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Not my circus …

… not my monkeys.

96 Responses to “Not my circus …”

  1. Archer says:

    My first thought when I saw the feds getting involved was, “They were staying out of it, but then you attacked the federal building, so…. What did you expect?”

    I saw the video of the “kidnapping off the street” and thought, “That’s an arrest done right. Quickly, peacefully, professionally, and away from other rioters who would make it difficult or impossible.” I have no doubts the suspect had his/her charges and Miranda rights clearly read in the quiet of the minivan, on camera. The video shows the arrest, but conveniently not the alleged crime. However, the suspects are being allowed counsel and appearing in court the next day. Ergo, it’s a lawful arrest, not a kidnapping.

    (And as someone on social media pointed out [paraphrasing], “If one little ‘disappearing’ by ‘secret police’ bothers you, maybe socialism isn’t your jam after all.”)

    I saw the mayor of Portland tell the feds to stay in their building or leave Portland and claim that it was all fine until the feds “came into town”, and thought, “Dude, how long has that federal building been there, again? It didn’t suddenly appear last week. Federal agents have been in Portland almost as long as there’s been a Portland!” (To be clear, there’s more than one federal building in Portland; it’s the “federal courthouse” that’s in question at the moment.)

    I saw the mayor and city council gripe about how the feds are using tear-gas and flash grenades to break up the riots, and how they shouldn’t be allowed to use those munitions because they banned city cops from using them, and I thought, “Well, your rules cover city cops, but these are federal agents, and they’ll play by federal rules.”

    (With an aside that the city cops’ new rules still allow the use of tear-gas and flash grenades to disperse riots — just not peaceful protests — and riots happen nightly these days, but city cops know they’ll be in trouble for using them even if they follow the new rules.)

    I’m seeing all this, and I’m starting to agree with a few online voices who say it’s time to surrender Portland. Let Antifa/BLM/socialists have it. The local police should walk off, neighboring departments should refuse calls, and the feds should take their stuff and leave.

    “A strange game. The only winning move is not to play.” — JOSHUA, WarGames

    The mayor and city council made this mess; they can clean it up themselves.

    The only problem with that plan is all the honest, hard-working people and business owners in Portland, caught between a rock and a hard place.

    • JeffO says:

      I would posit that if all law enforcement left, there would be enough people with a stake in the game, and the financial wherewithal, to band together and quickly do away with the minority trouble makers, something the police can’t do. I’m envisioning Michael Douglas in Falling down meets Mad Max.

  2. Ian Argent says:

    Since Slate Star Codex is back, I can link to one of my favorite explanations of why controversial stuff gets press and uncontroversial stuff doesn’t

    https://slatestarcodex.com/2014/12/17/the-toxoplasma-of-rage/

  3. Andy B. says:

    “No, Gun Owners Aren’t Coming To Save You”

    Why, you could knock me over with a feather. . .

    Why does Tom Knighton believe that only the people he regards as oppressed stereotypes are “gun owners” in this country? Why does he believe all of “gun owners” are on the side of anti-constitutional federal paramilitaries? Why does he believe that the people he implicitly disparages will need “saved”?
    ——–
    It has occurred to me the pretense of “protecting federal facilities” (including statues and monuments) is probably the only possible legal application of Trump’s paramilitaries. There is no other constitutionally legal thing for which they can place someone under arrest, unless the person is violating some other federal law. Otherwise federal troops can no more be employed to enforce laws against other things (like vandalism committed against non-federal property) than Sheriff Mack could be forced to carry out and administer federal gun control laws. It is among reasons “violations of civil rights” were written into federal law. So, when Trump’s Little Green Men arrest or detain someone walking on the street after dark, what are they charged with, and what is the reasonable cause for the arrest?
    ———
    Christopher David is a 53-year-old graduate of the Naval Academy and a veteran of a career in the Navy. He approached Trump’s Little Green Men to ask them if they remembered their oath to the constitution.

    They beat the crap out of him and pepper-sprayed him straight in the face, while he stood there like an oak and took it. His arm was broken and his ring finger needs reconstructive surgery.

    Was he one of those stereotypes who didn’t deserve “saving” by “gun owners”?

    Forgive me if you’ve already seen this video of the Little Green He-Roes. It’s only 12 seconds, but I’ve learned that not all cable news outlets have broadcast it.

    • Ian Argent says:

      Molotov cocktails are apparently considered Destructive Devices (shocked face, this is not mine).

      • Andy B. says:

        “Molotov cocktails are apparently considered Destructive Devices”

        Fair point! How many people waylaid off the street and whisked away have been in possession of Molotov cocktails or were seen throwing them? Or is being on the same street with other people who may or may not have or used Moltov cocktails, probably cause?

        You raise an interesting line of thought though; all of the backdoor paths to a disarmed population that have been laid.

    • Publius says:

      It’s just like welfare: “other people” “have to” rush in to save them, because they “need it.” Heaven forbid that they have to do something for themselves! Let them stew for a while.

      Besides, why would they want a bunch of backwards, small-dicked racist redneck losers helping them out anyway?

