Quote of the day—American Civil Liberties Union Foundation

Courts have never required plaintiffs to demonstrate that the government directly attempted to suppress their protected expression in order to establish First Amendment retaliation, and they have often upheld First Amendment retaliation claims involving adverse economic action designed to chill speech indirectly.

Were it otherwise, the First Amendment would prohibit the government from pressuring a newspaper to remove a speaker’s advertisement, but it would allow the government to bankrupt the speaker by pressuring its business partners to terminate their contracts. That absurd result has no foundation in the law.

American Civil Liberties Union Foundation
August 24, 2018
[A short version of the context is:

A campaign by New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo to crack down on the National Rifle Association and similar groups is facing its first big legal test, with a federal judge expected to decide soon whether to allow a challenge to go forward.

Cuomo’s administration has asked Judge Thomas McAvoy of the U.S. Northern District of New York to throw out a First Amendment lawsuit by the NRA that claims the policy restricting financial activity with pro-gun organizations amounts to viewpoint discrimination.

The judge heard arguments on the motion to dismiss on Sept. 10. The decision, whatever it may be, will have far-reaching ramifications for free-speech and gun rights, the limits of financial regulation and possibly even the 2020 presidential contest.

The case has prompted an unusual alliance. The liberal American Civil Liberties Union, despite its support for gun control, filed a friend of the court brief in defense of the free-speech rights of the NRA.

According to the ACLU what the state of New York is claiming is that since the state didn’t tell the NRA they couldn’t exercise their right to speech the NRA does not have a First Amendment claim to push in court. Nevermind that the state told banks and insurance companies they should “consider the risk to their reputations” if they did business with the NRA. Shortly after that they were slapped with fines costing them millions of dollars.

Governor Cuomo is exceedingly dimwitted if he believes the argument he is making. I’m wondering if his comprehension would improve if the banks and insurance companies were to refuse to do business with any entity which sold food or water which found its way to the governor or his family.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Michael Z. Williamson

And this is why we should still talk about killing Communists. Because human lives are more important than Communist lives.

Michael Z. Williamson
September 20, 2018
Why We Should Still Be Talking About Killing Communists
[Some people might argue this is overstated and oversimplified.

A more persuasive argument for me is there is a place for dramatic effect.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Bill de Blasio

What’s been hardest is the way our legal system is structured to favor private property. I think people all over this city, of every background, would like to have the city government be able to determine which building goes where, how high it will be, who gets to live in it, what the rent will be. I think there’s a socialistic impulse, which I hear every day, in every kind of community, that they would like things to be planned in accordance to their needs. And I would, too. Unfortunately, what stands in the way of that is hundreds of years of history that have elevated property rights and wealth to the point that that’s the reality that calls the tune on a lot of development.

Bill de Blasio
New York City Mayor
August 2017
[That explains a lot. He has more in common with Karl Marx, Vladimir Lenin, and Joseph Stalin than John Locke, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison.

Expect similar differences in outcomes as well.—Joe]

Quote of the day—F.A. Hayek

Most of the advantages of social life, especially in it’s more advanced forms which we call “civilization”, rest on the fact that the individual benefits from more knowledge than he is aware of. It might be said that civilization begins when the individual in pursuit of his ends can make use of more knowledge than he himself has acquired and when he can transcend the boundaries of his ignorance by profiting from knowledge he does not himself possess.

F. A. Hayek
The Constitution Of Liberty, Chp. 2, pg 73
[Via email from nvguyusa who goes on to say:

So basically, civilization rests on the sum of the experiences and knowledge of all persons. Some of that knowledge can be articulated (he goes on to make a point of scientific knowledge in particular), but some of it, such as the sum of customs, traditions, beliefs, various faiths, “community standards”, if you will, cannot be known by all – the knowledge is too fragmented and diffused among the population at large, The problem with “central planning”, “big government”, whatever you want to call it is that it relies on the assumption that everything can be know in and accounted for in advance. The stunning failure of usurious tax rates (and the behavioral changes undertaken to avoid same) puts the lie to this. The planners cannot even get basic revenue projections right because they cannot account for altered behavior in the face a of a (relatively) minor change; how the [string of vulgar Anglo-Saxonisms involving one’s maternal lineage] do they expect to plan the perfect society at large?

