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LA Forced to Write Check to NRA

To be honest, if they knew the price of their virtue signaling ahead of time, they probably would have still done it. Why wouldn’t they? It’s not like it’s their money. I expect ACB will change the balance of the Second Amendment on the Supreme Court, offering the lower courts the smack down they so richly deserve. But don’t get cocky. Next time the Dems are in charge, we’re probably looking at some court packing!

Speaking of that, Glenn Reynolds has a pretty good take on court packing, suggesting that maybe it would lower the stakes if the court were bigger anyway. My big problem with a packing scheme is that once it starts, what’s the limiting principle? But maybe it’s when an individual justice just doesn’t matter that much.

We could stand to do a lot of de-escalating. Politicians and bureaucrats are, for the most part, the worst kind of people to be found in society. The solution to what ails us, if you ask me, is to give them a lot less power.

62 Responses to “LA Forced to Write Check to NRA”

  1. Andy B. says:

    “To be honest, if they knew the price of their virtue signaling ahead of time, they probably would have still done it. Why wouldn’t they? It’s not like it’s their money.”

    Isn’t that universally true when governments are involved, independent of the “ideology” in question?

    E.g., if you are a proponent of “law and order”, aren’t you likely to see allowing killer cops to walk as a “virtue”, despite civil courts awarding big settlements, paid by the municipality, to the victims’ families? And in that case, aren’t you likely to condemn the settlements as being without virtue?

  2. Richard says:

    Deescalation only works when both sides do it and the Left won’t. The 12 years of the Bushes were more or less a deescalation from the Reagan years. How did that work out.
    What might work as deescalation is the National Divorce. If we were separate countries, there would be much less reason for fear and hate. Who hates Canada?

    • 399 says:

      “What might work as deescalation is the National Divorce.”

      I doubt it. If the divorce is based on ideology each side will call itself the “moral” or “principled” side, and will have a goal of “liberating” an oppressed minority in the other country. War is almost certain.

      • Richard says:

        We’re not Nazis looking to liberate the Sudetenland. Leftists may be Communists looking to liberate the workers of the world but we can handle that with containment. Remember that. Do it for few decades and the People’s Republic will fall apart just like the USSR did.

  3. CarlosT says:

    Reynolds talks about adding 50 new Justices to the Court, one from each state, as a tongue-in-cheek idea which he came to like. I had a similar, slightly more involved idea. Expand the Court to 101 Justices. Those 101 vote on granting Cert, and 45 votes will be necessary to add a case to docket. This is the same proportion as today. Once a case is on the docket, nine Justices will be randomly assigned to hear it.

    The advantages would be huge. Any vacancy on the Court would be filled without any fuss, and there would be plenty of Justices available to backfill any absences, even as the docket greatly expanded.

    • Richard says:

      Tinkering with governmental structures doesn’t fix a deeply and, IMO, permanently divided population.

      “When in the course of human events…”

      • Patrick Henry, the 2nd says:

        Yup, that’s the problem with these solutions.

        The best solution is a national divorce. Let people be ruled by those who most closely align with them.

        • Andy B. says:

          “Let people be ruled by those who most closely align with them.”

          How fine do you plan to parse “those who most closely align”? And what becomes of the people who don’t align closely enough with their rulers?

          Remember that the word “soviet” originally meant “workers’ councils.” The premise was that people would be aligned with soviets, defined by the industries they worked in, and in turn the soviets would form an overall council that would rule the country.

          How did that work out?

          • Richard says:

            Say what?

            • Andy B. says:

              The point was, the foundations for “alignment.” The early 20th century Russian revolutionaries thought the ideal alignment would be by workplace and industry. Beyond that no “ideology” was assumed, nor likely was possible. It descended into civil war within months.

              I would suggest the current division of “conservatives” into Never-Trumpers versus Trump acolytes is a contemporary analogy. Both sides lay claim to being the “Real” conservatives, somewhat like the Russian revolutionaries accused each other of being the counterrevolutionaries or reactionaries.

              • Richard says:

                The civil war in Russia wasn’t between various advocates of the soviets but between all advocates of the soviets on the one hand and either royalists or Constitutional Democrats on the other with various ethnic nationalist groups. anarchists and escaping Czechs playing in certain locales. The SRs were a wild card in all of this as they were definitely a revolutionary leftist party but were not part the Social Democrats (aka the Communist Party). Part of the SRs supported the soviets but most were supporters of the Constituent Assembly in which they held a majority. The majority SRs were banned when the Constituent Assembly was suppressed while the Left SRs continued in coalition with the Bolsheviks until they revolted after the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk. So that was a fallout of the supporters of the soviets but for an external reason. Fanny Kaplan, who shot Lenin was an SR. The major fallout between various supporters of the soviets came later, probably starting with the second Kronstadt revolt and ending with the assassination of Trotsky (who was originally a Menshavik). Most of the dissidents went quietly to the NKVD cellars.

