Friday, July 31, 2020

I'll Take Things That Won't End Well For $1000 Alex

This should help with the rising crime issues in Seattle.

Hey, if these people are so eager to see their city burn, let's light this mother up.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

A Pretty Hot Take From Mitt Romney

Our old friend Mitt Romney, a "Republican" who is as reflexively opposed to anything Trump says or does as any liberal or Bill Kristol (but I repeat myself), is having a conniption because of an announced draw-down of U.S. troops from Germany.

According to our local news, the plan includes withdrawing 12,000 troops. Almost half will stay in Europe.

Defense officials say the U.S. will pull 12,000 troops from Germany, bringing 6,400 home and shifting 5,600 to other countries in Europe, including Italy and Belgium. The plan will cost billions of dollars and take years to complete. It’s been spurred on by President Donald Trump’s demand to withdraw troops from Germany, at least in part due to its failure to spend enough on defense. Defense Secretary Mark Esper says the moves promote larger strategic goals to deter Russia, reassure European allies and shift forces further east. The plan leaves 24,000 troops in Germany. 

So to recap. Of the 12,000 troops, 5,600 will stay in Europe. This will leave only 24,000 American troops, paid for by the tax-payers of the United States, to defend Germany against those wiley Russians.

The replies to Romney are full of screeching liberals who are against this move because it was ordered by Orange Man Bad.

I am old enough to remember when liberals were anti-war, thought the threat of Russia was overblown and were suspicious of the military-industrial complex. That also means I am old enough to remember that these same liberals hated Mitt Romney when he ran again Obama and thought he was a Nazi or something.

Apparently Germany is too poor to pay for her own defense. Let's take a look....

Oh, Germany has the fourth highest GDP in the world. What about per person?

Oh again. Maybe the Germans can afford to pay something for their own defense, seeing as how our troops have been there since 1945 and the Berlin Wall fell almost 30 years ago.

But come on, they might have money but what the heck do the Germans know about war?

Never mind.

Once again, thanks to the people of Utah for electing that turncoat imbecile Romney to the U.S. Senate.

The Fox And The Scorpion

This is a short video from Vertigo Politix, now on a semi-permanent sabbatical, but it is also one of their most powerful videos. The story of the fox and the scorpion is an old one but it has relevance for today....

Importing people who know nothing but how to destroy and then expecting them to maintain what we have built is the height of foolishness. I don't really blame those who are invading our nation and stripping it bare like locust. It is in their nature.

Those who know this is the case and clamor to bring them here anyway, the people who would rather rule over ruins than be an average person in paradise? I have nothing but revulsion and hatred for them.

We know more about who they are each day as they grow bold and let the curtain slip. May their hubris be their doom.

But Muh Second Amendment And Muh Supreme Court!

Since Ruth Bader Ginsburg seems to be sustained by arcane dark magic rituals, it looks like the Supreme Court is going to stay as is for the rest of the election season. Assuming Biden wins, it is likely that RBG will retire shortly after he takes office and that his handlers will choose someone even farther to the left to replace her.

At the same time, I have detailed the Biden gun control plan and it is extensive: The Future Of Gun Ownership (Or Lack Thereof). A lot of Fudds reasonable gun owners think that a Biden administration will be like the Obama administration and very little gun control will get passed. They all seem to think that Obama was the first ever Democrat to be President and forget that under Clinton the sweeping "assault weapons ban" was passed and for ten years it was about impossible to buy the firearms many of us take for granted.

Besides they say, the 2nd Amendment is secure. The Supreme Court will save us!

Think again.

The SCOTUS recently declined to take up a pile of beneficial cases for the 2nd Amendment and now we know why....

Conservative Justices Declined to Take Up Second Amendment Case after Roberts Signaled He Would Side with Liberals: Report

The conservative wing of the Supreme Court reportedly declined to take up a case dealing with Second Amendment rights after Chief Justice John Roberts indicated that he would vote with the court’s liberal justices.

In June, the justices rejected petitions from 10 challenges relating to state restrictions on firearms after Roberts signaled he would not vote with them, depriving the court’s conservatives of the fifth vote needed to overturn gun regulations, CNN reported Monday.

Roberts is proving to be as unreliable as....well, as most justices nominated by Republicans.

Unless we catch a break and RBG dies in the next few months (fingers crossed), we are looking at a court that is hostile to personal firearms ownership and looks to get worse. Keep in mind that reliably conservative justice Clarence Thomas has been on the court for 28 years and is 72 years old.

The supreme court isn't going to save your gun rights. As I keep saying, there is a good chance that the guns you have on December 31st are all you are ever going to have.

Plan and budget accordingly.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Will Democrats Become The New Center-Right Party?

I know that sounds crazy but hear me out.

We have not always had Republicans versus Democrats in America. There are lots of now extinct political parties that once had significant political clout. No one alive today has voted in the Whig Party primary, but a number of significant American political leaders and Presidents were Whigs.

It wasn't that long ago that the Democrats were the party of working class Whites, were supportive of segregation and opposed to "civil rights" and were mostly populist in nature. As the South shifted to Republicans, at the same time Democrats moved to the political Left, becoming more concerned with "social justice" and shifted away from unions and working class Whites and toward the super wealthy and the non-white vote. While the south was once Yellow Dog Democrat territory (I'd vote for a yellow dog if he ran as a Democrat), for the last couple of decades especially it has been solidly Republican. That is now changing as the former states of the Confederacy become less White and more left-wing politically. Net result, the Democrats today are completely different from the Democrats 50 years ago.

The Republican Party today is inextricably linked with White people, especially more suburban and rural Whites, religious Whites and gun owners. As that population shrinks, the Republican party is going to collapse. There isn't a Plan B and as I wrote about yesterday, several large and once reliable Republican states like Texas, Florida and North Carolina are about to become permanently blue and that means the end of the GOP as a national political force. Inertia and nostalgia will keep the Republican Party around for a while but increasingly it will be irrelevant.

What this means for the American political scene is a single-party rule with Democrats in more or less permanent control over national politics. However, even with complete national control, there will still be plenty of states and Congressional districts that will keep electing Republicans. This is an important map to consider:

Assuming Joe Biden wins, it will be on the strength of overwhelming winning margins in a few densely populated areas, mostly urban areas, areas with large concentrations of non-Whites and college towns like Madison, Wisconsin. You can drive in multiple routes from one coast to the other and never cross a congressional district Hillary Clinton won. If I avoid Chicago, I could drive 30 hours almost straight West through nothing but Trump counties. Hell, I have to drive almost two hours to get to a congressional district that Hillary carried.

What does that mean for the remnants of the Republican party? People become politicians for all sorts of reasons but they stay politicians because of the power and influence. Republican politicians in a House with a 275 seat Democrat majority or in the Senate with a 60 seat Democrat majority have no power, especially once the filibuster is eliminated. A politician who can't influence legislation is useless to lobbyists so the K Street money is going to dry up in a hurry. I expect to see a lot of "moderate" Republicans starting to switch parties.

Meanwhile in the Democrat party....

Behind the scenes, Pelosi and Schumer have to be feeling pretty good right now. They are a less than six months away from seeing a senile puppet sworn in as President and likely also controlling both the House and the Senate. With Chief Justice John Roberts moving further left with each passing day, things are looking good for their agenda. As the 2020 census is presented to the government, it is likely that we will see a huge shift in Congressional seats out of Republican states and into Democrat states like California or places like Texas where the new districts will be majority mestizo. See this report from CIS on the likely impact of the census: The Impact of Legal and Illegal Immigration on the Apportionment of Seats in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2020 Scary stuff.

But, as is so often the case politically, being the opposition is a lot easier than being in power.

The Democrats are united now because they have all of their energy and attention focused on Orange Man Bad. When he is out of office and Republicans are cast into political outer darkness, they won't be able to use Trump as their villain and then we will see exposed the truth behind the scenes. That truth is that the Democrats are really two political parties crammed into one.

