TINVOWOOT follies

I pray he’s wrong. I fear he’s right.

We have two justice systems, one for them and one for us, meaning we have no justice system at all.

Sorry to have to break this to you. I know it makes you sad, but how do you think I feel? I spent 27 years helping defend this country and voilà – here we are, a flippin’ banana republic. Turns out our elite is perfectly cool with treating our Constitution like Charmin.

You do understand that to the establishment, this dual track system where they ignore the law and we get the law dropped on us – including through active framing, as with LTG Flynn, to keep us in line – is how they want it, right? This is not an unintended consequence. They are for this.

They are actively for the abuse of the legal system to persecute their political enemies. You adorable naïfs come to me thinking that I, as a lawyer, will assuage your gnawing fear that something is rotten in the state of America. “Kurt, but this…this isn’t right? How can some people be prosecuted but other people with connections get away with crimes?” Well, the answer is simple: that is how many of the people with their grubby paws on the levers of power want it.

They want to use the government to stifle dissent, as the IRS did to Tea Party groups.

They want to make people afraid to oppose them by threatening them with crushing legal fees and maybe jail if they dare join the opposition – look at the trail of bankrupt Trumpworld folks after Obamagate.

They want to frame people working for their enemies and ruin them and put them in prison, a la LTG Flynn.

This permeates liberal culture. Did you know that the ACLU – the Alleged Civil Liberties Union – just sued Betsy De Vos because she ordered reforms to campus man-witch trials that gave men such radical due process rights as the right to know the charges, to have time to respond to them, to not be judged by the same person who is prosecuting them, and to confront their accuser? The ACLU came out against these things – at least in cases where ole Grandpa Badfinger’s not the accused. And speaking of that handsy old weirdo, how about all those lib luminaries leveling with us that even if he did what Tara Reade said he did, eh, no biggie. They’ll vote for him anyway, and that whiny broad should stop crying all over their beautiful progressive narrative.

I’d love to be wrong. Maybe I am. Maybe the unbroken track record of injustice we’ve seen over the last decade will suddenly break. And maybe my pet unicorn Chet will be the foreman of the jury when one of these slugs somehow gets called to account.

“Then I guess we should just give up and resign ourselves to tyranny?” Oh no. Oh, not at all. My short-term assessment is grave, but my long-term assessment is bright. Tyranny tends to fail over time. Remember, the establishment’s embrace of tactical tyranny is an admission of weakness. When they weren’t threatened they could afford to hide their true nature. All this is their last-ditch effort to resist the popular uprising against their inept rule.

We need to stay on the offensive.

But how do we win?

Alas, Kurt’s prescription for winning relies entirely on voting our way out of this, which…well, you know.

Clampdown

DeBalledZero lets his fascist-freak flag fly.

Cops will crack down on quarantine-fatigued New Yorkers partying outside their favorite bars, Mayor Bill de Blasio vowed on Sunday — as he threatening to fence off beaches if too many people flock there.

“I’m not comfortable at all with people congregating outside bars,” the mayor said at a press briefing when asked about alarming photos of large groups crowding outside watering holes over the weekend, as seen in Sunday’s Post.

The Upper East Side was singled out as having “had a particular problem,” but de Blasio insisted enforcement would be “everywhere around the city,” with both the NYPD and Sheriff’s Office deployed.

“We’re not going to tolerate people starting to congregate. It’s as simple as that,” de Blasio said, again encouraging New Yorkers to rat out violators.

“Please share with us those locations, and we will deal with them immediately,” he said.

A bartender at The Wolfhound in Astoria, Queens, balked at de Blasio’s bluster.

“It’s bulls- -t!” said the drink-slinger, who asked not to be identified. “I get it that there are places where it’s getting a bit wild, but otherwise we’re f- -ked. It’s our livelihood!”

The bartender added that cops have already come around the bar to ensure people are six feet apart while getting three sheets to the wind.

“They’ve been cool. Last night, they were here twice,” the barkeeper said, recalling that the cops switched on their patrol car’s loudspeaker to tell the imbibers to space out.

It appears that they’re being even cooler out in Jersey.

A few hours after workouts began Monday morning at New Jersey’s Atilis Gym — which is making national headlines for its early reopening in defiance of Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy’s coronavirus shutdown order — police showed up outside the Bellmawr business.

The large group of people outside the gym were angry and hostile, likely believing the officers showed up to shut down the gym, hand out tickets, or even make arrests. Amid the mostly unintelligible hollering, a few phrases rang out clearly:

  • “You have the right to refuse unconstitutional orders!”
  • “Freedom!”
  • “You swore an oath to protect our rights!”

Soon enough the crowd quieted down enough so that one of the officers was able to address them.

“We are and we’re only here for everybody’s safety today,” the officer began. “We planned for the worst, hoped for the best, and it seems like that’s what we have out here today. Formally, you are all in violation of the executive order.”

Then came the officer’s surprising follow-up statement: “On that note, have a good day. Everybody be safe.”

As police turned and walked away, the crowd immediately erupted in the kind of cheering you’d expect after a Philadelphia Eagles’ game-winning touchdown — and then a hefty “USA! USA! USA!” chant soon followed.

As well it should have. Nice to know they’re not all pigs.

Spoke too soon update! Apparently, not all THAT cool.

The owners of a Camden County gym which reopened on Monday in violation of Gov. Phil Murphy’s stay-at-home executive order have been issued a second violation by police when they reopened the gym again on Tuesday.

Bellmawr police arrived at Atilis Gym in Bellmawr Tuesday morning and issued owners Ian Smith and Frank Trumbetti the citation. The officers also stopped three gym members as they left the gym.

Each citation could cost $1,000 and six months in jail.

Ah well, it was nice while it lasted. Now back in your cells, serfs.

SOLIDARNOSC!

Some eerie similarities.

Many U.S. states are acting like the early 1980’s and the imposition of Martial law in Poland to target the Solidarity movement. Subsequently I wrote about it on a Twitter thread, because the parallels were really quite remarkable.

Both Poland circa 1980 and the U.S. friction in 2020, center around fragile economic issues. Both were an outcome of state control; and the key connection is government targeting control over the workers.

In both examples the state took exclusive control of the economic and social state of the citizens, and the courts provided no option for redress. In both examples the state locked down the citizens and would not permit them to interact with each other.

In 1981 the government in Poland initiated Martial Law and citizens were forced to communicate underground. In 2020 a considerable number of U.S. state governments locked-down citizens in similar fashion and banned citizen assembly.

In 1981 in Poland the communist regime used economic psychological pressure, selecting workers permitted to earn wages. Those workers identified as “essential” to the state. In 2020 many State governors selected workers to earn an income by designating them “essential” to the state.

Isn’t it funny how ALL government employees always seem to be “essential”?

In 1981 Polish authorities arrested anyone organizing protests against the authoritarian state. In 2020 numerous authoritarian officials arrested citizens for non-compliance with unilateral dictates. From a New Jersey governor arresting a woman for organizing a protect; to an Idaho mother arrested for allowing her children to play at a park; to a Texas salon owner arrested for operating her business.

In 1981 Polish authorities had a program for citizens to report subversive activity against the state. Snitching. In 2020 New York City, LA and numerous state and local officials started programs for citizens to report non-compliant activity against the state. Similar snitching.

In both 1981 Poland and 2020 USA we also see media exclusively creating ideological content as propaganda for the interests of the authoritarian state (controlling citizens).

So where is the American Lech Walesa, anyway? Sundance finds reason for hope nonetheless:

Just before the authoritarian state in Poland collapsed there was a rapid movement for the citizens to take to the streets in defiance of state control. I remember watching with great enthusiasm as I saw a very determined pole shout on television:

…”we take to the streets and today we realize, there are more of us than them”…

If one person refuses to comply, government can and as we have witnessed arrest them. However, if tens of thousands rebuke these unconstitutional decrees, there isn’t a damn thing government can do to stop it…. and they know it.

If one barber shop opens, the owner becomes a target. However, if every barber shop and beauty salon in town opens… there is absolutely nothing the government can do about it.

If one restaurant and/or bar opens, the state can target the owner. But if every bar and restaurant in town opens; and if everyone ignores  and dispatches the silly dictates of the local, regional or state officials… there isn’t a damned thing they can do about it.

Even more to the point, a commenter notes this insightful quote:

Douglass-Tyrants.jpg


While I’m by no means as hopeful as Sundance (or Douglass, for that matter), that one is going straight into the Notable Quotes section in the sidebar, I believe.