                The bottom line is that ideology most definitely play a part in this. Russian revolutionaries weren’t nearly as single-minded about workplace primacy as were the Italian Fascists.

                By the way, the Never Trumpers are such a tiny faction as to make the Bolsheviks look like mass movement. Their workplace is cruise ships which are dead in the water after the CV.

                • Andy B. says:

                  “By the way, the Never Trumpers are such a tiny faction as to make the Bolsheviks look like mass movement.”

                  But the Bolsheviks won, didn’t they?

                  If I did paint the Russian Revolution with too broad a brush, regarding a unifying alignment, you just made my point, about the subtle differences in an otherwise common “ideology” that will tear things apart.

                  If anything, there is less common ground among nominal “conservatives” than there was between revolutionary leftists in Russia. And as in Russia, some of them are more power-hungry than the rest.

                  • Richard says:

                    The SRs were deplorables. The Social Democrats, Bolshevik and Menshevik alike were city people. I don’t know if the gap was ideological as much as cultural. Sort of like the Trump loyalists and the bow tie/cruise ship boys. The ideological gap was between the various stripes of leftist revolutionaries and the royalist/CD people. Here it is between Democrats and Trumpists.

    • Andy B. says:

      “Those 101 vote on granting Cert, and 45 votes will be necessary to add a case to docket.”

      Be careful. It sounds like you could be trending toward “direct democracy”. “The more participants the merrier” is implied. Keep the percentages you like, but put every U.S. citizen on the court. ;-)

      Except of course we know “The-U.S.-is-a-republic-not-a-Yukk-Phooie-democracy.” So all decisions should be confined to a handful of oligarchs.

      • What was it the pretty blonde firebrand wrote. The supreme Court does not believe any majority may determine the terms under which abortion takes place, smaller than a majority of the Supreme Court.

  4. Joe_in_Pitt says:

    RE: National divorce.

    How about we take a serious look at Swiss-style Federalism here in the US?

    The reality is we don’t have red states and blue states, we have blue urban areas, red rural areas, and different shades of purple for the suburbs. States have become so large that deep-blue population centers essentially control the political future of all of the state’s inhabitants. There are a lot more state governments which don’t reflect the beliefs of its rural voters than ones that don’t reflect the beliefs of its urban voters.

    It may create a mess, but some form of balkanization could at least hold politicians more accountable and provide more options for citizens to locate somewhere that better aligns to their values. I’m not sure what that would look like (i.e. counties becoming more like states, congressional districts becoming more like states, etc.), but I know that the current system isn’t working and we’re only drifting further apart.

    • Andy B. says:

      “How about we take a serious look at Swiss-style Federalism here in the US?”

      I was a big fan of Swiss-style Federalism at one time, but these days I have reservations. I think my fandom was based almost entirely on the way it was presented in the book After Apartheid: The Solution for South Africa by Frances Kendall and Leon Louw, in the late 1980s while I was still a Useful Idiot with the Libertarian Party. It was practically required reading if you wanted to be a Real Libertarian, which with hindsight I now regard as suspicious for a start, considering the party’s roots, sponsored by oligarchs.

      I have never in recent years been sure what the book’s motives were, but one suspicion is that with the international political alignments of the day, it was to promote a system that would allow some vestiges of apartheid to remain in a “balkanized” South Africa, rather than ending apartheid completely.

      I am also more suspicious now of Switzerland’s coziness with the Nazis, and not sure how their “federalism” may have served that. But South Africa and apartheid, or Switzerland playing footsie with Nazis, it’s all water over the bridge, now. You’ll probably hear me speaking well of Switzerland’s “direct democracy,” if you wait long enough.

      • Andy B. says:

        “I have never in recent years been sure what the book’s motives were…”

        I did some review last night (it’s ancient history, but instructive) and I now think the rendering of “Swiss Federalism” proposed for South Africa by Kendall and Louw was intended to preserve the apartheid system of “Bantustans”, under the guise of “democratic reform.” Bantustans would be analogous to Swiss cantons, but still subject to a federal government, as they already were under apartheid.
        ———-
        An Old Story from the time: At the time the chairman of the Pennsylvania state Libertarian Party was a moneybags, who had retired early, after making a bunch of money quickly as an IT type in the early days of personal computers. He was a real nice guy, and lived in a penthouse apartment in Academy House in Philadelphia. Getting past security to visit him could be intimidating.