One party is the Pelosi/Schumer wing, where most of the Democrat structural leadership dwells. They are the party of big business, homosexuals and affluent liberal White women. The big players in the Democrat party are owned by big business, as I wrote last June. Here are two screenshots from that post....

Schumer stands to become the Senate Majority Leader in January and Ron Wyden will likely be the new Chair of the Senate Finance Committee, a position he held until the Dems lost control of the Senate. These are the sort of Democrat you have in one of the sub-parties. Do you suppose they are going to "go after Wall Street"? Please. They want a nice, gentle modified socialist state where corporations and the top 1% keep making more and more money and the average schlep is bribed with government gibs into keeping his mouth shut. Their ideal is a technocratic oligarchy with lots of government employees and private schools for the children of those government employees.

The other half of the party?

This is the where "The Squad" lives and their vision is far more radical. People like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib and Ayanna Pressley have a very different and far more radical vision for America. Pelosi and Schumer want to perpetuate the current system, just with them in control, but The Squad, the Bernie-bro acolytes of Bernie Sanders, black Lives Matter and antifa want to burn the system to the ground and recreate it in their own demented vision. The list of examples is too numerous to detail but here is a recent one:

Oh, that makes perfect sense. If you no longer have rent or mortgages, where are people going to live? I suppose you end up with everyone getting "free" housing and we know what you get from "safe affordable housing". In fact we have lots of examples from the days of the Soviet Union and the glorious worker's life behind the Iron Curtain....

What The Squad wants requires tearing down the entire economic system, the very system that provides a decent standard of living for the vast majority of Americans. Schumer and Pelosi don't want this because they are super wealthy and powerful and the vision of the Squad coming to life would threaten their cushy existence.

The two halves of the Democrat party are in an awkward and uncomfortable truce for now but there is still some conflict.

This was on display when busty tavern wench Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez staged a coup in her district and unseated 10 term Democrat Joe Crowley. Crowley was Chair of the House Democratic Caucus when he was unseated, a very prominent and powerful position but he overlooked AOC and lost his seat. Lots of "yass kween" women and thirsty young soyboy liberals voted for her, and I am sure the fellas were impressed by her Econ degree and not this....

AOC is dumb as a bag of hammers but she is convinced she is like totally super smart and stuff and I am sure that is reinforced by years of guys telling her she is smart to get in her pants. A dumb person absolutely certain that they are smart is a dangerous beast indeed and although she is a Grade A bimbo, even a dingbat in Congress gets to vote on laws that impact your life.

When Trump is gone and Democrat realize they have complete control of the government, with no threat from Republicans ever getting back into power, what will that mean?

Civil war in the ranks of the Democrats as the old guard tries to keep the more radical members in line.

There have always been a core group of crazy leftists in the Democratic party but the loons think they are going to run the asylum. With mestizo voters becoming more and more prominent in the Democrat party, this will change the dynamics dramatically. Blacks used to be the core minority voting block in the Democratic electorate but they would generally show up to vote and then let the Dems do whatever they wanted. The mestizos are far more radical and vocal. They are also eclipsing blacks in the party. We saw in the primaries that mestizo voters were more likely to support Bernie while blacks voted for the more moderate Biden.

There are 435 Representatives in the House. Let's say that Democrat have 235 and Republicans have 200. Of the 235 Democrat seats, let's say 100 are from the more radical wing of the party. That leaves Speaker Nancy Pelosi in a pickle. She can pass crazy, far left legislation that The Squad will vote for but that will anger the corporate donor base. Or she can work with the neutered Republican minority, something far more palatable once Trump is gone. The Senate tends to be more "conservative" in the sense of being representative of entire states and since every state, no matter the population, gets two Senators, it is reasonable to assume that the Senate will be a tougher nut to crack for really radical legislation but many Republicans in the new order will be glad to vote for liberal "bi-partisan" legislation that doesn't go too far.

This will create a tug-of-war in the middle, a middle which will have shifted dramatically to the left of course. It will be easier for Nancy Pelosi to peel off a few dozen "moderate" Republicans, eager to pass some legislation and get back on the radar of K Street, than it will be to get The Squad on board with incremental steps.

People like Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib don't understand the subtleties of American government. They are from cultures run by warlords so not getting everything you want as soon as you want seems very frustrating to them. If someone doesn't do what you say, you machine gun their entire family and perhaps you eat them. Getting stymied infuriates them.

What I can see happening are the more radical members of the Democrats, frustrated by the pace of "progress" leaving the Democrats and forming their own leftist party under the banner of the Democratic Socialists or some other nonsensical name. This would work in the House where the districts are smaller but it would be harder at the Senate level although there are two far-left Senators who are independents right now, Angus King of Maine and of course Bernie Sanders of Vermont.

With the remaining center mass of the Democrats unable to pass legislation on their own, they will be forced to either submit to the incessant demands of the far left or bringing in Republicans to pass "liberal but not as crazy" legislation. I expect the latter to be more common. The more a Republican votes with the Pelosi wing, and as demographic change hits more congressional districts, the number of Republicans switching to the Democrats for pragmatic rather than ideological reasons will accelerate. Again, a Congressman in the party permanently out of power has very little appeal to donors.

Meanwhile, as more and more districts become majority black and mestizo, I can see additional radical Congressmen moving to a Democratic Socialist party. As the Democrats absorb more moderate Republicans, at some point the GOP will functionally cease to exist, leaving the dominant Democrats in the "middle" with Democratic socialists to their left and the tattered and impotent remnants of the Republican party in districts like mine to their right.

The situation would be interesting, with a mono-party in the middle and two fractious secondary parties on either side. By interesting I mean "interesting to political junkies" but a nightmare in the real world. Of course when I say "center-right", that is very different from what that term would have meant a decade or so ago when someone like George "compassionate conservatism" Bush was considered center-right. In the new political order someone like Pelosi might be considered "center-right", compared to the radical Left wing. That ought to frighten anyone but that is what is coming.

The 2020s are going to be a decade of dramatic political shifts with the Left becoming ascendant in various forms and the Right being relegated to political dissidents or a modern day Quislings. The old, largely false, political dichotomy of The Democrats vs The Republicans is over and a new era will begin. For the first time in the 244 year history of the United States, regular White citizens are going to become primarily observers in the governance of America while groups that had no hand in creating America are going to take the wheel. What will happen then is speculation but I have my own theories about how that is going to end and it looks a lot like Thelma and Louise going over the cliff.

At least it won't be boring.

Monday, July 27, 2020

Is Trump Trying To Throw The Election?

As a neophyte albeit lifelong political observer, I have to admit to some confusion. While 2020 is unlike any election in my lifetime thanks to a pandemic, massive rioting in our cities and a man more hated by the establishment than anyone in recent memory, the election strategy for Trump seems pretty simple:

- The need for strong and decisive leadership through the coronavirus pandemic and pointing out that Joe Biden is not up to the task, without being an ass about it.

- Law and order, backed up by actual law and order.

- Some kind of reasonable plan to rebuild the economy in the wake of the coronavirus.

What we get instead is stuff like this....

Boris, and yes that is really his name and yes he is Russian, isn't some random schlep.

He is a real person with some level of importance and influence in the Trump campaign. But he is posting such awful stuff and getting scorched in the replies. Basically it comes down to this:

If we don't re-elect Trump, the stuff that is happening already while Trump is President will keep happening. 

This is apparently a real "strategy" because Trump's sons post similar stuff.

How is pointing out how chaotic and out of control things are now, and how completely impotent to stop this Trump appears, a viable strategy?

More broadly speaking, as we approach August and are less than four months from the election, what is Trump's pitch for being re-elected? In 2016 he had a clear, simple message: Make America Great Again. It said we were on the wrong path and needed correction to make America great again. America First trade policies, controlling the border, rebuilding our manufacturing base. It was simple and clear and most important it spoke to the concerns of the people who would go on to elect Trump.

