Quote of the day—Peter Savodnik

We should be able to agree that, in today’s ever-coarsening discourse, there are dangerous echoes of these fictional characters who anticipated the Bolsheviks and Stalinists—the destroyers of ancient civilizations who burned it all down only so they could rebuild the world in their own image.

We know how this turned out, and for those who have forgotten, or for those who are too young or ignorant to know, we should remind them over and over: Those who questioned the revolution, objected to any of its ends or means, thought there might be something worth preserving, were deemed hostile combatants or hapless chumps whose false consciousness inhibited progress. In the end, they were all airbrushed. In the end, the way one escaped this airbrushing was to signal, with a great and inauthentic virtue, that one was not a hostile combatant by spotlighting the real enemies of progress. Whether these enemies were real or “real” was immaterial. Only idiots worried about the truth. There was no truth. What was most important was to keep one’s head down and, if need be, accuse wantonly. Accuse! Accuse! Accuse! Or as Americans like to say, the best defense is a good offense. Everyone knew this would never lead to the place they had been promised it would lead to, but what else was there to do? As the violence ratcheted up, it was necessary to signal with ever greater ferocity, to name more names, to out more wrong-thinkers, until all that was left was the pathetic, bloodless corpse of a country dislodged from itself.

When I imagine this people we are becoming, I think of old men I have interviewed, in Moscow, Minsk, Brest, Kiev, Tblisi, Novosibirsk, Irkutsk, Khabarovsk, Vladivostok, who once spent a year or two or 10 or 20 in a camp in the far north or far east of Russia. This was in the 1940s and ’50s. Their crime was usually petty or not even a crime. It often had to do with survival—stealing a stale loaf of bread. Or talking to the wrong person, or saying something impolitic. Or being accused, without any evidence, of something worse.

Peter Savodnik
July 14, 2020
Woke America Is a Russian Novel
[Via Ed Driscoll.

So, it’s not just me seeing the parallels between Russia and the U.S.—Joe]

What am I missing?

A Seattle Times reporter claims:

When asked to elaborate on the risk she replied,

We do not work for or with the police, and it’s important that we are not perceived as doing so. Journalists have been met with increasing hostility and threats because of this perception.

But, the subjects of those pictures and video surely would expect the recordings to fall into the hands of law enforcement when they were published. That is, unless they expected them to be edited or withheld in their favor before being published, right?

So, it would seem to me, that either the criminals would have to expect reporters to be biased in their favor or expect the recordings be available to the police. Hence, either the reporters are complicit in the crime or the risk to reporters is not changed.

Am I missing something here?

Quote of the day—Glenn Reynolds

So when do we switch from “punch a Nazi” to “punch a wokester?”

Glenn Reynolds
THIS IS, OF COURSE, THE WHOLE POINT OF “WOKENESS.”
July 23, 2020
[The context is Survey: Majority of Americans Afraid of Expressing Political Beliefs.

One of the commenters to Reynolds post brought the sarcasm with

But I’ll be 100% honest when you call me and ask who I’m voting for..

Just like the polls on gun ownership can be trusted.—Joe]

Common Barrel Thread References

From Silencer Shop:

One question that has always been a mainstay in our most-questions-asked category is whether a specific silencer will fit a specific gun. With threading looking similar, and acronyms being thrown around like hot tamales, we understand your plight. As the suppressor industry grows, it seems thread pitch options have too.

While some thread pitches are more popular than others due to military use or it being made common by specific firearm manufacturers, the last thing you want to happen is to finally get your suppressor in and realize that it doesn’t match up with your host firearm’s threading.

The list that we are providing you is to serve as a reference for quickly locating how your barrel may be threaded. Remember that factory barrel threadings and after market threadings aren’t always the same.

Details, which are kept up to date, are here.

