Why can’t they understand?

I get frustrated with people when they don’t understand simple principles. Here is my latest example:

After their vote, Biden said, “Love is love, and Americans should have the right to marry the person they love,” adding their vote made “the United States one step closer to protecting that right in law.”

Schumer also said he had “zero doubt” the bill “will soon be law of the land.”

But multiple groups disagree, arguing it’s unconstitutional for the same reasons the Supreme Court struck down DOMA. Because the court already ruled Congress doesn’t have the constitutional authority to define marriage under Article 1 of the U.S. Constitution, and because ROMA is nearly identical to DOMA, they argue it will also likely be struck down.

The principle is the Federal government has not been granted the power to do anything in this domain. This is a power held by the states. Read the founding documents! It is really simple.

And while I have my blood boiling…

If you think any government has the power to outlaw guns, then you must also believe that same government has the power to mandate gun ownership for anyone.

If you think any government has the power to change the terms of a student loan and not require repayment, then you must also believe that same government has the power to change the terms of the loan and require immediate payment of ten times to remaining principle.

If you think any government has the power to give “free” healthcare to everyone, then you must also believe that same government has the power to deny healthcare (or at least make it extremely expensive) for anyone.

If you think any government has the power to take from the rich and give to the poor, then you must also believe that same government has the power to take from the poor and give to the rich.

If you believe any government has the power to deny marriage to people because they are homosexuals and biologically incapable of conceiving a child then you must also believe that same government has the power to deny marriage to people where one party is infertile.

If you think any government has the power to outlaw marriage between certain classes of people, then you must also believe that same government has the power to mandate marriage between certain classes of people. As in, “John Q. Public, you will marry Jack O. Public next Sunday regardless of what you think of homosexuality and your lack of affection for each other.”

If you think any government has the power to outlaw abortion, then you must also believe that same government has the power to mandate abortions.

I could go on for quite some time, but you get the idea.

Quote of the day—J.D. Tuccille

It’s difficult to see the future as anything other than more closely surveilled, and in a more coordinated way. Law enforcement agencies are likely to coordinate their efforts through multi-jurisdictional efforts such as the U.S. Department of Justice’s Regional Information Sharing Systems which increase reach while reducing costs and technical challenges. They can also sign up as subscribers to one or more privately developed plug-and-play surveillance networks.

Those of us who are especially surveillance-averse will still take active measures to obscure our trail, through purchases made in cash, face masks, clothing that confuses algorithms, and leaving our cellphones at home. But we will still be watched, and chances are that making efforts to preserve anonymity will itself come to be seen by the powers that be as suspicious.

J.D. Tuccille
November 21, 2022
See the Surveillance State at Work in Your Own Community: The Atlas of Surveillance lets us monitor the agencies that snoop on the public.
[Via a message from Stephanie.

The Atlas of Surveillance gives you some clues as to how thoroughly you are surveilled. It’s not complete so just because your area of operation shows as relatively clean doesn’t mean it actually is. Bellevue, where Barb and I live, doesn’t show anything at all. Yet, I can show you cameras on traffic lights and know people who have received automated tickets from those type of cameras in Bellevue.

I have to agree with Tuccille. It is only going to get worse.

I was talking with Mike B. last night night about cellphone location data and how it might apply to the mass murders in Moscow a few days ago. And, as suggested by Tuccille in the last sentence quoted above, I suggested surveillance camera in Moscow could be used to identity time and place of vehicle activity. Combine data around the time of the murders with cellphone location data. If a camera visible car did not have a cellphone then it is suspicious and should be investigated.

Other suggestions included:

  • The, obvious, look for cell phones visiting the house during the time of the murders.
  • Look for cellphones which were turned off during the time of the murder.
  • Get location data from popular phone apps as well as the cell providers. I know the Facebook app collects location data. Probably Twitter and others do as well.