Trump was elected in 2016 on the strength of a very solid showing among White voters, especially in a handful of key states. Since 2016 his focus has often appeared to be on everyone but his base, perhaps assuming that we have no where else to go. He might be right but that doesn't mean we will all show up to vote. Since the Libertarian Party seems bent on committing political suicide with their ticket of open borders, pro-Marxist Jo Jorgensen and unfunny court jester Spike Cohen, I imagine that I will grudgingly vote for Trump, not because I believe a word he says or because I think he will win, but mostly as a middle finger to the establishment.

While I understand that polling has always been pretty sketchy and especially in an era when everyone is using cell phones and most of us don't answer numbers we don't recognize, and yes polling "registered voters" instead of "likely voters" is far less accurate as huge numbers of registered voters don't actually vote and of course the polls showed Hillary with a commanding and insurmountable lead in 2016, but even still the early numbers are pretty ominous for Trump.

In some of the critical battleground states like Pennsylvania and Michigan, two states that put Trump over the top by razor thin margins in 2016, Biden has an enormous lead:

Fox News Poll: Biden tops Trump in battlegrounds Michigan, Minnesota, Pennsylvania

In that poll, Biden leads Trump in Pennsylvania by a huge margin right now, 50 to 39%:

Michigan is not much better, Trump is trailing by 9% in the Wolverine State:

The detailed Michigan numbers are pretty interesting but expected....

Women give Biden his lead.  They back him over Trump by an 18-point margin (53-35 percent), while support among men splits 45 percent apiece. 

Biden is also ahead among nonwhites (+61 points), independents (+19), voters ages 65 and over (+17), and suburban voters (+9).  Among the 53 percent who are extremely interested in the election, Biden is up by 10 points (53-43 percent).

Women can't stand Trump because he gives them the bad feelz. More on this in a future post. Biden's lead among non-white voters in Michigan is enormous, 61%. I am guessing that works out to something like 19% Trump to 80% Biden (a difference of 61%). All of that pandering hasn't done much to move the needle.

Also interesting after digging into the data. Gretchen Whitmer, Michigan's governor with the misshapen and enormous noggin, has a 64% approval rate in spite of some of the most draconian lockdown measures of any state. People want to feel "safe". A lot of my acquaintances from Michigan think everyone there hates Whitmer but that doesn't appear to be the case.

Something else interesting:

A racialist, Marxist and violent movement is a lot more popular than Donald Trump in Michigan. That is pretty scary.

It is not just states Trump barely won in 2016. Once stalwart conservative bastion North Carolina is definitely in play:

Biden leads in North Carolina as voters give Trump poor marks on virus, race relations

What is worse, Trump seems to be dragging down Thom Tillis, the incumbent Republican Senator up for re-election in November while the Democrat incumbent Governor, Roy Cooper, looks to be coasting to a second term:

I have said before that there is a significant risk not only of Trump losing but that he will drag the Senate down with him and Chuck Schumer and the Democrats will take the Senate majority. The story in North Carolina is the same everywhere in the country:

The White electorate is shrinking and unlike the non-White voting blocks, the White vote is sharply divided with no room for error.

The big difference is not that Trump is going to lose bigly among black, mestizo, Asian and Jewish voters. We already knew that, Breitbart and Candace Owens fans notwithstanding. What might make a Biden win into a landslide is that Trump is losing support among White voters:

Trump can win without blacks and mestizos, he did in 2016. He can't win without White voters. Biden is going to crush Trump with White women but Trump also seems to be losing White men. Even picking up a few points among non-Whites, which is highly unlikely, won't be enough to offset his losses among White voters. Look at these numbers:

Biden is ahead in Georgia and Ohio, by slim margins, but Trump is ahead in Texas by a single percent. Texas is the Republican version of California, a reliable state with a huge population but it appears to be in danger of being lost. Trump won Texas in 2016 by 9% which would seem to indicate he should win again easily until you recall that Senator Ted Cruz won re-election in 2018 versus Beto O'Rourke by only 50.9 to 48.3, just over 2.5%. Again the same old story explains why Texas is going to be competitive in 2020.

Demographic charts on Wikipedia often lump mestizos in with Whites to disguise the extent of the demographic replacement but the info is there. With 1/3 of the population being mestizos, 12% black and almost 4% Asian, Texas is barely majority White and probably in truth is already less than 50% White as this chart is a decade old. Ten years ago almost 70% of babies in Texas were non-White and guess how those babies who are now around 10 are going to vote when they are old enough in 2028?

The theme continues in other must-win states for Trump like Florida and Georgia: the White population is plummeting and younger generations are trending drastically less White:

It bears repeating. Trump won in 2016 because of narrow wins in Wisconsin (22,748 voters), Pennsylvania (44,292 votes) and Michigan (10,704 votes). Those three add up to only around 77,000 votes out of a total of 136 million cast, a tiny percentage of the total. In four years it is reasonable to assume that thanks to natural deaths from old age, and the coronavirus that tends to be fatal only to older people, that Trump has lost far more 2016 voters to death than made up his winning margin in 2016, not to mention four years of a significantly less White electorate turning 18 and being fired up to vote against him.

What all of this means is that Trump has no margin for error and yet his "strategy" is baffling to me. That brings me full circle to the title of the post. Is Trump just bored and throwing the election, expecting to lose and creating a narrative where he can blame it on voter fraud? Who is advising him other than his loathsome son-in-law Jared Kushner.

It seems like Trump has gotten nothing but bad advice since Steve Bannon left the inner circle and now Jared Kushner appears bored with his role as the GrĂ­ma Wormtongue of the Trump administration. Whatever he thinks his "strategy" is, it looks like he wants to get back to drinking the blood of infants or whatever Kushner does when he isn't sabotaging his father in law's re-election bid.

If Trump is serious about winning re-election, he needs to get some sort of coherent message that will appeal to his White voting base, without alienating too many non-Whites. Depending on people to vote for him because Biden is mentally incompetent isn't taking into account how much tens of millions of people hate Trump.

Maybe things will change once Trump gets on the campaign trail and starts holding rallies. For certain he will be able to pack stadiums with supporters, even in a "pandemic" and Joe Biden would be lucky to fill a broom closet, even if his handlers let him out of the basement. Perhaps he can trick Biden into agreeing to a bunch of debates and get Gropin' Joe to have a public meltdown on stage. That might work but it is relying on a lot of things to happen just right. It is very early but without the national nominating conventions and with crowd venues being limited due to coronavirus, the outlook is pretty grim.

Honestly, it looks to me like Trump is either bored with being President or he knows he isn't going to win anyway and is just throwing in the towel.

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Blacks In Chicago Shoot Each Other. Hoosiers To Blame!

Mayor Beetlejuice is at it again!

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot was on "State of the Union" and as is typical tried to deflect blame for Chicago's out of control gun violence, in this case onto neighboring states.

Chicago Mayor Lightfoot Blames Other States for Chicago’s Gun Violence Problem

In response to media hack Jake Tapper's question about President Trump's offer for Federal law enforcement assistance, Beetlejuice had this to say (emphasis in red mine):

Lightfoot said, “That’s classic Trump hyperbole. I sent him a letter on Monday outlining the very specific things that the federal government is unqualified to help with starting with common-sense gun control. The fact of the matter is our gun problem is related to the fact that we have too many illegal guns on the street. 60% of which, 60% of which come from states outside of Illinois. We are being inundated with guns from states that have virtually no gun control, no background checks, no ban on assault weapons. That is hurting cities like Chicago. That is the thing that if the president wanted to help and the other things I identified in my letter he could do today, tomorrow, but he is not really interested in helping in that way.”

