“My old man, said ‘Follow the Van’ …”

Van Jones is an intelligent man. He is a self declared socialist and has taken part in a lot of organizations and of creating groups to forward the socialist agenda.

That just makes him one of many “intellectuals” of the left, working within government and privately subsidized frameworks, contracts with CNN, paid for opinions. There are a lot of them available to watch and they usually parrot the approved “party line” and the virtue signal du jour.

What sets Mr Jones apart from almost all other lefty commentators and talking heads is that he is capable of seeing some very stark truths. And he is not afraid to talk about what he sees. This makes him, IMHO, possibly the most important spokesperson at the heart of the left.

Back in the USSR there used to be someone in the Politburo or the upper party structure who was looked upon as being the “custodian” of the purity of the Party. Someone who was able to see the real world and yet still maintain their belief in the Communist system. They had the function, almost, of priests, Their job was to soften the cognitive dissonance aroused in the minds of the faithful as they were continually confronted with two colliding world views. Communism was the socialist nirvana of the future it was going to do away with Capitalism, it was going to visit upon the worker true power to run society. Anything which forwarded that idealism was, de facto, good. Anything which impeded it was, equally de facto, bad. The cognitive dissonance comes about when the “worker” starts to realize that though he or she may be the basic virtuous unit of the Communist march – he or she, the individual, have no value at all. That, in order to achieve this ideal state of being, sacrifices must be made. And they must be made by the very same people that the Communists claim are being hurt and exploited by Capitalism. The working class.

In order to keep the march of the Communist Party on track, to smooth the path, oil the clockwork and grease the axles of the People’s Movement – mental adjustments have to be made. It is the people that can see the hard facts in front of them – that, for example, socialism leads inexorably to bankruptcy or that making the people’s omelet requires breaking the people’s eggs – and who can maintain their own hope and desire and certainty that Communism, even with such obvious faults, is the way forward are most needed by the Communist apparat. They they provide the massaging of the messaging that is delivered to those suffering from the conflict of cognitive dissonance in order to persuade the workers of the world that there is, truly, pie in the sky and utopia just around the corner of the next five year plan. And the five year plan after that. And the one after that..

Jones has that same sort of ability I think. From what I see of him and read of him he seems to be a smart individual. Yet he supports such a deeply flawed philosophy which has inflicted so much misery upon the world. It has taken me quite a while to reconcile those two thoughts. The eternal “if he is so smart how come he supports something so completely dumb?”
The answer permeated my consciousness the other day. To whit, Van Jones is absolutely certain that he can do a better job running everything than anyone else in the known universe. And he sees that Communism and its organizations offer him a tool to achieve the power he thinks he should have in order to truly give the people of earth the benefit of his enormous gifts.

It has the roadmap to power in other words. Once obtained there is no return to non-totalitarian rule in Socialism or Communism. None. Once at that point Mr Jones and his ilk can do what they see “needs to be done”. And it is not communism or socialism – it is “realism” and diktat.

So Van can, correctly, point out that the biggest racist threat to Black America is not the neutered idiots of what remains of the “Klan” but the entitled lefty Hillary supporters who still thinks black people need to be told what to do. And that they need to be set straight by police when they don’t do it.

That insight makes him way more dangerous than the fawning betas of the Democrat Party. He is also right – which finesses the conservatives best approach to the likes of the Hillary supporting lefty white privileged liberal which is to ridicule them and point out their shortcomings. Van is way ahead of them.

He is, most definitely worth listening to. And to be most wary of.

“Red Flag” legislation

The current raft of “Gun Red Flag” laws that have been flooding the states in the past year or more have Second Amendment supporters up in arms – as the mass demonstration in Virginia on January 20th 2020 showed. The supporters can be rallied to oppose the passing of such a law but once passed it becomes a war of legal attrition.

But are these laws a threat to gun owners and to the constitution? Most people I have seen posting or who have written to me express their disquiet at the laws seem to have their opposition somewhat muted by their firm conviction that any of these laws that are passed are, prima facie, unconstitutional in two distinct ways. The pro-active abridgment of the right to bear arms is, they claim, a glaringly obvious violation of the second Amendment. The idea of taking private property on an accusation and without the right to due process equally seems to violate the basic law on due process. Most of those seemed to signal to me that they are not really that bothered because they figure it is going to get slapped down by SCOTUS.