Interesting demographics

It’s time for me to renew my Arizona concealed weapons permit (so I can carry in Nevada). While looking for the renewal application I found this:

Chart
last updated: 07/19/2020

  ACTIVE SUSPENDED REVOKED
PERMITS 360666 4834 1259

PERMITS 19-20 21-29 30-39 40-49 50-59 60-69 70-79 80+
ASIAN 0 147 412 548 498 273 95 8
BLACK 0 186 492 651 562 333 105 9
INDIAN 0 97 194 225 266 188 90 14
UNKNOWN 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
WHITE 4 4270 8979 11539 18469 21471 12639 1698
FEMALE TOTAL 4 4700 10077 12963 19795 22265 12930 1729

PERMITS 19-20 21-29 30-39 40-49 50-59 60-69 70-79 80+
ASIAN 3 777 1926 2595 1974 1176 429 79
BLACK 5 903 1888 2415 2399 1650 754 133
INDIAN 1 251 520 522 544 506 326 90
UNKNOWN 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
WHITE 32 15051 31188 39480 52869 62273 52958 13343
MALE TOTAL 41 16982 35522 45012 57786 65605 54468 13645

Notice the peak age category for both female and male?

I would not have guessed that would be the case.

Peaceful protestors

Portland Mayor yesterday:

I keep thinking that nearby rooftops occupied by small teams with suppressed AR’s would calm things down quietly and quickly.

Apparently nothing really changed because we didn’t get a fresh batch of truly peaceful protestors last night. It was the same stuff with “peaceful protestors” trying to barricade the exits of the Federal building then setting it on fire with law enforcement officers inside.

Historic

A few minutes ago the price of gold reached a new high in relation to the U.S. dollar. Or, one could be equally accurate to say that the U.S. dollar reached a new low relative to gold. Click for a higher resolution version:

GoldHistory

In the mid to late 1990’s gold was selling for $300/ounce. I was making more money than I am now (contracting work for Microsoft with unlimited amounts of overtime allowed at 1.5X base rate) and bought a few ounces. But most of my money went into paying down the house mortgage and putting a new roof on it. And then half of that, which wasn’t very much to begin with, went to my ex-wife in the divorce. I wish I had bought more now. It would be worth a lot more than what the house appreciation was.

Gold surging is generally an indicator of troubling times which certainly describes 2020. But what is interesting now is that vaccine trials are looking pretty good and the economy is doing okay considering the circumstances. But yet, the price of gold continues to climb. I suspect the huge surge in the “printing” of money is a major contributor.

We live in interesting times. This year will be one for the history books.

Quote of the day—Glaeser and Shleifer

By differentially taxing different groups of voters, the incumbent leader can encourage emigration of one of the groups, and maximize the share of the voters who support him. While benefiting the incumbent, these taxes may actually impoverish the area and make both groups worse off.

Edward L. Glaeser and Andrei Shleifer
2013
JLEO, V21 N1 1T he Curley Effect: The Economics of Shaping the Electorate
[Via a comment by Richard in regard to Cascading failures in policing where he said:

Look up the Curley Effect. This was perfected by Coleman Young, mayor of, you guessed it, Detroit

I haven’t read the whole paper yet. The Appendix looks particularly interesting. It starts with:

ProofsOfPropositions

I was going to make a big blog post after reading this paper and several others on the topic address the current situation in Seattle, Portland, and other cities, then extrapolate the concepts to corporate cultures. I didn’t get around to it because I worked late on some work stuff then one of my daughters called and we talked for quite a while. Maybe tomorrow.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Rawhide Wraith@olddustyghost

Democrats want to eliminate the electoral college, the Senate, the 1st amendment, the 2nd amendment for sure, and the rest of the constitution, our borders, citizenship, carbon based fuels, cars, cows.

And the first step in their scheme is to eliminate Trump.

We better fight like hell or those of us who aren’t shot during the disarmament or who don’t starve when fuel and food are eliminated are going to be slaves.