To every thing, there is a season

The good Rabbi Fisher gets his hate on. To which I can only say: welcome to the party, pal.

When the Mets finally took it all in 1969, the other teams accepted the results. They lost gracefully. Now it was the Mets’ turn, and they had won it fair and square. But these past three years have been something different. Trump and Pence won fair and square. But there was no grace. Rather, there was instant character assassination, instant war, instant denial. Advertisements urging electors to violate their Electoral College oaths. Fabrications of collusion with Putin. Investigations that hamstrung a presidency. Lies and innuendoes leaked and published by the unindicted co-conspirators we call the “mainstream media.” A never-ending hunt to find scandals and Trump accusers: a bimbo who pole-danced at bars, her lawyer who now dances behind bars, another crooked lawyer who tape-recorded his own clients and now is locked up, disbarred from the Bar. One cartoon character after another.

As a rabbi of 40 years and a person who believes that most people have the potential for goodness, and who tries to find the good even in people who disappoint until they absolutely close off the possibility of goodness being discovered within them, I now have learned to hate.

I have come deeply to hate. I hate that Donald Trump never was given a chance to be president of the United States for even one day’s honeymoon. I hate that, long before he won the presidency — fair and square — corrupt crooks and criminals in the United States Department of Justice, its Federal Bureau of Investigation, were actively plotting to take him down. I hate that there are so few outlets in the media that give voice to condemn the criminality and corruption that broke every accepted societal norm by which we play the game. I hate that Obama was in on it, yet continues to pontificate on what is just and on what threatens freedom.

I hate that they all keep getting away with it. Every single one of them gets away with it. There is absolutely no price to be paid on the left for perjury, for conspiracy to overturn a legitimate election, for treason.

They took advantage of a good man who suddenly found himself combating in a different kind of military theater outside his field of expertise. He knew the jungles of Afghanistan, not the jungles of the Justice Department in Washington. The slime dregs of Justice, the Peter Strzoks and Andrew McCabes of the FBI, knew this. They had the lieutenant general on their terrain. He never should have been questioned about the call. He never should have been sucked into an interview without an attorney present. He never should have been lulled into what he said to the FBI.

Donald Trump has been the chief executive of this country for more than three years, and he has proven to be a great president in so many ways, but he sadly has proven incapable of cleaning the swamp. He at least identified the swamp’s existence, and he is fighting its effort to swallow him within its muck. But he has proven that, despite the glorious slogan he inspired, he cannot drain it. Not one single slime in the swamp has been brought to justice.

There is something so evil in a society that tolerates a dual standard of justice, dual standards of everything. On the one hand, we political conservatives harbor profoundly deep feelings, but we do not destroy people’s lives based on abstract politics. Yes, we oppose them and expose them, and we hope that contemporary society and history judge them for the evil they represent. But we do not destroy them in their lives. They get away with everything. Hillary Clinton spoliated 33,000 emails amid a federal probe, a federal crime that always ends up with prison time — but not for her. It is a federal crime to lie under oath to Congress. Comey, Clapper, Brennan — how have they all avoided prison time? Strzok, Page, the whole bunch of them? Adam Schiff. The outliers on the Mueller team. Not one single slime among them in the swamp has been brought to justice.

These animals destroyed the life of Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn. They drove him into such financial ruin that he had to sell his home to pay his legal bills. They went after a good boy, Nick Sandmann, and they cruelly made him into the face of racism. His own Catholic diocese in eastern Kentucky sold him out and sold out all the boys who stood with him that fateful day in Washington, D.C., when he was harassed by a messed-up Indian with a drum. And they did everything they could to destroy Brett Kavanaugh, a good man, a family man, a man who has devoted time throughout his life to his church and to the need. They endeavored through outright perjury to destroy him. The perjurers all got away with it. Name one single perjurer against Justice Kavanaugh who ever was brought to justice by Charles Grassley or Lindsey Graham of the Senate Judicial Committee.

The liars destroy with impunity because they know they always will get away with it. Republicans watch the character assassination and then go on Sean Hannity to sound brave for five minutes. “These people will pay a steep price, Sean.” “I won’t let them get away with it, Sean.” “Let not your heart be troubled, Sean.” “We will investigate every crime and every perjury, Sean.” Three years of hearing this from Paul Ryan, Reince Priebus, Trey Gowdy, Charles Grassley, Lindsey Graham, Rudy Giuliani, Jason Chaffetz, Kevin McCarthy. Well, Fox News Alert: They all got away with it. Comey. Brennan. Clapper. Blasey Ford. Schiff. Hillary. Strzok. Page. McCabe.

There is a time to love and a time to hate. This is a time to hate.

Well, good enough, as far as it goes. But nigh upon us is a quite different time: A time to act. We shall very soon see if enough of us remain in this benighted, ravaged nation with the wisdom to recognize it, and the gumption to do what’s required of us.

Plenty of blame to go around

Good on Ted Cruz, I suppose, for as far as it goes. Alas, that’s not very far.

Sen. Ted Cruz Gets Haircut At Salon A La Mode After Owner Shelley Luther Released From Jail
Cruz told Luther he hasn’t had a haircut in about three months, and that his wife Heidi even warned he would “start bringing mullets back,” if he didn’t do something soon.

At one point during his visit, Luther started crying, thanking Cruz for his support, “When people reach out with true authenticity, it’s huge,” she said.

Luther told CBS 11 News, “It’s a nice gesture. His family actually called my boyfriend and prayed for him for 20 minutes while I was in jail. To me that’s not political… that’s just really nice people reaching out and making sure that our family is okay.”

A fine gesture and all that jazz. My problem, though, is this: wouldn’t a MUCH better time for Cruz to visit the salon have been BEFORE Luther got thrown in the slammer, but was still under unconstitutional lockdown orders? Which brings me to my next complaint:

A Look At The Democrat Dallas Judge Who Jailed A Salon Owner
A Dallas salon owner was thrown in jail this week by a local judge after defying state restrictions ordering her business remain closed. Shelly Luther was fined $7,000 and ordered to seven days in jail by District Court Judge Eric Moye on Tuesday whose ruling has since become a nationwide controversy highlighting the growing tensions under lockdowns where government-mandated closings are throwing millions out of work.

Luther was released on Thursday however by the Texas Supreme Court which came just after the state’s Republican Governor, Greg Abbott issued an executive order retroactively suspending local ordinances that throw citizens in detention for noncompliance with local stay home orders.

“Throwing Texans in jail who have had their businesses shut down through no fault of their own is nonsensical, and I will not allow it to happen,” Abbott said the day after Luther was given jail time.

Yeah, except that you DID allow it to happen, Gov; it happened on your damned watch. And before anybody goes harrumphing at me for waxing all pissy at poor Abbott, let’s also remember a few other things:

Abbott Spokesman John Whitaker made clear in a statement to The Federalist however, that the governor’s executive order still allows local fines and other penalties such as license suspensions to be handed down to those who open without authorization, implying Luther may still have to pay $7,000.

Moye condemned Luther’s defiance as “selfish,” charging Luther with “putting your own interests ahead of the community in which you live.

“You disrespected the orders of the state, the county, and this city,” Moye told Luther.

All of which is, however inconvenient, perfectly fucking true, up to and including the part I boldfaced.

Now, in fairness, Abbott’s lockdown order was probably less onerous than some, and was implemented relatively late in the game. But still, there’s just no getting around the facts regarding A) who it was that implemented the Constitution-flouting thing in the first place, and B) stuff like this here:

The most immediate action will see state parks opened for recreational activity Monday, so long as citizens wear masks and maintain a distance of six feet from each other. Additionally, no groups larger than five people will be allowed to congregate.

Subsequent measures will allow hospitals to resume elective tests and surgeries while stores can start “retail to go” services, starting on Wednesday and Friday, respectively.

It is not clear whether or not Abbott’s executive order will supercede the actions of local officials, such as those in Austin, which earlier this week extended its stay-at-home order beyond May 1.

Abbott first issued an order telling Texans to stay at home starting April 1, but he never accepted that it was a stay-at-home lockdown in the same manner as those adopted by other states.

I don’t give a tinker’s damn what Abbott chooses to “accept.” Somehow, I doubt many of the small-business owners currently being bled white by the ridiculous COVIDIOT overreaction do, either. Somebody in Texas should maybe remind the Gov that if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and etc etc, then it’s probably a goddamned duck, no matter how reluctant he or anybody else might be to face up to it.