Only the naïve and willfully ignorance believe they can plan the perfect society at large. The rest are in it for the power and money.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Michael Graham

Democrats are caught on the horns of their own dilemma. They can either propose useless laws that would have virtually no impact on potential mass shooters; or gun confiscation which has very little support among the electorate and would be a massive turnout magnet for Republican voters.

Michael Graham
May 21, 2018
Commentary: The problem with “common-sense” gun laws
[And many Democrats know this. Yet the Democrat platform for the election this year is heavy with gun control.

There is a reason for this. It’s not their intent to reduce violent crime. Most of them know better than that. Increases in violent crime serve their purposes better. When society around people has a high percentage of violent predators a common instinct is to demand more government intervention of private life. This gives more power and money to those in government. It’s a rare and principled person who would advocate against their own personal interest even when it is to the benefit of society as a whole. Those sort of people are seldom drawn to political life.—Joe]

This could never be abused

Five-Eyes nations to force encryption backdoors

The governments of Australia, United States, United Kingdom, Canada and New Zealand have made the strongest statement yet that they intend to force technology providers to provide lawful access to users’ encrypted communications.

As part of that, the countries that share intelligence with each other under the Five-Eyes umbrella agreement, intend to “encourage information and communications technology service providers to voluntarily establish lawful access solutions to their products and services.”

While the statement says the five countries “are committed to an open, safe and secure internet”, it also calls for the tech industry to develop solutions that prevent illegal and illicit content from ever being uploaded.

Where there has been a failure to prevent uploads of undesirable material, tech vendors should develop capabilities to execute urgent and immediate takedowns of such content.

Human and automated systems should be developed to seek out and remove legacy content, the Five-Eyes nations said.

Capabilities to counter foreign interference and disinformation are also to be developed.

Great timing. Government repression of how to build legal products are a sensitive topic right now.

And about the “disinformation” topic. One can be fairly certain this is not aimed at, or be enforced against, those lying anti-gun people. Who does history tell us these tools will be used against? Minorities and those who are out of political power.

If they go down this path it will not end well for anyone. Regarding my encryption keys… molṑn labé.

Quote of the day—Abbie Vetger

Only one in five gun owners belong to the NRA, so we think there is something else going on than just the NRA when it comes to mobilisation.

Abbie Vetger
September 2, 2018
Gun owners are more politically active, study finds
[The naiveté and lack of rigor here is astounding. Were they paid money to do this “study”?

Vetger and her colleagues need to check their work. A very simple check would have revealed the following:

Most estimates of gun ownership are between 20 and 40 percent of people in the U.S.. And this assumes all gun owners admit they own guns when they are asked by a pollster. It may be much higher than this.

The population of the U.S. is currently about 330,000,000. This means there are between 66 and 132 million gun owners in the U.S.

The NRA claims a membership of about 6 million people. Hence only about one in 11 to one in 22 gun owners belong to the NRA. Unless, you hypothesize the NRA is telling the world they have far fewer members than they actually have. For them to have such a motive escapes me.

Simple arithmetic shows any influence gun owners have must be far beyond the members the NRA influences.Assuming all the NRA’s 6 million members vote and vote as a block for the NRA agenda in an eligible voting population of about 241 million people is only about 2.5%. Sure, some political races are as close or closer than that but that isn’t enough to make a big difference and the assumption they all vote as a block is almost for certain false.

So… if the hypothesis that the NRA is the source of power is of questionable validity how about the hypothesis that gun owners a group independent of NRA members being a source of election strength? 60 to 126 million out of 241 million is about 25% to 50%. Now you are talking about some real power!

Therefore the timid conclusions reached by Vetger can be arrived at, and stated with far more assuredness, with a few minutes of searching on the Internet without going through the grant process and publishing a peer reviewed paper.

I wonder if Vetger and company were among those making projections that Hillary Clinton had a 95% chance of winning the 2016 election. If not then I expect she at least rode the same short bus to school with them.—Joe]

Political violence in the U.S.

I recently finished a book where I found eerie parallels to the current left-wing violence in America (Days of Rage):

Probably the most time in the book was spent on the Weather Underground (also known as Weathermen). But there was also the Black Panthers, the Black Liberation Army, the Symbionese Liberation Army, and others. The author interviewed many of the leaders and participants of these violent “revolutionaries” in the writing of the book which was published in 2015. They set off thousands of bombs, robbed dozens of banks and armored cars, broke people out of prisons, and engaged in murder and kidnapping.