Since Indiana is right across the border from Chicago, she is clearly talking about us. You have to assume that she knows that the vast majority of firearms sold in Indiana are transferred following a background check but she claims we have "no background checks". The people sitting around waiting for approval from the NICS system would beg to differ with her.

I have no doubt that many firearms from Indiana end up in Chicago and are then used in violent crime. My question is more specific.

What happens to these firearms when they cross the border? Do they suddenly become imbued with a malevolent sentience and start shooting people on their own, like the machines in Maximum Overdrive?

Why does Chicago have so much gun violence attributed to guns from Indiana while Indiana as a whole has relatively low rates of gun violence outside of a few segments of the state with demographic outliers?

Lori Lightfoot is simply trying to deflect blame. She knows the Chicago communities where all of the gun violence occurs and she knows why Indiana has drastically lower rates of gun violence compared to those communities, in spite of our "lack of gun control".

Guns are readily available everywhere in Indiana and we don't shoot each other.

Guns are not readily available in Chicago and yet some Chicagoan's still shoot each other.

When you admit the reason for this disparity, you are on your way to figuring out the real reason for gun violence in America.

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Solid Self-Own From black Lives Matter

A more or less official black Lives Matter Instagram account posted the following statistics to "prove" that stereotypes about blacks are incorrect.

Dang, when I post 13/50 stuff like that people call me racist!

As Vincent James, of Red Elephants fame, points out in his comment, these statistics lump Hispanics in with White people to inflate the numbers of White people committing crimes.

The more important point is that blacks are around 13% of the U.S. population so per capita in every single category listed blacks are wildly over-represented. In some, especially murder, like quadruple their percentage of the population.

Do the 34,000 people who liked this post understand what it is actually saying?

Friday, July 24, 2020


I loved this short video from TIK History, one of my favorite Youtube channels. He simply reads quotes from George Orwell "What Is Fascism"

People all across the assumed political spectrum, from Democrats to Republicans, spend a great deal of time trying to argue that the other side are the Real Fascists™, a very similar strategy to the arguments about who are the Real Racists™. The astute student of American politics already knows that the two major parties are mostly quite similar in practice, if not in rhetoric, and that the real American political spectrum is far more vast. Those same observers also recognize that virtually no one accusing their political opponents of being "fascist" has a clue what fascism actually is and how it fits into the historical setting. This is not surprising as fascism is a very slippery concept to nail down and is impossible to understand without first understanding the context in which it existed as a significant political force.

As you can see from the video, the use of fascism as a slur to decry anything and everything you don't like isn't new, it goes way back to the first half of the 20th century. It is wise to generally ignore people talking about fascism in contemporary America, Republican or Democrat, because they have no idea what the word even means. The same is true for: racism, justice, White supremacy/nationalism, Nazi and about one hundred other words.

You should view being called a fascist the same way you view being called a racist: a sign you won the argument.

Things That Make Me Smile

I love this graphic from the National Shooting Sports Foundation:

Obviously the government has no interest in keeping neighborhoods safe for decent, law abiding citizens safe of any race, so I am all in favor of them arming themselves legally and responsibly to protect themselves and their families. I don't think this will significantly change voting patterns but still I like seeing people taking responsibility for their own safety and protection.

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Mayor Beetlejuice Changes Her Tune

Just a few days ago, Chicago Mayor Beetlejuice, aka Lori Lightfoot, was demanding that Federal agents stay out of Chicago so they couldn't interfere with Chicagoan's terrorizing each other. After at least 15 people were shot at a funeral, she has suddenly changed her tune:

Federal agents to be sent to Chicago after mayor’s initial pushback

President Donald Trump is sending help in the form of federal agents to Mayor Lori Lightfoot to help on the crime front in Chicago. The mayor’s response was somewhat of a forced agreement, as long as it’s not a situation like Portland.

The mayor at first pushed back against Trump’s threats to send federal agents to the city. The president said he wanted to send them to fix the city’s gun violence problem.

This weekend, 150 federal agents will be deployed to Chicago. Originally, fearing it would be like Portland, where agents clad in military style uniforms without names or insignia were in the area, the mayor resisted. But her understanding Tuesday is that’s not going to be the case.

Instead, Lightfoot said the federal agents will work alongside Chicago Police Department officers which is not unprecedented, and unlike in Portland, the U.S. attorney for the northern district of Illinois, John Lausch, will help.

The situation in Portland is quite different from Chicago. In Portland a bunch of White communist agitators are engaged in open rebellion against the government. In Chicago it is just garden variety black on black violence. Different problems demand different solutions.

In general I am against the notion of Federal law enforcement of almost any sort but we are way past the point of having arguments like that. If you encourage a child to have a tantrum in the store by giving them the candy, they turn into adults who have tantrums but now these petulant children are big enough to hurt other people. It is obvious that Mayor Beetlejuice has lost control of her city and is now being mocked and criticized by the head of Chicago's Fraternal Order of Police:

CPD Superintendent David Brown says he welcomes the extra manpower but president of Chicago’s Fraternal Order of Police John Catanzara wasn’t so diplomatic.

“She endorses and supports that now,” he said. “Why didn’t she ask for that a while ago? Because she’s too proud and too arrogant to ask for any help from President Trump even though he repeatedly offered it to you. But now all of a sudden it’s a good idea.  Well at least she’s finally come to the table and admitted she has no control over this.”

The solution, if there is one, in Chicago is pretty simple. We all know who is doing the shooting so instead of waiting on them to shoot each other and then the cops show up, Chicago needs some sort of stop-and-frisk. You see a black guy on a street corner? Roust him, pat him down and arrest him if he has a gun. See a group of blacks standing around? Scatter them. Young black guys in a car? Pull them over, get them out of the car and search it for guns.

Spend a week doing that and violent crime will start to drop immediately. Sure it is un-Constitutional in about a dozen ways but are we ready to admit that the Constitution doesn't mean much these days? Having a copy of the Constitution in your pocket isn't going to stop a stray bullet from killing you and the black community is unwilling to stand up to these animals in their midst. It won't happen of course because Lori Lightfoot thinks the solution to violent crime is to anthropomorphize guns and get into text squabbles with the head of the Chicago FOP.

In a sane world, Lori Lightfoot wouldn't have a job more significant than replacing the wafers in the urinal of men's rooms. That an incompetent Beetlejuice doppelganger is mayor of the third largest city in America is proof enough that America is past the point of no return.

The Noose Tightens On The Gun Industry

In my prior post about Joe Biden's people gun control plan, The Future Of Gun Ownership (Or Lack Thereof), I noted that many of Biden's proposals are not direct, frontal assaults in the form of bans but rather seek to make owning and buying a firearm expensive and a hassle. The more they squeeze the industry, the more you will see companies dropping out of the business entirely. Outfits like Bud's Gun Shop and Palmetto State Armory have brick and mortar storefronts but I assume do most of their business online. Others like Classic Firearms don't even have a brick and mortar storefront and are completely online.

One of the most vulnerable links in the chain between a law abiding gun owner and the manufacturer is the financial system. Banks and payment processors like Paypal are notoriously political and anti-2nd Amendment. It is already tough for local gun stores to get a payment processor that will deal with firearms related businesses and it is only going to get worse. This news story demonstrates it already is:

US banks and financial institutions have been slowly severing ties with the gun industry

It is a slow and steady form of gun control gradually gaining momentum with limited public fanfare: If guns cannot be directly taken from the hands of citizens, the next best target is the banks and financial institutions that enable transactions or loans for the industry.

"Financial activism by banks is by far one of the largest emerging threats against Second Amendment rights," Philip Watson, founder of Washington Public Relations and a Second Amendment advocate, told Fox News. "The federal government allows the financial industry to receive vast amounts of federal funds; however, those exact same funds free up their balance sheets enough to discriminate and play politics."

