies in this state will be authorized to enforce this Declaration and to deputize as many residents as may be necessary to enforce this Declaration.

This Declaration, circulated widely by people who support it, is provided as a courtesy and notice of protected civil rights to candidates, politicians and people working in any capacity in government. It will be introduced as state legislation to authorize peaceful enforcement of those civil rights. Model legislation is in the draft stage and will be circulated soon.

Consider yourselves notified of impending disaster, if the headlong rush to infringe the public’s right to arms — and all the other blatantly unconstitutional abuses — continues on its current path. Don’t shoot me, I’m only the messenger.

Alan Korwin
August 21, 2016
American Protection of Arms Declaration
[I have nothing to add.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Gary J. Byrne

Terrorists can recognize the difference between actual security and it’s mere appearance. You think they can’t see past a gun free zone sign? It might as well say, “Terrorists welcome! Ready access to undefended scores of innocent children.” Please get over the gun-control distraction. Ask yourself, “What stops four men from going to a school with knives or bombs?” I know that by the time a threat reaches me on an airplane there is no time for hesitation, talk, quarter. I want to win more than I can tolerate losing.

In 2016 federal agencies are training their law enforcement personal to respond to active shooter scenarios. Concealed carry permits for civilians are going up. That’s great!

But we need a more honest discussion. By the time a terrorist or a criminal boards a plane with ill intentions we’re past the time for obfuscating their plans or negotiating them down. Either FAMS personal is on the plane when it takes off or its passengers and crew are marked for death and they better know it. The Federal Air Marshal, the passengers, the flight crew, and pilots are truly the last line of defense. Public spaces and schools need the same approach.

Let’s cut the feel good politics and recognize by the time someone with dangerous plans reaches your doorstep it’s too late to ponder root causes of anti-social behavior. It’s time to act. All of the thinking should have been done beforehand. And the level of commitment to stop grotesque violence in its tracks, stone cold dead, has to exceed theirs if protecting the principal is going to succeed.

Have no misconceptions. Any outcome at that point will be bloody, ugly, and lowdown. It’s like nothing you have seen in any Hollywood movie. It’s going to be bad breath and fingernail close. But it’s a fight that is coming our way whether we get ready for it or not.

Let’s get ready.

Gary J. Byrne
Crisis of Character: A White House Secret Service Officer Discloses His Firsthand Experience with Hillary, Bill, and How They Operate
[I listened to this as an audible book so I probably have some punctuation messed up and maybe some spelling and other minor stuff. But it’s pretty close.

The book, as you can see, isn’t just about his time as a Secret Service Officer for the Clintons. It briefly covers his time in the Air Force, time with the Bush’s before the Clintons, testifying during the investigation by Kenneth Star, and time with the Federal Air Marshals.

There are some quotes I’m going to pull out about the Clintons too. But I thought this was higher priority. I really like it.

It’s a good book. I highly recommend it.—Joe]

Quote of the day—razorbacker

I’ve been on my knees, in the muck and mire, the stench in my nostrils. I’ll stand.

Unbeatable forces force me again down, but again I stand. Pain hurts, but despair kills. I’ll stand.

Do you think yourself alone, a minority of one? Still stand. One is enough, when one is all that there is. Stand.

To stand is to make a target of yourself. Stand.

You will not win. You are doomed to fail. Stand.

Better men than you have died standing, but all men must die. Stand. Do you not wish to be counted among the better men? Then stand.

Better to live a slave than die a freeman? If you ask the question, you cannot comprehend the answer. Stand.

Today is not the day? When, then? Are you so comfortable? Do your knees not ache? Man was not built to kneel, but to stand. So stand.

You were given a priceless gift, the gift of life. Do not waste it. Stand.

They will mock as you fall. All men must fall. It is a shorter fall from your knees. But fall from your feet, so as to make a resounding echo. Stand.

You can live on your knees. You will die on your feet. Choose for yourself; I will not judge. But as for me, I’ll stand.

January 31, 2016
[Via a comment from Andrew Benghazi.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Roberto Foa and Yascha Mounk

In the United States, among all age cohorts, the share of citizens who believe that it would be better to have a “strong leader” who does not have to “bother with parliament and elections” has also risen over time: In 1995, 24 percent of respondents held this view; by
2011, that figure had increased to 32 percent. Meanwhile, the proportion of citizens who approve of “having experts, not government, make decisions according to what they think is best for the country” has grown from 36 to 49 percent.