What I found most interesting was the white middle class students who formed the Weather Underground, for the most part, had never held jobs, and were incompetent at many basic tasks such as organizational structure, simple electrical wiring, and fixing cars. This held true when they started building bombs and blew up the house they were living in. The home was owned by the parents, away on vacation for a few weeks, of one of the members. They did know how to riot and have orgies, so, they weren’t total incompetents.

Their political philosophy and manifestos were non-sensical to most of America. In several cases people came together because they all “knew” a violent revolution was necessary because the the oppressive U.S. government had to be overthrown. They then sat around trying to figure out what cause they were taking up to rebel about. Most of the groups which where primarily white decided they were rebelling because of racism. They would have participated in the revolution because of the Vietnam war but when the U.S. pulled out they needed to find another cause. The Weather Underground political philosophy ultimate morphed a Marxist/Leninist view of utopia.

The primarily black groups thought unfair police treatment of blacks was a good cause but didn’t want much, if anything, to do with the white groups unless they had black leaders. They did allow a few white women into their groups which were useful. The women could go places and do things (for example, place bombs inside buildings) which would have drawn attention if a black had tried to do the same thing.

As is the case now, these young, naïve, idealists were financed by wealthy individuals who were sympathetic to their cause. The Weather Underground got most of their money from radical left-wing lawyers.

Also interesting was that the leaders of the Weather Underground, such as Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, lived in nice homes and ate well while “underground” but their followers lived lives of crushing poverty. One guy, at a meeting at Ayers home, opened the refrigerator and saw butter. He became enraged. He couldn’t afford biscuits to put butter on and this guy had butter. Ahh… yes. Under communism some animals are always more equal than others.

Interviewed decades after their revolutionary days they marveled at how naïve they had been. With hindsight they could see it was folly that they believed their revolution could succeed. But at the time, they just believed it.

I think there are lessons for many people of many political persuasions in this book. Political revolution requires a change in the culture of the society. If you can change the culture you don’t need the violence component. If you can’t change the culture the violence has a high chance of failure. The political left learned this in the 60s and 70s and it is long past time for others to learn this lesson too.

Quote of the day—Gilad Erdan

Many civilians saved lives during terror attacks and in an era of ‘lone terrorism.’ The more skilled civilians carrying weapons, the greater the chance of thwarting attacks without causalities and reducing the number of casualties.

Gilad Erdan
Israel Public Security Minister
Eradan eases gun-control rules
[Anytime, anyplace, gun regulation is reduced as well as improving the lives of the innocent directly affected it makes it more difficult for our opponents in this country to make their case.—Joe]

Liberal tears

This made me smile:

A coalition of prominent gun control, teacher and civil rights groups is threatening legal action against the Department of Education if it moves forward with a controversial proposal that would allow states to spend federal funds on guns for school personnel.

“We are extraordinarily concerned with this dangerous, and what we believe to be unlawful, proposal under consideration to supply teachers with federal funds to buy gun for their classrooms, instead of books and school supplies,” said Giffords Law Center chief counsel Adam Skaggs, whose group, which was co-founded by shooting victim and former Rep. Gabby Giffords, is taking the lead on the potential suit.

I know this isn’t a sure thing but if it does end up being a win for us I know daughter Jaime, big fan of President Trump, is going to ask me, “Are you tired of winning yet?” My answer will be, “Nope, we have a lot more battles to win before I get tired of winning.”

In the mean time, I’ll just keep cleaning and lubricating my guns with Liberal Tears:


Update: Liberal Tears are not currently available on Amazon. But they do appear to be available here.

Quote of the day—John Boch

Lott’s report serves as nothing but bad news for Democrats who have fully embraced gun control as a campaign plank going into the midterms this fall.

John Boch
August 20, 2018
Lott: 7.14% of Americans Have Carry Licenses, Up 273% Since 2007
[Generally I think this is true. But it might help solidify their support in areas guns are already heavily regulated and support for Democrats may be weakened because of the good economic news. In heavily regulated areas people can’t imagine knowing “someone like that” who would carry a gun in public and are scared of people who exercise their right to keep and bear arms. The support of Democrats for more gun control to “protect them” from “people like that” could be a net positive in some geographical areas. On a national basis? It’s going to be a net loss.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Rob Shattuck @RobShattuckAL06

I think expanded police forces and police technology, subject to civilian control, will be sufficient to do any necessary killing of citizens who are needed to be killed.

