The current wave of riots and disturbances are NOT worthy of the attention they are getting. First of all – they are small groups – threatening? Yes, certainly in the confines of a street a couple of hundred people seeking to threaten and brawl ARE threatening – but only in that street.
And be sure to note that these little vignettes are being played out in Democrat controlled cities. Not across the country. When law enforcement in cities, counties and states makes it very clear that the laws will be enforced then the little ‘moblets’ find other, softer targets to attack. The objective is not to “seize power” – in most of the cities like Seattle Portland, Chicago, Denver, Saint Louis the city administration is so busy sucking up to them it’s a wonder the city councils and Mayors are not squirming on the ground out in the streets eagerly showing their bellies to all and sundry.
This is a grand distraction. The Democrats have nothing to offer, they are busily defending a candidate who cannot talk coherently and a VP candidate who has more baggage than street shopping cart lady. All they can do is point to widely photographed pictures of small riots and claim there is unrest in the country.
They are trying to keep President Trumps continuing drumbeat of good, recovering economic news, foreign affairs accomplishments and the fact that for the past four years most minorities have never had better economic gains than they have when being led by President Trump.
Actually, the country is doing OK considering what we have been through. People are getting on with living helping each, starting to open things hope, hoping to do a bit more next and the week after. You know, the American way.
This is violent street theater. It is being used for obfuscation. It needs to be dealt with directly by law enforcement and local DAs actually doing their jobs and wide ranging RICO and anti-terrorist investigations being done that actually start to tie the funding and logistics to the correct parties.
I read an article today on Ars Technica a site I keep track of though I find it inadequate in many respects, not because of bad writing – the article itself is well written – but because the people writing and editing on this site very rarely try to present a rounded picture.
The article is about how Climate Change and tackling it have become more important to a majority of Americans and how there is a majority who favor supporting the expansion of renewable energies and increasing government regulation to encourage it;
While it's intriguing to see how many people accept reality, it’s the questions about energy policy that produce the most interesting answers. When asked about whether the US should prioritize developing wind and solar energy or expanding oil, natural gas, and coal, 79 percent chose renewables. That’s considerably higher than Pew’s polls from just a few years ago. That number is the partly due to strengthening support among Democrats, but it’s also the result of growth among Republicans in the last few years—65 percent of whom chose renewables.
This seems like a fairly innocuous commentary – borne out by surveys. The USA is becoming more “Climate Aware”!
But is it really? Did the survey ask the key question – what are you willing to pay in money or inconvenience to achieve the improvements you say you support? How much more per gallon on gasoline? What percentage increase in your electricity bill? What increases in your personal taxation will you support to do this? That is the key about support.
Like a lot of conservatives I am a fan of doing more with less. If we had the money our house would be solar powered and off the grid. As it is we are on our own well and we have a septic system and, should good fortune smile we would install solar not because of fears of Climate Change or Ars Technica articles – but because it is neater and more self reliant. Though I say that in the sure and certain knowledge that, should it become viable for people in our kind of demographic to afford a full off the grid solar set up we would immediately be attacked for the materials used in the panels.
It is easy to get people to say they support programs and initiatives that they do not have to personally pay for. I myself am totally willing to enact a hefty tax, payable by journalists and leftist think tanks exclusively, to fund better gun safety and training in schools. I have my doubts that it would pass, though it should.
I stopped listening to the left and the likes of Ars Technica on the day I realized that they are opposed to Nuclear Power which is the ONLY mass scalable energy supply that has a viable, no emission future.
There is an interesting phenomenon going on in our society. It is a phenomenon that most have heard of, the vast majority never use or pay attention to it specifically yet it is being used to drive the hysteria that is currently exploding across our country.
It is “Twitter”.
Probably the most self absorbed talking group imaginable.
For the people who are wrapped up in it, Twitter is all important. It is where most of the mainstream media goes to get leads for stories. But more than that – they read tweets in the effort to get to what they think are the concerns and state of mind of “The man on the Clapham Omnibus” . (That reference is to a metaphor describing a reasonably well educated man, ordinary and reasonable that was used by a judge in England to give a picture of “ordinary people” as guidance for a jury). Rather than getting outside of their bubble of comfort, they “research” on Twitter.
But Twitter is not representative of anything other than a place where people fire off short pithy (sometimes mildly interesting) messages, or to snark at others. It is, in short, the place where gossips gather. And nobody else. The main consumers of the Twitter Brand are consultants (PR and political), politicians and a whole layer of people who dabble and scrabble. There are also many many accounts called ‘bots’ these are accounts set up to auto generate tweets whenever certain key words are used – in this way a large amount of tweets are generated and it all looks like an angry blizzard when it is. For the most part it is “sound and fury signifying nothing” to quote Shakespeare. So what we have are algorithms being triggered by keywords in some tweets which unleashes a storm of bot driven traffic. This storm then generates fear in the hearts of the PR people who have bought into the “Oh Twitter is the voice of the people” and they encourage their principals to follow the suggestions of the triggered bot mob.