While the big credit card processors, Mastercard and Visa, haven't prohibited firearms sales yet, I would expect that will come if Biden wins. All it takes is one judge to rule that Mastercard can be sued for negligence if someone uses a gun they purchased with a Mastercard and then killed someone with it. Once that happens, they will slam the door shut on paying for firearms or ammo or even accessories with credit/debit cards.

It is tough to sell firearms that run $400-$2500 on just a cash basis.

Do you think the push toward electronic payments is a coincidence?

Again and again I keep saying: time is your ally right now but it will become your worst enemy in just a few short months. What you have on hand on election day in November might be all you are going to have for the foreseeable future. Plan accordingly.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Colors Comes To Life

In 1988, near the end of the Reagan years, a movie came out titled Colors. It was a film set in south central L.A. during the height of the gang war between the rival Bloods and Crips. The story followed the lives of two partners, the old shtick in cop movies of the brash young cop paired with the street-wise veteran, in this case played very well by Sean Penn and Robert Duvall respectively. It was a good film and in the spirit of full disclosure, I owned the cassette tape of the soundtrack. We thought of ourselves as quite the gangsters in our all White high school with a cornfield next to the football field.

There was one scene I always remember pretty vividly from the movie. It takes place at the funeral of a young Blood who was gunned down at the beginning of the movie and as the funeral service is taking place, a car full of Crips drives by and shoots up the church. The Bloods inside run out with guns drawn....

The reason I was thinking about this scene was a news story out of Chicago (of course). On Wednesday a funeral was being held for a black man named Donnie Weathersby. Mr. Weathersby was shot to death in Chicago on July 21st. A car pulled up and someone inside shot him in the head and torso. Mr. Weathersby's Facebook page showed the all too familiar scene in his profile picture, a group of black men standing in a group flashing gang signs and a few looking pretty stoned...

As the funeral let out, things took on a decidedly Colors theme.

15 shot outside Gresham funeral home

That number seems to be going up, some outlets are reporting 16 people shot. This is in spite of a police presence at the funeral.....

Carter said a Chicago police squad car was assigned to guard the funeral home and was parked outside when the gunfire began.

It is pretty brazen to open fire when there is a cop parked in what I assume was a marked car at the funeral and it is also pretty sad that the police (rightly) assumed there was a significant chance of violence at a funeral but according to the story, this is quite common in Chicago. The news story also reported that several people attending the funeral returned fire and given how terrible our diverse urban Americans are at marksmanship, we are lucky that people in neighboring homes weren't hit.

That is just part and parcel of living in an American city as the barbarians living in our midst slip their leashes. You can't even bury a dead man without people trying to kill mourners.

Never fear, Chicago Mayor Beetlejuice aka Lori Lightfoot, knows what the problem is.

Well. Just as an experiment I stopped after uploading that screenshot and picked up a gun. I don't think anyone in Chicago or anywhere else suffered as a result. Since I picked up a handgun, I thought that just to be certain I should also pick up a rifle. So I did and still no one suffered in Chicago. I am beginning to suspect that people picking up guns isn't the real issue and that maybe the population in Chicago that tends to be the shooters and victims of shooting is where she should be concentrating.

Good thing Mayor Beetlejuice is worried about the right problems when her city has 15+ people shot at a funeral with a cop car parked out front, on a Tuesday when at least 23 people were shot across Chicago.

Apparently she has no qualms about the residents of Chicago terrorizing the other residents of Chicago but she simply won't allow "Donald Trump's troops", aka sworn Federal law enforcement officers, to arrest people breaking the law. You can feel the law and order returning to the Windy City!

This meme dedicated to John Wilder

Holding Back The Tide

We don't give a lot of thought to civilization in America. It is something we mostly just take for granted as simply an integral part of our lives. As a nation we are a long way from frontier outposts and forts built to keep the Indians at bay. We have roadways that take us pretty much anywhere in the country, our accepted method of exchange in the form of money and credit cards is universal anywhere we go in the country and most of the world. If something goes wrong, we can call 911 and generally get a relatively rapid response. In spite of the endless news reports of rioting and violent crime, those incidents happen almost exclusively in a few urban zip codes and are restricted to a small slice of the American demographic. We can go to church mostly unimpeded, at least until recently. Our biggest food worry is having too much of it. For 150 years since the end of the Civil War we have had an unbroken string of peaceful elections and transfers of power.

Our experience in America is a historical anomaly. Even Europe, the cradle of Western civilization, has barely managed to go for any length of time without a major war or some sort of upheaval. From the Protestant Reformation in 1517 to the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, Europe was roiled with one conflict after another. Russia is still recovering from nearly a century long Dark Age under Communism. Asia has similarly had major conflicts throughout history. China and North Korea still stubbornly cling to Communism. Japan has been mostly peaceful for 75 years but they had to be nuked into submission first. India and Pakistan still hate each other and border conflicts spring up all the time, the only thing keeping them from outright war is ironically the presence of nukes in both countries. South America has experienced upheaval after upheaval, revolutions and coups one after the other. Some nations like Uruguay are fairly stable now but Venezuela is a mess and Central America is a violent hellhole. Africa? Please. What civilization that existed was in the north and is now subsumed by Islam. Sub-Saharan Africa has only ever had the vestiges of civilization when controlled by a European power. Australia has been mostly immune to the worst of the cycles of history thanks to being a former penal colony geographically separated from the rest of the world but there are only 25 million people in Australia, a nation of almost 3 million square miles.

America alone stands as the most stable significant nation on earth. Our currency is the world's currency of choice. English is taught in most civilized non-English speaking nations so they can do business with us. Our military might keeps the sea lanes mostly clear and acts as a check against despots invading their neighbors.

Today that lofty perch is threatened as the cultural rot and demographic displacement started decades ago is finally coming to a head. Many people now are starting to give serious consideration to the very concept of civilization, perhaps for the first time in their lives, and not liking what they see.

There are generally two schools of thought that have dominated Western understanding of history and civilization.

One, especially in the latter 19th and early 20th century, saw mankind's future as a steady progression of improvement toward an eventual utopian society, one without want or hatred or war. You can see this vision in the original Star Trek series which offered a vision of humanity reaching for the stars after reaching a point of harmony in human relations. This vision, bolstered by the optimistic Christian post-millennial theology dominant in mainline Protestant denominations, took a pretty significant hit after the two world wars but following the fall of the Berlin Wall it achieved a short renaissance. Writers like Francis Fukuyama suggested we were at the "end of history" in his wildly popular 1992 book The End of History and the Last Man. He argued that liberal democracy had won and we were in a new era when squabbles over things like communism and fascism were at an end. Full disclosure, I didn't read his book although you would think that it would have been required reading for a political science major in school at the time it came out. Obviously that vision didn't last and if anything liberal democracy is on the ropes and statist authoritarianism is ascendant.

The other popular school of thought is the cyclical view. This is popularized recently in a meme of all things, using The Course Of Empire paintings by Thomas Cole as inspiration creating something like this:

Hard times force the rise of hard, strong men who overcome adversity. The stability provided by strong men creates stable societies and good time but invariably those good times and stability lead to men becoming weaker. Weak men cannot sustain stable societies and so hard times return and the cycle starts over. This is very popular for obvious parallels many of us see in our own society as the once great American empire is on the verge of collapse. Many people believe we are about to slip into here....

While I have some affinity for the second model, and none for the first, I don't see it quite capturing the state of civilization and the nature of mankind.

Civilization is not an endless path of progress, a linear advancement in human achievement where each day brings us further from chaos and closer to a utopia where all of our problems are solved and mankind will live forever in harmony with one another and nature itself. Nor is it an endless series of boom and bust cycles.

Rather, civilization is the endless task of manning the bulwarks and holding back the savagery and barbarism that is humankind's natural state. There is never a moment when society can rest, either it is actively pushing back against barbarism or barbarism is encroaching on society.