And Democrat-judge me no Democrat-judges, either. This is bipartisan bullshit we’re looking at here. Far as I know, we currently have precisely one (1) US state governor who well understands her legitimate role, and what boundaries the US Constitution explicitly sets around her own power. Sadly, tragically even, that would NOT be Governor Abbott of Texas.

It would be a serious mistake to think of what’s been done to us as a Demican/Republicrat thing, or to allow it to be portrayed as such. What we actually have here is a tyrant/non-tyrant thing. Unfortunately, we’ve all had the chance to get ourselves a good, long look at how many there are of the former out there, in both Uniparty flavors—and at how infinitesimally few remain of the latter.

Update! Now don’t get me wrong, I see no reason not to frankly acknowledge that the judge, who appears to be functionally illiterate, is a complete asshole.

It is further ORDERED that at any time the Defendants should wish to purge themselves of their Contempt, they may petition this Court for release from confinement. Should the Defendants aver under Oath that they shall immediately cease and desist the continued operation of the Salon, publically express contrition, publicly expressl contrition for the violation of the Order of this Court and the Orders and mandates of the State of Texas, of Dallas County and of the City of Dallas, and take all steps necessary to comply with the Temporary Restraining Order of this Court, they may seek release.

It is so Ordered.

This braying jackass also demanded she “admit that she was wrong and selfish,” along with the apology.

“Publically express contrition”? REALLY? Yeah, fuck you, you fucking fascist. Which, to Luther’s everlasting credit, was pretty much her response:

After Dallas Judge Eric Moye told Salon À la Mode owner Shelley Luther that she had the option of acknowledging she was wrong and had been selfish, and should apologize to elected officials for violating their orders, Luther responded, “Judge, I would like to say that I have much respect for this court and laws and that I have never been in this position before and it’s not someplace that I want to be. But I have to disagree with you, sir, when you say that I’m selfish because feeding my kids — is not selfish. I have hair stylists that are going hungry because they’d rather feed their kids. So, sir, if you think the law is more important than kids getting fed, then please go ahead with your decision but I am not going to shut the salon.”

Moye sentenced Luther to seven days in jail for criminal and civil contempt. CBS Dallas reported, “She and her business are also each being fined $500 for every day… seven in all so far… that it was open in violation of the governor’s order.” That daily fine will end May 8.

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins had sent Luther a cease-and-desist letter, but last week Luther publicly tore it apart. Last Wednesday, Luther stated, “Apparently there’s a very good chance that I’m getting arrested today and I will do everything I can to keep the shop open because I’m not closing the store. If they arrest me I have someone that will keep the store open because it’s our right to keep the store open. It’s our right for those women to earn income for their families.”

It most certainly is, ma’am. With her courageous, principled stand against blatantly unconstitutional oppression, Luther has established her bona fides as a worthy successor to Rosa Parks:

“I’m not anyone special,” she reportedly said at the event.  “I just know that I have rights.  You have rights to feed your children and make income, and anyone that wants to take away those rights is wrong.”

Luther said she, along with several of her 19 stylists, had fallen behind on paying their mortgages.  “It’s either come in and make money to be able to feed your family or stay home and freak out.”

Meanwhile, the scum-sucking judge handed down an even more offensive decree from his exalted Holy of Holies:

If you would like to take this opportunity now to acknowledge:  that your actions were selfish, putting your own interests ahead of those in the community in which you live; that they disrespected the executive orders of the state, the orders of the county, and this city; that you now see the error of your ways and understand that the society cannot function when one’s own belief in the concept of liberty permits you to flaunt your disdain for the rulings of duly elected officials; that you owe an apology to the elected officials who you disrespected by flagrantly ignoring and, in one case, defiling their orders which you now know obviously regard to you; that you know the proper way in an ordered society to engage concerns you may have had is to hire a lawyer and advocate for change, an exception, or amendment to laws that you find offensive; that you publicly state that this is the way that citizens in the states should behave and that you represent to this court that you will today cease operation of your salon and not reopen until after further orders of the government permit you to do so; this court will consider the payment of a fine in lieu of the incarceration that you have demonstrated that you have so clearly earned.

S’cuse me very much, Your “Honor,” but it seems to me that any proper and correct concept of liberty not only permits but REQUIRES the flaunting of disdain for blatantly illegal rulings, whatever official orifice they may have been excreted from. Sir.

Ehh, what’s the use? Fascist thugs like Moye will never come anywhere near getting it, even assuming they had any interest in making a sincere try at it, which they assuredly do not. There is no discussing, debating, or reasoning with such as they. They can only be crushed, utterly. They have no place whatsoever in even a nominally-free society; are in fact a serious threat to it; and should therefore not be tolerated there, but abolished. In whatever sense you wish to take the word.

Oregon gov cancels Independence Day

The irony, it burns.

On Friday, Oregon Governor Kate Brown held a press conference to discuss the latest developments in the containment efforts of the Wuhan coronavirus, and how to implement safe reopening procedures for different parts of Oregon. She failed, however, to announce the specific framework of the reopening, and said she would extend the emergency declaration until July 6 — two days after Independence Day.

Although Brown has announced a gradual plan to allow businesses to reopen, her emergency declaration gives state agencies the ability to set their own rules for a longer period.

In her press conference, Brown said right off the bat, “I want to be clear. We will not be able to reopen Oregon quickly, or in one fell swoop.” She said that some rural counties could reopen by May 15, but it could take longer in counties with more than five cases of COVID-19.

Brown’s press address gave mixed messages and made it seem that she’s failed to grasp the serious damage being done to Oregon’s economy. Meanwhile, these requirements for reopening will take a significant amount of time to implement. While other states have taken strides to reopen their economies and activities, Oregon has yet to make progress. In fact, state parks will stay closed through May, and probably longer. The third requirement for reopening, 15 contract tracers for every 100,000 in population, will require the state to recruit over 600 people to participate, and then to produce results, before they can even consider when to open. Brown first declared an emergency on March 8. She apparently squandered the first two months of the shutdown and only now has gotten around to deciding what conditions will allow her to let Oregon work again.

I withheld the money ‘graph so as to save the best for last:

As of this past weekend, Oregon had 2,690 cases of COVID-19 and 109 deaths, putting them near the bottom of states in both numbers.

Whatever you folks in Oregon do, y’all be sure to keep right on voting Democrat now, y’hear? Elsewhere, we have related developments:

With many Americans eager to get back to work, state governors across the country are responding with their plans for giving everyone permission to be normal human beings again. One state governor is enjoying universal acclaim after unveiling his own innovative plan for getting his state reopened. 

The new plan is called ‘Our Vision for Health, Safety, Virtue, and Eternal Peace’ and is a 37-step, 10-year plan for slowly opening up sections of the state economy.

The 37 steps read like…well, they read exactly the way you’d expect them to. But hey, IF EVEN ONE LIFE IS SAVED…!!

Many states have begun extending their lockdowns permanently in a bid to end traffic deaths for good.

States found that as they locked everybody in their homes, car accidents virtually disappeared. So they did the obvious thing and decided the lockdowns should be made permanent.

“A million people die in auto accidents every year, and if you want people to be able to go outside, you obviously want all these people to die,” said New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. “Why do you hate people so much, anti-science bigots? I’ll wait for an answer.” Cuomo then just stood there, arms folded, waiting for an answer, but since it was a live stream, he stood for hours before aides finally cut the feed off.

“Together, we can defeat death itself,” said California Governor Gavin Newsom as he announced the state would be under lockdown permanently. “O traffic deaths, where are your sting?”

Unfortunately, new projections indicate the number of people who will die of starvation and other lockdown-related causes may offset the decrease in traffic deaths.

Getting harder and harder these days to distinguish the actual news stories from the satire, ain’t it?

On your feet or on your knees

So here t’is, folks, the be-all end-all post I’ve been mentioning for several days. Since it’s been in the hopper for a week or more now, the opener will seem like old news, but it will still serve as a setup to get us where I want to go, I think.

When you think it’s time to start burying you guns, it’s probably time to start digging them up.

Lansing (United States) (AFP) – Demonstrators, including some carrying guns, entered the capitol building in the US state of Michigan on Thursday and demanded the Democratic governor lift strict coronavirus lockdown orders, as some lawmakers reportedly donned bulletproof vests.

Dozens of demonstrators crowded the lobby of the building in Lansing, where they demanded to be allowed inside the House Chamber.

State police, wearing masks, blocked them from entering. None of the protesters appeared to be wearing masks.

I’ve seen several on our side decrying the supposedly “threatening” behavior represented by the armed protesters as thuggish, excessive, or even self-defeating. They’re wrong about that, I believe, and here’s why:

“Directly above me, men with rifles yelling at us,” tweeted Senator Dayna Polehanki along with a photo showing four men, at least one of whom appeared to be carrying a weapon.