The problem then becomes that many organizations, concerned over their “image” and wanting to be “out in front” of things use the impressions that their PR people have gathered from their exhaustive work on Twitter (cough, ahem) and then take what they think is remedial action. This leads to ludicrous examples of virtue signaling – the CEO of Chik-Fil-A washing the feet of black people – not sure what he thought he was making up for with that. Or the Police Chief that kneels in response to a crowd. All the kinds of things that make most people go “what on earth????”
The truth is that most people that I have met in the USA are just not racist. They either do not care enough to be racist, or they are too busy working on the exact same issues that all races are working on – how to hold a good job, make a good marriage, bring up good children and have a great life. IN my 67 years of living in Europe, the UK and the USA I have never bumped into anyone who even mentioned “white supremacy” – ever. I have met people who had generalized bad impressions of different nationalities but race was not the common denominator causing the dislikes.
I fear we have come to a point in the USA – and possibly in the West where the collapse of trust and credit in the media is irreversible. For too long the media has seen itself as being above the people it is supposed to inform, the media itself has been beholden to groups of partisans who wish to see an agenda advanced and not a populace informed.
As for the corporations that jump and shy at everything that doesn’t reek of rainbows and unicorns – there is a Darwinian force at work, I think, which will, eventually work itself out and not to the advantage of the virtue signaling prone. Again I have yet to talk to or with any friends who are impressed with the likes of Amazon, Taylors of Harrogate Yorkshire Tea, the Premier League in the UK, Facebook et al and their seemingly endless desires to impress upon us that we are sadly in need of educating by the woke businessmen. Time will tell. I think the companies that will come to the fore will be those who prove that they stand for themselves and are content to let their customers do as they wish.
The group, Black Lives Matter, is not a group to fight racism. It is clear from their literature that they are about getting some racism of their own approved and working. If they were “against racism” they would have joined in campaigning against the blatantly racist policies of New York High Schools against Asian students when it comes to applying for the better schools within the NY Public School System (To be honest I was immensely surprised that there are public schools in NY that are good – it was nice to hear that ) but apparently the admitting process to the limited number of places has been configured to reduce the chances of Asian students getting in. Didn’t see “racist fighting” BLM in the forefront of the fight against this egregious example of systemic racism within NYC. Why not? Didn’t see any virtue signaling celebrities producing videos decrying the anti-asian bias embodied in the policy of the NY School System. NOT A WORD.
Their concern for “Black Lives” does not extend to protesting and actively campaigning against the corrupt administration in Chicago that has been overseeing the ongoing black on black slaughter that has been going on for years in the city. Preferring instead to criticize the police and forever ignoring the Aldermen and Mayors that have done nothing to end the carnage. NOT A WORD.
I think that there IS a “systemic reason” why they are invisible on most NYC admissions, Black on Black crime in Chicago, They are not seeking an end to racism. It is why their rhetoric adopts a preference for racial punishment. It is because the Organization that calls itself “Black Lives Matter” is not “fighting racism” . It is using the buzz words of “fighting racism” to carve out a piece of the influence peddling on the hard left of American politics. It is an organization making a move to bolster the ability of the hard left to influence and back off certain segments of the voting public. The Left battle plan for achieving power relies, heavily, on the Balkanization of the US middle and working classes. Let me explain;
The maxim “Black lives matter” has but one sane response “Yes, they do”.
Note I made no qualification didn’t add any context such as “but all lives matter of course”. Just the simple statement and the only possible response to it. But that is not what the Organization that has taken that statement as its name actually want people to do. They want to segue from that to the nebulous “ you are evil racists and must do as we demand” . The two things “Black Lives Matter” and “Endemic racism is the problem” have no logical connection – Black lives matter because they are human life, and that principle is true for all of us. In the USA every citizen , every resident has the right to have their personal rights respected by the government and the minions of government – without exception.
And THAT concept is something that we can all work towards. The Founders of this country set the Republic up to do exactly that – it is supposed ot be a country of laws and respect for individual liberty. How can we all, all of us, work to make that happen? How can we ensure that the police, in every interaction they are involved are working to ensure that the rights of the individual are respected and preserved while doing their job? It cannot be based on “race” because we are are a country of many races. We are a country of individuals and not working on that is where the system breaks down – when it does.
Black lives Matter is a simple statement that has been hijacked.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.