    • Matt says:

      I don’t normally comment on this forum but given my personal background of having lived in a real totalitarian country for most of my formative years. I can say that the federal response to the provocations of the leftist mob is remarkably restrained. That example you cited showed someone who is actively refusing an order to disperse in a protest declared unlawful. And that the person you are idolizing was a naval academy graduate and who served in the navy is irrelevant. Lee Harvey Oswald was a former marine. Does that make your point too? Let’s not kid ourselves here. The cause you are wanting to champion are full of leftist agitators who believe in the acquisition of power by any means necessary, but they won’t be sharing that power with those (us) who oppose their views and they won’t allow any of us to live free if they follow true to their form. Chose your hills very carefully if you intend to die on them. Because you don’t get a do over. Hey! I bet you like Spenser Rapone too.

      Ironic isn’t it? We paid for a communist to have the best military training you could ask for. He’ll be the best trainer the Communist Party USA could ever hope to get.

      • Andy B. says:

        “We paid for a communist to have the best military training you could ask for.”

        I forgot. Everyone who doesn’t support fascism, is a communist by definition.

        “That example you cited showed someone who is actively refusing an order to disperse in a protest declared unlawful.”

        My cousins live in the Soviet Union for all of their formative years, and one was even a Soviet Army officer. Yet they stood in a square with thousands of others and defied a lawful order to disperse while pressing their bare hands against Soviet tanks. They said the Soviet Union had no authority where they were standing, and said it on far less a basis of law than the American protesters. A number of people in the crowd were killed by Soviet gunfire, but the crowd stood its ground.

        I’m proud to have their shared DNA, FWIW, and pray to have one percent of their balls, if called upon.

        BTW, I have no idea who Spenser Rapone is, but if I look it up, I’m sure I’ll find it interesting that you do.

        • Andy B. says:

          “I have no idea who Spenser Rapone is”

          I had to look him up, and once I did I vaguely remembered the incident. Which as I suggested, made me interested in why you were so into him?

          But I do have to say that comparing Christopher David — who spent a full and presumably honorable career in the Navy — otherwise guys like you would be telling us all his shortcomings by now — to Spenser Rapone is more than a stretch, crossing the line to despicable.

          About the Spenser Rapone incident, it reminded me of an Old Story: When I was in the Army during the Vietnam Era, there were numerous, probably apocrephyl stories about things guys had done to get out of the Army. Among them was, that someone had been discharged for giving lectures on communism in the latrine. (I’m not sure why the latrine detail was in there, but I remember it was.) My theory is that after getting a bellyful of the Army, but with a long commitment ahead of him, he decided professing communism in an ostentatious way was the fastest route to an Easy-Out.

          I didn’t spend much time on it, but while searching for who he was, I didn’t see that he’d made much of a career out of his communism.
          ———
          About apocrephyl discharge stories: I saw guys who had enlisted sit on their bunks and cry when they were told they were going to Vietnam. What they expected to do in the Army when they joined, I don’t know. I tell that only for a historical perspective on how desperate some people were to get out of the Army at the time.

          • 399 says:

            “I didn’t see that he’d made much of a career out of his communism.”

            He appears to be a graduate student at the New School right now. He may be on his way.

        • Andy B. says:

          OK I’ll call bullshit on myself if you care to consider it that.

          Christopher James David was commissioned on May 25, 1988, and served on active duty as a civil engineer corps officer until Jan. 31, 1996, according to his official Navy biography. He left the Reserves on June 30, 2000.

          His awards include the Navy Achievement Medal, Navy Unit Commendation, Meritorious Unit Commendation, National Defense Service Medal, Overseas Service Ribbon, Rifle (Marksman), and Pistol (Expert).

          So according to military.com, he did not spend a full career in the Navy, but only 12 years — 16 if you count his years at the Naval Academy.

          Still no reason to suspect his service of being less than honorable, so I’ll stand by my statement that comparing him to someone who got an undesirable discharge is fucking despicable. Seems to me he held up his end of all bargains.

          I just need to say that medals don’t necessarily impress me much. The orders for my Good Conduct Medal came the week after I got out of the Army. Mail from the Army after I just got out scared the blue shit out of me.

          I never collected the medal itself. I guess I’d earned it by never getting an Article 15. But I had deserved a couple of Article 15s, so collecting the medal would have been “Stolen Valor” and didn’t motivate me.

          I still have my “Expert” weapons badges buried somewhere. Those I earned.

          • Joe_in_Pitt says:

            16 years is nothing to shake a stick at, though I always question why anyone would spend more than 10 years in and NOT retire. Not sure if there are similar rules for officers, but back when I was in (early and mid 2000s), there were minimum paygrade requirements to continue staying in (for example, someone who did not make E-7/Chief was forced to retire at 20 years).

            Those awards are pretty standard for a decent stint in the Navy. Yes, the Navy Good Conduct Medal is awarded every 3 years without a NJP (Captain’s Mast), I have a GCM but met my fair share of folks who managed to get masted once or twice. You usually have to mess up pretty bad to skip a DRB, XOI, and go right to Mast, but it does happen.

            I’m guessing even though that write-up says his awards “include…”, that’s a pretty all-inclusive list, because I see no reason why you would mention a Navy Achievement Medal (NAM) if there are awards that are above it. I never got a NAM but I was a pretty average sailor myself. Him not having a Sea Service Deployment Ribbon after 12 years in the “fleet” is a bit of a head-scratcher though. I did meet an E-6 on my ship where it was her first ship, but it’s pretty rare.