“Some of my colleagues who own bullet proof vests are wearing them. I have never appreciated our Sergeants-at-Arms more than today,” she continued.

Now admittedly, it’s a damned shame things have come to such a sorry pass. Also, We The People bear at least some of the blame for it, for decades of inattention to the sacred duty of safeguarding our Constitutional rights as they were slowly whittled away.

The truth as I see it, though, is that the problem is not that politicians found themselves fearful and intimidated by the Michigan protesters. No, the problem is that they aren’t intimidated enough, and as a consequence have grown accustomed to their commands being unquestioningly obeyed by the people they are now ruling instead of governing. They have become arrogant, imperious, and completely unconcerned about such trifling irrelevancies as “unalienable rights” and “the consent of the governed.”

For our 2A rights to mean anything at all in terms of preserving the Republic, the politicians and bureau-rats must be reminded from time of their role as public servants. Whenever they seem to have grown forgetful of that, I can’t think of a swifter or surer corrective than letting them have a good, close look at a large gathering of well-armed constituents intent on restoring a proper sense of caution in them. The sight of a gun seems to be the only thing that gets much of a reaction of any kind from them nowadays. Which means we’re all in a precarious place.

It’s to the Michigan protesters’ credit that the reminder was rendered peaceably, without a shot being fired. But you can be certain that, absent the implied prospect of bodily harm should the scoundrels prove obstinate in error, any and all protest will come to naught. Could very well be that it will anyway; that’s what I’d bet on myself, in truth. But I can’t see that any meaningful harm was done by showing the politicians a few rifles on the very doorstep of their workplace, and it may yet prove to be a good thing.

The saddest thing of all is that we might well be on the threshold of a do-or-die, now-and-forever moment here. After our free 30-day (and counting) trial of Communist tyranny and the onset of economic catastrophe to come—not to mention the systemic Deep State lawlessness confirmed by the ongoing Flynn document releases—can any serious person contend that this country isn’t now at a crossroads—an inflection point where the only choice is between abandonment of any hope of a restoration of some semblance of Constitutional liberty…or acceptance of our position as serfs, as slaves?

The situation presents us with a stark question: if not now, when? If the extended lockdown—the exercising by state and local officials of an authority that they clearly do not possess, or not legitimately—doesn’t suffice to stir at least the Three Percenters into open revolt, then what will? How much tyranny is too much for Americans to tolerate? Is there in fact no “bridge too far,” no line our ever-more-brazen masters need fear to cross?

Maxwell Hare and John Kinsman were given four years in a New York penitentiary for the crime of being associated with Gavin McInnes. They were jumped by left-wing street thugs and won the fight. They were arrested, but there was never any effort to find the men who attacked them. There was no effort to find witnesses either. Instead, the police and court relied on material provided to them by Antifa. When he sentenced them, the judge made clear he was doing it for their politics.

That is not an isolated example. Over the last decade this sort of thing has become so common that it is just an accepted part of daily reality. If you belong to a group holding unapproved ideas, you have to go to great lengths to meet in secret in order to avoid being attacked by state sanctioned mobs. If that happens, there is a good chance the police will charge you rather than the mob. The thing political dissidents in current year America fear is that the government will become aware of them.

There used to be a time when Americans associated this sort of thing with totalitarian states or South American dictatorships. The communists would never allow people to hold unapproved opinions. They smashed up illegal printing presses and banished dissident writers. Third world dictators sanctioned mobs to go around harassing people they saw as a problem. The communists are all gone and there are no more South American strong men. America is no longer a free country either.

This reality should be evident to everyone now. Government has spent the better part of the last two months closing shops and forcing people to stay indoors. They are creating bizarre and ridiculous rules for when people must go outside. Cops are pushing people around, harassing mothers at parks and otherwise carrying on like highly feminized goon squads. It’s hard to claim you live in a free country when you need permission from the government go outside to take a walk.

The remarkable thing about this is none of the things described above would have seemed plausible a generation ago. Conservatives liked to claim Bill Clinton was an autocrat, but no one seriously imagined he would so something like this. Left-wingers really thought Bush was Hitler, but even they did not think this was possible. In what feels like the blink of an eye, things we used to think were outside the realm of possibility are now normal. We have slipped into the darkness.

If you are of a certain age, the new normal is particularly tough to fathom. You spent much of your early life being told that the long struggle against communism was all about preventing exactly this. The whole point of America, its reason to exist, was to prevent exactly this from happening. Maybe it was always a big lie. Maybe it is the result of forces too complex for anyone to fathom. It really does not matter. The result is what matters. America is no longer a free country.

Not by a long yard, it ain’t. But is the worst part of the Hare-Kinsman story above that such a shocking, outrageous miscarriage of justice occurred in America…or that most Americans no longer find it particularly shocking or outrageous at all?

Mind you, I’m not advocating any specific course of action here, nor am I likely to do so. The prospect of Civil War v2.0 is an awful one, as I’ve said over and over here, a thing to be dreaded. In fact, I’m hesitant to even mull such notions over in a public forum, for reasons that ought to be obvious to anyone with a lick of sense.

But what does it say about us as Americans that we accept these travesties, even as we go right on congratulating ourselves for being the “land of the free”?

The questions keep coming: whither liberty? Whither the Constitution; whither America That Was? What senses do we lack that we cannot perceive the shadow of despotism falling over us? Does any of this really matter anymore anyway?

Update! Wilder, in the latest of his CW2.0 Weather Report series, sounds a somber note:

As I’ve mentioned before, a strong economy could take this sort of shock. Our economy isn’t strong. Let’s take New York City. What does it produce? Debt, real estate sales, insurance companies, financial irregularity, the stock market, and national “journalism” that at best is as biased as a Kennedy mother bailing her kids out of jail. If New York City were to disappear tomorrow, the only thing from NYC the Wilder Family would miss is the television show Impractical Jokers®.

Are we richer because of what comes from New York? Are we more stable? Does making another loan to a big corporation so they have enough debt on their books so a New York financier can’t buy them with their own money make us better off? Is it better because the dollars aren’t backed by anything other than a printing press?

In that same time period, manufacturing dropped from 25% of the economy to 11%. Does that make us better off, when critical goods are made an ocean away? Does that make us more stable and able to weather a crisis?

As the economy collapses, it’s collapsing because it has been hollowed out for decades. I will say that studies show, before 1980, Democrats were strongly focused on keeping the manufacturing and construction industries strong, since the unions that dominated that sector were lock-step voters for the Democrats. But, when a shiny new toy of being paid by the big banks plus being able to bring in a whole new class of voters (legal immigrants and illegal aliens) got too big, the Democrats dumped manufacturing and construction.

This collapse has been decades in the making. It won’t be done quickly. And it just might provide the pain to slingshot us into Civil War 2.0.

Revolutions, civil wars, and violent uprisings aren’t usually launched by comfortable, gainfully-employed people who are getting enough to eat.

Signs of life

Even in Amerika v2.0’s most liberal-fascist state, Real Americans aren’t quite dead yet.

They’re just, y’know, under arrest.

Last Wednesday, Gov. Gavin Newsom told reporters he was “weeks not months” from any “modification” of his lockdown order, and the California Highway Patrol was barring any protest at the state Capitol. On Thursday, Newsom shut down state beaches and parks, and on Friday May 1, Californians hit the streets by the thousands, blocking a mile of Pacific Coast Highway down in Orange County, and as Fox News reported, staging protests in San Diego, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

In the state capital of Sacramento, as Katy Grimes of the California Globe noted, “Thousands of flag-waving Californians descended upon the State Capitol Friday for a protest of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s statewide stay-at-home lockdown order, which has caused millions of residents to lose their jobs and businesses.”

The protesters, organized by “Re-Open California,” were not pleading for handouts from the government. For the most part, they were working people who wanted to get their jobs and lives back.

“Reach out to the government and make their concerns, worries, fears, anger, frustration known,” protester Erik Leisten told KCRA News. “Exercise their freedom of speech and right to peacefully assemble and let him know that he’s destroying the state economically, but more importantly our freedoms.”

California Highway Patrol officers in full riot gear formed a line and pushed people off the Capitol grounds. Police arrested 32 demonstrators for disobeying a lawful order, demonstrating without a permit and resisting or delaying a police officer. As Katy Grimes recalled,  “police were far less aggressive and few arrests were ever made at Black Lives Matter rallies, which were destructive and violent.”

