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Why All These Bundy Cases Ended up Jury Nullified

As Dave Hardy pointed out, this is a doozy. BLM agent accuses his superiors of numerous illegal abuses and misbehaviors in the Bundy Ranch case:

The investigation also indicated that on multiple occasions, former BLM Special Agent-in-Charge (SAC) Love specifically and purposely ignored U.S. Attorney’s Office and BLM civilian management direction and intent as well as Nevada State Official recommendations in order to command the most intrusive, oppressive, large scale, and militaristic trespass cattle impound possible. Additionally, this investigation also indicated excessive use of force, civil rights and policy violations. The investigation indicated that there was little doubt there was an improper cover-up in virtually every matter that a particular BLM SAC participated in, or oversaw and that the BLM SAC was immune from discipline and the consequences of his actions.

If BLM regularly deals with ranchers in this manner, it would explain why the Bundys were jury nullified even though they were guilty as hell.

All in all, it is my assessment, and the investigation showed that the 2014 Gold Butte Trespass Cattle Impound was in part a punitive and ego-driven expedition by Senior BLM Law Enforcement Supervisor (former BLM Special Agent-in-Charge Dan Love) that was only in part focused on the intent of the associated Federal Court Orders and the mission of our agency (to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the multiple use and enjoyment of present and future generations).

Retaliation against dissidents and whistleblowers is endemic in the “civil service.” The fact that everyone so up in arms over Trump doing the kinds of things that has been routinely done in the federal bureaucracy for years has been, for me, a source of laughter and frustration. How often do you find yourself thinking about something a friend, colleague, or family member wrote: “You didn’t give a shit about X until biased news site Y just told you that Trump did X and now it’s the worst. thing. ever. Even though Obama and everyone that came before him did X all the time.”

We have some real serious issues about how the federal government runs, but we all need to be operating in the same reality to do something about it. We all increasingly don’t operate in the same reality. I’ve heard concerns for the “deep state” being dismissed as right-wing paranoia. I don’t care what you call it, this is the truth: the federal bureaucracy is a branch of government onto itself, which has very little accountability to the elected officials that under our system are supposed to lead it.

To All the Celebrating Dems

Congratulations! You beat a child molester. Barely.

The silver lining for the anti-gun among them is that this will probably destroy any prospect of National Reciprocity, unfortunately. But I can’t tell you I’m sorry Moore lost. If he had run for President, he would have topped Hillary in terms of “Worst. Presidential Candidate. Ever.” He would have written the DSCC’s 2018 campaign ads for them.

He joins such luminaries as Christine “I am not a witch!” O’Donnell, Sharron Angle, and Todd Akin. That is why the first thing I look at when I look at a candidate isn’t “Does he agree with me?” but “Can he win?” Because if the answer to the latter question is no, what’s the point? If you’re backing candidates that can’t win, the race is just an exercise in selfish delusions.

Also, I’m starting to think Steve Bannon was just a lucky bastard with Trump, rather than some kind of evil genius. He was also lucky to be going up against the “Worst. Presidential Candidate. Ever.” in terms of Hillary.

Was Luther Strange an establishment choice? Sure he was. But if he had been the nominee that race wouldn’t have even been close, and we’d only be looking at having to flip one vote for National Reciprocity instead of two.

The Senate Math for CCW in 2017

It’s not looking probable; we would need a miracle. Here’s the breakdown

Starting with the 2013 vote (57 Ayes to invoke cloture), I did up a spreadsheet of the likely vote results in 2017, based on current occupancy, the 2013 vote, and the Senators political stances on the issue.

I came out with maximum of 59 Aye votes (assuming Luther Strange gets to vote Aye or his replacement votes Aye).

The vote delta (because we had both gains and losses)

NH: -1 (Maggie Hassan replaced Kelly Ayotte)

IA: +1 (Joni Ernst replaced Tom Harkin)

SD: +1 (Mike Rounds replaced Tim Johnson)

WV: +1 (Shelley Moore replaced John Rockefeller)

However, what I don’t see is the 60th vote. I broke out the Nay votes who are in seats up in 2018 in states that voted for Trump

Bill Nelson is a hard NO
Claire McCaskill is a hard NO
Sherrod Brown is a hard NO
Bob Casey is a firm No
Tammy Baldwin is a hard NO

And, if anyone flips to be the 60th, I wouldn’t put it past some of the presumptive Ayes to flip to Nay to prevent it. Fix NICS is already being pulled out as a cover for voting Nay (and was used for that purpose in the House).