The average American and European man today is domesticated and passive. We don't have to be hardened because we live such easy and effortless lives. Sure there are men in great shape and that are "strong" in the sense of being able to lift weights but they are mostly soft where it counts: in their hearts. Because of this we tend to forget our history. Our ancestors figured out how to explore the globe and then, as humans have done since there were humans, we conquered wherever we found something worth conquering. From the Roman legions to the armored knights to the British Navy to the Wehrmacht to the modern American military, no one has made war better than we have. At one time, the British Empire spanned the globe and bragged that the sun never set on her empire. In America we decimated and then pacified the various Indian tribes as we crossed the thousands of miles from the east coast to the west. Because of this it is easy to forget human nature and that we are descended from the best warriors the world has ever known. Having forgotten who we are, we are now seeing all around us the wilderness and barbarism creeping back in. It never went away, it has just been waiting for an opportunity to find cracks and weak points to exploit.

We have always had the lawless among us, people who refused to play by the rules. Our popular culture is replete with stories of cowboys with black hats, the mafia and bootleggers, the Tony Montana drug kingpins and the street gangs. Mass murderers and serial killers, the exploiters of women and children and even horrors like cannibals. Yet we have also had the men who hunted down these monsters living among us, men like Elliot Ness and hundreds of thousands of lawmen with names we don't know. For almost 250 years, the good guys have mostly kept the bad guys in check and the vast majority of us were free to live our lives without fear.

Imagine what life would be like if all governing and restraining authority suddenly disappeared. You don't have to imagine very hard, you can see it on display in recent events in many cities, from rioting and looting to a self-declared autonomous zone in Seattle. As bad as it was on TV and the internet, it was pretty much concentrated in a handful of urban locations. Where I live, people mowed their lawns and went to work just like nothing was happening. We behaved not because of a heavy police presence but because that is what the social contract dictates. In many places, that social contract has been shattered but in most of the country we operate as if it has not.

It is not just the antifa and bLM goons and thugs. The reason anyone associated with Jeffrey Epstein is terrified is that his case gives the average American a glimpse behind the curtain to the world of the super-rich who can do whatever they want. When a man is so rich that he has a private island with a weird temple stocked with underage sex slaves and he pals around with the most powerful people in the world, it starts to seem like our "leaders" are mostly a bunch of sociopaths and pedophiles who have sex with kids because they can get away with it.

Now imagine that this general state of lawlessness went on for weeks and then months and instead of being localized, it is spread around the country. While libertarians and anarchists think this would be swell, in the real world it would be anything but.

How many registered sex offenders live within 25 miles of your home? If you haven't checked, the answer is almost certainly "a lot". You might think that way out in the country where I live that we would be free of degenerates who end up on those registries but you would be wrong. These guys mostly behave themselves because they don't want to go back to prison but without the threat of jail, they would go right back to doing what got them on the list in the first place.

The only thing stopping tens of millions of people from acting on their basest impulses is the threat of prison and the threat of getting shot. With four hundred million guns in America, if you break into an occupied home your odds of getting shot are pretty decent. Even if you don't get shot, you could easily go to jail and not many people are enthusiastic about that idea.

My general opinion of humanity is not very optimistic, which is certainly why back in my "arguing about theology on the internet" days I found Calvinism so appealing. Calvin and his descendants taught that man is "totally depraved". That seems to be fairly accurate.

You might be saying "Not me!". That might be true and it almost certainly is true of many people in a stable, functioning society under normal circumstances. What if the wheels come off? There is nothing I can imagine that I wouldn't do to protect my family. If you can't feed your kids now, there are food banks and food stamps, lots of resources that ensure that no one is going hungry unless there is something else going on. Without the safety net, what would you do if your kids were starving? Would you steal food? Would you kill someone else to get their food? Try to picture your kids a day away from dying of starvation and think about what would be off-limits.

That assumes that most people who read this post are generally decent people who follow the rules, pay their taxes however begrudgingly and obey the laws. There are tens of millions of people who already don't and see no reason why they should other than the fear of getting into serious trouble. When the deterrents that exist no longer exist, nothing will hold them back. That might seem pessimistic but that is what a lifetime of observing humanity has taught me.

The purpose of civilization is primarily to restrain the worst impulses of humanity. As civilization deteriorates, those restraints are loosened. In places without a functioning civilization around the world, we see what that looks like. During World War II the Imperial Japanese in Nanking and the advancing Soviet forces in Germany had few restraints and the stories of mass rape, slaughter and torture of civilians is stomach churning. Genocide, ethnic cleansing, religious persecution, sexual violence, child soldiers. That is what civilization attempts, however imperfectly, to prevent.

Simply passively maintaining civilization is insufficient for the task. One other important facet of civilization is that the number of people defending and maintaining civilization has always been a fraction of the number of savages and barbarians just outside of the gates. Every moment of inattention or lapse means inroads are made by those outside of civilization. When you are outnumbered, your resolve must never waver or you will be overrun.

All around us I can see cracks in the walls keeping the barbarians at bay. We have had unrest before but this is different. This is personal, vindictive, getting right at the core of the foundations of our society. We have Federally elected political figures calling for the complete dismantling of American society, most of them beneficiaries of that same society. We have the New York Times poised to publish the private home address of Tucker Carlson, clearly intended as a threat to his family, and that seems OK. Ruffians and hooligans are rampaging through the streets with little interference. The people who put their lives on the line to try to keep our streets safe are vilified and those who have spent their miserable existence braking the law and bringing misery on others are lionized. Our forefathers who created this great nation are scolded posthumously and in absentia by small people with small minds who collectively have never accomplished a single act of note.

No, this is different and the difference is that there simply are too few of us remaining who are laboring to hold back the tide. The destroyers outnumber the builders inside of the walls of our civilization and the barbarians are eagerly anticipating the gaps growing large enough to slip inside.

Will civilization survive? Not in a form we would recognize, not for a long time. I have faith that civilization will be reborn from the ashes, rising like the phoenix to once more push back against the tides of barbarism. This faith is born of our history as conquerors and explorers, builders and thinkers. We are still those people in spite of their efforts to stamp it out of us.

In time we will rise again and when we do, we must begin the endless fight to preserve civilization and hold back the barbarism and savagery that is man's natural state.

Monday, July 20, 2020

Meanwhile In Chicago

Another lovely weekend in ChiTown:

70 shot in a single weekend, or basically one person shot every hour for three days straight. Maybe Mayor Bettlejuice should try managing her city instead of squawking behind the microphone.

Say, has anyone ever seen Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Beetlejuice in the same room.....

Preparing For Pandemic Part Deux: Revenge Of The Rona

If anything is certain in July of 2020, the most unsettled and uncertain time period of my life, it is that we haven't seen the end of the Chinese coronavirus pandemic.

In mid July it is hot and sunny, and although a lot of retailers are suddenly mandating masks for all shoppers nationwide, the coronavirus is now more of an annoyance to most people than an existential threat. Millions are soaking up the enhanced unemployment checks with no interest in going back to work. Things are pretty calm, the riots have died down as people realized they didn't even know what they were rioting about. People are going to the beach and the fair, at least when our diverse "teens" aren't shooting at each other.

That isn't going to last.

As the weather gets cooler, it seems likely that the coronavirus will pick up steam again and we are no closer to a "vaccine" than we were in January from what I can tell. Kids are about to go back to school and that is going to get the whole thing going again. Not to mention the media's endless obsession with a daily tally of "new cases" and "new deaths", statistics I trust as much as lukewarm meat on a stick at a Chinese buffet. The media has a vested interest in amping up the pandemic talk and blaming Trump for his response/lack of response/not wearing a mask/wearing a mask, whatever. We are not near the end of the pandemic, we are just in the early stages.

There is also an outside chance of the coronavirus significantly mutating or something completely new escaping from a Chinese bioweapons lab appearing completely by chance in the wild. Then all bets are off.