            • Andy B. says:

              “Him not having a Sea Service Deployment Ribbon after 12 years in the “fleet” is a bit of a head-scratcher though.”

              I don’t really know how practices have evolved in any of the services over time, but anecdotally, a friend who served in the Air Force back in the early ’70s tells a story about a guy he knew who had been on the same AFB for over a decade. But, it’s a story because it was so unusual. My theme is just, what is in the realm of the possible.

              One of the guys who was around the edges of my crowd back in the ’60s was put out of Vietnam by the Army after re-upping for it three times. It was where the drugs were.

              • Joe_in_Pitt says:

                I spent half of my enlistment on an Air Force base in Japan (go figure), and one thing I learned is that accompanied tours for the Air Force can be LONG. I worked with someone who had been stationed there for over a decade already, and she was still there by the time I left.

                Granted, this is for accompanied tours (with spouse/dependents), and it’s still not the norm but it does happen. For us Navy folks, we were lucky to spend more than 2 years in any one place. In some situations you can apply for an overseas extension for an additional year, but by the time I was leaving, they weren’t granting them as the command was being downsized (it was later decommissioned back in 2014, now I can sound like an old salt when I talk about it).

  4. Richard says:

    Arresting the rioters is commendable but a job for Sisyphus. If you want to end it arrest the mayors, DAs and governors who are inciting, aiding and abetting the rioters. Arrest whoever is funding the infrastructure. As for Federal charges, denial of civil rights under color of law, insurrection, violation of numerous immigration laws and sedition should do.

    • Andy B. says:

      “If you want to end it arrest the mayors, DAs and governors who are inciting, aiding and abetting the rioters.”

      You’re right. If it was good enough for Pinochet, it’s good enough for Trump.

      Should I just stop there, or turn pedantic and point out all the other times in history that bullshit path has been taken by totalitarians?

      Start arresting public officials, and you’ll have yet more demonstrators in the streets. I’d have been there if Clinton or Obama tried that shit, and I’d be there now, even if my throwing arm has grown a bit stiff. My fingers still bend fairly well.

      • Richard says:

        Sorry when public officials break laws like denial of civil rights under color of law and insurrection, they need to be prosecuted. Note that I said prosecuted, not summarily executed, so your invocation of Pinochet is inappropriate.

        Said public officials do represent at least a putative majority of their own constituents which for me is an argument as to why we should separate. We are not one people.

        And hey, how about that coup attempt by the Organs of State Security. There is another group that needs to be prosecuted.

        • Andy B. says:

          “Note that I said prosecuted, not summarily executed, so your invocation of Pinochet is inappropriate.”

          Aw, c’mon. The CIA installed Augusto Pinochet in September 1973. He didn’t undertake “Operation Condor” until December 1975, and his rule had hit the ground running, what with a military coup and all. Of course, he did take out Allende the same day he took power, I’ll give you that.

          Everyone deserves a chance to get warmed up, and we know Trump is a little on the cautious side. It was only this week he proposed formulating a national strategy for dealing with the pandemic that has been going ’round since January. He doesn’t rush into things!

          Elsewhere in history, Hitler became Reichschancellor in late 1933, and Kristallnacht didn’t go down until November 9, 1938, roughly five years later. Trump has only been Reichschancellor since January 2017. He’s got more than a year to play catch-up.

          • Richard says:

            As I have said before, Trump has adhered to the Constitution more than any President since Eisenhower, maybe Coolidge. Leftists just project what they want to do.

            • 399 says:

              “Trump has adhered to the Constitution”

              I gather you aren’t counting all the Trump initiatives overturned or enjoined by federal courts?

              • Alpheus says:

                If we’re going to go that route, why just limit things to Trump initiatives? How many Obama initiatives have been overturned by the courts?

                And how many of those court overturnings and enjoinings are actually unConstitutional? After all, just because the Supreme Court says something is Constitutional, doesn’t mean that it is (and vice versa).

  5. 399 says:

    “Not my circus … Not my monkeys”

    I don’t get your metaphor. Who are the monkeys and how is a constitutional crisis like the casual amusements of a circus?

    • Sebastian says:

      It’s a polish Idiom.

      • Andy B. says:

        “It’s a polish Idiom.”

        I’d say it’s an idiom that could use a little polishing. ;-)

        I had wondered about it but looked it up for myself.

        Even though it is alleged to come from a culture parallel to my heritage (though in the 19th century; it sounds cynically 20th century Soviet-influenced to me) I don’t like it. It’s way too cavalier.

        First, had it been extant at the time, it’s something my generation might have said about Vietnam, in 1965. LBJ disabused us of the notion that we had the option of not performing in that circus.

        Next, I’m reminded of the Mel Gibson character’s initial ambivalence about the Revolution in the opening minutes of his movie “The Patriot”. British soldiers decided for him.

        Last, “circus” reminded me of a lyric from Donovan’s “Circus of Sour” on his “Fairytale” album, that was released two weeks before I was conscripted into the Army:

        Admission is paid up,
        Until you are made up,
        There’s only one catch to the fun, hey the fun.
        To hell if you’re willin’,
        Your name’s on the billing
        ,
        And it seems that you’re wanted
        In ring number three.
        Look out your window and see,
        I look out my window and see,
        I look out my window and see, coa coa.