Rob Shattuck @RobShattuckAL06
Candidate for U.S. Congress
Alabama 6th District
Tweeted on August 17, 2018
[The background for this is a gun control thread:

There are many laws banning or restricting items for which there is a market. It is true such laws can have limited or no success (e.g., Prohibition, unlawful drugs, child pornography). I don’t think society is ready to give up trying to impose restrictions. #alpolitics

Rob Shattuck‏ @RobShattuckAL06 Aug 16

And none of those three things are protected by the Constitution. This time you are targeting a specific class of items that is protected by the Constitution. There is a big difference.

It’s the end of the World as we know it…again‏ @AntCar0123 Aug 17

And laws banning those items tend to have a reverse effect as those items become more available. Hell, prohibition helped usher in the age of organized crime.

It’s the end of the World as we know it…again‏ @AntCar0123 Aug 17

I have acknowledged problems and difficulties society has in enacting restrictions and prohibitions. I don’t think those problems should be considered an absolute impediment to restricting guns. #alpolitics

Rob Shattuck‏ @RobShattuckAL06 Aug 17

Have you acknowledged that you’d need many people with guns and the willingness to kill their fellow citizens to properly enforce such a thing? Have you acknowledged that as you push for more restrictions the other side will push against you harder?

It’s the end of the World as we know it…again‏ @AntCar0123 Aug 17

While it is a little unusual for leftists to openly admit it, if you dig deep enough it always boils down to this:


It’s very generous of a candidate for U.S. congress to confess this is what he has in mind for U.S. gun owners. One has to wonder if he is bright enough to realize he probably just got himself put on a few lists of people who do not plan on being on the receiving end of the rifles.—Joe]

Religious extremists

While not all people will agree it appears to me that one critical component of religion is faith. Where faith is defined as:

belief that is not based on proof

And perhaps even further:

a belief in spite of proof to the contrary.

As one datum I offer this from Martin Luther (if you have the time read the entire post because it is exactly on point for the conclusions of this post):

Die verfluchte Hure, Vernunft.
(The damned whore, Reason).

The political left has their belief that socialism/communism is a superior form of government to any other. This is without convincing proof and, in fact, in spite of proof to the contrary. While I don’t know the belief system of members of ISIS as well as I do that of the political left in the U.S. I imagine their faith is similarly immune to factual refutation.

Hence I submit, via email, from Rolf the following memes:



There is a reason the political left defends ISIS. They are kindred spirts.

Quote of the day—Mike Thompson

When we take the majority in November you will see a background-checks bill right away.

Mike Thompson
U.S. Representative from California
August 9, 2018
The Democratic Party’s New Litmus Test: Gun Control
Candidates for the 2018 House midterms are pushing a muscular firearms-regulation agenda, a wholesale repositioning after the party for a generation avoided new limits
[Via email from Paul Koning.

Also, from the same article:

Democrats running for Congress in 2018 are pushing a muscular gun-control agenda that represents a wholesale repositioning on the hot-button issue. In this year’s midterm election, gun control has become a party litmus test from which few dissent, alongside abortion rights and support for same-sex marriage.

It is critically important to make this the biggest political miscalculation disaster possible. Find things you can do to contribute to their loss and do them.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Kellie Collins

When your friends and family are depending on you to make ethical decisions that affect their lives for many years a member of Congress should hold her or himself to a much higher standard than the bare minimum that many GOP members are currently using as a benchmark.

Kellie Collins
February 27, 2017
Get to Know Kellie Collins, Candidate for House Representative in Georgia’s 10th
Update 8/14/2018: Reasoned discourse has broken out. Here is a cached copy.
[That was 18 months ago. Now we have this:

Former candidate charged shooting death of campaign treasurer, backed gun control during race

A former Georgia Congressional candidate is now charged with the murder of her campaign treasurer.

Thomson woman, Kellie Collins, turned herself into the McDuffie County Sheriff’s Office the same day authorities in Aiken County found Curtis Cain’s body in his apartment on Old Powderhouse Road.