The other issue is that despite the Democrats trying to deflect your attention from having a demented old man as their nominee, we are soon going to have a Presidential election. Either Trump wins, against all the odds, and the Left will riot, or Trump loses, and the Left will riot. There really isn't a scenario where the Left isn't going to riot, whether in anger or joy. Most of them aren't really smart enough to make a distinction.

Either way, we are headed for more civil unrest and panic buying. And again, the people bitching about "preppers" and "hoarders" won't have learned a damn thing and will be unprepared for when the same thing happens again, only this time the supply chain is already under enormous pressure and hasn't really recovered from the first wave of coronavirus. If you thought it was bad last time, wait until it rolls through again. People won't ease into panic buying, it will start immediately.

So we get back to a theme that I write about a lot: time. Right now, you have some time and by "some" I mean "maybe a few months". Most stores are slowly getting back into decent shape as far as being in stock on most stuff. I was at a local warehouse store last week (Sam's) and for the first time since the pandemic started they seemed to be pretty well stocked on just about everything. Paper products were still out of stock as was name brand bottled water. The fresh meat section was kind of picked over but it was right after the end of the workday so that is to be expected. Otherwise the store mostly looked like it did before the pandemic, at least as far as stock levels.

What that means for you is that this is the time to start getting ready for the upcoming resurgence of coronavirus and/or civil unrest surrounding the election. Like right freaking now. If you haven't been shoring up your supplies on ammo, it is getting pretty late in the game. At this point you should be selectively adding when a decent deal shows up, not starting a stockpile from scratch. This morning I was checking prices on ammoseek and the "cheapest" 5.56 ammo on the search engine was $.50/round. Granted I checked very early on a Monday morning, after the weekend when supplies online get ransacked but prices just keep going up. It was just last November when I unironically wrote this: "You can get super cheap 9mm or .223 or 7.62x39 all day long" and I had no idea how things would deteriorate in 2020. None of us did. Having said that, the best time to start stocking up on ammo was last winter, the second best time is right now.

The same is true for your baseline firearm array. You should already have a rifle, preferably something like an AR-15, a handgun capable of high capacity (more than 10) and some sort of shotgun. If you don't, it might be too late. Most "tactical", combat style shotguns are all sold out. You can still get a basic pump shotgun with a 28" barrel, not ideal but better than nothing. Plenty of hunting rifles are out there, even if ARs are not. Handguns can be had but availability is sketchy on the most popular models like anything Glock, Taurus G2/G3, etc.

Those are things I say all the time but something else you should be looking at are "common" household items and food, the sort of stuff that ran out the last time.

Food is the obvious one. Last week was the first time that the Sam's six pack of canned chicken was not limited to one per member (and at $.12/ounce it is one of the most affordable and edible options around). Rice was in stock as well as other canned goods. These were items that were sold out during the early rush in the spring. Think back to when the pandemic was really bad and what sort of stuff you wanted/needed to buy but couldn't. You should be buying extra of those items now. Not enough for current use but enough so that if you can't get it for several months, you will be OK. While in normal times calories are our enemy and too many calories results in obesity, in a SHTF calories are king. Most of human existence has revolved around getting sufficient calories to keep you alive. We could be headed that way again. Don't buy junk food necessarily but high calorie, nutrient dense foods are important (canned fish is a personal favorite). You need enough calories to keep you alive and functioning. All that ammo you stockpiled won't mean a hill of beans if you are too weak to hold up a gun and aim it properly.

Toilet paper is still mostly sold out at places like Sam's but you can get it elsewhere and probably should make sure you are well stocked, along with paper towels and kleenex. Diapers if your kids are in that stage, feminine hygiene as needed, dental care. The stuff you need daily but rarely worry about, you should be worrying about right now.

One thing that was hit hard during the early pandemic was basic household medicines. Aspirin, Tylenol, cold/flu meds. You just couldn't get them except from price gougers online. I just stocked up on some last week thanks to a pretty solid sale at Sam's, but they were out of cold meds so I need to find some of those and get some stashed away.

I don't know everything you might need in your situation but I do know this. We are in a small window here, the eye of the hurricane if you will, between the first wave of the pandemic and the rioting in urban areas on one side and the upcoming election and the second wave of the pandemic on the other. This is the sweet spot but it won't last for long. Don't dawdle.

Saturday, July 18, 2020

More Media Misconduct

The sheer dishonesty and calumny of this story from the Washington (Com)Post would be stunning if it were not so incredibly common.

As someone who spends far too much time following news stories about gun violence and especially mass shootings, I can call bullshit immediately.

The spike in gun sales is well known and documented. It is documented based on statistics from the background checks performed by licensed firearms dealers prior to completing a sale or transfer. The people purchasing firearms in this manner must pass the "instant" background check meaning they do not have on record a felony conviction or a conviction for a misdemeanor domestic violence crime. In short, these are law abiding people or at the very least people who have never been caught and convicted of a crime.

Now the people who are responsible for the rash of shootings we are seeing in urban areas across the country, especially in locales where gun ownership is virtually banned? Well those folks are generally not buying their firearms at FFL licensed dealers, they are buying illegal firearms out of car trunks. Often the people arrested for shootings already have a prior conviction for a number of crimes and especially for illegally possessing firearms. Somehow they keep getting firearms. Weird.

The author of this piece, one Christopher Ingraham, claims to be some sort of data guru but here he has clearly been handed a conclusion (legal gun sales are leading to spiking gun violence) and then forces the "data" to support his conclusion. He bases his story on two "studies", one from the Brookings Insitute and one from UC-Davis. Here is his take on the Brookings study:

The Brookings study, after examining federal background check data, estimated an additional 3 million firearms were sold from March through June, compared with the same period in previous years. That’s roughly equivalent to the spike in gun purchases observed following the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting and more than 50 percent higher than would have been expected for June sales.

Nearly half of those 3 million additional sales happened in June, after several days of protests sparked by Floyd’s killing in police custody. Researchers Phillip Levine and Robin McKnight of Wellesley College wrote that the spike differed from previous gun-buying binges because it was not driven by fear of pending restrictions but rather by anxiety and unease over the ongoing crises.

Not much controversial there. Gun sales are wayyyyyy up this year, I have documented this with glee on a number of occasions. That in and of itself is interesting but does nothing to support his implied claim that there is a connection between a surge in gun buying and gun violence. Guns don't just shoot people, for a gun to be involved in gun violence, someone has to use that gun. That sort of information isn't enough to whip the people who read the WaPo into a frenzy so he added this risible claim:

The 2020 gun surge is different in at least one other respect: Purchases have been higher in states with greater levels of racial animus. Levine and McKnight approximated state-level racism using data on Google searches for the n-word, an approach used by social scientists in the past.

“We find that states where individuals are more likely to search for racial epithets experienced larger increases in June firearm sales,” they wrote, “even after adjusting for the personal security concerns that likely generated the March spikes in gun sales.” This is a new development: Running the same analysis on previous spikes in gun-buying yielded no correlation between racial animus and purchasing behavior.

They conclude their analysis on an ominous note: “In a society fraught with racial tension, it is not clear that dismantling the police and seeing more private citizens purchase guns will lead to a safer world.”

Huh? By most accounts I would be considered a "racist" in our contemporary society, not just because I am White and therefore deemed inherently "racist" but because I also refuse to color within the lines when it comes to conversations about race. From my recollection I have never Googled words like nigger and I can't think of a reason I would.

What is missing from this stunning and brave analysis is any connection between "racism" and gun violence. The stereotypical racist rednecks are not the people shooting blacks in American cities. Other blacks are responsible. What is the point of this claim? The rise in gun violence in America is overwhelmingly tied to increased intra-racial shootings among blacks and mestizos. Even if someone bought a gun after Googling "Best guns for protecting me from niggers", that has nothing to do with blacks shooting each other. Just for fun, I did Google that phrase and it was decidedly unhelpful in encouraging me to purchase a firearm. đŸ˜¢ Indiana just moved up the ranks of "racist" states thanks to me.