After the police shooting of Stephon Clark in March of 2018, Black Lives Matter disrupted a Sacramento City Council meeting, blocked fans from entering a Sacramento Kings game, and shut down traffic in both directions on Interstate 5, California’s major north-south artery. A racist mob essentially took over downtown Sacramento, terrorized innocent citizens, and violated laws, but as KCRA reported, police made “no arrests,” during the protest.

By contrast when embattled workers show up at the state Capitol on May 1 to protest their losses, police make 32 arrests. With Gavin Newsom in office, that should come as no surprise.

And it doesn’t. Which is the saddest, most depressing part of all.

Pandemics, then and now

One of these Americas is not like the other.

Woodstock Occurred in the Middle of a Pandemic
In my lifetime, there was another deadly flu epidemic in the United States. The flu spread from Hong Kong to the United States, arriving December 1968 and peaking a year later. It ultimately killed 100,000 people in the U.S., mostly over the age of 65, and one million worldwide.

Lifespan in the US in those days was 70 whereas it is 78 today. Population was 200 million as compared with 328 million today. It was also a healthier population with low obesity. If it would be possible to extrapolate the death data based on population and demographics, we might be looking at a quarter million deaths today from this virus. So in terms of lethality, it was as deadly and scary as COVID-19 if not more so, though we shall have to wait to see.

“In 1968,” says Nathaniel L. Moir in National Interest, “the H3N2 pandemic killed more individuals in the U.S. than the combined total number of American fatalities during both the Vietnam and Korean Wars.”

And this happened in the lifetimes of every American over 52 years of age. 

I was 5 years old and have no memory of this at all. My mother vaguely remembers being careful and washing surfaces, and encouraging her mom and dad to be careful. Otherwise, it’s mostly forgotten today. Why is that?

Nothing closed. Schools stayed open. All businesses did too. You could go to the movies. You could go to bars and restaurants. John Fund has a friend who reports having attended a Grateful Dead concert. In fact, people have no memory or awareness that the famous Woodstock concert of August 1969 – planned in January during the worse period of death – actually occurred during a deadly American flu pandemic that only peaked globally six months later. There was no thought given to the virus which, like ours today, was dangerous mainly for a non-concert-going demographic.

Stock markets didn’t crash. Congress passed no legislation. The Federal Reserve did nothing. Not a single governor acted to enforce social distancing, curve flattening (even though hundreds of thousands of people were hospitalized), or banning of crowds. No mothers were arrested for taking their kids to other homes. No surfers were arrested. No daycares were shut even though there were more infant deaths with this virus than the one we are experiencing now. There were no suicides, no unemployment, no drug overdoses.

It’s not as if we had governments unwilling to intervene in other matters. We had the Vietnam War, social welfare, public housing, urban renewal, and the rise of Medicare and Medicaid. We had a president swearing to cure all poverty, illiteracy, and disease. Government was as intrusive as it had ever been in history. But for some reason, there was no thought given to shutdowns. 

Which raises the question: why was this different? We will be trying to figure this one out for decades. 

Contra that last line, the author knows the answer as well as the rest of us do, and provides it with his closing zinger.

Update! Another telling “then and now” from AEIR, a new-to-me site which I have summarily ensconced in Ye Olde Blogrolle.

The year was 1957.

Elvis’s new movie “Jailhouse Rock” was packing the theaters. The last episode of “I Love Lucy” aired on television. The show “West Side Story” held tryouts in Washington, D.C., and opened on Broadway in September. Ford’s new car the Edsel rolled off the assembly line. The Cold War with Russia was on and “In God We Trust” appeared on U.S. currency. The first Toys R Us store opened.

Also that year, the so-called Asian Flu killed 116,000 Americans.

Like the current pandemic, there was a demographic pattern to the deaths. It hit the elderly population with heart and lung disease. In a frightening twist, the virus could also be fatal for pregnant women. The infection rate was probably even higher than the Spanish flu of 1918 (675,000 Americans died from this), but this lowered the overall case fatality rate to 0.67%. A vaccine became available in late 1957 but was not widely distributed.

The population of the U.S. at the time was 172 million, which is a little more than half of the current population. Life expectancy was 69 as versus 78 today. It was a much healthier population with negligible obesity. To extrapolate the data to a counterfactual, we can conclude that this virus was more wicked than COVID-19 thus far.

What’s remarkable when we look back at this year, nothing was shut down. Restaurants, schools, theaters, sporting events, travel – everything continued without interruption. Without a 24-hour news cycle with thousands of news agencies and a billion websites hungry for traffic, mostly people paid no attention other than to keep basic hygiene. It was covered in the press as a medical problem. The notion that there was a political solution never occurred to anyone.

Again, this was a very serious flu, and it persisted for 10 years until it mutated to become the Hong Kong flu of 1968. 

So what changed between then and now? One of my go-to Shakespeare quotes provides a clue: The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves.

Gee, I wonder if several generations of government-school indoctrination might have had something to do with this…

Chains, resting lightly upon us

Embedded in the post from Fran mentioned below is a video of last night’s Tucker Carlson monologue. I happened to catch its broadcast run myself last night while at my brother’s place, then spent a good bit of my time today desperately trying run down a transcript for posting purposes, it was so good. And finally, I did.

Last week we interviewed a longtime partner at the consulting firm McKinsey & Company named Peter Walker. Like so many in finance and consulting, Walker spent an awful lot of his career doing business in China. We have no idea how much money he made doing that.

We do know that along the way, Walker internalized a lot of the attitudes of China’s totalitarian government. During our interview, we asked Walker what he thought of China’s lockdown that was imposed in an effort to halt the spread of the coronavirus.

I asked Walker: “Now credible reports suggest that Chinese authorities locked people in their apartments and left them to die. We know they snatched people off the streets and threw them into police vans – God knows where they went. That’s the quarantine that you think they deserve high praise for. Why?”

Walker replied: “Well I think … if you just look at the results, I know there’s always going to be questions about exactly what the numbers are, but I think the harsh action that they took, given the scale of China and number of big cities in it, was exactly what they needed to do to prevent the outbreak from going any further. The reality is the outbreak hasn’t gone much beyond Wuhan.”

The secret police kidnapping citizens off the street, authorities locking people in their apartments from the outside until they starve to death – just look at the results. All of that, Walker said, was “exactly what they needed to do.”

This is the view of one of America’s most prominent business leaders. He didn’t seem ashamed to say it. Later in our interview, Walker suggested that American authorities could have done the same things in New York, if only they’d gotten an earlier start. Kind of a shame they didn’t.

Your jaw dropped watching it. But here’s the striking thing: nobody seemed to notice that he said it. Walker didn’t find himself on the front page of The New York Times the next morning. No one in American business denounced him. He went home and went to bed. Totalitarianism doesn’t shock us anymore.

Maybe that’s because, all of a sudden, it’s all around us.

Never in American history have politicians been more powerful than they are now. Effectively, they are God. In the state of Maine, Gov. Janet Mills now has the power to suspend any law she doesn’t like. She can seize any state resource she feels like seizing. She can force any citizen or all citizens from their homes.

The governor can do all of this for as long as she believes Maine is in a state of “emergency.” There is virtually nothing Janet Mills can’t do. Many governors now have these powers.

The First Amendment explicitly prevents government from making any law that inhibits the exercise of religious faith. It’s a cornerstone of our history and our law.

Millions of people have fled to America from around the world precisely because our Bill of Rights gives them this guarantee. It’s why this country was founded. Now it’s gone.

Where did politicians get the authority to do all this? Because some elderly, power-drunk doctor told them to? That’s not how our system works – or can work.

Occasionally, you’ll hear some lonely civil libertarian fret that we may be on a “slippery slope” toward losing our rights. If only. We’re already there.

We’ve slid to the bottom of that slope. Our rights are gone. No one has explained how politicians are allowed to do this, to override the Constitution. No one seems to care. They’re too afraid.

But if we think this is moment scary, consider what might come next. Now that we’ve ceded all authority in the country to our political leaders, what can’t they do? What are the limits to their power?

That’s not a theoretical question. It’s not an argument over philosophy or political theory. It’s the most practical possible question. The answer will define where this country goes next. What can’t politicians do in the name of public health?

Lots more betwixt my invisible ellipses, running down several more examples of the authoritarian fever currently enfeebling the nation—a mortal affliction for which there is but one known treatment. Each of tonight’s posts are intended to serve as kinda-sorta lead-ins to another one that I actually began working on last night, and may or may not get finished with tonight. If not, it’ll drop in another day or two.