Rawhide Wraith@olddustyghost
Tooted on September 28, 2019
[There’s far too much truth in this.—Joe]

Why can’t the U.S. be more like England?

Ever since I can remember anti-gun people have used England as an example of how guns should be regulated/banned. Here is what you get, UK Knife Crime Hits Record High, Murder Surges in Khan’s London

Knife crime in England and Wales reached a historic high in the year leading up to the end of March, as murders climb again in Sadiq Khan’s London.

London Assembly Member David Kurten said in response to the surge in crime: “There must be an end to politically correct policing — more stop & search, more arrests of burglars and violent gang members, less hassling people for having the wrong opinions.”

Former Brexit Party MEP Martin Daubney added: “All this while London’s dismal Mayor, Sadiq Khan, orders an urgent review into… ‘racist’ statues.”

The proportion of crimes actually being solved in England and Wales also fell to a record low, with just 7 per cent of criminal acts resulting in a court appearance for a suspect, down from 8 per cent last year and 16 per cent in 2014-15 when such records began to be compiled.

The Home Office report said that the fall represented some 33,460 fewer offences resulting in a criminal charge or court summons compared to the year prior. The number of sexual offences that resulted in charges fell from 5.2 per cent two years ago to just 3.2 per cent last year.

The number of rapes that ended in prosecution was just 1.4 per cent.

This is why we have the Second Amendment.

Just say, “No!” to gun control.

Cascading failures in policing

I recently had an opportunity to play a card I had been holding for a few weeks. I waited until a former Seattle police officer I know grumbled* again about his current job. So I asked, “I’ll bet you really wish you still had your old job back at the Seattle Police department.

This triggered a five minute monologue which began with “Absolutely not!” on the consequences of the political situation in regards to police in general and Seattle and surrounding areas in specific. He described it as “cascading failures”. Here is a synopsis of what he told me:

As of a couple years ago there were about 1350 people in SPD which was considered significantly understaffed. This number included support staff and rookies patrol officers up through to the captain level.

SPD is currently losing hundreds of people via retirement and them finding different jobs. Officers that have 20+ years on the job can’t take their pensions yet (I think he said they have to be 53 years old before they can do that) but they can quit and still get their full pension when they do cross the age threshold. Replacements are nearly impossible to get. Not because of defunding, but because no one wants those jobs. Detectives and other high skill areas are especially hard hit because those are the people most likely to have 20+ years on the job.

Some skill areas have mutual aid packs with surrounding areas. But while the surrounding areas have not had as severe political stress as SPD they have been affected. The mutual aid packs increase the stress on the surrounding areas and is causing people to leave their law enforcement positions there as well. It’s a cascading system of failure that affects the entire area.

Even some rural counties are pushing people out of law enforcement. One such country recently removed all U.S. flags from their patrol cars. This was to avoid offending anyone.**

SPD is rapidly approaching the situation where when you call 911 the only time someone will show up is if there is a life and death situation.

I’m now extrapolating from his observations.

If the police only show up for life and death situations and detectives are among the skills sets hardest hit by personal shortages then law enforcement protection of property is going to asymptotically approach zero. If a cold body with no obvious signs of foul play and/or no hot leads is found it will essentially ignored. Even clear murder cases will have low closure rates. Assault and battery will be ignored. Without justice for the victims of violent crimes and reduced odds of being punished self administered “justice” will become common.

These cascading law enforcement failures will trigger other cascading failures. This is city killer type stuff. Seattle is highly dependent upon high tech money. Most of those jobs can be performed by people 100s of miles away as easily as they can be performed by people within commuting distance. People and companies will leave the immediate area in droves. The property values, and all tax bases will crash. City services of all types will suffer. This could create Detroit like conditions within a few years.


* I think, overall, he actually likes his job. He just likes to grumble about things.

** I expect the people insisting the flags be removed are bewildered as to how the police could have a “real” issue with this. This probably extends to at least some of my readers.