We live in interesting times.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Michael Beschloss

A historian 50 years from now, if historians are allowed to write in this country and if there are still free publishing houses and a free press, which I’m not certain of. But if that is true, a historian will say, what was at stake tonight and this week was the fact whether we will be a democracy in the future, whether our children will be arrested and conceivably killed. We’re on the edge of a brutal authoritarian system, and it could be a week away.

Michael Beschloss
Presidential historian
November 3, 2022
NBC historian warns of a future where ‘our children will be arrested and conceivably killed’ if GOP wins
[Interesting…

Is this the same GOP which (sometimes) wants to:

  • Reduce government power
  • Require presidents to get approval of congress to change the law
  • Enable ordinary people to own and purchase weapons to protect themselves from individual criminals as well as criminal governments
  • Enable free speech on social media

It would appear one or more of the following is true about Mr. Beschloss:

  1. He is living in an alternate reality and only makes guest appearances here
  2. He is using some military grade mind altering drugs
  3. He is deliberately engaged in a “The Big Lie” propaganda effort
  4. Hi is engaged in the projection of his and his fellow political travelers intentions toward the GOP.

I considered adding “extreme hyperbola” to make a point, but multiplying realty by 10, 100, or 1,000 times only results in a larger vector pointing in the wrong direction from what he claims.

This is the kind of rhetoric used to justify mass killings and even genocide.

The election is only four days away. Prepare and respond appropriately.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Konstantin Kisin @KonstantinKisin

What’s interesting is that the people complaining about @elonmusk taking over Twitter have absolutely no reason to fear censorship, bans or shadowbanning. Their complaint is that other people won’t be censored.

Says a lot.

Konstantin Kisin @KonstantinKisin
Tweeted on October 28, 2022
[It’s not quite that simple. Those people will tell you they fear “hate speech” and “bullying” will intimidate people from having their say.

The thing is that what they think of as “hate speech” and “bullying” are frequently verifiable facts which they refuse to acknowledge.—Joe]

Gun rights in flux—the next steps

The mainstream media is taking notice (the Wall Street Journal):

Judges Across U.S. Expand Gun Rights, Taking Cues From Supreme Court — Courts are placing more emphasis on historical traditions, presenting new challenges for defending gun regulations

The Supreme Court’s decision this year to strengthen Second Amendment protections for carrying concealed weapons is starting to ripple through lower courts, with several judges citing the ruling to strike down other gun regulations.

This is just the first step to cementing our gains. The gun culture needs to expand into the new territory. Fortunately, the political left has cleared a lot of obstacles for us. The whole “defund the police” movement helped the BLM and Antifa riots open a lot of eyes. This made gun ownership seem like “a good idea” to many and a near requirement to others. We need to welcome them and enable them to safely and responsibly exercise their specific enumerated right to keep and bear arms. If we can do this with 60% or 70% of the population, we will have a good chance of being able to breathe easy for a generation or two.

St. Javelin

Via email from PKoning:

Today’s WSJ had an article about a group that’s ridiculing Putin online, calling itself “NAFO”.  The article came with a photo of a mural on a building depicting “St. Javelin”.  It reminded me of an article a week earlier, describing the “ragtag army” that saved Kyiv from the invading Russians.  One of the soldiers featured in that article is a lady anti-tank missile operator, who in civilian life was a journalist.

As depicted in popular media:

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In real life:

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Quote of the day—Anonymous FBI Agent

The demand for White supremacy vastly outstrips the supply of White supremacy. We have more people assigned to investigate White supremacists than we can actually find.

Anonymous FBI Agent
September 16, 2022
Biden Reportedly Pressuring FBI to ‘Cook Up’ White Supremacy Cases
[When a government can not find enough criminals to meet their needs (in this case it is for the suppression of their political opposition) they will create them.