Fear itself

A pair of arresting lines from a pair of truly gifted writers, both of which I’ll put in bold so’s nobody misses ’em. First, the ZMan:

You can’t help but wonder if what we are seeing is just a dry run for something more permanent in the future. I don’t think this was premeditated. It is just a good example of how events can take on a life of their own. One things leads to another and before long the best of intentions results in a madness consuming the people who set of the chain of events with their good intentions. Like the radicals of the French Revolution, our rulers are now captive to events they set in motion.

Like many people I’m losing my patience for this ridiculous charade. As the evidence stacks up it is clear the lock downs were a terrible idea. It is time to go back to our normal routines, but the people in charge have the whiff of authoritarianism in their nostrils and like a rutting beast they can think of nothing else. They are now busy dreaming up more insane restrictions just to humiliate people. It is increasingly difficult to remain a reasonable person. I’m getting a little salty.

Well and pungently put, Z. Increasingly, though, I find myself wondering if a “reasonable” response is really the right one to end our escalating humiliation.

Next, a little tough love from my esteemed friend Francis Porretto:

Fear is the aspiring tyrant’s best tool. Fear of violence; fear of disease; fear of the infirmities of age; fear of the future; fear of one’s neighbors; fear of one’s countrymen; fear of faceless others in distant lands. He who can make you afraid can make himself your master…and your fears need not be of him.

Note that no government, no agency, and no politician can actually relieve you of the threats that make you fear. Only you can do that. Indeed, that’s the most ironic facet of our current condition: were Americans merely to practice enhanced hygiene, and protect our most vulnerable relatives from contagion, we would be out the back end of this Wuhan virus business in a few weeks, with no more fatalities than we’re suffering under this lockdown regime and with herd immunity, to boot. Instead we’ve surrendered our rights as Americans for absolutely no gain – and that’s to say nothing of the economic devastation the lockdown has wrought.

But our politicians value our fear far more than our lives, our rights, or our economy. They’re doing their best to keep our fears stoked high. It’s what aspiring tyrants have always done:

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary. – H. L. Mencken

And we’ve fallen for it.

Indeed we have, to our eternal shame and disgrace. Seems like an opportune moment to re-run one of my verymost favorite poems, from one of my verymost favorite half-mad poets:

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

In politics, the worst are ALWAYS full of passionate intensity; it’s how politicians persuade us to buy the particular brand of snake-oil they’re hawking. But now, for the first time in American history, we have fully and irrevocably surrendered both our freedom and our fates to them, vexed to nightmare by a fear that has been proven unfounded. The rough beast has been allowed his hour at last, and the darkness is descending.

Land of the treed, home of the craven

We are being conditioned to accept the bit. The truly nauseating thing is how very many of us ARE accepting it—when they’re not actively demanding it, screaming for it, that is.

We live in a country where one may be arrested for opening her store or having too many friends at her house for a social gathering. Whiling away the hours under a modified house arrest, we wait for a relative handful of megalomaniacs in government to tell us when we might hope to return to normal life. 

Strangely, the American people seem to have swallowed this new reality whole—no questioning, no scrutiny, but complete, embarrassing credulousness at the claims of politicians, bureaucrats, and pundits frantically waving around little more than shoddy, dubious models and barely hiding a lust for tyrannizing innocent people.

This suggests that Americans, thought to be freedom-loving people, will now believe almost anything, conditioned to be fearful and obedient. Even those who had long since abandoned belief in this myth of America as the Land of the Free might have expected at least some resistance in the face of such open attacks on basic freedoms.

William Graham Sumner eloquently exposed the problems with supposing that every social or economic question is susceptible to solution through the “inelastic and arbitrary” means of legislation or regulation. He saw the “mania for interference” as revealing “the prevailing ignorance of what a society is and what methods of dealing with it are rational.” Faced with a particularly complex, vexatious social question, Sumner teaches, “the last thing to do is to legislate about it,” “for it is not possible to experiment with a society and just drop the experiment whenever we choose. The experiment enters into the life of the society, and never can be got out again.” 

In America That Was, the old sheep/wolves/sheepdogs analogy has been perverted. For any who have forgotten, or never heard of it:

Thus there is a paradox, and we must grasp both ends of the situation: We may well be in the most violent times in history, but violence is still remarkably rare. This is because most citizens are kind, decent people who are not capable of hurting each other, except by accident or under extreme provocation. They are sheep.

I mean nothing negative by calling them sheep. To me it is like the pretty, blue robin’s egg. Inside it is soft and gooey but someday it will grow into something wonderful. But the egg cannot survive without its hard blue shell. Police officers, soldiers and other warriors are like that shell, and someday the civilization they protect will grow into something wonderful. For now, though, they need warriors to protect them from the predators.

“Then there are the wolves,” the old war veteran said, “and the wolves feed on the sheep without mercy.” Do you believe there are wolves out there who will feed on the flock without mercy? You better believe it. There are evil men in this world and they are capable of evil deeds. The moment you forget that or pretend it is not so, you become a sheep. There is no safety in denial.

“Then there are sheepdogs,” he went on, “and I’m a sheepdog. I live to protect the flock and confront the wolf.” Or, as a sign in one California law enforcement agency put it, “We intimidate those who intimidate others.”

We are a nation of sheep all right. But the sheepdogs have chosen to switch sides, and are now working for the wolves. And…well, here we all are.

sacramento-storm-troopers.jpg

Now, can any of you honestly tell me that this looks even remotely like the now-defunct America v1.0 to you? If so, may I have some of whatever the hell it is you’re smoking? Sundance’s headline says it all:

33 People Arrested During Sacramento Freedom Protest…
Sometimes the headlines tell a story all by themselves…That’s the case in Sacramento California where a group of frustrated and rebellious citizens sought to petition their home confinement order by using the first amendment.

Apparently protesting a governor for redress of grievances, during a time of arbitrary suspension of the first amendment to the U.S. constitution, is grounds for arrest.

As a result 33 Californians were were arrested for not complying with the governor’s order they were protesting against.

Their failure of citizens to keep distant from each-other made them scofflaws to the dictates of the state government.

Video from the scene shows California Governor Gavin Newsom ordered fully armored riot police to surround the capitol building; and face down a group of rebellious moms and business owners.

The subversives who did not remain socially distant, during their protest about having to be socially distant, were promptly arrested.

Ahh, but nobody should be surprised or shocked; Commissar Newsom is only a petty liberal tyrant doing what liberal tyrants do, after all, and he’s making the most of the opportunity presented to him just as any other of them would—and have. The question is: who was it who put Newsom in office in the first place? Worse yet: how likely is it that the self-same people currently so angry at Newsom, Whitler, Coomo, and DeBalledZero, and other tinpot despots currently flaunting their true colors in our fearful faces, will happily march off to the polls to re-elect them next time they get the chance?

A near-certainty, that would be my bet. Nobody had to take their freedom away from them; “Americans” willing gave it away themselves, without hesitation. Which leaves me to saw away at the world’s tiniest violin in sympathy with their complaints, while singing a melody whose lyrics were first set down by the prescient Benjamin “A Republic, if you can keep it” Franklin:

Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freeness of speech…Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.

And, in the end, will surely find themselves deprived of both.

Go to work, go to jail

Are we tyrannized yet?

Yesterday, I wrote about a disturbing incident involving a tattoo parlor owner here in North Carolina who was handcuffed and escorted out of his shop Wednesday by police officers after he tried to reopen his business.

Matthew “Jax” Myers, 38, told the Raleigh News and Observer that he had no options left but to open back up because he needed the income, so it was a risk he was willing to take.

Click here to watch the video clip of Meyers being led out of his business by police.

In a separate incident that happened earlier today, police in Roxboro, North Carolina showed up to a woman’s hair salon to get her to shut it down after she attempted to reopen.

For the record, Person County – which is where Roxboro is located – has had a total of 20 cases diagnosed, and one death.

Words fail. But on that note, remember last night when I was all pleased and proud to report the Gaston County insurrection?

Gaston County officially reopened for business yesterday at 5:00 PM. Unlike Gov. Cooper, officials of the North Carolina county have enough sense to understand that endlessly shuttering businesses is a worse situation than coronavirus itself.

Tracy Philbeck, a commission chairman of Gaston County, explained that the return of the county’s economy is “health-minded.” Philbeck additionally noted that a one-size-fits-all solution is not appropriate. Shortly thereafter, he cited precautionary measures to prevent health issues; these precautionary measures entail sanitation, good hygiene, and social distancing.