A significant number police are former, and even current reserve, military. The U.S. flag is more than a piece of red, white, and blue colored cloth to members of the U.S. military. I have never been in the military and I only sort of understood this. A former Army Ranger described the depth of that meaning when he told me that if he were on the jury of someone accused of murdering a person who was burning a U.S. flag he would not vote to convict even if there numerous witnesses and video of the event, fingerprints in the neck bruises, and matching shoe prints in the blood. He wouldn’t kill someone burning a U.S. flag. But he could understand why someone would.

Science proves leftists are not normal people

From Correlates of discriminatory behavior:

Left-wing prejudice, however, does not manifest itself in discrimination against minorities. Rather it tends to be against white people. Additionally, conservatism appears to be becoming less of a predictor of anti-black bias of some sort, whereas the left wing version of prejudice may be becoming stronger. A somewhat small study of 88 students in a Californian university tested the effects of ideology on consequentialism, particularly when said consequentialism is racially based (Uhlmann et al., 2009). The researchers had the students report their political orientation on a scale basis. They gave the students two of the same moral dilemma, the Trolley problem, but with the race of the people in it being flipped. Some participants had to make the following decision: kill one white person or 100 black people; other students had to make this decision: kill one black person or 100 white people. Liberals were more likely to endorse consequentialism, meaning kill one person for the sake of 100 people, when the person being killed was white. Conservatism had no effect on this distinction.

Some other studies show similar results. Tetlock et al. (2000) showed liberals felt non-whites shouldn’t pay more for home insurance for living in a high-risk area but they were neutral when asked if whites should. And Goldberg (2019) shows white liberals are the only group which has an in-group distaste.

goldberg-2019

As people have been saying for many years now, it’s a mental disorder. These people just aren’t right in the head.

Via Milo Yiannopoulos @m.

What are the odds?

The gun owner rights community has been frustrated by SCOTUS not accepting any significant 2nd Amendment cases other than NEW YORK STATE RIFLE & PISTOL ASSOCIATION, INC., ET AL., PETITIONERS v. CITY OF NEW YORK, NEW YORK in 10 years. And that case which was declared moot four months ago when the city and the state changed the law once the court accept the case.

I still claim, “We have SCOTUS decisions, they have childish insult.” But that claim has been vigorously disputed:

You talk about SCOTUS decisions. At this point SCOTUS is firmly anti-gun. They stand by idly as the states run all over it.

The courts are NOT on our side Joe. They are either openly hostile at most or do not care. So stop using that fucking excuse. In less than four years they will siding with the government when the government just bans all guns With mandatory buyback or simply door-to-door confiscation.

THEY are the ones that will have court victories. They have far more than we do right now. Banning of private gun sales? Legal. Banning open and concealed carry? Legal. Banning magazine capacity? Legal. Banning entire classifications of firearms? Legal. Banning all semi automatic rifles? Legal. Confiscating all rifles? Legal.

And these are things that have already happened. So no, Joe. They have the court decisions. We have nothing. I will not be surprised when the Supreme Court overturns Heller And McDonald.

There’s some truth to that. But it’s not entirely true. And I’m of the opinion it can be considered mostly false. Let me explain.

First there is the “strictly speaking” definition of words argument. The court refusing to hear as case is not a court decision. It does not make precedent such that they would have to overturn the “decision” as some later time if as substantially similar case was brought to the court. So, “strictly speaking”, I’m pretty certain, we have all the SCOTUS decisions on our side for at least the last 20 years.

Agreed, that’s not at all that comforting when it takes months to buy a gun in D.C, “red flag” laws are showing up all over the country such that your guns can be taken away from you based on a false allegation and you have to prove your innocent to get them back, common firearms and magazine capacities are outlawed, you can’t purchase a handgun in a different stated, you and/or your guns have to be registered, you need permission from the FBI to transfer ownership, you have to be 21 years old to purchase a firearm, and hundreds of other infringements which would not be tolerated if you were buying a book or even getting an abortion.