        About the same time that Kendall and Louw’s book was required LP reading, he was offered a chance for a weeks-long hosted cook’s tour of South Africa. I think Louw was in on the arrangements. He took advantage of it. When he got back he couldn’t say enough about South Africa as being “just like here.” Malls, stores, fast food, etc., etc.

        Someone asked him if he’d been shown any of the black townships or Bantustans, and he admitted that he hadn’t. What he saw was “just like here.” Given that the guy was a good administrator, but not publicly known for expounding on ideology or political philosophy, I’ve wondered since whether it was his position as LP state chairman that got him his subsidized, guided tour of South Africa. (I, too — and many other minor activists in Bucks County — were offered “free family vacations” in that era, but nothing on the scale of South Africa!) I declined them, as we could afford our own vacations, and usually the political/lobbying themes were obvious. But at the time I took my fortunate friend’s South African junket pretty much at face value. It was years after I left the LP before I rethought that situation.

    • Richard says:

      Federalism of any sort won’t work because the Left won’t keep the agreements necessary to make it work, much like they haven’t kept the agreements the founders made. The right level of control for them is where they have power, from the Federal government to the school board. So if you don’t want total Leftist dominance or civil war, we must separate.

      As for the Right, I for one, am not willing to let NY, CA and others continue to violate the 2A and advocate criminal charges against state and local officials. If only we controlled the DoJ.

      • Andy B. says:

        “Federalism of any sort won’t work because the Left won’t keep the agreements necessary to make it work, much like they haven’t kept the agreements the founders made.”

        You continue to reason as if “ideology” was somehow associated with “morality” in the great game of power-seeking — including the power to Do Good. Actually ideologies consist of persuading the masses (and sometimes, yourself) of your desire and intentions to do good, and thus have a critical mass of them sacrifice or lend their own power to your own quest for power.

        I don’t know how many times over the years I’ve heard pols say, behind the scenes, “Yeah, what I’m doing is a little shitty, but I have to do it to stay in office. If I’m not in office, I won’t have the power to do all the good I/we want to do.”

        I’m flashing back to the No Compromise gun guys who, when I commented that one of their tactics seemed kind of scummy, said to me “But we aren’t trying to raise money from you, we’re appealing to the morons…” That of course was followed by a riff about how raising money was an absolute necessity to do all the good they wanted to do, and Save The Country.

        • Richard says:

          Politicians=scum, regardless of ideology. So you have that right. But on the Right, there are a lot of people with genuine respect for the constitution in the base. This constrains the politicians and if they go against the base enough, they get Trump. If there is a similar restraint on the Left, I have been unable to detect it.

    • Alpheus says:

      Several decades ago, the Supreme Court had ruled that State Senates can only be population-based, and cannot be region-based like the Federal Senate — that doing what the Federal Government does somehow denies the citizens of the State a “Republican” Government.

      This has resulted in many States where the politics is dominated by the major population centers, to the detriment of the rural areas of those States.

      I have toyed with the idea of proposing an amendment to the Utah constitution, where the Counties are treated exactly like the States: their boundaries cannot be changed without the approval of both Counties and the State Legislature; that each County get a proportional representation in the State House; that each County gets three Senators, one elected every two years, for the State Senate; and heck, even that the Governor be appointed by a State Electoral College, made up of delegates chosen by each County, chosen outside of Government, each County getting the same number of Delegates as they have people representing them in the House and Senate combined.

      I’d like to see how the Supreme Court would argue that this isn’t a Republican government!

      And, if successful, it will give rural areas more of a voice in State politics again. (To be sure, though, I live in Utah, which happens to be one of the few States that have felt the effects of the city/rural cultural divide.)

      • Andy B. says:

        “State Senates can only be population-based, and cannot be region-based like the Federal Senate…”

        A long time ago I had an idea, that PA should have two state senators per county, rather than being population-based. I.e., 134 senators; or even having one senator per county (67) instead of 50.

        But I eventually realized I was just seeking the opposite bias from the bias we have. I.e., giving tiny, 8th-class rural counties with a few thousand residents the same clout as 1st-class counties with over a million residents. Seeking bias based on personal druthers is not likely to work out well in the long run.

        Right now there is a (populist, IMO) movement in PA to make our legislature smaller, which I think is going in the wrong direction; I think it should be possible for a state House candidate to campaign by going around to speak personally to every one of his/her potential constituents. That might result in a huge number of representatives, but that would be OK if we returned to the system of the legislature meeting for a handful of days, every couple years.