  6. Andy B. says:

    Philadelphia District Attorney Threatens To Arrest Federal Agents.

    Sorry for over-posting, but since we’ve had lots of dead air lately I thought I’d take the liberty of using this space to pass along news relevant to our thread.

    Weren’t a lot of states trying to pass legislation saying that they would arrest federal agents who attempted to enforce things like gun controls laws?

    “Contrast and compare”, as my high school English teachers used to say.

    I find this stuff riveting, real living history. Don’t undervalue it. I’ve been regretting how much history I slept-walked through in my youth.

    • Richard says:

      No, they were passing laws that said they wouldn’t cooperate with attempts to enforce gun control laws. Soft nullification, in other words. The Philadelphia thing is hard nullification which would lead to armed conflict. However, if you actually read the statement, it is hedged six ways from Sunday and was derived from media incitement. So, in practice, virtue signalling.

      Hard nullification has seldom been practiced. The refusal of northern states to allow enforcement of the Fugitive Slave Act (loathsome as it was) lit the fuse for CW1. There was a law passed in CA a few years ago threatening sanctions against businesses that assisted what ever INS is called these days. That would be hard nullification.

      • Sebastian says:

        However, if you actually read the statement, it is hedged six ways from Sunday

        That was my impression as well. I’ll be very surprised if it actually happens. But hey, I’m glad the Dems are blazing a trail to follow later when Bloomberg buys himself some gun confiscation.

        • Andy B. says:

          “I’m glad the Dems are blazing a trail to follow later when Bloomberg buys himself some gun confiscation.”

          Good point. Just remember that when it comes to precedents, history doesn’t much cares who sets them. Federal paramilitaries on our streets for any purpose will be followed later by federal paramilitaries on our streets serving another purpose we might not like as much. Then when we whine “but this is different! we’ll just be talking to ourselves.

          • Sebastian says:

            As best as I’ve been able to tell, all this revolves around the federal building in Portland, and the feds are constitutionally empowered to protect federal property. But the feds were within their constitutional rights to protect Fort Sumpter too. And I feel like this might be Fort Sumpter. I always thought the second civil war would start because of some damned fool thing in Oregon.

            • Andy B. says:

              “all this revolves around the federal building in Portland”

              But the people kidnapped were not within blocks of the federal building, and were walking alone on the street. To me the federal building/federal statues escuse looks like nothing but a pretense to display some muscle and make some examples. But that in turn seems to be radicalizing otherwise non-radical people, like that “Wall of Moms” who are placing themselves between the Little Green Men and other protesters. Also, that Navy veteran Christopher David who got the crap beaten out of him on video doesn’t come across as a particularly radical character.

              • Sebastian says:

                Anyone sure if the truth today is a fool. That’s why I’m not writing much. I have good reason to think everyone is lying to me. And in today’s age, it’s very easy to spread very convincing lies.

                • Andy B. says:

                  “Anyone sure if the truth today is a fool.”

                  I remember reading William Simon’s book “A Time for Truth” c. 1975, and now 45 years later realize it deflected me into a world of raw bullshit. ;-)

              • Richard says:

                They weren’t kidnapped at all. They were arrested.

              • 399 says:

                “To me the federal building/federal statues escuse looks like nothing but a pretense to display some muscle and make some examples.”

                Reichstag fire.

                • Andy B. says:

                  “Reichstag fire.”

                  At least Marinus van der Lubbe actually set the Reichstag on fire. Hitler didn’t need to pretend that trashcans on fire next to the Reichstag were sufficient justification for what he wanted to do.

        • Richard says:

          Pro tip. Leftists don’t care about precedent unless it furthers their goals.

          • Andy B. says:

            But them Righteous Righties do?

            Grow up!

            • Richard says:

              Sebastian does. I don’t because that belief puts us at a disadvantage.

            • Alpheus says:

              It is my observation that Conservatives and Libertarians are generally more likely to uphold things they consider to be “lawful”, even if they don’t like the results, than Leftists.

              This is likely because they have a greater respect for the Rule of Law, and they don’t seek for power the way Leftists do.

              Granted, there are exceptions, but generally, when I see monkeying around with rules, even if all it does is give a short-term advantage, but makes things worse for themselves later, it’s probably Leftists doing it.

              Indeed, I have seen this happen often enough — and backfire often enough — that I have concluded that it’s generally just better to leave rules alone, and work within them, than it is to try to manipulate them to your advantage, even if you may lose in the short term.

      • Andy B. says:

        “The Philadelphia thing is hard nullification. . .”

        It would be if the DA were threatening to arrest federal employees just for showing up. But, he’s not threatening that. He threatening that if they violate state law by committing unjustified assaults (like they did with that Navy veteran) or kidnapping (making unexplained arrests or detaining people without charges) they will be arrested. That sounds pretty “soft” to me. Actually, pretty virtuous.

        We probably should both brush up on the examples we are citing, but I remember reading about legislation in which it was plainly written into the bills that federal agents attempting to enforce certain classes of federal laws would be subject to arrest and imprisonment. If so, that is what I’d call “hard” nullification.

        Non-cooperation with federal forces is a virtuous thing, according to the Tenth Amendment.