So, with that concession, I’ll go on to the next argument.

What are the odds we will get soon get a SCOTUS which will take a 2nd Amendment case and throw out a bunch of the laws infringing our rights? As nearly everyone in the community knows it’s about Justices Roberts and Ginsberg.

Roberts has long been a point of speculating and even evidence of being subject of outside influence on important cases. If, as some people have suggested, Roberts is impeached due to his poor decisions then a replacement justice with a character similar to Thomas or Kavanaugh would fix the problem. I put those odds at about 2% and dismiss them as unimportant as a stand alone event.

It’s also possible, as has been suggested many times, that there are people with black mail evidence. The one elaborated on at the link is just one of the figurative suggestions. More plausible ones involve a possibly illegal/irregular adoption. Discovery of such a blackmailer could lead to impeachment and/or elimination of that threat and subsequent better alignment with the constitution. I see these odds as a little better, say 5% and also don’t place much hope in it.

But since these two outcomes are essentially independent of each other the odds of one or the other coming true can be estimated at about 7%. It’s not great but I wouldn’t bet my life on a game of Russian Roulette with those odds. And of course you have to take into account that scenario is conditioned on the Roberts removal scenario is resolved while Trump is in office and Republicans hold the Senate. That conditional reduces the likelihood to insignificance again.

We are left with the Ginsberg replacement scenario. For years people have been wishing her a long and healthy retirement starting “tomorrow”. But the reality probably is, as friend Mike B. told me a few weeks ago, “She has made it clear the only way she will leave the court is in a hearse.”

That said, the odds of that happening appear to be noticeably increasing every few months. Again, the significance of her leaving the court is conditioned on Trump being in office and a Republican controlled senate at the time it happens.

Let’s estimate some numbers and see what we come up with for odds of that happening.

There are two scenarios of primary interest for each of two variables. 1) Does Ginsberg leave the court before or after the end of this year? And 2) Does Trump get reelected and do Republican hold the senate or not? I claim Trump and Republicans holding the Senate are correlated strongly enough that they can be considered a single event rather than somewhat independent.

I claim that the Ginsberg variable and the Trump/Senate variable are independent and hence the probabilities calculations are further reducing the complexity of the probability calculation.

If Ginsberg leaves SCOTUS by the end of the year (realistically say, the middle of November) my bet is that Trump will appoint a replacement and the Senate will consent regardless of the election results.

You might protest that that’s too short of time and the Democrats will protest too much. Really? The Democrats have been screaming obscenities at Trump and Republicans since the evening of November 8th, 2016. If Trump and/or the Republican senate lose this election my bet is they will rush the candidate through just as payback for all the abuse they have taken for the last four years. I say that with an estimated probability of 0.75.

My bet is that Ginsberg will take her hearse ride in less than four years from now. I say that with an estimated probability of 0.95. For ease of computation let’s just say it’s a certainty with the slack taken up by the chance Roberts or another “problem” justice is replaced in the next four years.

In order for the anti-gun forces to win SCOTUS Ginsberg has to show a pulse until the end of the year AND they need to defeat Trump. This makes the probability of them winning SCOTUS very easy to compute. It’s the simple multiplication of the two probabilities.

This leads to some very interesting results. Suppose the probabilities are 0.70 that Trump loses and 0.70 that Ginsburg “wins” in 2020. The probability of a gun owner SCOTUS loss is 0.49. Yes, the odds are slightly with us even if the Trump only has a 30% chance of winning the election and there is only a 30% chance of Ginsberg taking her hearse ride.

Just for the sake of more examples, so you can easily follow along at home, if the odds are 0.5 and 0.5 then the gun owner odds of a loss are down to 0.25. If the odds are 0.5 of a Trump loss and 0.7 of a Ginsberg win in 2020 gun owners are at 0.35 chance of a loss. Drop in your estimates and see what you come up with.