If you are one of those people who thinks that this current drive will be nipped in the bud by a quick trip to the Supreme Court I have some bad news. REALLY bad news.

But to illustrate exactly WHY this is of prime importance I need to conduct a bit of a history lesson.

Before I begin the lesson I must put in place a shout out to Joyce Lee Malcolm and the book To Keep and Bear Arms. If you have any feeling for the importance of the second amendment you MUST buy and read, this book. It is not an easy read – it is a historical text written by a historian. But there is a reason why Justice Scalia and Justice Thomas relied heavily on Malcolm’s work when crafting the monumental DC v Heller decision. Please invest some time in reading this work.

And we are back from commercials…

I was actually re-reading a part of the book again – the afterword section – and I noticed it made reference to a famous episode in British Hisotry – The Peterloo Massacre. The massacre occurred outside of Manchester at St. Peter’s Fields in August 1819. It was a very large protest and demonstration called by several agitator organizations at a time when unemployment was high, the economy was bad. The Napoleonic Ware had concluded in 1815 ( the appellation of “Peterloo” is reference to the battle of Waterloo in 1815 that had ended the final spasm of Napoleonic war dreams.) and the government had downsized the vast military that had been built up over 2 decades. Soldiers returned home, sailors left their ships and it was an unhappy period indeed.

The crowd was loud and boisterous. A local magistrate had the Riot Act read out and when the crowd failed to disperse Dragoons for the local Yeomanry were told to break up the crowd. They did so by charging on horseback, firing on them and attacking them with swords. 12 people died and the country erupted.

The government of England feared revolution – having seen what happened to France the aristocracy and ruling classes had a well justified feeling that things could easily get out of hand.

And here is where it starts to look eerily familiar.

The reaction of the Government was to start drafting anti gun/weapon legislation. Not for the Yeomanry or the government but for the people who were the target of the massacre! Yep. Seriously. An out of control magistrate unleashes armed troops on an unarmed crowd and the response of the ruling class? Make damned sure the unarmed classes didn’t find it easy to arm themselves.

Here is a useful link to a summary of these acts:

And below is a summary of Wikipedia’s view.

And you will note that the universal judgment being rendered is on that the Act were not really serious, only hard core lefties raise a ruckus about them, they were “sensible” measures taken by a caring government.
But! When I mention Freedom to own weapons – what is your current view of the United Kingdom? The idea of that question probably made you laugh out loud. This is a country where they have moved on to regulating cutlery. But 200 years ago in 1819 before Peterloo the law was very clear the English subject had a right to have firearms both for personal protection and for protection of personal property.

Of the Six acts mentioned above the one I am zeroing in on today is the Seizure of Arms Act. In part this stated that a Magistrate could issue an order to seize firearms belonging to an individual, inside their home, on the deposition of one person, Sound familiar?

And there was a great outcry against it in Parliament and in the activist press. Malcolm does a very good job of describing this in her book.

And according to the two cites I put above- it was mild, it was only occasionally employed and had minimal effect. Ahem.

By 1920 those rights had gone.

By 2020 the British government is attempting to control public use of cutlery.

Let me repeat this – desperate opportunistic legislation was introduced and passed to deny specific rights guaranteed to Subjects. It was opposed, it was a condemned and there was not really some universal attempt to rigidly apply it all – and yet now the United Kingdom is so supine one wonders how the hell they manage to conquer a cheese roll. In the UK, should you use a gun to defend yourself against an attacker you will be arrested and you will , in all likelihood, go to jail. Even if you are a citizen of spotless record and the person you have shot is a lowlife convicted violent criminal.

WE must – MUST take every one of these oppressive efforts seriously, each legislation needs to be challenged in the jurisdiction, it needs to be pursued to the point where it is declared unconstitutional by State and Federal Courts. The people the passed these laws need to be voted out of office and they need to be continually identified as people who are eager to abrogate the constitutional rights of Citizens.

Please – do your bit – and then do a bit more. If you do not these rights will disappear and our children and grandchildren will reduced to fighting off attackers by trying to pee on them.

The long night’s journey into day

It is Brexit Eve as I write this, January 30th 2020. Tomorrow it becomes official – what was joined on January 1st 1973 is going to be put asunder January 31st 2020.