Prepare appropriately.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Michael Brendan Dougherty

New York decided to add a First Amendment violation as a bit of sauce to flavor the violation of the Second Amendment. The law is clumsily crafted. It’s not entirely clear whether I would be committing a crime if I forgot to include a LinkedIn account that I had not used for three years but that did exist in the past three years. It’s not clear whether law enforcement could disqualify carry permits based on content from five years ago. Could my overheated remarks about Jesuits or the pope disqualify me? There is no guidance.

Michael Brendan Dougherty
September 9, 2022
September Begins Gun-Control Season in New York
[We need a Prosecute Rights Violators Season. I would like to suggest a season that starts every January 1st and ends December 31st.—Joe]

Quote of the day—In Chains @InChainsInJail

Imagine thinking “encouraging minorities to build their own firearms in order to defend themselves” is a “fascist” position to take.

These people are insane.

In Chains @InChainsInJail
Tweeted on September 13, 2022
[This was in response to this tweet by coderedamerica.com@coderedamerica

Replying to @RICECUTTA0 @OleGelo5 and @POTUS

@FBI @FBIWFO here is a great thread to follow especially with people like @SamuelWhittemo3 involved. Nothing spells fascist like a maga follower pretending to be a christian and promoting ghost guns.

Words mean things and there are dictionaries which can be referenced determine those meanings when you are unsure. But some people see words meaning whatever suits their purpose as the time. Others see them as just sounds they make which give them some sort of satisfaction.

My first awareness of this was in conversations I attempted to follow with a particular family. Read my comments at that link!

This family trait was a source of considerable bafflement and some amusement to me. But things didn’t really “click” for me until, as I reported in the linked post, I was told my inability to resolve a contradiction in what someone had said was unimportant:

Oh Joe, it doesn’t matter. We are just talking.

They were just making sounds at each other. It was sort of like humming to a baby to help it go to sleep.

Casual conversation is one thing. Legal definitions is another. My first recollection of having frustrations with this was in “assault weapon” ban of ‘94. What does “shall not be infringed” mean to these people? The issue was brought into clarity when I realized it was, at least sometimes, deliberate deception using the definition of words.

Other examples:

See also, Speech Is Not Violence by John Stossel.

And redefining, or perhaps more accurate in many cases “undefining”, words applies to people who job depends upon the precise meaning of words.

As much clarity as I discovered on my own since my first awareness 30 or 40 years ago, this is not a new thing. Greater minds than mine made the practice far more clear pointed out the dangers. Lewis Carroll is one such example in his book Through the Looking Glass:

“When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’

’The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you can make words mean so many different things.’

’The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, ‘which is to be master — that’s all.”

Circling back to the QOTD by In Chains above is something my daughter Jaime asked of me a few days ago:

Please look up the definition of “fascism” in your old timey dictionary*.

Here is the result:

Fascism The principles or methods of the Fascisti—Fascist, I. A member of the Fascisti. II. Of or pertaining to the Fascisti.

Fascisti … The members of a patriotic society in Italy, animated by a strong national spirit, and organized in connection with a repressive movement directed against the socialists and communists and the disturbances excited by them during 1919 and the years following, which regarded the government as criminally negligent in failing to deal with these disturbances, and took measure on its own account, often violent ones, to combat them, and which developed into a powerful party obtaining political control of the country in Oct., 1922, under its founder and leader, Benito Mussolini, as prime minister; hence, the members of a similar society or party elsewhere.

This definition is not the same as what is commonly used today but perhaps it has a hint of something more accurate than many people think. The people being called fascists typically are opposed to socialism and communism. But the violence component does not appear to have manifested itself.

So, is In Chains correct when he says, “These people are insane.”? Perhaps. I’m nearly certain some people redefining or undefining words have mental issues. Others, perhaps most, wish to be the master.


* “Old timey dictionary” means the unabridged The New Century Dictionary Copyright 1946, 1944, 1942, 1938, 1936,1934, 1933, 1931, 1929, 1927.

COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate Court Case Go Fund Me

I received this email yesterday:

Joe,

Long time reader but not a comments kind of guy. I was hoping maybe you can contribute or share this info.