In Gaston County’s announcement about reopening, they noted that vulnerable individuals should remain at home. The order also states that anyone who doesn’t wish to reopen their business is not obligated to do so. As of yesterday, Gaston County gave gyms, restaurants, movie theaters, churches, and sporting areas the green light to resume operations. Thus far, schools, bars, and activities for young people in Gaston County remain shuttered.

Sounds good, right? Yeah, well, about all that.

As it happens, close on the heels of Philbeck’s announcement, the daughter of a close friend of mine received a call from her boss instructing her to report to work at five. Having inexplicably bought into the frenzied Shanghai Sniffles panic-mongering herself, she was alarmed and VERY reluctant, but in the end screwed up the wherewithal to risk all-but-certain death and head on over to the small Belmont restaurant/pub that employs her anyway, a brand-new place that’s only been open a few months.

This was at five (5) PM.

At six, several black-and-whites from the town Schutzstaffel surrounded the place, and po-po strolled in to enforce Comrade Cooperovitch’s illegal edict. The owner, having already done hard time once years ago, saw no reason to risk arrest and immediately complied. And that was that; the Empire struck back, the nascent Rebel Alliance was quickly crushed.

Now, you people know I am not one to reflexively hate on cops. But I can only come up with one ugly little word in reference to LEOs who execute orders they know damned well are invalid, well outside the authority of our pissant little shit of a governor to issue. Such cops are pigs. Sorry and all, it pains me no end to have to say it, but…well, there it is.

Excuse me no excuses about being obliged to comply with the commands of your superiors, boys. “Just following orders” didn’t suffice to wash away the stain of guilt from the Nazis, and it isn’t going to absolve any of you now. The truth is, you all recited a few words before the badge was pinned on your chest:

The widely used oath embraced by the International Association of Chiefs of Police reads, “On my honor, I will never betray my badge, my integrity, my character or the public trust. I will always have the courage to hold myself and others accountable for our actions. I will always uphold the Constitution, my community, and the agency I serve.”

As AG Barr so concisely put it the other day, there is NO pandemic exception written into the Constitution. And just because our professional politicians speak similar oaths with forked tongues, harboring no intention whatsoever of living up to them right from jump, it doesn’t mean that YOU should do the same.

Comes a time when a man—any man, every man—has to decide to stand up for the right, to refuse to go along with things that are patently wrong. Orders of magnitude more so for cops, for soldiers, for any toting a similar weight of communal trust and responsibility. A cop willing to flout the Law Enforcement Oath Of Honor, a solemn and serious covenant, in order to enforce dictates he knows to be unrighteous should never have become a cop in the first place, no matter how polite he might be as he slips the cuffs onto some blameless soul for the crime of trying to keep a roof over his family’s heads in extremely difficult times. He has shown himself to be morally unfit for the job.

Instead of arresting desperate small business owners who stand to lose everything they have or ever will have, LEOs should consider heading to the Governor’s Mansion instead. There’s far more upright and honorable work awaiting you there, fellas.

Oh, by the way: as of yesterday, Gaston County has all of twenty active C-19 cases, and a total of three deaths.

If it’s broken from the start, it can never be fixed

A more-than-contrite Angelo Codevilla, as one of the co-authors of the FISA abomination, offers a powerful denunciation.

This author might be the last surviving member of the Senate Intelligence Committee staff that wrote FISA. What follows is an account of how this law came about — what each of its major proponents intended to achieve, what the law did, how it was amended and used.

Nobody in 1978 intended for FISA to legalize Watergate. That is why my own warning at the time fell largely on deaf ears. As the country realizes that something is wrong with FISA and looks for some reform, what follows argues that no fix is possible because the problem lies in the law’s very heart, namely the requirement that electronic surveillance for purposes of intelligence be subject to prior authorization by a court, acting ex parte in secrecy. Hence, the only remedy is to scrap FISA entirely and return to pre-1978 constitutional practices.

FISA’s legal mechanism has worked as expected: Between 1979 and 2019 the court granted 33,942 warrants while denying only 12 requests — 0.03%. Meanwhile, the law’s unfolding logic was transforming a rubber stamp into a political sword and shield.

My basic argument against FISA, other than its patent un-constitutionality, was that ex parte pre-clearance of surveillance by a judiciary whose ignorance of the cases on which it rules is broken only by the agencies, and that acts in secret, poses an irresistible temptation to abuse.

The American Bar Association’s Committee on Law and National Security invited me to debate the proposed FISA against then-professor Antonin Scalia at the University of Chicago’s law school. I said that requiring judicial authorization for an executive action in pursuit of national security is an unconstitutional obstruction of the president’s power as commander-in-chief. Scalia, making no attempt to argue for FISA’s constitutionality, pointed out that the president, i.e. the bureaucracies, supported involving judges in national security because they realized that the obstruction is theoretical rather than practical: FISA’s secret court, having no basis for judging what is or is not required for national security, would merely give the agencies the confidence to do their jobs. I countered that this very confidence poses the greatest problem: although strictly speaking the court can confer only a procedural imprimatur, in practice that imprimatur shields the bureaucracies — and the president — from having to defend the substantive value, and the propriety, of any act of surveillance. Hence, FISA would present the agencies with an irresistible temptation to surveil Americans for political purposes, certain that the formal legality of the surveillance would inhibit remedying whatever substantive harm had been done thereby. In other words, we were legalizing Watergate. “They wouldn’t do things like that!” he replied.

As we have experienced, the agencies have done precisely that. The words over which FISA’s authors in the Senate Intelligence Committee and in the agencies had agonized and on which they had agreed remained the same. But the nasty logic of secret ex parte preauthorization unfolded, primarily because the people who interpreted them adopted a willful sociopolitical identity. But it helped that FISA itself was amended. In 2008 Congress passed and President George W. Bush signed into law FISA’s Section 702, which removed the requirement for a specific warrant from the FISA Court for tapping communications between foreign targets and Americans in the United States and greatly broadens the use of data collected “incidentally” on the Americans presumed to be the foreigners’ counterparts.

Section 702 was the first and primary authority by which the agencies surveilled the Trump campaign, ostensibly while trying to listen in on Russians. The other investigations and human penetrations of the campaign were premised on the same pretense. But the agencies’ real targets were domestic political opponents. Of course, they found nothing and provoked nothing useful for derailing the Trump campaign. They did generate a stream of innuendos in the media. But that did not stop the Trump campaign from getting into range of victory. Hence, weeks before the election, the agencies’ leaders, facing the prospect of having to defend what they had done, formally requested the FISA court for a warrant on Carter Page, a minor Trump adviser. At this point, the warrant was useless for gathering information. Judicial blessing for surveillance of the Trump campaign was absolutely essential, however, retrospectively to validate that it had been proper — literally, warranted.

Codevilla dismisses any prospective “fix” for FISA as a practical impossibility due to the law’s very nature and intent, much as I maintain that there is no way to fix the FBI. The trouble with both isn’t so much that they’ve somehow become broken or aren’t working; it’s that, because of the way they were originally conceived and structured, they’re working exactly as the Deep State malefactors now making use of them want. Which is one reason why we’ll never be able to rid ourselves of either one.

Railroaded

Steyn on the Flynn travesty of justice.

So one conversation, with disgraced corrupt rogue agent Strzok, without counsel present and without the defendant being aware that this was an interrogation of him as opposed to just a friendly intragovernmental chit-chat, has consumed three years of Flynn’s life and all his savings.

I heard Kellyanne Conway being asked this morning about whether Trump should now pardon Flynn. No. It is for the court, as an act of judicial hygiene, to accept Flynn’s withdrawal of his enforced guilty plea (made under threats by the feds to destroy the lives of various family members, too), quash the conviction as a miscarriage of justice, and invite the defense to lay before His Honor a wrongful prosecution suit.

If it requires a presidential pardon to bring garbage like this to an end, then we are all in trouble. Because if the Deep Staters can do it to Flynn, they can do it to anyone.

Sheeeit. Can there be anyone out there so naive, so gullible, so out of touch with the cold realities of life in Amerika v2.0, that they don’t know full well that it’s already happening, and has been for years?

Misremembering to the FBI should not be a crime – especially not on the basis of a politically motivated policeman’s supposedly contemporaneous “notes”, rather than an audio or video recording. Instead of a presidential pardon, why not repeal this vile pseudo-crime that mocks due process? I take it that, the GOP having lost the House, Congress will not enact a new Strzok Act, restoring the citizen’s right to misremember to a corrupt police agency’s goons, but why cannot Bill Barr suspend this “crime” pending an investigation into its misuse by prosecutors over recent years?