How did it come to this? I can only speak for myself so I am going to start there.

Back in 1972 I was at East Herts College doing my OND in Mechanical Engineering. I worked for the Gas Board and was set to go to University in September of 1973, I was enthusiastic about the prospects of being able to just work in Europe. I had spent a large part of my childhood in Germany (West Germany as it was then), I had a pretty good vocabulary in French so I figured I would be able to make a good fist of it.

By 1978 I was living in Copenhagen and working around Europe – got to travel all over, never making much money and strictly lower, cabin class on the travel and accommodations but I did love seeing all the places I went to.

By 1989 my wife and I and our children were heading to the USA – to Denver Colorado and trying our fortune in the land of opportunity and my interest switched to this wonderful new life and I lost track of the doings in Europe.

Fast forwarding now – to June 2016. The referendum in the UK to vote on whether to remain in the EU or to leave. I found myself cheering for the vote to leave. I found myself exulting in the result.

How on earth did that happen?

It took a speech from Nigel Farage in the European Parliament yesterday (January 29th 2020) to remind me what it was that changed my view of the EU what it was that started me on the long journey from enthusiast to skeptic to opponent.

Our time focus jumps again to 2005.

In 2005 the great tide in Europe was the drive to have the nations of the EU ratify, by referendum, the “Constitution for Europe”. This would be the great step that would start to weld the nations of Europe into the “United States of Europe” but as I read up on the subject I was struck by the fact that it seemed to be the setting up of an extraneous non accountable power base that would be the central repository for all future initiatives in the EU and that those initiatives would be pushed down to be enacted by client governments.

I was not surprised to see that the ever bolshie French rejected this nonsense out of hand. And then was pleasantly surprised to see the Dutch follow suit. And then the people pushing the Constitution for Europe realized that without unanimous consent it would not be valid and the project was shelved.

Our time machine moves forward to 2007. The introduction of the Treaty of Lisbon. No longer a constitution but , instead a “Treaty” that changes the treaties of each member state, adds the necessary clauses and articles to pull the treaties into alignment with what the “Constitution” would have put in place. And suddenly, with NO votes, the EU Superstate was birthed. The people behind it were confident that, eventually, the people of Europe would forget about the referenda and would gradually just come to accept “what is”.

If it had not been for Nigel Farage and, yes, Boris Johnson and their outrage at the evolution of European “power” that drove the Brexit vote then Britain would be, at this moment sinking in the ever growing morass of EU rules and regulations and moving further away from being a nation state and further toward being a satrap in Europe.

But even after the British people voted to leave – that was not good enough for the embedded statists both in Europe and within the ranks of Westminster. It took the organized effort to drive out the Tory leadership in Westminster and replace it with someone who wanted to get Brexit doen and then it took fighting and brawling with the embedded europhiles of Westminster to get a General election called – where, once again, the British people said “LEAVE”.

Finally it is being done.

And here – is Nigel Farage saying goodbye to the European Parliament – and if you will listen to the very end you will hear the chairperson try to get in a quick egregious bit of virtue signalling by actually misquoting what Farage said and trying to make it sound like “hate speech”. It ends, not with a bang, but a whimper.

Message to fundraisers

I am annoyed and disappointed with the fund raising currently going on. I am not annoyed that funds are being raised, I am annoyed at the endless bombardment of drivel flowing like torrent though my email in box.

I am annoyed to be getting requests for my “opinions” that turn into a) a form to put me on a mailing list for even more emails or b) a request for money. If you are not interested in my views and opinions then I am not interested in sending you money.

For sure this is probably going to sound surprising, I guess. I donated to a couple of campaigns in the last general election including Ted Cruz and DJT. And though my donos are on the miniscule side I believe in supporting candidates with more than just an attaboy on Facebook. I will be donating to the DJT campaign during this election season and possibly to a couple of the senate campaigns – maybe.

But here’s the thing. If you wish to get me interested in your campaign there are some steps that you need to take:

1) Tell me what are the things we are going to get done.

2) Tell me why they matter and don’t use memes and waffle.

3) Lay out what your overall philosophy is and how I can expect you to react to the world and to things that happen in this country.