        • Andy B. says:

          Found this in Wikipedia, often a decent first stop:

          States that withhold their enforcement assistance, but do not declare the federal law unconstitutional or forbid its enforcement by the federal government, are not declaring federal law invalid and therefore are not engaging in nullification. As Prigg held, the federal law still is valid and federal authorities may enforce it within the state. The states in this situation, rather than attempting to legally nullify federal law, are attempting to make enforcement of federal law more difficult by refusing to make available their legislative and administrative resources.

          It seems the distinction in the Philadelphia example is that the District Attorney is not disputing federal law, but enforcing state law. State law does not conflict with or dispute federal law, but instead will be directed at federal practices.

          • Sebastian says:

            Unfortunately for Krazner, the fibbies already won that case when the State of Idaho tried to charge Lon Horiuchi for the death of Vicki Weaver.

            • Andy B. says:

              Thus illustrating my point about “precedents”.

              • Richard says:

                Um, the Weavers were hard core conservatives and the FBI had already gone left by then. So what exactly is your point about who believes in precedents and who doesn’t.

                • Andy B. says:

                  “So what exactly is your point about who believes in precedents and who doesn’t.”

                  My point is exactly what you seem to miss: That “precedents” are like “tactics” and they have no ideology attached to them. Whoever establishes the precedent first, other ideologies will use it in the future.

                  An analogy is, we could have a great debate about whether it was the Rs or the Ds that began the landslide of abandonment of “conventions” in the House or Senate, but it doesn’t make any difference; each side took things a step farther once the landslide had begun.

                  Ruby Ridge may have been liberals in the FBI establishing a precedent, but once they had it was guaranteed conservatives would do the same thing. I forget how many FBI agents were initially or finally on Ruby Ridge, but now Trump is threatening what, 75,000? And I just watched a video of a guy being shot in the head deliberately with a “non-lethal” round, while he held his hands in the air. Not quite Vicki Weaver yet, but it’s early.

                  Look, I didn’t like the federal shit when Clinton and and Reno were doing it, and I don’t like it any more now that Trump and Barr are doing it, but harder. Don’t expect me to. I won’t apologize or make excuses for any of them.

        • Andy B. says:

          Found one of the examples I was thinking of.

          Mississippi legislation would nullify federal gun control

          The Mississippi State House of Representatives is working on a bill that would virtually nullify any past, present or future federal gun control measures.

          House Bill 467 reads in part, “No public servant or dealer selling any firearm in this state shall enforce or attempt to enforce any act, law, statute, rule or regulation of the United States government relating to a personal firearm, firearm accessory or ammunition that is owned or manufactured commercially or privately in Mississippi and that remains exclusively within the borders of Mississippi.” It also calls for criminal penalties up to five years in jail for members of government who violate the bill.

          • Richard says:

            It is easy to introduce legislation. Getting it passed and through the courts is another matter entirely. Rather than the tainted Wikipedia, I use the framework of Levinson (who by the way is of the Left) who distinguishes between hard and soft nullification. As far as I know the only hard nullification ever implemented is re the Fugitive Slave Act and maybe the CA immigration law, I noted above.

            An interesting case is marijuana nullification. As passed, this was soft nullification which has defacto become hard nullification as the Feds have backed off enforcement.

            • Andy B. says:

              “It is easy to introduce legislation.”

              Almost as easy as Krasner stating intentions.

              … tainted Wikipedia…

              In what way “tainted”? If you have a competing spin from a credible source that you prefer, jump in there and do a little tainting of your own.

              My observation is that what a lot of people regard as “tainting”, other people regard as “prevailing opinion.” That’s somewhat similar to “indoctrination” v. “education.” My loose observation is that Wikipedia will retain competing opinions about facts, as long as the competing sources are credible. Of course “credible” is in the eye/ear of the beholder. E.g., I don’t consider Alex Jones/InfoWars “credible” but lots of people do.

              Last, I did say “starting point.” I often go off in pursuit of minor points that Wikipedia calls to my attention for the first time.

              • Alpheus says:

                Wikipedia currently suffers from a problem where cabals of editors will roll back edits made by experts in the field, because they think they know the subject better. In some ways, this contributes to Leftist bias, but what’s worse, it just plain leads to inaccurate information — to the point where you can’t necessarily even trust the sources of the articles referenced.

                So yes, it does make sense to consider Wikipedia to be a tainted source.

                • Andy B. says:

                  “Wikipedia currently suffers from a problem where cabals of editors will roll back edits made by experts”

                  Who decides who is an “expert”? That is a sincere question. Before I go off on another Old Story, I’ll enter into evidence that I was acknowledged as an “expert” witness by a Pennsylvania court in a civil trial. By law/convention I was an admissible “expert” from then on. Was that enough to make my “expertise” always true?

                  I’m also thinking that the “Discovery Institute” has a list of umpteen “experts” who agree they are expert to comment on the invalidity of evolution, while few have credentials in any related science. (I probably could have qualified for membership had I chosen to badmouth Darwin.) But the DI’s fans all agree they are “experts”.

                  Now for my Old Story: I used to love to quote the work of Professor John Lott to defend the RKBA. Then I had a run-in with him back in 2002 when he was shilling for Mike Fisher for governor, here in PA. I determined that our expert “researcher” had no knowledge at all of Fisher’s record while AG Fisher was serving as enforcer of gun-grabber Tom Ridge’s 1995 anti-gun legislation. I had to conclude (and minimal investigation indicated) that he was only a shill with a political-based “expert” panache and following, who would work for any Republican’s money.