A buddy of mine is suspended without pay for refusing to get vaccinated and is currently in court over this issue. The Go Fund Me link has all the details. He is looking for financial help for the legal expenses.
I thought you might be interested in supporting this GoFundMe, https://gofund.me/511282ac.
Even a small donation could help Jonathan Lucas reach their fundraising goal. And if you can’t make a donation, it would be great if you could share the fundraiser to help spread the word.
Thanks for taking a look!

I have mixed feelings about this. Government mandates? NO WAY!!! Private mandate? Hmmm…. maybe. Your mileage may vary. I’d be interested in your thoughts.

I donated a little bit. The link given to me after my donation was https://gofund.me/cc1fcb01.

Quote of the day—Rebekah Sager

The way I see it, the only way forward is not only to have some acknowledgment of the truth, but as Germany has done with its horrific past, I’d like to criminalize denial. That may sound harsh, but I think it’s the only way for this nation to truly progress.

Rebekah Sager
September 5, 2022
The U.S. will never move forward until we acknowledge our past and criminalize its denial
[In other words, she wants to create a thoughtcrime in order to “truly progress”.

In addition to being a violation of the 1st Amendment thoughtcrime is a regression rather than progression. China, North Korea, and the U.S.S.R. performed massive and catastrophic experiments with that. That Germany has managed to survive a very narrow experiment is an exception rather than a shining example.

She should read some books on the topic. I would like to recommend she start with The Gulag Archipelago. Even the publication history would be a good background. But, of course, there is a high risk that she either already has, or would, consider such documentation as how-to material rather than a warning against a dystopian world.—Joe]

Banking rights?

Over the years we have seen banks close the accounts of gun stores simply because they sold a constitutionally protected item. This was wrong and the U.S. Senate telling them to back off probably helped.

I’ll grant that you might have to squint a little to see it but this is an analogous situation with the 1st Amendment:

Over the weekend, Rolling Stone broke the news that half a dozen of the bank’s clients had their banking accounts with Wells Fargo canceled with no previous warning. What do they have in common? Each has previously or is currently working in the adult entertainment industry. Some performers have held accounts with the bank for 25 years or more.

I’m a bit torn on this topic. Should a company (and/or an individual) be forced by law to do business with someone?

There is the wedding cake case for possible insight. There I was inclined to side with cake makers freedom of religion claim over the same sex couple wanting a wedding cake.

In the gun maker/distributor/seller and the adult entertainers banking cases I’m having a tougher time siding with the businesses. Sure, the Feds don’t have constitutional authority (like that has ever stopped them) to tell the banks they must do business with someone. Unless, of course, there is a “banking right” hidden in the constitution someplace. But the individual states could legislate such requirements.

Aside from the legal authority there are other issues. If a business can discriminate on the basis of occupation (assuming the risk is equivalent for the favored and disfavored occupations) then why can’t they discriminate on the basis of skin color, religion, gender, etc.? Perhaps, from a philosophical viewpoint, should they be allowed this freedom. But I’m not comfortable with that conclusion either.

Thoughts?

Quote of the day—Max Weisman

Advertisements on public transit should not subliminally advocate for the purchase of firearms.

Max Weisman
August 29, 2022
Advertising dollars are powerful—When it comes to gun violence prevention, Philadelphia’s ads can do better.
[This tyrant want-to-be openly states his intent to infringe upon the First Amendment as well as the Second Amendment.

I could see a better case being made that firearms related advertisements are public service announcements and should receive discounts.

At least it is nice to have his crimes documented. I hope he enjoys his trial.—Joe]

Quote of the day—John Robb @johnrobb

21st Century planned scarcity.

As in, “let’s not expand into space for energy and resource acquisition, or take the actions on earth necessary in the short term (nuclear power), because scarcity induced totalitarianism is much safer, just, and deserved.”