Here are some things you need to avoid

  1. I delete, automatically, any fund raising email I get that starts off by telling me what the Democrats or Liberals or your “opponents” are doing.
  2. I delete, straightaway, any email that comes from an email address that cannot be replied to.
  3. I delete, swiftly, any email that contains a survey.
  4. I do not donate to SuperPacs or anything other than the actual campaign. If your email does not include those specific assurances. Again – it gets deleted.

Seriously GOP – you need to establish a messaging infrastructure that answers peoples questions, can do more than just shout loudly for money and can actually deal with adults.

The Tax called Hypocrisy

There is a very expressive phrase originally attributed, I think, to the French writer La Rochefocauld, to whit;
“Hypocrisy is the compliment vice pays to virtue”
(I have also heard it expressed as “Hypocrisy is the tax that vice pays to virtue”)

And we have, in living color and live on our screens, a perfect example of the hypocrisy tax being paid by the likes of Adam Schiff.

What amazes me is that we get this pretense that the movement to impeach Donald Trump is born out of great necessity for actions he has done. And this urgency is because the Democrats – unwillingly, were forced into conducting a witch hunt in the basement of the House by… Democrats. And the pretense that this is somehow something of great solemnity that they have arrived at with long and deliberate and even prayerful review is given lie by the fact that Democrat congress people have been calling for the impeachment of Trump since he was inaugurated. Seriously.

Not only that, the Democrats had trawled one attack line after another across the waters of the Capitol, parading impeccable sources to a cabal of Leftist lawyers looking for some sort of criminal connection to Russia… only to have to pivot to the Ukraine with witnesses who did not wit, proving that the intention to Impeach preceded the actions being taken to justify the decision already taken. This is “procedure” straight out of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll;

“Sentence first–verdict afterward.”

This is the “tax” that the Dems are having to pay for their vice. Instead of stating aloud that their entire focus was going to be the impeachment of the President and they would seek high and low and in dark places and un-named sources and with witnesses who did not witness anything until they found anything that they might be able to spin as “impeachable” they have to kow-tow to the idea that it is somehow a serious and measured endeavor entered into only after grave reflection. When the exact opposite is plain to view.

Normally of course, the Dems want others to pay taxes – I think this may be the one time there is a tax they are well trained in paying. Hypocrisy.

Government and its distaste for armed citizens

A word to the wise… (and if you are reading this post then you must be among the very wise) there is a book that I have found INVALUABLE in understanding the concepts of a citizen’s right to bear arms. It is:
“To keep and Bear Arms, The origins of an Anglo-American Right” by Joyce Lee Malcolm.

If you do not have this book in your personal library, please buy it. It is not an easy book to read – it is a book written by a historian, not a Second Amendment advocate and is concerned with sources, lessons, examples. I urge anyone who has an interest or passion for this debate to acquire the book and take the time to work through it. It will be worth it. Just to encourage you – bear in mind Justice Antonin Scalia found this book so compelling it helped him phrase the the seminal decision in DC v Heller that affirmed the Constitutional right of an individual to own a weapon for traditionally lawful purposes.

Most of us are well aware of the phrase “Power of the purse” – because we get reminded, from time to time, that the one real power that belongs solely to House of Representatives is the power to determine how the money of the Republic is to be spent.

But there is a second part to the equation – “the power of the sword”.

The Power of the Sword technically, I guess, resides within the Executive Branch. That branch of the government tasked with executing the laws.

Passing laws is one thing – getting people to obey them is another. Ultimately it is the ability of the government to enforce compliance that determines whether a law will stand.

Malcolm provides some solid evidence of this in her book (page 14)
“… However, disafforestation, or the removal of a Royal Forest from forest status for the purpose of its enclosure and sale, might leave hundreds of poor residents without a means of subsistence.The widespread riots that resulted, among the worst the Kingdom would experience before the Civil War, vividly demonstrated the English villager’s capacity for taking up arms and provide confirmation of the availability of firearms among the rural population…”

According to Malcolm’s book – the large scale riots and organization against the Royal plans provided the rulings classes with lesson that would later bear fruit in the Civil War of 1641.

It is a simple concept. Every law passed must be enforced at a local level by local officials. If the people they live among are not willing to follow the law then it will require force to get compliance. That ONLY works if the ones doing the forcing have more “force” than those resisting and the willingness to use it. Having to face armed resistance is a greater deterrent than facing unarmed resisters singing.