Why are progressives so violent? Because it is in their nature.—Joe]

Quote of the day—tjliberty1969

When this happened I instantly felt something was not right about the botched robbery theory. Within a 72 hour period it hit me that it was a hit. It was during election season and a Democrat (dnc) employee’s murder was in the news and this blew me away. NOT ONE, DAMN THEM TO HELL, DEMOCRAT MENTIONED HOW SETH’S MURDER IS MORE PROOF OF WHY WE NEED GUN CONTROL. Nope all I saw was a couple of them lift the rug and a few others pushing the broom, nothing to see here, move along these aren’t the droids your looking for . These people never miss an opportunity for situation exploitation unless it risks self incrimination. Donna Brazile knows.

August 6, 2018
Seth Rich and what got my attention about his murder.
[While I agree there were some odd things about the murder I’m not sure this particular point is all that strong.

It’s interesting to read the comments. The conspiracy theory is in full bloom here.

Something I have recently observed is that high IQ people don’t necessarily follow the data to the truth. But they definitely are more skilled at rationalizing the data to fit their prior conclusions. I suspect this may be a case in point.—Joe]

It’s the Russians!


Facebook announced on Tuesday that it has identified a coordinated political influence campaign, with dozens of inauthentic accounts and pages that are believed to be engaging in political activity ahead of November’s midterm elections, according to three people briefed on the matter.

In a series of briefings on Capitol Hill this week and a public post on Tuesday, the company told lawmakers that it had detected and removed 32 pages and accounts connected to the influence campaign on Facebook and Instagram as part of its investigations into election interference. It publicly said it had been unable to tie the accounts to Russia, whose Internet Research Agency was at the center of an indictment earlier this year for interfering in the 2016 election, but company officials told Capitol Hill that Russia was possibly involved, according to two officials briefed on the matter.

Like the Russian interference campaign in 2016, the recently detected campaign dealt with divisive social issues.

Facebook discovered coordinated activity around issues like a sequel to last year’s deadly “Unite the Right” white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va. Specifically, a page called “Resisters,” which interacted with one Internet Research Agency account in 2017, created an event called “No Unite the Right 2 — DC” to serve as a counterprotest to the white nationalist gathering, scheduled to take place in Washington in August. Mr. Gleicher said “inauthentic” administrators for the “Resisters” page went as far as to coordinate with administrators for five other apparently real pages to co-host the event, publicizing details about transportation and other logistics.

Mr. Gleicher said it disabled the event on Tuesday and notified 2,600 users of the site who had indicated interest in attending the event.

Coordinated activity was also detected around #AbolishICE, a left-wing campaign on social media that seeks to end the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, according to two people briefed on the findings. That echoed efforts in 2016 to fan division around the Black Lives Matter movement.

American intelligence and law enforcement officials have been warning for months that Russia’s efforts to undermine American democracy remain active and pose a threat to this year’s elections. If in fact Russian, the activity would provide vivid evidence that the kind of cyber operations used around the 2016 campaign were still in use.

I sometimes have contact with current or former people in the intelligence community. I don’t have any specific information but “it is well known” the Russians like to create internal conflict in their enemies. It is a part of their culture and even have a word for it (sorry, I don’t remember it). I have been told they organized both anti-Hillary and anti-Trump events in 2016. It’s what they do. Hacking into the DNC and Hillary’s email servers and releasing the contents wasn’t necessarily to help elect Trump. It was to create conflict.

I have to wonder… is a lot of the conflict on social media regarding firearms fueled by Russia? When you are debating some twit on Twitter are you actually wasting time talking to a paid Russian troll?

Quote of the day—Stanislav Mishin

Do not be fooled by a belief that progressives, leftists hate guns. Oh, no, they do not. What they hate is guns in the hands of those who are not marching in lock step of their ideology. They hate guns in the hands of those who think for themselves and do not obey without question. They hate guns in those whom they have slated for a barrel to the back of the ear.

So, Americans listen up, do not fall for the false promises and do not extinguish the light that is left to allow humanity a measure of self respect.

Stanislav Mishin
December 27, 2012
A Russian View on Gun Ownership
[I have nothing to add.—Joe]

Quote of the day—BFD‏ @BigFatDave

No more compromise
No more compliance




BFD‏ @BigFatDave
Tweeted on July 27, 2018
[This reminds me of something I have pointed out before:

Have you ever noticed that crazy people will act only as crazy as you let them be?

It’s time to let the crazy people know we aren’t going to let them continue the act.—Joe]