                  I was dismayed, because it left me having to remember what items of my gun rights rap originated with him, because if it did, I could no longer in good conscience quote it in public. I had to think twice about what I was saying or writing.

                  Back to my “expert witness” Old Story: My opponent in that trial was a prestigious professor who I had in college. His attorneys made a big deal out of, that he had taught me, so it was really sweet beating him. But I knew from contacts with his contemporaries at the university, that he had a reputation among them as an “ambulance chaser” who, like an attorney, would argue the position of whoever was paying him, as an “expert.” Usually his arguments reduced to “I’m an Ivy League Professor, and I say so.”

                  The point of all that being, there are ambulance-chasing, mercenary “experts” in all camps. Unless they are total horse’s asses, how do you identify them?

                  • Alpheus says:

                    It’s fair to ask what it means to be an “expert”; right now, though, it’s the editors of particular pages in Wikipedia who are the judges, and questioning whether that should be the case is certainly a fine question to address.

                    I personally don’t think they should be the arbiters, but I also don’t have a solution for, beyond “be very wary of what’s on Wikipedia”. (I’d say I don’t yet have a solution, but it’s not a question I’m consciously looking to answer.)

                    • Andy B. says:

                      Fair enough.

                      My point always is, that I see all “camps” inclined to see “bias” in what is otherwise “conventional wisdom” or “consensus.” Part of that is always that they see themselves as perennial victims of that bias.

    • Sebastian says:

      I find this stuff riveting, real living history. Don’t undervalue it. I’ve been regretting how much history I slept-walked through in my youth.

      Yeah, it’s an interesting time to be alive. But I’m not sure I want it to get more interesting, but I suspect it probably will. I’m guessing Francis Fukuyama has to be feeling like a git these days.

      • Andy B. says:

        I think Fukuyama discounted the power of the forces of reaction, when they see their own positions being eroded. I’d also suggest that the “liberal democracies” he thought he was viewing, were neither all that liberal (in the classical sense of the word) nor democratic. E.g., the United States has always believed in democracy until people choose the wrong answer.

        I’ll always admit my bias, but I also think he was giving too much credit to the Russian people just because the Soviet Union had collapsed, and inspired his reflections. Personally I would have been shocked if Russia hadn’t evolved to overt fascism, exactly as it has.

        • Sebastian says:

          The Russians don’t really have a history of good governance. Even if you look at the Greats, they were still pretty Terrible.

        • Richard says:

          “E.g., the United States has always believed in democracy until people choose the wrong answer.”

          You mean by electing Trump?

          • Andy B. says:

            “You mean by electing Trump?”

            No. I mean by overthrowing legitimately elected foreign leaders who we do not consider to be in the economic interests of “our” corporations, as we did in Iran in 1953 or Guatemala in 1954 or Chile in 1973, with Pinochet as discussed above. It has been a consistent policy independent of administrations or their alleged “ideologies”.

            Speaking of “The Deep State” or “The Swamp” as you prefer.

            BTW, it only recently occurred to me that our practice of declaring foreign elections “illegitimate” has now been adapted to our domestic affairs.

  7. Rob K says:

    I’m reminded of the quote from Rorschach in The Watchmen:

    ‘…all the whores and politicians will look up and shout “Save us!”… and I’ll look down and whisper “No.”‘

    https://www.quotes.net/mquote/131740

  8. Antibubba says:

    If it’s okay because it’s happening to people you don’t like who “deserve it”, you don’t get to call yourself libertarian, and you don’t get to whine when they come for you.

    • Sebastian says:

      I have no more desire to fight these peoples’ battles than I did Cliven Bundy’s.

      • Andy B. says:

        If you consider the Cliven Bundy incident a subset of what has now gone national (I do), it illustrates how history can grow until it gets you, despite your determination not to get involved.

      • Richard says:

        In the end, the Bundy’s won (for now) within the system. Actual indictment in the Vegas case was for wire fraud for falsely claiming to the assorted militias that responded that the FBI had deployed snipers around the ranch. Trouble is that it came out in court that they were accurately claiming that. So no fraud. Plus there was other misconduct by Federal officials including a BLM guy later fired for trying to extort goodies from Burning Man.

        In the Oregon case, the charges were carrying firearms into a Federal facility. I would be surprised if they didn’t but the prosecutors never presented any evidence they did, so they were acquitted. After one of the protesters was killed. Apparently, it was a state trooper who did the shooting but an FBI agent was caught lying about his actions (shoot and miss). I have actually been inside that facility. Small room selling t-shirts and bird books with a counter and an office behind. Number of out-buildings as well. It was never clear from the media coverage whether the protesters were in the HQ or one or more out-buildings. The facility is closed in the winter and the employees move into Burns so no one was around.

        • Andy B. says:

          “In the end, the Bundy’s won”

          Sure did. They’re still grazing cattle on federal land without paying the grazing fees they contracted to pay. And wasn’t that really what it was all about? And who is making up the difference, while they cash in?