Now, maybe the GOP leadership knows something I don’t, or this really was a setup to burnish everybody’s 2A pro/con credentials. Whichever way that goes, if you want reciprocity this year, better start praying.

Charges of “Whataboutism”: A Pet Peeve of Mine

I see this accusation a lot on social media. Some have collectively decided to rename “rooting out hypocrisy and naked partisanship” as “whataboutism.” When I first saw it, I thought it was weak. It was pointed out that it was a Soviet propaganda technique, but while the Soviets used it to cover up their much deeper sins, they weren’t always wrong about the flaws in our own society. This expert from the linked article strikes me as quite right:

If the intent of asking the “what about” question is indeed only to change the subject to protect a politician, then it’s exactly what critics contend, an effort to distract, deflect, or rationalize.

However, making a comparison is justifiable if it’s to flesh out the principles of a person silent about the conduct of a politician he likes while contending that hanging’s too good (figuratively speaking) for a politician he dislikes.

I’d like to think we can all agree that having perverts in public office is a Very Bad Thing. But many of the people saying that have covered for and defended perverts in public office for years, and have only now taken to rooting them out because they are becoming a political liability. Alabamans appear to be overlooking Roy Moore’s sins. Why wouldn’t they? Dems partisans are happy to sweep the Clinton’s and their allies aside now that they aren’t politically useful. But Al Franken? Hell no, not him. They need him.

I am not trying to argue that Roy’s just fine because Al’s a perv too. I think both of them are unfit to hold public office. In better times, we’d probably get some broad agreement there. But these are not better times, rather a time of political realignment. As a certain blogging law professor likes to say, “We have the worst political class ever!” And as we all go through this realignment, this cold civil war of sorts, we sure do.

How Philadelphia Plans to Shut down Convenience Stores that Sell Beer

If you’re Councilwoman Bass, you’ll put them out of business by making them easier to rob.

A controversial bill under consideration would require liquor stores to pull down the bulletproof glass they currently use to protect their clerks. After all, liquor stores are often prime targets for robbery. The glass keeps clerks safe, at least to some extent, and now it needs to come down.

These store owners tend to be Korean, so the accusation is being thrown around that the motivation for this is straight up racism. These business technically operate as restaurants. Convenience stores can’t sell alcoholic beverages in Pennsylvania, so what some stores do is to have a limited menu of items, apply for a liquor license as a restaurant, and then sell takeout, which restaurants are allowed to do.

I covered this issue some time ago, about the double standards at work here, and was very proud to have the current Mayor of Philadelphia tell me to go eff myself. You sell 7% ABV beers to white hipsters and no one cares. Do the same in minority neighborhoods and the world is coming to and end and we must stop it. Hard for me to agree there’s no racial issues at work here. I get the concern over social problems, but last I checked, dealing drugs, public intoxication, and public urination (all mentioned by Councilwoman Bass) were all crimes. Maybe address those issues, rather than targeting people who run the stores and ultimately their customers, many of whom probably just want a beer at the end of a hard day like we all do.

It is absolutely beyond the pale that this Councilwoman would see people get shot and stabbed. She should be ashamed for even proposing this. I would argue that armor are arms, and a bill like this should be properly found unconstitutional under the 2nd Amendment.

After Action Report in a Philly Ring County

Someone who knows I’m a registered Republican even though I’m more libertarian than they really like and not enough party cheerleader. But a local woman posted something about Bucks County GOP losses this morning that made me think there was room for some serious observations about things both large and small local and county candidates could have done to improve their odds in an opposition party wave year – a factor that was completely predictable.

Of course, I should have known better than to assume anyone was interested in talking about things they saw that worked well for candidates and missed opportunities for others. People would rather scream “SHAME!” than actually think about things they could help do for their candidates of choice in next year’s elections.