John Robb @johnrobb
Tweeted on August 28, 2022
[It’s the ongoing conflict between centrally planned and free markets.Or the zero-sum versus non zero-sum mindset. There exist people who crave and even insist on control. These people believe there MUST be someone, organization, or something in control. They are certain they and the world are a better place if control is exerted over a wide set of peoples action.

Some people believe the world would be a better place if most property and (possibly “or” instead of “and”, but this would be rare when you get down to the details) economic decisions are controlled by some supposedly superior being. This superior being is typically a government controlled by a committee and/or a dictator. These people fall in a spectrum that can generally be considered socialist to communist.

Some people believe the world would be a better place if social position and activity decisions (particularly sexual behaviors) are controlled by some supposedly superior being. This superior being is typically a government controlled or at least guided by a set of religious leaders. These people fall in a spectrum that can generally be considered democratic theists, many monarchists, to theocrats.

In the more general case people can be classified as being on a scale from anarchist to authoritarian. Here I am referring to the somewhat less common definition of anarchist as the organization of society on the basis of voluntary cooperation, without political institutions or hierarchical government rather than a state of disorder and chaos.

All social organizations have tradeoff. And under various situations some organizational types are vastly superior to others. For example an anarchist society does not do well against a communist society in search of hosts to satisfy their parasitic requirements. Yet, not too far up the spectrum from anarchist a society with government formed for the protection can economically and technologically, hence militarily defeat a similarly sized society near the authoritarian end of the spectrum.

I find our current political climate annoying because, as Robb indirectly points out above, a frightening number of people are demanding “progress” toward authoritarian government. There is actually a “sweet spot”, by many measures of societal “health”, which lies far closer to the anarchist end of the scale. This is an old, and mostly ignored, observation. History appears to be nearing another catastrophic rhyme.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Jefferson Mack

They may try to take our freedom away. Somebody is out there planning it right now. But there is a surprise waiting for them, a spirit they don’t understand.

Every man with a radar detector in his car, anyone who ever cheated on an income-tax form, every seventeen-year- old who has figured out how to buy a bottle of beer, every- one who knows the taste of out-of-season trout, every driver who ignored a parking ticket, anyone who ever made some wine in the cellar but neglected to fill out the federal form the law requires, every woman who needed and got an abortion back when they were illegal, every man that’s made an illegal bet on a football game, every bureaucrat that blew a whistle and embarrassed the guy at the top all these people are already secret freedom fighters.

You are out there waiting, waiting for the day when things get serious, when the people in charge stop trying to limit freedom and start trying to take it away altogether. You will be free, because you will insist on it.

Jefferson Mack
1986
Secret Freedom Fighter: Fighting Tyranny without Terrorizing the Innocent, page 5.
[Read the whole thing.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Adam Kotsko @adamkotsko

My ideal land use distribution (based heavily on KSR): all agricultural land is collectively owned and scientifically managed to balance quantity, quality, and variety of food against sustainability and ethical practices. No single-family or corporate for-profit farms.

Adam Kotsko @adamkotsko
Tweeted on August 22, 2022
[I think “KSR” means “Knowledge and Social Responsibility.”

As collective farms have always worked out so well when and wherever they have been attempted.

As Robb Allen @ItsRobbAllen said:

My God, the hubris & ignorance to believe this level of central management is even possible is simply breathtaking.

Prepare and respond appropriately.—Joe]

This is what they think of you

I don’t identify as Republican but for those of you who do. This is what New York State Governor Hochul thinks of you:

Gov. Kathy Hochul, who hasn’t proven shy about issuing orders, had one for the state’s Republicans this week — all 5.4 million of them: “Just jump on a bus and head down to Florida where you belong, OK?” she said. “You are not New Yorkers.”

If you can move beyond the frankly disgusting political partisanship and intolerance, her message is fiscally irresponsible, even dangerous. The governor probably already knows this, but the state’s extensive public sector is heavily reliant on personal income taxes paid by residents, and with nearly $14 billion in projected budget gaps over the next five years, it can’t afford to lose any taxpayers, let alone 5.4 million of them.