          Water under the bridge, I suppose, but might not some of the “federal property” arguments being made about Portland have applied to the Bundy scenarios? “Lawful orders to disperse” etc.? I’m just thinking there may be something there relevant to our “precedents” discussion. The Bundys flipped the bird at the feds and got away with it, and now the demonstrators in Portland are flipping the bird at them.

          • Richard says:

            Nevada part started with cattle but that wasn’t what the Feds charged them with. Oregon was a wildfire dispute which didn’t originally involve Bundys.

            • 399 says:

              I think the question of cattle grazing started out as a civil matter, and later criminal charges were a result of the ways the Bundys resisted. I think the BLM hoped to confiscate the Bundy cattle to obtain their value at sale, but what they should have done was sell expensive licenses by lottery for hunters with reproduction Sharps rifles to reenact a 19th century buffalo hunt, with the Bundys’ cattle reenacting the buffalo. No bag limit, keep or sell the meat.

              • Alpheus says:

                What they did instead was kill the cattle and bury them with a bulldozer.

                It should be kept in mind that this wasn’t just about the Bundys resisting cattle grazing fees — there’s a major reason why the locals, and why Western State citizens in general, at least had sympathy for the Bundys: they are sick and tired with the way the Feds have been treating the locals over Federal land that should have arguably been turned over to the States decades ago.

                It is a rather contentious issue, and it’s right there on the boundary of State vs Federal rights.

                (To put things in perspective, just consider what percentage of Pennsylvania land is considered Federal land, and then compare that to California, Utah, Arizona, or Wyoming.)

  9. RAH says:

    This post came from Larry Correia rant. Now I have not seen BLM and rioters asking for gunnies help.*https://monsterhunternation.com/2020/06/04/where-are-all-you-gun-owners-now/

    Nevertheless that is not my red line for fighting the Federal government.The Federal government can protect their own and have enough law and enforcement ability. I also will not risk myself and family for the rioters. Likewise if rioters come for me I have planned for that My goal is to survive with most of my rights and property intact.

    Unlike Sebastien I had more sympathy for Bundy but no desire to fight his battles.I have less sympathy for Anarchists, Answer, BLM and Antifa

    • 399 says:

      “Unlike Sebastien I had more sympathy for Bundy”

      Me too. Millionaire welfare cases are so much better than that other kind.

      • Alpheus says:

        I’m not entirely sure where you got that the Bundys were millionaires, nor do I see why that should matter if they were. Perhaps they were — at least on paper — but then, just as Gates or Bezos being a billionaire doesn’t mean that they can write out a check for a billion dollars on the spot (their “value” is mostly wrapped up in assets that aren’t easily sold), it’s not uncommon for farmers and ranchers to have a million or two worth in assets, but still struggle from year to year to make a living off those assets. (After all, that herd of cows or plot of land may be worth a million dollars, but if the cows aren’t fed, or the wheat isn’t harvested, those resources aren’t going to be worth much.)

        It’s easy to not have sympathy for the Bundys when you ignore how actions by the Feds have bankrupted many families over the years by their growing restrictions, on land that should be in State control by now.

        That isn’t to say that I’d have stood with the Bundys myself — I only have so much sympathy I can give — however, the man who was shot in Oregon was from a little town just south of the Utah border; my mother-in-law knew him and his family; thus, the issues surrounding the Bundys have hit rather close to home for me.

        Come to think of it, the area used to grow great watermelons; however, restrictions on grazing meant that ranching went away, and thus the area didn’t get the fertilizer it used to, so the quality of watermelons dropped, and so people stopped growing watermelons in the area….

  10. RAH says:

    I do recall the saying” Do not scare the normies” on gun blogs Well these riots are scaring the normies and they are buying guns

  11. 399 says:

    This needs wider distribution. I should send them a donation.

    • HappyWarrior6 says:

      Such an original thought. Bravo. I fail to see how voting for his opponent in this case would be a vote in support what this ad appears to support. Can you elaborate on how that would work out?

      • 399 says:

        Sure. Better for the nation.

        I wish we had other viable choices, but our system has evolved to deny us choices. Some say it was designed that way.

        • Andy B. says:

          “Better for the nation.”

          Not necessarily better for other nations, though. I’ll give you odds Putin will move against Ukraine or/and the Baltics if he thinks he’s losing his asset in the White House. He’ll have at least 78 days to work, until January 20. Maybe longer if we are having a constitutional crisis.

          Double those odds if the Party of Trump has lost the Senate.

          If Trump wins, Putin can relax, with at least four years to work unhindered.

          • Andy B. says:

            “Putin will move against Ukraine or/and the Baltics if he thinks he’s losing his asset in the White House.”

            Dang, started already???

            US to withdraw nearly 12,000 troops from Germany in move that will cost billions. . .

            I guess Putin was really persuasive in those seven phone calls he reportedly had with his White House asset in recent weeks.

            • Alpheus says:

              This is something that actually puzzles me about the insistence that we need to pull troops from Iraq and Afghanistan. And it’s puzzled me for years.

              On the one hand, we’re supposed to consider the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan over when we have our troops pulled out of certain regions. On the other hand, we still have troops in places like South Korea and Germany.

              Why is occupation in one place unacceptable, while the other ok?

              I haven’t been paying close attention to the withdrawing of troops from Germany, but it doesn’t strike me as something extremely important.