I guess I’m sharing an edited version here since I hope that someone might be willing to be inspired by some of these thoughts and ultimately make a positive impact for gun rights.

Locally, I don’t think most of the GOP candidates prepared to run in what is, historically, going to be a year that favors the opposite party. There were some small things I noticed that probably made a difference, and then some big concepts, too.

For most of the county-level offices, other than glossy mailers that immediately go into the recycling bin, all I ever saw were the generic blue signs that had lots of last names with no visible office listed. The offices were listed on the signs, but nearly impossible to read in much smaller print squeezed between 3-5 last names of various GOP candidates on plain blue backgrounds. Even the glossy mailers I got a look at as they fell into the trash all had many candidates for different offices so that they all blended together.

In a specific an example, for sheriff, I knew a guy named Milt Warrell was on the ticket because his signs were big, bold, clear, and not typical campaign colors. They were bright yellow and black. If it weren’t for the fact that I knew the GOP incumbent had a different name, then I would not have know Milt was a Democrat or anything else. But, unlike the GOP candidate, I knew he was running for sheriff. Milt’s visible campaigning just showed him being something different and that he was clearly running for that office.

I get that local campaigns don’t have major resources to spend, and that’s why they try to campaign together. However, it’s not acceptable to have literally no individual efforts. First of all, and this is pretty important in a purple-blue state for Republicans, you need to accommodate the ticket splitters. There have been times when I’ll take a sign for one candidate, but leave the others behind because I’m not on board with them. So why should the guy or gal I like miss out?

On the state level, Sallie Munday, a candidate for our state Supreme Court, clearly benefitted from split ticket voting given the spread she put up statewide. As much as I hate to admit it, I do think part of it was because she is a woman. (There were several races where GOP women beat Dem men by percentages that aren’t likely explained by much more than they won the women’s vote because they are women.) But I think the significant vote spread was also because she was willing to run very targeted social media ads that don’t cost a ridiculous amount of money. Even before I had my NRA orange mailer on her endorsed candidacy, I was getting ads for her on the issues I clearly follow on Facebook. I knew her name well before Election Day, before the NRA ever sent anything about her, and on issues I care about.

On a side note, what was up with NRA PVF having multiple statewide-endorsed candidates in Pennsylvania and then leaving them off of their website? We had to go through the effort to scan in the mailer to share with Sebastian’s gun club. It would have been easier to point to a public webpage like we could with New Jersey.

Back to the Pennsylvania state races… Christine Fizzano Cannon was also doing some ads, though not as targeted as Munday’s, but enough that I knew she was a ballot for something. However, her good move was to do several “alert” style ads starting around 11:00am on Election Day over the fact that Philadelphia purposefully printed her name incorrectly on about half of their voting machines. I don’t know if she ran those sponsored posts statewide, but every time I opened Facebook yesterday, I saw one here in a ring county. That plays very well into the narrative most suburbanites and “T” people have that Philly is corrupt. That’s hours of sending a message out there that will motivate many who may have been uninspired to make sure and hit the voting booth on the way home. Not to mention, the specific reason her name was chopped in Philly could have caused some split voting tickets because it’s something unique to women who don’t give up their maiden names, but also use their husband’s names. Philly decided not to recognize her “2nd” last name on half of their machines. That’s not something most men would face, and women know it. She beat out a Democratic woman, and I suspect that if we could get the timing of those votes cast for her, there was an uptick after she got the word out about Philly screwing her over.

There is one exception to the social media spending that didn’t win in a race I was watching closely, and that’s a local supervisor candidate. He started spending on Facebook ads right before the election, but they weren’t targeted (beyond location) and they were reproductions of those glossy mailers that go straight into trash. They didn’t tell me anything about him. It’s like someone told him to spend something online, but he didn’t know about any of the power to really target it. And since guns have come up as a local issue, he could have done something. I’m sure that’s true for a variety of other local issues that he didn’t really hit on.