While we’re at it, how about another modest reform? Me again, three years ago:

During the stupid and anachronistic two-and-a-half-month electoral ‘transition’, the outgoing Administration worked round the clock to de-legitimize and cripple their successors.

No other government in the free world requires this long to respect the results of an election. Even before the Obama-Biden Administration decided to weaponize the “transition”, it served as the most obvious example of the general sclerosis of Swampland: why be surprised that in an emergency the government takes months to get out your relief check of twelve hundred bucks when even in normal times it requires three months to clear out its desks? How about a constitutional amendment to the Twentieth Amendment shortening the transition to three weeks?

I think it’s sooooo cute that Mark still thinks the Constitution means a goddamned thing, even after all this.

The FBI has been entirely corrupt, malevolent, and a deadly threat to supposed American rights and freedom since its Constitutionally-dubious inception. It was originally birthed under the direction of J Edgar Hoover, conceptualized and structured in accord with his own warped vision. As twisted, treacherous, and power-mad as he was personally, how could his brainchild be anything other than the nefarious affront to the most fundamental concepts of true justice America claims to cherish that it has been from the beginning?

The FBI doesn’t need to be “reformed” or “restructured” or “rethought.” It is rotten root, branch, and bough; meaningful reform is an impossibility for so cancerous a blight on the former Republic. The danger it represents, the grievous harm it has done, the extraordinary malfeasance that is its stock in trade, is engraved all across its appalling history. It should be removed—dismantled, disassembled, decontructed

That so treacherous, dishonorable, and altogether toxic little worm as Comey could rise through the FBI hierarchy to eventually occupy its highest seat of power is indictment aplenty. That any organization would countenance such a one in even its lowest ranks, much less at its head, ought to be all that’s required to pass judgment on whether that organization lives on or dies. Its continued existence, on the other hand, is no less grave an indictment of us.

Update! Swiped from Francis.

RuledByCriminals.JPG


He follows on with this:

As Friedrich Hayek observed in The Road to Serfdom, the desire for power and the willingness to do anything to get and keep it are strongest in those who would abuse it. So with the passage of enough time, the corridors of power will be filled by criminals. Worse, let a little more time go by, and the lesser criminals will be replaced by the greater ones: strong-armers, rapists, and murderers.

Think Ruby Ridge and Waco.

A bit later Fran contends that “…we haven’t yet descended to the level of a banana republic,” to which I can only say: after what we’ve witnessed over the last six weeks, how sure can we be of that, really? Seems to me about the only thing that has kept us from fully meriting that designation up ’til now is our general affluence, which is being wantonly destroyed before our very eyes. After we’ve been impoverished, humiliated, and enslaved to the satisfaction of our masters…well, then what shall we call ourselves?

The real criminals

Corrupt, dirty bastards.

Explosive New Flynn Documents Show FBI Goal Was To ‘Get Him Fired’
New documents filed under seal last week by the Department of Justice provide the clearest evidence yet that the investigation and subsequent prosecution of former White House National Security Adviser Michael Flynn was a set-up from the beginning. Handwritten notes from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) that had been inappropriately withheld from Flynn’s defense team for years show that a key goal of the agents investigating Flynn was “to get him to lie so we can prosecute him or get him fired.”

In the handwritten FBI notes, the note-taker, whose identity was not made clear in the document production, wrote that an alternate goal is to “get [Flynn] to admit breaking the Logan Act,” a reference to a 1799 law restricting communications between private citizens and foreign governments. The law is widely viewed as unconstitutional and has never been used to successfully prosecute a single American citizen. The previously secret notes do not explain that Flynn was not a private citizen, but rather the incoming national security adviser at the time of his conversations with world leaders.

The explosive new documents support Flynn’s latest claims that Obama-era Department of Justice (DOJ) and FBI officials had conspired to set him up from the beginning and that they never had any legitimate basis for investigating him.

The author of the handwritten notes filed under seal last week also wrote, “We have a case on Flynn and Russians,” and “our goal is to resolve case.” Despite those claims of treasonous Russian collusion, Mueller found, after a sprawling, multi-year, multimillion-dollar investigation, that there was zero evidence of illegal collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government to steal the 2016 election from Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

In reality, the only Russian collusion that happened during the 2016 campaign was between the Clinton campaign and a subcontractor it funded, who was at the time working on behalf of a sanctioned Russian oligarch. That agent, former British intelligence operative Christopher Steele, created for the Clinton campaign the entire basis for charges of illegal collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. That document, known as the Steele dossier, has been thoroughly debunked since it was first released in early January 2017. The Clinton campaign, in cooperation with the Democratic National Committee, secretly funded the creation of that document and its distribution throughout the media. To date, none of its key collusion claims has been corroborated.

Sundance offers a reminder:

Keep in mind, the Mueller special counsel knew this all along…

Keep in mind, former DAG Rod Rosenstein knew this all along…

Also keep in mind, current FBI Director Chris Wray and current FBI Legal Counsel Dana Boente knew this all along…

These documents have been inside the DOJ and FBI for more than three years; while they prosecuted him and drove his family into bankruptcy.

It remains doubtful at best that the filthy scum will face any meaningful consequences for these abominable, heinous acts—their corruption, their casual indecency, their raw sedition, the human misery and destruction they so cruelly inflicted. Our only solace is that they’re sure to burn in Hell for them. May their torment be unbearable, and may it last for a thousand years.

The numbers are clear

And they still aren’t dissipating that fishy aroma wafting off of the Corony “crisis.”

Data are coming in, and their import is clear. The coronavirus pandemic is not and never was a threat to society. COVID-19 poses a danger to the elderly and the medically compromised. Otherwise, for most who present symptoms, it can be nasty and persistent, but is not life-threatening. A majority of those infected do not notice that they have the disease. Coronavirus presents us with a medical challenge, not a crisis. The crisis has been of our own making.

On March 16, Neil Ferguson of Imperial College London predicted a coronavirus death toll of more than two million in the United States alone. He arrived at this number by assuming that infection would be nearly universal and the fatality rate would be high—a terrifying prospect. The next day, Stanford epidemiologist John Ioannidis sifted through the data and predicted less widespread infection and a fatality rate of between 0.05 and 1.0 percent—not that different from the common flu. The coronavirus is not the common flu. It has different characteristics, afflicting the old more than the young, men more than women. Nevertheless, all data trends since mid-March show that Ferguson was fantastically wrong and Ioannidis was largely right about its mortal threat.

In epidemiology, nothing is certain. The facts may change in the future. But as of now, this much is certain: Current data point to a disease that is far less deadly than was feared when our country hurled itself over the cliff of mass lockdown. The WHO was at that time issuing warnings that presumed a death rate 20-30 times higher than what now appears realistic.

We need fact-based policies. COVID-19 spreads rapidly, and any fast-spreading disease can strain medical resources as incidences rise. Long recovery times increase patient loads in hospitals. Careful planning and resource allocation are therefore essential. They were accomplished successfully in New York, much to the credit of medical professionals here. The American people need to be told of that success, which, given the density of New York, shows that we can and will succeed everywhere in our country.

We’ve been stampeded into a regime of social control that is unprecedented in our history. Our economy has been shattered. Ordinary people have been terrorized by death-infused propaganda designed to motivate obedience to the limits on free movement. We have been reduced to life as medical subjects in our condition of self-quarantine. As unemployment numbers skyrocket and Congress spends trillions, the political stakes rise.

The experts, professionals, bureaucrats, and public officials who did this to us have tremendous incentives to close ranks and say, “It is not wise to tell people that the danger was never grave and now has passed.” Sustaining the coronavirus narrative will require many lies. It will be up to us to insist on the truth.

Personally, I’d insist on an abject, groveling apology for the damage the panic-ninnies and grasping state/local officials have done if I thought there was a chance in hell of ever actually getting one out of ’em. Instead, though, we can expect plenty of self-congratulation about the wonders their self-serving lockdown orders wrought in saving us all. Which is going to taste all the more sour after perfidy like this:

I was going to do this as a video, but decided that I'm a bit too angry to be trusted with a camera and a microphone. The governor of Tennessee told everybody that he would not be extending his safer at home executive order, and that he would allow local governments to begin reopening their businesses when it expired.

Business owners reacted, bring in inventory, stocking shelves, bringing back employees, and spending money to get ready to reopen.

Today, just a couple of days before businesse were going to reopen, the governor issued a new executive order. Only some businesses would be allowed to reopen. Others would have to remain closed. Restaurants could open, but bars could not. