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Can’t Both Sides Lose?

Henry Kissinger is rumored to have said, in regards to the Iran-Iraq war, “It’s a pity both sides can’t lose.” That pretty much sums up how I feel about what happened in Charlottesville. For those of you who are wise enough to avoid social media, it has been non stop “fascism and nazism descending on America because a few hundred idiots got together and Charlottesville and did what idiots tend to do.

I’m told variously I have to speak out. No I don’t. I down own kooks. I don’t own those people any more than people who voted for Bernie own that dude who shot Steve Scalise, or people who voted for Hillary who own this guy. Let’s establish that we all think murdering people is wrong, that violence is bad, socialist authoritarianism, whether national or international flavor is bad, fascism is bad. I’ve always been more of a pragmatist than a hard ideologue, so I’m OK condemning a whole host of isms.

So no, I definitely don’t own a few hundred loser white supremacists or antifa protesters who decided to get out of mom’s basement for a day and beat each other up over a statue.

I’ll leave you all with Ace of Spades:

But as John Sexton points out, you can’t expect a culture to praise all sorts of Identity Politics — flat-out racist groups and gender supremacists — but say that one group doesn’t get to play by the same rules.

Either it’s all poisonous garbage, or it’s all got something of merit to it.

I believe the former. But the media — and the establishment right political class — cannot continue with this incoherent claim that Identity Politics are permissible for e everyone except The One Group Which is Truly Odious and Cursed by God.

People will not accept that. No one will accept his subordination without a fight of some kind.

I agree. It’s all poisonous garbage, and if we don’t abandon it for the good of the country, it’s only going to get worse.

Quote of the Day: Policing

Tam commenting on the recent shooting of an Australian woman by an apparently jumpy Minneapolis cop:

Policing is generally something folks get into because they knew they always wanted to as a kid, or because it’s a reasonably easy gig to land getting out of the military. It’s the ones who suddenly decided in their thirties that they wanted to drop everything and be Batman and a Force For Good that worry me.

I think people also go into law enforcement because their parents were in law enforcement. But the point is very well taken. Read the whole thing.

Good Advice

Greg Ellifritz, of Active Response Training, and a police officer, has some advice for both cops and carriers that’s worth reading:

Look at this shooting. The reason for contact (only one functioning brake light) is valid legally, but what do people think about cops pulling people over for minor infractions like that?  They don’t like it.  Following the logic, they will like it even less when someone gets shot as a result of a “bullshit” stop.

I know what the cop was doing, he was likely hunting for criminals and people who have warrants. I see it pretty regularly. Cops pull over crappy cars for equipment violations, hunting for an arrest. Poor people who can’t afford to fix busted tail lights often can’t afford to pay their tickets, their child support, or their court fees. Their driver’s licenses are frequently suspended and they regularly have warrants.

So, aggressive cop looking to arrest “bad guys” pulls over a beater car and runs everyone inside for warrants. About 25% of the time he gets lucky and gets an arrest or a bunch of tickets. Every once in awhile, bad shit happens, innocent people die and the cop ends up in the national media spotlight.  Is it worth it to take the chance of such a negative outcome to enforce a relatively inconsequential  traffic violation ?

Read the whole thing.

One Last Thing: The Overarching Problem

I linked to this multi-part Twitter rant by journalist Julian Sanchez in the last post, but since I know some of you don’t Twitter, I thought I’d preserve it here for posterity, because this is probably the best summary of the problem I’ve seen to date:

After that, the inevitable question of “But what do we do about it?”:

And that is the tough nut to crack. The more I write on topics like this, the more convinced I become that there are very few problems we face as a country that have easy answers, and very few controversies that have simple causes. The Castile case is not as simple as straight up racism, even if race is a factor. It’s not as simple as police are too militarized, or too quick to use force. It’s not as simple as “NRA doesn’t care about black people.” It’s representative of a lot of pathologies we carry as a nation, and I don’t have easy answers.

Jurors Tend Not to Convict Cops

I’m not surprised by the result in the Philando Castile. I disagree with the assertion that the system is broken. Trial by jury is one of the best things we ever inherited from the British, and while it’s flawed, like every human endeavor, a properly functioning jury system is one of the ultimate checks the people have on the power of the state.

But the system only works as well as the people who comprise it, and the fact of the matter is that jurors will give cops breaks they wouldn’t give you and me under similar circumstances. It might not be right, but it is a fact. So it was always an uphill battle for Castile to get justice.

The Washington Post and other outlets are trying to make hay out of NRA’s silence. I’ve seen other outlets suggesting the reason for NRA’s silence is racism. That’s nonsense. The reason for NRA’s silence is that a not insignificant number of NRA’s membership are police officers. Hell, a not insignificant number of NRA’s staff and Board are former police officers. They aren’t going to be speaking out against a jury verdict acquitting a cop. NRA doesn’t care very much about pain coming from the media, anti-gun groups, or politicians. As I’ve noted, they actually thrive on that. NRA does care about internal pressure from its membership. If you don’t believe that, just ask Harry Reid.

Is SHARE Dead?

Congress basically cancelled everything today, so it’s not a fore drawn conclusion the SHARE bill is dead. That said, political elites are never more protective of their prerogatives than when they feel targeted, so I’m not saying everything is coming up roses either. This isn’t a good situation to be in. It was assassinations that brought us the Gun Control Act of 1968.

Yes, it’s unfair that it was a raging lefty that pooped in the pool. You’re still going to have to smell it. Give it time to pass, then get back to work. Congress is now talking about bringing reciprocity to DC, for Congressmen, not for us serfs:

Under Rep. Barry Loudermilk’s proposal, members who are allowed to conceal carry a weapon in their home state would be able to in Washington. Loudermilk, R-Ga., said the problem is that the nation’s capital does not recognize concealed carry licenses from other states.

Scalise is majority whip, so he gets a security detail. If Scalise hadn’t been there, there definitely would have been bodies stacked. I get that because of DC’s gun laws, you can’t take a firearm into the District, but the solution to that is to trash DC’s gun laws for everyone, and then preempt them from regulating guns ever again. Those same whack jobs are out there among us peons too, you know.

Also, as for the shooting, it’s another example of how bad the situation is getting. Unlike Gifford’s gunman, who was out of his gourd, this dude doesn’t seem to be crazy and knew exactly what he was doing. I don’t lay this current situation at the feet of any person or group, except maybe social media, which I’m coming to regard as poison.

If you keep telling people you’re fighting fascists, that your opponents are literally Hitler, it’s OK to shoot them right?

I’m afraid that I find Scott Adams’ theory increasingly credible:

The bigger picture is that the country is living two movies at the same time, and Griffin was acting “normal” in one of them.

And this shooter was fighting the good fight against the fascists, right? I’ve seen that movie too.


So far The Experts seem to have done about as good a job predicting the snowfall accumulation from this storm as they did the election. I didn’t go into the office today because I expected when I woke up, it would be snowpocalypse. Of course, there’s still more storm coming, but it’s looking like a dud here so far.

Not that I’m going to complain. I wasn’t look forward to shoveling 2 feet of the wet, heavy stuff off my driveway this afternoon. In other news, I absolutely hate The Weather Channel’s policy of naming winter storms. I hate it enough I’ve been actively boycotting them for their sin against meteorology.

Women’s Marchers Debase Women’s Monument

A monument dedicated to women on the site of the largest complex of buildings owned exclusively by women seems like it would be a great place to stop and pay some respect during the Women’s March, doesn’t it?

It was, if you define paying respect by climbing up the monuments to slap on signs, clothing, and hanging crap off of the outstretched hands. If respecting the property means stomping over flower beds, kicking the greenery up, pushing through the bushes, leaving trash strewn about, and apparently also smearing paint on statues, then sure, lots of respect was paid to the monument and buildings owned by women. (The paint apparently isn’t visible in the videos below because they were shot after signs were placed on top, but I’ve seen it mentioned by several who visited the site later.)

The buildings owned exclusively by women since the empty city block across from the White House lawn was purchased more than 100 years ago – before women could even vote in this country – and are home to the Daughters of the American Revolution. DAR is non-partisan and apolitical. I know women in the group who are far more conservative than I’ll ever be and far more liberal than I’ve ever been. And yet we have a few things in common – a sense of respect for American history and values, and we’re always volunteering for something in our communities.

In fact, the monument that was “decorated” by the marchers is dedicated to the founders who spelled out that DAR was supposed to be a community service organization. Our current goal for recorded service in our community is 19 million hours collectively doing meaningful service – not writing checks or showing up to a gala for a cause – in 3 years. The 19 number comes from the fact that our final year of recording hours will be the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment.

I’ve seen marchers defend the mess they left on sidewalks by saying that the City wanted to handle clean up so they wouldn’t have as many trashcans that could be a security risk. Assuming that’s accurate, this mess is not on a sidewalk. In fact, much of it is not even on concrete. It’s in bushes and dropped over gardens. It’s on private property that women have to pay to clean. So all those complaints about the gender wage gap? A man is on video calling for people to leave their trash that women who make less will have to pay to have cleaned. That flower he laughs about kicking out of the ground, sure it’s just one bloom. But those gardens are paid for by women. So much for respect.

Inside those halls, if the people in the video had any interest in history, they would find a museum that primarily runs exhibits relating to women’s connections to history and craft. They would find collections put together by volunteers and staff (paid by women) dedicated to documenting the rich history that covers this country’s recent immigrants to the Revolution’s minority patriots. They would find out about how a group of women raised money to plant entire forests in every state – many of which are still preserved public green spaces today. Instead of actually showing even a reasonable level of respect for those efforts, they spread paint on our monuments and leave their trash behind as a “shrine” for women to clean up. (At least a past national officer reported that the paint seems to have been water based and was removed without further damaging the statue.)

But I have to say that it’s not just the marchers who left their trash behind in an effort to force non-partisan groups into partisan political debates, it’s also the reaction afterwards. Needless to say, the images of this vandalism have been shared widely in various DAR groups online. Some of the liberal members of the group are trying to put a positive spin on the intention, but also recognize that this is a man who is organizing some level of vandalism on our statues and that it will require women’s funds to clean up. I have seen some who have asked their fellow marchers to contribute to those expenses by donating to the DAR’s building maintenance fund in recognition of the fact that it wasn’t appropriate to leave everything behind for a private, non-political group that wasn’t involved to clean up.

Then there are those members who participated who I’ve seen demanding women who share information about the clean up efforts be banned from the organization. Their argument being that DAR is non-political, so a post about cleaning up the trash and paint left on our property by a political march is considered political because it makes their cause look less than perfect. Newsflash ladies, every movement has a**holes. If you’ve been involved in real grassroots action before, you know this. Call them out on their bad behavior and do what you can to correct that image. Instead, they want to silence those who are expressing disappointment in bad behavior. It doesn’t seem unreasonable to believe that a shared American value should include that even when you’re passionate about an issue, trespass and vandalism of private property is inappropriate.

Reciprocity for non-resident permits

Via the NRA’s FB page I just found out that Rep. Richard Hudson (R., N.C.) does intend that his bill cover reciprocity of non-resident permits. Which means I probably ought to start looking into getting a non-resident permit from someplace, so I can join Sebastian and Bitter in a small victory dance in Central Park :)

From a purely pragmatic viewpoint, this may make it harder to get passed, because states which have training requirements might object to having them bypassed. So we shall see how that fares in the sausage grinder. And then it has to survive the inevitable court challenges. That having been said, that the bill’s author is starting with that as the base is something I wouldn’t have expected even a couple of years ago.

2016, The Gift That Keeps Giving: Brian Anse Patrick Dies

Brian Anse PatrickBrian Anse Patrick died of cancer unexpectedly (for us) at age 62, of cancer. I ended up at the lunch table with him at the law seminar in Louisville this year, and if he was terminally ill, he certainly didn’t look or act it. I had met him several times at the law seminar, but I don’t think he was a reader, and never remembered meeting me previous years. But he was always really glad to meet someone who read his books and would strike up a conversation enthusiastically on those topics. His real area of academic expertise was propaganda.

Please, if you’re a 2A academic scholar, I would strongly encourage you to go into hiding until next week. We’ve already lost Don Kates. Now this.

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