              And what I find very ironic about this is the insistence of President Trump being a stooge for Putin, who, granted, has been all over the map on the topic, but in many ways has been as much as a thorn in Putin’s side as a help — yet these same people are completely willing to overlook Obama’s statement to a Putin representative, caught on tape, stating that they could negotiate better after Obama wins re-election.

              Why is it ok for Obama to be a stooge for Putin, but awful for Trump to be one?

              • Andy B. says:

                “I haven’t been paying close attention to the withdrawing of troops from Germany, but it doesn’t strike me as something extremely important.”

                When I served in Germany in the ’60s, I think we all knew we were there as trip-wires. We (from what I could see) were not “strategically ready” to resist a Soviet invasion (or so we thought at the time; the Soviets too were pathetic) but over-running U.S. troops would have led straight to nuclear war, and the Soviets knew that.

                We were past being “occupation” troops both “officially” and “practically.” Where I was, in Hesse District, the Germans didn’t care for us much, but they liked our money and the “make work” jobs the U.S. military provided for them. There was no “resistance” to our presence, just “friction” at the social level, often hard to detect. We used to sometimes joke that even the Germans were counting the days until they could rotate out of there.

                I have no personal connection or “feeling” for how things are today, but I suspect that in Germany there is an acceptance of “mutual convenience” and a sense of American presence still being a “deterrent”, if not to immediate Russian invasion, then to Russian encroachment through other countries, like the Baltics. Now the “trip-wires” are the U.S. boots-on-the-ground in the Baltics, with our troops in Germany being their immediate backups.

                What I would hypothesize is that Trump could order our trip-wires out of the Baltics on short notice — much as he removed our troops from Rojava and the Kurdish region of Iraq — rendering the Baltics more ambiguous in terms of what our interests in defending them would be. Quite simply they would no longer be trip-wires, and while NATO stewed, a Russian occupation would become a fait accompli”. Then Germany would become more directly threatened.

                I might ask, why our German-based troops are being moved to Belgium and the Netherlands (?) — behind front lines, so to speak — and not to the Baltics?

        • Andy B. says:

          I forgot to say, I’d give you shorter odds, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Netanyahu starts a war with Iran, as an October Surprise to help his White House buddy. It will probably depend on whether Trump thinks it will help him.

          We’re seeing early signs of it already.

          Don’t make any plans for late 2020, early 2021 that you can’t change on the fly.

      • Andy B. says:

        I’ve heard that Steve Schmidt of the Lincoln Project is alleged to be the guy who talked John McCain into choosing Sarah Palin as his VP running mate.

        I could make one hell of a conspiracy theory out of that one, but we have enough of those already. But, by urging Palin on McCain, was Schmidt trying to torpedo the Republican campaign?

        Just Asking the Question, as they say. ;-)

        • Alpheus says:

          Perhaps, but I’m still convinced that it may have been as much as a help as it was a sabotage. I remember voting for McCain despite him being McCain, not because of it. Indeed, I know of a handful of people who voted for McCain, hoping he’d have a heart attack and Palin would become President.

          To what degree did McCain lose because he wasn’t a saner version of Palin?

    • Alpheus says:

      There is something that deeply, deeply, deeply annoys me about that “this is how it starts” video: it makes it sound like a lawless President is trying to take over a perfectly peaceful, untroubled country.

      The reality is that President Trump isn’t trying to reign in “peaceful protestors”. He’s trying to reign in rioters, looters, and vandals — people who have been burning businesses and homes, murdering people, and attacking government buildings — whose message is “You’d better give us what we want, or this destruction is going to continue”.

      In other words, the country, and the very foundations of our democratic republican government, is being held hostage, in a very violent way.

      And the “solution” is to turn the reigns of government over to the very people who have caused this lawlessness.

  12. 399 says:

    Barr defends Trump commuting Stone, suggests he was merely guilty of an esoteric made-up crime, not “a meat and potatoes crime”.

    Do you think the NRA can lobby to have all firearms crimes declared “esoteric crimes”? That is a new category to me, that I may not understand. Can people like us only commit “meat and potatoes” crimes, while our rulers and their henchmen enjoy “esoteric crimes”?

    • Alpheus says:

      When you consider that every one of us apparently commits three felonies a day, I think there’s a lot of room for getting rid of “esoteric crimes”. So long as such “esoteric crimes” exist, we are going to have to hope we never catch the attention of some prosecutor, and hope that we can beg for mercy if we face it.

      If Trump’s commuting of Stone actually starts off an effort to do that, then I would be happy to do so.

      Sadly, I don’t think that will happen, and certainly not nearly as much as we need it to.

      • Alpheus says:

        I forgot to add that one purpose of “esoteric crimes” are to make it easier to pick a person and prosecute them, a la “give me the man, and I will find the crime”. It’s clear that associates of Trump have been subject to this. (And the Trump administration isn’t the only one to have been attacked by this technique.) Cutting back on “esoteric crimes” is a way to make such attacks less likely.

  13. Andy B. says:

    Fox News on Deploying Federal Agents 2020 vs. 2014

  14. Deloreszen says:

    HE PUT WHAT IN THE FOOD? – OFFLINETV COOKING SHOWDOWN

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    LITTLE BIG – ROCK–PAPER–SCISSORS (Official Music Video)

  18. CarolynsaunC says:

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