When I read accounts of the Totalitarian government in Iran shooting protesters I am reminded, again why governments do not want their citizens to be armed. If the protesters are unarmed and the police and authorities are armed then any negotiations are at the mercy of the authorities and they can end them whenever THEY choose.

The great thing about the US system of government is that it is not a dictatorship of the majority as it is in so much of the west. It is, at least theoretically, subject to the rule of law – and that rule and that law is the law of the land. Not what any majority may suddenly decide.

The rule of law stays in place and stays supreme as long as the electorate has the means to resist authoritarian impositions.

Amazing how those who wish to impose those authoritarian laws and rules push so very hard to “regulate” guns for the population at large.

Citizen Guns and Governments

If you wish to make a European “social democrat” roll his or her eyes in a full dramatic fashion a good way to do that is to announce to them that you own firearms as a defense against tyranny.

The very idea that an individual citizen might think that he or she can use their firearm to defy the government? Oh my, that is just so stupid ( it helps is you say that to yourself in a European type accent). It is patently ridiculous to think about using force to resist a tyrannical government because they just do not exist!!

At this point in the conversation I usually say ‘Srebenica!” . And that, of course, elicits another eye roll. Well that was in Bosnia, hardly Paris or Rome.

The European civilian in general seems to have forgotten, completely, that WW II happened and was kicked off in Europe. That the “civilized” Europeans that surrendered to the Germans ( most of them) with one magnificent exception (Denmark) cooperated with their conquerors to round up their own citizens and send them to be massacred. Seriously. To understand how short a time ago this grotesque piece of tyranny happened – there are lots of people alive today who lost their direct families, Parents, grand parents sisters and brothers to this horror. And then, in 1995 in a town 260 miles from Austria, 290 miles from Italy, 316 miles from Greece, 377 miles from Rome, 463 miles from Munich, 642 miles from Berlin, 8000 men and boys were systematically murdered, massacred, by the Bosnian Serb Army. While European “peace keepers” stood by.

Allow me to translate those distances into something my fellow Americans might understand – the massacre by the Bosnian Serb army took place in a town closer to the center of Europe than Chicago is to New York.

Please take a moment for that to sink in. In a continent that fifty five years earlier had been cooperating in the execution of its own citizens on an unbelievable scale, they stood by while it happened again under their noses – and this was 25 years ago.

You might feel wonderment at the idea that Europeans would have the hubris to express surprise at the idea that governments are capable of – and have done – the most horrific of acts. And only armed citizens of other countries – Primarily the USA and the British Empire saved them from it.

You would be forgiven for wondering how it is that they managed to miss all those military graveyards scattered around Europe filled with the US and UK (and yes, others) dead. My own uncle, a Brit soldier, is buried in Holland and I have visited his grave.

The absolute irony that it took ARMED Americans and ARMED Brits to dig the European continent out of the Slough of Despond it had churned itself into, never, ever seems to cross their minds.

You will notice, I hope, that I have refrained – up to this point – from bringing in the stunning example of long term “civilized” countries – like China rounding up its own citizens and forcing them into re-education camps, or Iran shooting en masse its citizens that protest against the government. And yet “woke” people express dismay at the idea of citizens of their own countries wishing to possess and bear firearms in order to oppose tyranny by the government.

You cannot make this stuff up.

The immorality of “gun control”

I have seen, in a few on-line forums variations on a theme – “how do you, as a gun owner, justify owning an AR-15?” The question is posed in slightly different forms but all basically written from the view that owning a gun is something that is not a natural thing, or is somehow a dangerous thing or a threatening one.

It is the question which is wrong. It is based upon a false premise.

A person owns himself or herself. The right to your own life is the building block of a free society. The right to the rewards of your own thoughts and work is a logical extension of the right of personal ownership and follows from it. This is what turns a country from slavery to a recognition of the personal rights of every citizen.

This is a right that the US Constitution embodies. It is NOT a right that a government gives – it is a right that belongs to the basic building block of the society that creates the laws that we live by.

My right to own my life gives me the responsibility to take care of it and to protect it. I am the one who gets to decide which means I employ to do that. However my right does not extend to forcing another person to do what I wish, merely to make me feel secure. Once we move into the realm of ME deciding what YOU must do in order to give me something, moves us back to the realm of slavery. We can agree between us on a code to enable us to live in harmony but the code must enshrine the principle that the rights of one cannot infringe the rights of the other.