I don’t think that online ad spending is the ticket to success, but I do think that individual campaigns that at least tried to talk about issues voters care about won out here over generic 3-5 candidate signs that barely fit the office names on there. It was expected to be an opposition party wave year, and they didn’t run like it at all here in Bucks County.

I also won’t ignore that Trump was a factor, even though federal races weren’t on the ticket here. But that isn’t a surprise since this is typically the result when one party takes the White House the previous year. One way to both run against what many find off-putting about Trump without actually running against him and his policies is to make yourself really likable. I see a huge missed opportunity with one relatively small office in Pennsylvania that could really spawn a lot of fun online ad themes, and that’s Prothonotary. I still can’t say it. I still don’t fully understand what they do (even though I believe some of it is genealogically-related), and I can assure you that other regular and irregular voters are in the same boat. Surely someone in a candidate’s circle of friends or family could help draft a series of funny videos around that theme. Run them online for not much money, and that could have been one more county office to hold onto just by running on a platform of being a likable person with a sense of humor.

There’s also the mobilization issue. How many GOP-leaning voters were put off by a lack of enthusiasm, a dislike of driving in dark and rain, and heavy rain? In an aging state like Pennsylvania, probably quite a few. Was there an effort to reach out to older voters who otherwise would have gone to vote? I don’t know. I know that some races were close enough that everything should be on the table as proposals to GOTV for the county GOP. I also know enough to know that they won’t do it here. Sad.

Alabama Primary

The Trace is setting up the Alabama Senate primary as an epic struggle of NRA against NAGR and GOA, given that NRA is backing Strange and NAGR and GOA are backing Moore. It’s been said, “If you don’t like Trump, you really won’t like what comes after Trump if the establishment succeeds in tearing him down.” I’m betting Moore is a taste of that.

As I get older, I’m starting to believe that the SoCos have a point on some issues. But where I part will them, and will continue to part with them, is believing that government can erase the SoCos’ cultural losses. Culture leads politics, not the other way around. The left understands that very well, but the right never has.

Nonetheless, it’s a seller’s market if what you’re selling is populism, so I think there’s a good chance Moore pulls off an upset.

New Jersey, Where Everything is Illegal

Despite SilencerCo’s marketing, the new suppressed .50 cal muzzleloader is not legal in New Jersey. Let’s face it, what is? New Jersey defines firearms in such a way that even BB guns are firearms under New Jersey law, and if you put a silencer on one, that’ll land you in prison my friends. I’m pretty sure this is also illegal in Massachusetts as well.

This is Always What They Do

They end up in power with grand promises, and then make excuses for why they won’t pass the bill:

“The timing isn’t right.”

“We need a bigger majority to overcome a filibuster.”

“We think this is really more of a second term project.”

I could go on. The right time is when you have the majority. After 2018, who knows what will happen. Historically, we would expect the party in power to lose seats in the midterms. Practically, the prospect of the Dems taking the Senate seems remote, but that’s only because of the peculiarities of this particular election.

Now is the right time to get our bills passed. The SHARE Act has been introduced in the House, finally. Folks in Ryan’s district need to start turning up the heat, particularly.

“I’m From the Government, and I’m here to Kill You”

Dave Hardy’s latest book, “I’m From the Government and I’m Here to Kill you” is now available for preorder on Amazon. I’m told it should ship in a few weeks. I’d strongly recommend the introduction:

The proposition that a king, a government, can do wrong is central to the Declaration, America’s foundational document. So how did America get to a situation where government employees, “public servants,” can kill by sheer sloppiness and walk away? Where an agency can level a town and kill six hundred citizens and escape all responsibility? Where a federal agency can run guns to Mexican drug cartels, causing hundreds of deaths on both sides of the border, and wash its hands of the matter? Where veterans can die awaiting doctors’ appointments, and the hospital administrators can collect their bonuses and walk away?

Answering these questions requires a brief look at legal history. English common law developed the concept of “sovereign immunity,” commonly expressed as “the King can do no wrong.” But common-law sovereign immunity was actually a narrow concept. A subject could not sue or pros- ecute the king, but could take legal action against anyone carrying out the king’s orders. Americans could better hold their government accountable when they were ruled by George III than they can today!

Read the whole thing.

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