However, what it does accomplish is two-fold:

First, it reinforces the general belief among the kind of people who read the Washington Post that White people in America are out hunting down colored folk and shooting them at random. The hatred for White working and middle class Americans in the interior of America coming from the audience of WaPo far outweighs the racial animus of Nick Cannon and Louis Farrakhan.

Second, it serves to deflect attention from what most of us know, that blacks were already responsible for most of the gun violence in America and that in 2020 that trend is accelerating. The media is already actively seeking to disguise this trend by tactics like ceasing the publication of mugshots in new stories because those mugshots so often include a glowering black man. If there is a single issue that can get Trump's base and even normal White voters who find Trump distasteful to show up and vote for him, it is the threat of urban violent crime. Obviously that can't be allowed to happen so the media tries to create an alternate explanation for gun crimes, specifically White people legally purchasing firearms.

In the next section, it really goes off the rails when he addresses the second study from UC-Davis:

That question is directly addressed in the second paper, by a team from the University of California Firearm Violence Research Center. Led by Julia Schleimer, the team similarly found a massive increase in gun-buying during the first half of the year. They then focused on the question of whether, at the state level, those purchases are linked to an increase in gun violence.

To do that, they turned to data compiled by the Gun Violence Archive, an organization that maintains a real-time database of shootings by scouring news reports, police reports and public records. The analysis attempts to correct for a number of other factors that would plausibly affect rates of gun violence, such as covid-19 cases and deaths, the presence of stay-at-home orders, social distancing adherence, demographic factors and even temperature and precipitation.

In the end, they estimated, firearm violence nationally jumped nearly 8 percent from March through May because of excess gun-buying; that’s “776 additional injuries associated with purchasing spikes.” That may be an undercount: The Brookings study indicated gun sales jumped even higher in June, with potentially even greater effects on rates of gun violence.

Notice the neat little trick. They look at national trends on gun purchasing and raw numbers of gun violence from the Gun Violence Archive, a website I have open on my browser every day as they track mass shootings. What they don't do is make a connection between the two. Ingraham even admits this in this line nestled deep in the story:

The authors caution that a study of this nature cannot prove causality, particularly at a time of massive social upheaval in a country dealing with an unprecedented public health crisis as well as a nationwide protest movement.

The authors even admit that the study does not prove causality but the story clearly is aimed at creating the illusion of causality for the reader. That paragraph undermines everything else he wrote, which is why it is dropped deep into the story.

The increase in legal gun sales has no direct or even plausible indirect relationship to the increase in gun violence. They are two different data points that share one aspect, firearms. It would be like saying that an increase in new car sales was fueling an increase in illegal street racing, even though brand new cars are rarely used in illegal street racing.

The surging gun violence numbers are blamed on economic uncertainty, on the coronavirus lockdowns and racial unrest but that isn't the real reason. The real reason is what I and others call the Freddy Grey effect: as police back off enforcement activities in response to claims of police brutality, the black community responds with increased lawlessness. Absent the near constant police presence to discourage violent crime, black and mestizo criminals are emboldened to commit more violent crime with reduced concern for consequences and typically the victims of these crimes are other blacks and mestizos.

The people who have been buying firearms in record numbers through legal means are getting their gun, maybe taking a class or hitting the range, buying up all the ammo in sight and then putting their new AR or Glock away, desperately hoping that they never have to use it to shoot someone. They are not buying these guns to commit violent crime, they are buying them to protect themselves from violent crime. That is the opposite of what Christopher Ingraham is trying to convince his readers is happening.

His narrative: increased purchases of firearms is resulting in increased gun violence.

The reality: increased gun violence is leading to increased purchased of firearms.

In other words, there is a connection but it is exactly the opposite of what Ingraham is claiming. The people I have met who are buying firearms, many of them buying their first gun that is not a hunting rifle or shotgun, are doing so because of concern that the increased instability and violence in our cities is going to get worse and spill over into suburban and rural America. My sample size for people who fall into that category is pretty significant and relevant and I am sure it is more compelling than some journalist in D.C. who bases his conclusions on partisan gun-control studies. Ingraham completes his hit piece on American gun owners with this:

The research suggests that at least some of the spike in gun purchases is driven by racist beliefs and attitudes among white Americans.

And while many new gun buyers are motivated by wanting to secure their safety, the research also suggests that every gun purchased is a step toward a more violent society.

Again, nothing he wrote in his final two sentences is any more honest than the rest of this hack job. He writes:

- White people buying guns are racist and are buying guns because they are racist.

- Buying legal firearms makes our society more violent.

When in fact....

- There is no evidence other than the ludicrous measurement based on "Google searches including the word nigger" that people in a particular state are more "racist"

- The people buying firearms legally are rarely involved in gun violence and the people who are committing the gun violence are obtaining their firearms through illegal means.

Having said that, a decent journalist could have done some investigation and looked into the number of firearms stolen from legal gun owners that are later used in crimes and considered whether having a ton of new gun owners who might not be equipped to store their new firearm securely, for example by having a gun safe, are leading to an increase in the number of firearms available to criminals via theft. After all, most people buying their first handgun are probably not buying a 1000 pound gun safe to store it securely. Ingraham is unfortunately not a decent journalist and that sort of research does little to advance his ethno-masochistic claims that racist White people are stocking up on guns so we can shoot the colored folks. He is far from an unbiased source. Based on his Twitter account, Christopher Ingraham is a garden variety "Orange Man Bad" leftist ideologue which is pretty much the cost of doing business in American journalism.

Ingraham doesn't know anything about firearms and doesn't appear to know anything about gun crime in America. What qualifies him to write on those subjects for the paper of record in the Imperial Capitol is that he can be relied upon to pump out trash like this piece, regurgitating leftist talking points while avoiding the real hard work of investigative reporting.

If he had taken the time to understand the world of firearms and gun violence in America, he would have discovered that there are two different gun worlds in America

In one gun world, the world where I live, traditional Americans have a long history of responsible gun ownership. We got our first BB gun as a kid before graduating to a .22 rifle, then an inexpensive pump shotgun and for many of us this paved the way for a lifetime of owning guns. We target shoot for the fun of it and we hunt for the joy of it. Just as important, we were taught early on to respect guns, to treat every gun as loaded, to always know what was beyond our target and to never, ever point a gun at someone unless you intended to shoot. I won't point a gun that I know is empty, with the slide locked back and the magazine out, at another person. They aren't toys and I know this because of a lifetime of being around them and being taught to respect firearms. Most people in this world live in rural and suburban America and most of us are White, although there are lots and lots of responsible gun owners, target shooters, hunters and regular people concerned about protecting their families who are black, mestizo, Asian or Indian.

The other world of guns in America is mostly found in urban areas. These are people who didn't grow up being taught to respect guns, they were taught that waving a gun around gets you respected. It is a world where using a gun to settle minor disputes is commonplace and killing other people is glorified in music. It is a decidedly non-White world and is home to most of the gun violence in America, concentrated in a few urban zip codes where the bulk of gun violence and especially murder takes place. It is this world where efforts to stem gun violence need to take place, not in lawful gun commerce carried out in local gun stores across America. It is also the one place that journalists refuse to point the finger because their concern is really not about reducing gun violence, it is primarily an issue of disarming Americans who might object to seeing their country turned into a Bolshevik-run hellscape.

You can't believe and you ought not believe anything you are being told. Everything being pushed by the media is sent with an agenda and the agenda, if you are a heritage American, is your destruction. Solving the problem of gun violence by focusing on legal firearm sales is like trying to reduce automobile accidents by focusing on the cup holders in cars.