In a society that recognizes individual rights the right to bear arms is a logical right. It does not require any other person to “give” me that right. I can choose to bear arms or I can decide not to. What I cannot do is decide YOUR choice in the matter. And you cannot decide mine.

The decision to be responsible for my survival is the moral stance to take. Trying to force me to comply with your wishes and feelings against my own rights is the immoral stance to take.

A good Leviathan

Israel announced that production from its “Leviathan” oil and gas field has started. The platform started well production to mark the end of 2019.

Let pumping begin!

The Leviathan field is a large gas repository with reserves estimated as 40 years of Israel’s domestic needs. It is not the only field in production, the Tamar field adjacent to Leviathan had been brought online in 2011.

Up until the discovery and development of these two huge fields Israel had always been looked upon as and energy dependent Nation within a region of energy production plenty – and, ironically of course, – the Arab nations were the ones with the oil. So this does represent a major rebalancing of the scales of power within the region.

I must admit that my own naive hope here is that it can help lead to mutually beneficial partnerships between Israel and her neighbors. I find it incredible that the Palestinians, for example, are not working full time on developing much closer business relationships with Israel . After all if the Palestinian territories were to become much more affluent surely that would help the cause of peace? And, with affluence and peace comes a better life for all the residents of the area, Israeli and Palestinian.

If we look at the maps showing where the fields are and where the pipelines are it becomes obvious, I think that countries like Lebanon and Jordan could also benefit immensely from these developments and maybe the western part of Syria.

If Lebanon and the Palestinian territories can become much more self sufficient or even affluent in themselves it would go a long way to drawing down the influence of Iran or Saudi Arabia.

I do hope…

The use of force

President Trump approved the targeting of the Iranian General in charge of the “Quds Force” . Just so we are clear about this “force”. It is a unit within the “Revolutionary Guard Corps” of the Iranian governing hierarchy.

Terrorist commander “retired”

“Responsible for extraterritorial operations, the Quds Force supports non-state actors in many countries, including Lebanese Hezbollah, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, Yemeni Houthis, and Shia militias in Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan.”

The “Quds Force” was designated as a “Foreign Terrorist Organization” in April of 2019. Qassim Suleiman, the targeted individual, was in Baghdad when he was attacked, he was the leader of a terrorist organization, in a country that did not invite him and at the scene of terrorist activity being carried out by his organization. Let’s keep that ALL in mind. He was a legitimate target of war.

President Trump’s decision was right, the action was carried out flawlessly and a disgusting Terrorist Organization was struck a decisive blow.

So why the hysteria by the left – from Kaepernick to the Squid – oops squad – and the rest of the sycophantic twats of the left? They criticized the President for taking firm and decisive action against an enemy of the USA who has a proven track record of organizing strikes against our military.

The Washington post referred to the Terrorist in chief as “ (Iran’s) most revered military leader”. I draw attention to that little gem because, apparently, the Washington Post believes that the head of a terrorist network in a country ruled by secret police and revolutionary guards and which imprisons dissidents and executes gays is somehow “revered”. The WAPO of course does not actually state how it arrives at the conclusion that this thug is “revered” though I am sure there are some Iranian fanatics who love the guy.

And a quick review of the World’s press shows a general undertone of “fear” from those governments who fear “escalation” by President Trump – but who do not, it would seem, fear escalation by Iran which has in recent years exported its revolutionary tactics and personnel to Syria, Lebanon, Iraq as three primary examples. But fight back? Exert force against people bent on creating havoc? OMG! How awful.

The Obama administration paid off Iran with pallets of cash. Some of that cash was used to bankroll Quds and the terrorist organizations it supports ( Like Hamas and Hizbollah) and some of it used to bankroll Iran’s atomic research. Such escalation seemed to escape the Washington Post and other media “entities” and passed by without critical comment.

There can be no negotiating with terrorists who have already announced that the reason for their existence is the eradication of their enemies.

Only idiots and poltroons think that one should try to pacify a person or entity that has said that its ‘raison d’etre’ is your destruction. They are the ones who have set the rules of this conflict and they must be dealt with before they can achieve their aim.