Roberto Foa and Yascha Mounk
July 2016
The Danger of Deconsolidation
The Democratic Disconnect

[This could be part of the explanation for our current candidates for U.S. President. Sometimes people get what they ask for.

Maybe I need a seaworthy boat instead of a farm in Idaho.—Joe]

Abuse of data

Via a comment by Paul Koning we have this commentary in the Wall Street Journal:

Doctor to Patient: Do You Have a Gun?

I cannot understand how my asking this question will help.

From a public-health standpoint, adding this question to the medical history must seem logical to policy gurus far removed from the trenches of primary care. According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, 60% of the 30,000 Americans who take their own lives every year do so with a firearm. Ninety die every day from shootings—60 are suicide, 30 are murders.

Yet as horrified as I am by these losses, I cannot understand how my asking this question will help. If a patient’s answer is “Yes,” then what I am to say?

Of course, the platitudes: Guns can be a danger around the home, especially one with children. Make sure you use gunlocks or a special safe. Everyone knows this; it’s akin to telling patients that smoking is hazardous to one’s health. And now that my patient has admitted that he owns a firearm, this fact is duly recorded into the—secure, of course!—electronic medical record.

If my patient suffers from mental illness or substance abuse but is not, in my estimation, a danger to himself or others, then what? Report the patient to someone, some agency? Who might that be? Will my patient be harmed more than helped? What will it do to my ongoing relationship with my patient?

The obvious take-away from the article is that the suggestion that doctors ask patients if they own guns was not well thought out.

As Paul points out in his comment the data is required to go into an electronic records system which is susceptible to hacking (ask the DNC if you doubt me).

Another plausible point, as Paul pointed out in his email to me, is it is a “push for doctors asking about guns to be an attempt to spread hoplophobic disinformation”.

And as Paul hinted in his email one can extrapolate even further to see how these electronic records could be use to build databases of gun owners. Sure, the records are supposed to be private from government snooping except under certain conditions:

The federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) states that protected health information may be disclosed if it “is necessary to prevent or lessen a serious and imminent threat to the health or safety of a person or the public and . . . is to a person or persons reasonably able to prevent or lessen the threat including the target of the threat.”

But we have laws in existence, right now, which require medical personal report people with, or had, mental health issues to the government so they can be prevented from purchasing guns. How much of a stretch is it to imagine a one or two line amendment to HIPAA which requires the reporting of self reporting gun owners?

And what does the government care about following original intent of the law? Census data has been abused by the governments throughout history:

The Civil War
Along with the benefits of census information for war planning, the census can be used for methods of destruction as a war tactic. General Sherman used census data to locate targets during the famed Civil War March though Georgia.
World War II and Japanese Internment
A specific example of the privacy risks of the US census can also be found in the 1940s. During World War II, Japanese-American citizens were rounded up and sent to internment camps. The Census Bureau might not have necessarily given out individual Japanese-American names or numbers, but the Bureau did work with US War Department to offer aggregated data about certain localities. Although there is still a lack of consensus concerning specific conclusions, the Census Bureau has issued a formal apology and now reports that the Bureau did not protect Japanese-Americans.
[It has been admitted the census bureau did give detailed info to the Secret Service.—Joe]
It has been recorded that even before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt ordered the Census Bureau to collect information on “American-born and foreign-born Japanese” from the Census data lists. Information was gathered from the 1930 and 1940 censuses on all Japanese-Americans and then given to the FBI and top military officials. These sources point directly to the census information as one of the reasons that led to the internment of almost 110,000 Japanese-Americans on the West Coast, two-thirds of whom were U.S. citizens.
United Kingdom
A recent example of abuse from abroad can be found in the United Kingdom. It recently has reached the public view that compulsory transfers were considered in Northern Ireland in 1972. A UK government top-secret memo has surfaced describing a plan to relocate Irish Catholics. The plan was written with census data. Although never implemented, the use of census data for non-statistical purposes has caused great concern in Europe.
Germany has a contrasting history in census reporting. The most extreme example of census abuse is Hitler’s use of the census to track minorities for extermination during the NAZI regime.

Germany not only used the census data (and gun registration data) of their own country but that of countries which they conquered for evil purposes. My general rule is that if the data exists then it will be abused by a government. Carefully consider the type and persistence of data you disclose to anyone.

Government thieves

From USA Today, DEA regularly mines Americans’ travel records to seize millions in cash:

Federal drug agents regularly mine Americans’ travel information to profile people who might be ferrying money for narcotics traffickers — though they almost never use what they learn to make arrests or build criminal cases.