My estimates are a 0.25 chance of a Trump/Senate loss. I don’t believe the polls are any more accurate than they were in 2016. The enthusiasm/turnout seen at the political rallies in 2008, 20012, and 2016 were excellent predictors of who would win. I expect the same will be true in 2020. I think Trump has enough enthusiasm he can beat the margin of fraud with a 0.75 chance. Also, every day the riots go on and Democrats don’t lift a finger to stop them, let alone appear to encourage them, the more likely it is that Trump and Republicans will win.

I give Ginsberg a 0.5 chance of holding on through the end of the year.

This results in a 0.13 chance of a gun owner loss of SCOTUS. In other words, I believe we have a 0.87 chance of getting a SCOTUS friendly to gun owners within the next four years.

I have been hesitant to elaborate on this because, and Glenn Reynolds says, “Don’t get cocky kid.” There are things gun owners must do to increase/maintain those odds. But it’s important people not get depressed/demoralized too.

I want this to be a call to help win a fight which is quite winnable. Please find ways to support a continued Republican Senate and a Trump presidency. NRA-ILA can help you support pro-gun candidates even if you don’t want to give money to the NRA.

With the caveat that this is a probability, not a certainty, I still say we have SCOTUS decisions on our side, we will continue to have SCOTUS decisions on our side, and our opposition has childish insults.

Quote of the day—J. KB

When enough blue-collar workers get canceled because they are too busy doing their hard and valuable to society jobs to bother with the sensitivities of the latest update from the grievance studies departments of the academic elite, they will get together and build a fucking killdozer and the pushback will be diesel-powered.

J. KB
June 29, 2020
When you’ve lost the Atlantic…
[I have nothing to add.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Bleeding Heart Liberal Marine @zaharako

Anytime “AR-15” is trending, it triggers an intense reaction from the micro-penis community. Can’t wait for Trump to lose in November so all these morons have to hide in their survival bunkers again. Like the cowards they are.

Bleeding Heart Liberal Marine @zaharako
Tweeted on July 12, 2020
[It’s another Markley’s Law Monday!

SCOTUS decisions versus childish insults and delusions… hmm… I’m going to side with SCOTUS.—Joe]

Just exercising their rights

Via KOMO News:

A large group of demonstrators gathered in downtown Seattle Sunday afternoon.

The group gathered at West Lake Center for an Abolish ICE rally and then starting marching around downtown.

Seattle Police say they have received reports of property damage and looting.

Windows of the Starbucks at E Denny Way and Broadway East were seen smashed out as well as the windows of Victrola Coffee Roasters at 3rd Avenue and Pine Street. The Seattle Municipal Court Building was also vandalized.

I used to work across the corner from West Lake Center. Third and Pine is part of Mugme Street.

Watch the KOMO News video via the link at the top of this post. The reporter seems almost surprised the “demonstrators” exercising their First Amendment rights threatened them if they were to exercise their right to film them on a public street.

Here is some of the pictures (I have cropped some of them for better illustration of my point) they took of the “demonstrators” First Amendment activities:

FirstAmendment0

FirstAmendment1

FirstAmendment2

FirstAmendment3

FirstAmendment4

They need to stop calling them “demonstrators” and “protestors”. Call them what they are. They are criminals and terrorists.

There’s not enough kneeling you can do

As I’ve said before appeasement doesn’t work:

This afternoon, in broad daylight, this happened in downtown Seattle:

And as Joni Job @jj_talking said this afternoon:

“There’s not enough kneeling you can do.” I like that.

4th of July visit to Idaho

Over the 4th of July weekend Barb and I visited Idaho. The plan was to visit Elk Butte Lookout, watch the fireworks show in Orofino, and maybe do some hiking. We drove over on the 3rd, fixed the weather station at Boomershoot shooting line, inspected the top of the shipping container at Boomershoot Mecca, and did a few other odds and ends before checking in at the Konkolville motel in Orofino.

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