        To segue to an Old Story: I can remember when PA adopted its New Age Constitution and “professional” legislature back in 1968. At the time the newspapers couldn’t write enough editorials condemning our existing “horse-and-buggy” state government. I remember that term “horse-and-buggy” being used ad nauseam. Now they are complaining just as loudly about the logical conclusion of what they advocated then; an overly expensive government that is all-too-“professional”. So, what they are advocating is a government that will be less “representative” than any time in history, and probably not much cheaper, if at all.

  5. Andy B. says:

    “But on the Right, there are a lot of people with genuine respect for the constitution in the base.”

    Minor correction: They have a lot of respect for the constitution as they have been taught to interpret it. The analogy to interpreting Scripture is exact. All Christian sectarianism is based on interpretation of Scripture, and warring sects will tell you their interpretation is obviously, indisputably correct, so their opponents must be scum-of-the-earth to believe what they believe. In particular, they have “no respect for Scripture.”

    Consider that Sovereign Citizen theory and Constitutional Sheriffs both allege to be strict adherents to the constitution, as correctly interpreted. Sovereign Citizen theory is way too bizarre to get into, but Constitutional Sheriffs claim pinnacle law enforcement authority based on a document that nowhere contains the word “sheriff.” Yet, adherents don’t question that, while swearing strict allegiance to the constitution.

    (My apology for focusing on Sherfs; the local anti-gun-control beef I took to court was against a Republican County Sheriff. He was the same one who had told us he didn’t care about the constitutionality of the Brady Law, because it allowed him to do what he wanted to do. The Republican County Sherf that followed him was worse. But you can see why I might focus on the idea of Sherfs-as-ultimate-LEOs vis-a-vis “constitutionality” as a sore spot, and an absurdity.

    • Andy B. says:

      An example just occurred to me: The Pennsylvania Superior Court recently ruled that the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) is unconstitutional. I’ve heard a lot of gun owners (including me) expressing outrage that a state court is deciding the constitutionality of a federal law.

      But in general, I have not in the past heard the same people expressing outrage at the concept of county sherfs deciding which federal laws are constitutional.

      I know I don’t need to say this, but the obvious difference is the presumption that Constitutional Sherfs would see constitutionality the way we do. But obviously the “constitutionality” of that power to rule, is not our real consideration. Outcomes are everyone’s only consideration.

    • Richard says:

      To return to the 2A for a change. I just read a piece by David Bernstein re the 2A which I found unsatisfying because of its limited scope. However, he did start with a long set of citations from various leftists about how it is obsolete. The dishonesty and anti-constitutionalism of these people is really stunning.

      Abstracting from 1A advocacy, I hold with William O. Douglas (whom not even you would consider a conservative) who said “when the 1A said that Congress shall make no law restricting freedom of speech, it means that Congress shall make no law restricting the freedom of speech.” Of course he was anti-2A but he got the principle right.

      • Andy B. says:

        First, I am of course not arguing for an anti-gun interpretation of the constitution, and I just want to say that before continuing, lest it seems to be implied that I am. BUT. . .

        I apologize for frequently referring to this example, but I do, for its occasional shock value:

        The constitution nowhere authorizes the federal government to control immigration. The Founders are generally acknowledged to have been such skilled wordsmiths, that no one can reasonably argue that when they gave the federal government the power to control naturalization, what they really meant was immigration. Jefferson and Madison both (I think) pointed that out, and congress behaved as if it did not have the power, until the time of the Chinese Exclusion Act, c. 1881.

        But, you won’t find many conservatives taking issue with the federal government’s deep involvement with immigration. They are apparently happy agreeing that sometime c. 1880, the lack of federal authority over immigration became “obsolete.” The power was discovered and enabled by courts, not by constitutional amendment.

        Don’t get me wrong: The federal government is the logical entity to control immigration. But, it is unconstitutional for it to do so, in the plainest of language. Yet, even the strongest-professing constitutionalist will hold that questioning that federal power, became “obsolete” before the dawn of the 20th century.

        The point being, strictly speaking, a constitutional amendment is needed, but almost everyone is satisfied that the thinking on the matter, that prevailed through our first century, be treated as just “obsolete”. There are probably dozens of other precedents establishing the legitimacy of the principle of “obsolescence”. And probably in every case, acceptance of that principle aligns with the outcomes desired. But precedent it is.

        • Richard says:

          Curiously, Article 1, Section 9 about which we have argued before re importation of slaves would seem to cast a penumbra about immigration. If the leftists can do penumbras so can I. Or you could justify it on Common Defense since on the southern border it is more like an invasion than immigration. Or General Welfare since it can easily be argued that unrestrained immigration has a negative impact on people already here. I am not accepting separate sets of constitutional rules for conservatives and leftists. Since you and I seem to agree that the two sides have profoundly different views of whats been agreed, why not do the National Divorce where both sides can do their own thing. Or we could have CW2.