Instead, that targeting has helped the Drug Enforcement Administration seize a small fortune in cash.

It is a lucrative endeavor, and one that remains largely unknown outside the drug agency. DEA units assigned to patrol 15 of the nation’s busiest airports seized more than $209 million in cash from at least 5,200 people over the past decade

current and former agents said, when it came to intercepting individual passengers, the goal was usually to find cash.

“We want the cash. Good agents chase cash,” said George Hood, who supervised a drug task force assigned to O’Hare International Airport in Chicago before he retired in 2007.

I’m remained of what I read in The Gulag Archipelago, Volume 2: An Experiment in Literary Investigation, 1918-1956 and commented on:

in the USSR the political leaders openly wrote about how the thieves “were allies in the building of communism”. This was because they were the enemy of those who owned property.

Quote of the day—Justice Robert Jackson

The very purpose of a Bill of Rights was to withdraw certain subjects from the vicissitudes of political controversy, to place them beyond the reach of majorities and officials, and to establish them as legal principles to be applied by the courts. . . . [F]undamental rights may not be submitted to vote; they depend on the outcome of no elections.

Justice Robert Jackson
West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette (1943).
Via George Will’s Constitution.
[It didn’t quite work out that way. Can we get a do-over? I think we need to have a mechanism whereby there are serious repercussions to the people who vote for a law that is found to be unconstitutional.—Joe]

Check the sources

People have a strong tendency to believe what they want to believe. Sometimes it is a deliberate lie on the order of “Work makes you free”. Other times it could be more ignorance and with possible innocence intent such as “only bad people own guns”. Even when confronted with irrefutable evidence they are wrong many people will say crazy things like, “Fake, but accurate”.

If something is too good to be true, it probably is and you should check the sources.

I received a chain email today from someone recommending this video:

It would seem to be extremely damning evidence against Obama. I don’t think it’s true.

See also Snopes.

Here is, supposedly, the transcript of the portion of the speech which contains the words from the YouTube video above in bold:

Leaders and dignitaries of the European Union, representatives of our NATO alliance, distinguished guests, we meet here at a moment of testing for Europe and the United States and for the international order that we have worked for generations to build. Throughout human history, societies have grappled with fundamental questions of how to organize themselves, the proper relationship between the individual and the state, the best means to resolve the inevitable conflicts between states.

And it was here in Europe, through centuries of struggle, through war and enlightenment, repression and revolution, that a particular set of ideals began to emerge, the belief that through conscience and free will, each of us has the right to live as we choose, the belief that power is derived from the consent of the governed and that laws and institutions should be established to protect that understanding.

And those ideas eventually inspired a band of colonialists across an ocean, and they wrote them into the founding documents that still guide America today, including the simple truth that all men, and women, are created equal.

But those ideals have also been tested, here in Europe and around the world. Those ideals have often been threatened by an older, more traditional view of power. This alternative vision argues that ordinary men and women are too small-minded to govern their own affairs, that order and progress can only come when individuals surrender their rights to an all-powerful sovereign. Often this alternative vision roots itself in the notion that by virtue of race or faith or ethnicity, some are inherently superior to others and that individual identity must be defined by us versus them, or that national greatness must flow not by what people stand for, but what they are against.

I have probably been wrong, or at least not entirely correct, in the past when I have was extremely skeptical of something that was “too bad to be true” and it is possible I’m wrong this time. But please, don’t accept this video and spread it around until you are absolutely certain of its correctness. Fake, but accurate, just doesn’t cut it and discredits you in future debates.

Shocked, SHOCKED! I tell you….

I’m sure you will be just as shocked as I was to learn that the GAO reports the BATF has accidentally ignored the law and it’s policies and created a gun-owner database via the NICS.

Totally a surprise, amirite?

So what are the odds of a prosecution and destruction of those illegally-kept records, you think? I’m putting it at less than 1%. It Trump wants a few million more votes, promise to prosecute and destroy. (Preferably prosecute the records and destroy the ATF, but I’d settle for t’other way ’round).

Quote of the day—John Perry Barlow

Governments of the Industrial World, you weary giants of flesh and steel, I come from Cyberspace, the new home of Mind. On behalf of the future, I ask you of the past to leave us alone. You are not welcome among us. You have no sovereignty where we gather.

We have no elected government, nor are we likely to have one, so I address you with no greater authority than that with which liberty itself always speaks. I declare the global social space we are building to be naturally independent of the tyrannies you seek to impose on us. You have no moral right to rule us nor do you possess any methods of enforcement we have true reason to fear.

Governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed. You have neither solicited nor received ours. We did not invite you. You do not know us, nor do you know our world. Cyberspace does not lie within your borders. Do not think that you can build it, as though it were a public construction project. You cannot. It is an act of nature and it grows itself through our collective actions.

John Perry Barlow
Davos, Switzerland
February 8, 1996
A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace
[H/T Jennifer Granick, Director of Civil Liberties, at The Center for Internet and Society. She gave an awesome talk at Defcon yesterday.

Compare the quote above to the reality of the Internet today. After 20 years in the pot the frog is well done.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Brandon Smith

The fact is, their feelings are irrelevant. They do not matter.  Most rational people don’t care if SJWs are offended, or afraid or disgusted and indignant. Their problems are not our problems.  Our right to free expression and freedom of association is far more important than their personal feelings or misgivings.  We do not owe them a safe space.  If they want a safe space, then they should hide in their hovels or crawl back to the rancid swamps from whence they slithered.

Brandon Smith
August 3, 2016
The Social Justice Cult Should Blame Itself For The Rise Of Trump
[I have nothing to add.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Carrie Severino

Hillary has basically promised to nominate justices who would gut the First and Second Amendments. She would create the most prolonged period of judicial lawlessness since the Warren era.

Carrie Severino
August 1, 2016
Is SCOTUS a Good Reason to Support Trump? Libertarian and Conservative Legal Experts Weigh In
[Via email from Mike B.—Joe]

I can’t wrap my mind around this stuff

I just finished this book over the weekend and while there are many aspects that I am skeptical about some things resonated well. One thing was that struck me was that the psychology of progressives (r selected populations in his terminology) is in a large part about “equality”. Gun control can be interpreted as government mandated equality of victimization. Everyone must be equally vulnerable. It is “unfair/unjust” that some people be able to protect themselves better than others. It is better than victims of violent crimes be selected at, essentially, random than for some people to be able to avoid and/or defend against criminals. If you are successful in defending your self you must be punished.

The case below via the author, Anonymous Conservative, could be a case in point:

A homeowner in Finland has been sentenced to four years in jail and a hefty fine after fighting off three intruders who attempted to rob his house. The thieves, meanwhile, got lesser prison terms and are to be paid damages by their victim.

In April, a 35-year-old man from Hyvinkää, a town just 50km north of the Finnish capital, Helsinki, heard a knock on the front door of his suburban house and rushed to open it. As soon as he unlocked it, three strangers rushed in and launched at him, toting baseball bats and a gun. The man retreated to the kitchen, where he found a knife and with it was able to overpower the intruders, two men and one woman.

The homeowner has been convicted of “excessive self-defense and attempted manslaughter,” Helsinki news reports. He will serve an unconditional sentence for four years and two months, which he has to spend in prison. The man also has to pay damages to his attackers, with the fine totaling €21,000 (US$23,000). The newspaper does not provide information on the severity of injuries sustained by the home-invaders, however, it is known that they survived the event.

All three received one-year-and-two-month conditional sentences, which is similar to probation or house arrest in Finland, depending on the case. The offender serves the sentence outside of jail, but has to follow strict jail-like rules.

The trio was also ordered to pay the homeowner damages, but their combined fine was ruled to be €3,000 (US$3,300).

A friend from the U.K. once explained to me that over there you were allowed to defend yourself as long as you used proportional force. If your attacker was using their fists you couldn’t use a knife. If they were using a knife you couldn’t use a gun, that sort of thing. I asked about a large man attacking a much smaller or weaker person. What then? Well, “It depends…”

I totally reject such thinking.

In the free areas of the U.S. if someone is using deadly force against an innocent person then you are allowed to use deadly force, of whatever type, against your attacker. The attacker could have both hands cuffed behind his back but if he has your kid on the ground and kicking them in the head and you would be justified in using a .50 BMG on full auto against him (take care not to hurt innocents yourself).

In my book the home intruders in the case above should have been made to pay for not only the damages done to the home or people, the lost time spent cutting up the bad guys and dealing with the police, and replaced the knife.

Quote of the day—Ed Driscoll

Hillary’s entire career has been dedicated to taking things away from you “on behalf of the common good,” to borrow from her rare moment of candor in 2004. It’s the intellectual milieu she’s been steeped in for her entire adult life.

Ed Driscoll
July 18, 2016
[I have nothing to add.—Joe]