The Empire State has already lost 1.5 million residents in the past decade, and there’s no sign of that trend letting up. In fact, more than 350,000 New Yorkers relocated during the 12 pandemic-plagued months leading up to July 1, 2021.

I suspect she cares even less for “my type” of people than she does Republicans.

I find it interesting that parasites, left unchecked, destroy their hosts. However some, such as your gut bacteria, evolve into a symbiotic relationship and are kept under control by the host.

This appears to be true at all level from a virus all the way down to communists. Hochul apparently doesn’t know the number of known cures for her type of parasitic infection are limited and don’t involve a long term symbiotic relationship.

SCOTUS doesn’t represent public opinion

Opinion | The Supreme Court is Now Operating Outside of American Public Opinion – POLITICO:

The guardrails that kept the Court close to public opinion are failing. Even though Democratic candidates have won a majority of the two-party vote in seven out of the last eight presidential elections, six out of the court’s nine current justices were appointed by Republican presidents. This resulting majority is strong and reliably conservative, and our data shows that it appears to be settling into a position that reliably corresponds to Republican Party preferences — and is to the right of the vast majority of Americans.

They say this as if it were a bad thing.

If you were think about this a little bit you might come to the conclusion that they don’t really understand that the courts are not supposed to represent public opinion. Their job is to represent the law. The U.S. Constitution being the highest law of the land is the primary reference for all their rulings. For example, if a majority, or even a super majority of the public were of the opinion that people should be able to sell their children/white males/Asian females/whoever into a lifetime of slavery SCOTUS has the legal requirement to, and should have the backbone to, firmly say, “No.”

Perhaps they just need things explained to them. Right?

No. That is not the reality of the political landscape. Many do understand that SCOTUS is acting correctly when the uphold the constitution. The political left is now explicitly saying the quiet part out loud:

In a New York Times essay, law professors Ryan D. Doerfler of Harvard and Samuel Moyn of Yale are calling for the Constitution to be “radically altered” to “reclaim America from Constitutionalism.” In order to accomplish this dubious objective, they call for shifting from the “Pack the Court” to “Pack the States.” The attack on “constitutionalism” is chilling but these professors are not the first to lash out at our Constitution as the scourge of social justice.

The New York Times column called for citizens to view the Constitution as the real enemy and to push to “radically alter the basic rules of the game.” The attack on our Constitution has become something of an article of faith for the far left in recent years.

Recently, Georgetown University Law School Professor Rosa Brooks drew accolades for her appearance on MSNBC’s “The ReidOut” after declaring that Americans are “slaves” to the U.S. Constitution and that the Constitution itself is now the problem for the country.

CBS recently featured Boston University Professor Ibram X. Kendi, who proclaimed that the Second Amendment was little more than “the right to enslave.”

MSNBC commentator and the Nation’s justice correspondent Elie Mystal has called the U.S. Constitution “trash” and argued that we should ideally just dump it. Mystal, who also writes for Above the Law, previously stated that White, non-college-educated voters supported Republicans because they care about “using their guns on Black people and getting away with it.”

Doerfler and Moyn make the same case with a twist in seeking to pack the states. They insist that “The real need is not to reclaim the Constitution, as many would have it, but instead to reclaim America from constitutionalism.” Rather than recognize that this document has produced the longest standing and most stable democratic system in history, professors denounced it as a “some centuries-old text” because it stands as a barrier to their social and political agenda. The problem, they suggest, is that many liberals still believe in constitutionalism as opposed to raw majority power.

Prepare and respond appropriately.

Quote of the day—Damion @commiedamion

If your family “suffered under communism” that says a lot more about your family than it does about communism. Good people don’t suffer under communism – slavers and exploiters do.

Damion @commiedamion
Tweeted on August 19, 2022
[Wow! Just WOW!

Evil cannot flourish without believing it is doing good.

Prepare and respond appropriately.—Joe]