  6. Andy B. says:

    “If the leftists can do penumbras so can I.”

    Fair enough. But I am constantly frustrated by the argument that somehow the Founders were such gifted wordsmiths, that they really didn’t need to be explicit about that they meant. What you are doing is at least somewhat analogous to the authoritarians’ appeals to “A well regulated militia. . .”

    That is even more to the point when the Founders themselves called out the intended meaning, as Jefferson and Madison did regarding immigration.

    • Richard says:

      They also called out the intended meaning re secession. So what about the National Divorce.

      • Andy B. says:

        “what about the National Divorce.”

        I think you saw an example of what I was saying, at play in Michigan yesterday. The Wolverine-whatevers were ratted out by people they thought were their allies, who instead actually went to work for the FBI. That because of a very narrow (IMO) difference in ideology; the infiltrators may have been ready to kill a state governor, but they weren’t about to kill beat cops.

        Your “National Divorce” premise is based on an assumption of two very well-defined “cultures”. (I say “culture” rather than “ideology”, because I now believe all ideologies are bullshit for manipulating the masses.) But solidarity exists on neither the right nor the left in the United States. I see leftists badmouthing “liberals” these days as much or more than conservatives ever did.

        Per your “secession” example, even the Confederacy had no solidarity to speak of, and divisions existed generally along economic lines; the regions really dependent on slavery were more highly motivated (at the power-elite level) than those less dependent. At the working class, poor-farmer level, there was a lot of grousing about “rich man’s war, poor man’s fight, and I believe the Confederacy had to implement conscription long before the north had to.

        • Andy B. says:

          “I believe the Confederacy had to implement conscription long before the north had to.”

          I had to look it up, but, The Confederacy implemented their first draft law in April, 1862, one year into the war, when insufficient men were reenlisting after their initial one-year hitch. The Union implemented conscription in July 1863, more that a year later, resulting in the New York Draft Riots.

          • Andy B. says:

            I agree. It gave me flashbacks to the mid-90s, when I still thought militias were a great idea, but was (thankfully) driven away by the insanity of the tactics being trained for by “Company F, Bucks County Militia.”

            It was years later that I realized that militias were intended to be Sturmabteilung for the emerging neo-fascist movement. My enlightenment was an unintended consequence of articles written by GOA’s Larry Pratt, praising Guatemala’s dictator Rios Montt’s death squads as ideal models for what U.S. “citizen militias” should be. (They may have slaughtered six-figures of Mayan peasants, but at least they weren’t “leftists”.)

            • Andy B. says:

              I had some momentary trepidation citing the Pratt columns at the GOA website, because I haven’t checked on them for years; however they are still posted there here, here, here, and here. I will have to archive them before I post this.

              To appreciate them you should review the contemporary history of Rios Montt from universally available credible sources, in particular regarding Montt’s head count of people slaughtered. You need to understand that in Pratt’s terminology, armed “Mayan highlanders” were death squads in Montt’s service, and “leftists” were Mayan peasants who had the effrontery to complain about starvation, murder, and horrible living conditions. (In many ways we are still experiencing the residue/vestiges of Montt’s reign.)

              The fourth link on the above list, that addresses Montt’s “Christian” connections, also contains some reflections on similar connections to South Africa’s apartheid regime, a subject I alluded to earlier, but have not investigated in the past. I’m glad both subjects were brought to mind.

          • Richard says:

            Clowns they are but I think a hard look at FBI behavior is needed. Getting away from the specifics in this case consider the FBI’s record in Islamic terrorist cases. I don’t know how you say Bubba in Arabic but the FBI sure knows how to find them. They zero in on someone shooting their mouth off on the internet, send in a provocateur to turn it into a plot, set up a buy of fake explosives and then bust the clowns. Meanwhile, the FBI misses all the actual Islamic terrorists even if they have been warned. Tsarenev, Mateen, and of course the 9-11 plotters. This case seems very similar.

        • Richard says:

          Here is one of the plotters.
          https://twitter.com/i/status/1314267058339819520

          How a right wing group could have thought this guy was an ally is beyond me. Perhaps they were even dumber than Sebastian thinks or perhaps they were actually a left wing group.

          As to the many cultures, true enough. I would expect that the different cultures on the right would be able to come together in their common interest or at least suppress the fringe elements. Not so sure about the Left as once the Deplorables are removed from the mix, it is entirely possible that their internal divisions come to the front. Blacks hate Mexicans hate gays and everybody hates white liberals. It is the natural end of intersectionality.

          • Andy B. says:

            “How a right wing group could have thought this guy was an ally is beyond me.”

            It’s hard to say. When I was with the Libertarian Party, it was largely a farm team for the Republican Party, yet broadly speaking, there was an “anarchist caucus” and a “minarchist caucus”, the boundary being, people who aspired to no government, via pure capitalism, and those who aspired to government so small it could be “drowned in the bathtub” if necessary.

            When I was on the founding Advisory Board of the Pennsylvania Leadership Conference and would attend the monthly board meetings in Harrisburg, another board member would frequently shout down the table to me “What do you think about anarchism, Andy?”, with a wink-wink in his voice, and I would answer, “Well, it’s better than having no government at all”, and most thought it was a great joke. I bailed after a few months, but he stuck around, and along the way became chairman of the Pennsylvania Manufacturers Association.

            The point of both stories being, a wink-and-nod association with anarchism, on the right, was considered tolerable at one time.

            I’ve been out of all games for well more than a decade now, so I have no feeling for what anarchist symbolism is considered tolerable by right wing anarchists these days. In my time with the Libertarian Party, I only ever met two professing left wing anarchists, who were largely dismissed as advocating for an oxymoron.

            FWIW, as I recall the right wing anarchist symbolism is mostly identical with the left wing anarchist symbolism, except the color yellow is substituted for the color red. But as mentioned I’ve been away from organized activities so long I have no feeling for what amount of cross-over is considered tolerable on the right.

  7. Andy B. says:

    Relevant to our “constitutional” thread, what does everyone think about the Constitution Party candidate , Don Blankenship?

    The Keystone Firearms Coalition supported their candidate for PA governor in 1994, over gun-grabbing Republican Tom Ridge. The Constitution Party won at least one county, Crawford I think, but the NRA was all-in for the gun grabber.

    We had no real illusions the Constitution Party candidate would win, but wanted to send the message that gun rights advocates would and could withhold their votes from a gun-grabber. That is kind of relevant given Trump’s “I’ll take the guns and then go to court” statement.

    • HappyWarrior6 says:

      I voted CP once in 2008 with we were stuck with McCain. That was the only presidential election I ever went third party. Unfortunately, the CP does not appear to be on the PA ballot. Pretty sad considering their HQ is here.

      Agree that Trump could have done a much better job of promoting the 2A by cleaning house at ATF and doing things like NOT putting out EOs to ban gun accessories.

      • Andy B. says:

        “Unfortunately, the CP does not appear to be on the PA ballot. Pretty sad considering their HQ is here.”

        I keep disclaiming confident knowledge of contemporary “movement” situations, but I recently got the impression that it is much easier for minor parties to get on the PA ballot than in my day, when there was one year when ~60,000 signatures was required to get a candidate on the statewide ballot.

        If the CP isn’t on the PA ballot, it suggests that they didn’t even try. Why, I have no idea.

        I suspect if their headquarters are here in PA, it is because Jim Clymer was a PA resident, and at one time he was pretty much their heart and soul, as well as their national chairman.

        One other CP name from the past I’ll drop is Mary Starrett. I didn’t know her, but somewhat knew her brother Kevin, chairman of Oregon Firearms Federation (OFF).

        • Andy B. says:

          “I suspect if their headquarters are here in PA, it is because Jim Clymer was a PA resident, and at one time he was pretty much their heart and soul, as well as their national chairman.”

          The Constitution Party’s address is 408 West Chestnut Street, Lancaster, Pennsylvania 17603. That is the address of a law office, I suspect a law office shared by Jim Clymer, who is an attorney.

          I’m not being judgemental, but anyone who was visualizing a political party national office buzzing with dozens of employees in a boiler-room-like atmosphere would likely be disappointed.

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  9. Andy B. says:

    Yesterday I got a robocall, a recording of Joe Lieberman (Al Gore’s running mate in 2000) endorsing Brian Fitzpatrick (R – 1st District PA). I knew Fitzpatrick had Bucks County Ds snowed, but I was shocked it reached all the way up to Lieberman’s level!

    Among Lieberman’s reasons for supporting Fitzpatrick was, “his support for common-sense gun legislation.”

    The funny thing is, I seem to be on two different Fitzpatrick lists. I’m guessing I got the Lieberman call (if everyone didn’t?) because I’m registered “No Party”, and they’re fishing for unidentified, snowed liberals. Meanwhile the email spam I get from the Fitzpatrick campaign is all fire-breathing, “Supporting President Trump and saving America from Socialism!” Maybe I emailed him some time opposing gun control?

    I’m getting those old “not a dime’s worth of difference” flashbacks from my Libertarian days. Lying sacks of offal to the last man/woman.

    • Andy B. says:

      I thought the gun-grabber-Lieberman endorsement robocall might be a political dirty trick, but it looks like it’s real.

      “Birds of a feather flock together”, I think they say. At least it’s a word that sounds like “flock”.

  10. Andy B. says:

    Anybody around here attend the Moonies’ Rod of Iron Firearms Festival in Greely, Pike County, this past weekend? When I saw “Rod of Iron” I at first thought it was a rally for gay gun owners. Then I learned that was sort of a Moonie trademark.

    But seriously: The Reverend Moon was a champion infiltrator on the right, going back at least to the early days of the Council for National Policy which he initially funded. Its members included Wayne Lapierre, Larry Pratt, and Alan Gottlieb. And of course he sank up to a couple hundred million a year into the money-losing Washington Times. I’ve always wondered if George Soros modeled his efforts on the left, to what Moon accomplished on the right. But Soros never started a religion.

    Anyway, Moon sure knew how to run a cult, and it looks like his kids are still at it!

  11. Andy B. says:

    Here’s more about the Rod of Iron Freedom Festival in Greely, PA. Sounds like Steve Bannon Zoomed the Moonies.

    Damn, these people are everywhere — like dog dookies.

    • Richard says:

      People for the American Way. There is an impartial source.

      • Andy B. says:

        I Googled the issue and that came up. But, please tell us what in its content was not true? Or, what was a half-truth, given that a half-truth is a whole lie? Didn’t they have Steve Bannon as a virtual guest speaker? I wasn’t there.

        But regarding infiltration by cults, it was a long time ago I started saying that if it weren’t for gullible gun owners, there would be no gun owners at all. String two or three pro-gun phrases together, and they’ll follow anyone anywhere.

        I’m queuing up my Old Story about the guy we made chairman of the Keystone Firearms Coalition, who disappeared after his wife outed him with “If he ever brought a gun into our house I’d kill him.”

      • Andy B. says:

        Here’s a link to a local newspaper reporting on the voter intimidation by those “patriots” from Japan. WTF???

        https://www.timesleader.com/news/807127/trump-supporters-from-japan-ratchet-up-volume-at-wb-rally-2

        I’m having fun fantasizing what my late uncle would have done if a bunch of Jap fanatics had tried to intimidate him. After spending all of WWII in their POW camps, I think even at the age of 95, he would have reacted badly, even if it was the last thing he did this side of his Arlington grave. (I’d have given him a ride, if he’d needed it.)

        And here’s the link to yet more “patriotism.”

        “The Constitution of the United States of Cheon Il Guk.”

        https://drive.google.com/file/d/1j2hm5SmXrR8HKXTQg_Yy653onhSOcx-J/view

        I didn’t check out every embedded link in that article, so if someone can find something to give me a different impression than what I have, please do.

        Or, should I be applauding all that “diversity” among “patriots”? Not to mention the Internationalism?

        (How does International Patriotism work? I’m just a country boy.)
        ———-
        And this just in: I went to my mailbox and here, just the week before election day, found my first-ever sample issue of the Epoch Times, which is published by yet another Asian cult, the Falun Gong, that supports Trump and a quiver of European fascist regimes.

        What a coincidence, huh?

        But “International Patriotism” remains a concept that I just can’t get my head around.

        • Andy B. says:

          “Falun Gong, that supports Trump and a quiver of European fascist regimes.”

          Here’s the Falun Gong Logo.

          So, so many coincidences! But I’m sure this don’t mean nuthin’.

          • Richard says:

            I assume you know that the swastika as a symbol long (since neo-Lithic times) predates the National Socialists and was found widely in Asia (as well as among American Indians).

            • Andy B. says:

              Yeah, I know the rap. And as I said, what interests me the most is the convergence of “coincidences”.

              But regarding the swastika, I would submit it got brand-stamped as what we see it as, with the advent of the Holocaust. I know for a fact that even Siberian indigenous peoples now see it as what the Nazis branded it to be. So, Asians sophisticated enough to found a cult knew what they were adopting, and intended it to be seen as such — in my opinion. They knew who they found common ground with.

              • 399 says:

                “what interests me the most is the convergence of “coincidences”.”

                Someone once said “Coincidences require a lot of planning.”

              • Richard says:

                The National Socialists culturally appropriated an ancient Asian religious symbol and now that makes Asians suspect when they use their own symbol? That is really sick leftist crap.

                • Andy B. says:

                  “That is really sick leftist crap.”

                  No, it is practical reality. Lots of historical symbols have been expropriated and used for “branding” something else throughout the ages.

                  The Confederate Battle Flag may be a good contemporary example. The Ku Klux Klan expropriated a “cultural” symbol for their own sick bullshit, and whatever its cultural meaning once was, changed its symbology to something else. If I were choosing a symbol to express a group’s philosophy today, I would not choose the Confederate Battle Flag, unless I was choosing to express sympathy with the Klan, who successfully expropriated it.

                  I don’t want to abuse the word, but that is just “reality,” sad though reality may be. Whining about it is like whining that language evolves, and words don’t have the connotations they once did.

                  • Richard says:

                    Leftist always have more demand for Nazis than there is supply thus they have to create them. It is despicable to deny Asians the right to use symbols they invented.

                  • Andy B. says:

                    “Leftist always have more demand for Nazis than there is supply thus they have to create them.”

                    And so everyone who calls a Nazi by the right name is a leftist, I gather?

                    To put my two cited examples of expropriated symbols together, I suppose in all those crowds where the Confederate Battle Flag was flown right next to the swastika, it was because all those traditionalist Confederate Heritage fans thought the swastikas were a symbol of ancient Asian culture, or maybe of American Indians? Is the German ban of the swastika an insult to Asians or American Indians?

                    There is a point where your stretches to find “leftists” behind every tree insult everyone’s intelligence. Even Joe McCarthy ran out of rope with that shtick, eventually. Unless a swastika is part of a motif created before about 1930, it is a dog/steam whistle alluding to the German Nazis and what they stood for. Denial is not even plausible.

  12. Andy B. says:

    Returning to the original kick-off for this topic, my solicitation from The Epoch Times, published by the Falun Gong cult, this article fills in a lot:

    The Obscure Newspaper Fueling the Far-Right in Europe

    The conspiratorial bent of The Epoch Times is forging common cause with European nationalists.

    ——

    Li Honghzi, a former trumpet player from China who founded Falun Gong and now lives in upstate New York. . .In his teachings, posted online on Falun Gong’s website, he has dismissed the theory of evolution, described mixed race children as “physically and intellectually incomplete” and listed homosexuality among “bad deeds.”

    Which convinces me more than ever that the selection of the swastika for its logo was merely an allusion to fine old, traditional Asian philosophies, and otherwise purely coincidental.

    But as Richard has illustrated, if it weren’t for gullible gun owners, there would be almost no gun owners at all, so that explains why they were soliciting me.

    • Andy B. says:

      Here is a very informative Falun Gong lecture, with a snippet:

      There is an issue that comes up here. It’s prohibited for the earth’s races to mix. Now that the races have mixed it has brought about an extremely serious issue. After the races mixed they no longer had corresponding connections with those [of their race] above, and they lost their roots. Mixed races have lost their roots; it’s as if those in the heavenly kingdoms and paradises don’t look after them—they belong nowhere and no one wants them. So you can see that in the past, there was a desert in the area connecting the mainland areas of Europe and Asia. It was an uninhabited area, and in the times when transportation was not so advanced, it was hard to cross. With the progress of modernized tools, this [barrier] has been broken through, so the races have become increasingly mixed, and this will bring about serious consequences. Of course, I don’t emphasize these things; it’s just to say that those above don’t recognize these races.

      Another huge coincidence is, they are bigtime Trump supporters.

      • Richard says:

        The great enemy of Falun Gong is, of course, the CCP. Suppression is definitely in play with allegations of executions, torture, and organ harvesting. (your favorite source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persecution_of_Falun_Gong).

        It is also the CCP that has branded FG as a cult rather than a religion.

        There is more connection between you and the CCP talking points than there is between Falun Gong and the National Socialists. Fortunately for you, there is a lot of room between zero and infinity.

        • Andy B. says:

          Since the CCP are more fascist than communist these days — China is arguably more capitalist than the U.S., though with the overlay of authoritarianism necessary to translate capitalism into fascism — I’d say the point you are attempting to make fails badly. The Falun Gong v. CCP is only a schism in fascism.

          International Fascism has used many guises to lure saps into their web. My assessment is that the Moonies use a very warped version of Christianity, while the Falun Gong are using a Kumbaya rendering of Buddhist and other eastern “spiritual” philosophies. If you’ve checked out their website you’ve seen all the images of people meditating and taking yoga positions on mats. And yet they are openly racist in their philosophies, and chose a left-facing swastika — a choice made by an educated person, in the mid-1990s — as their symbol.

          Merely expressing a distaste for communism is not enough to bring me into common cause with fascists. If it were, I would be forced to cheer for Hitler, as philosopher. I won’t.

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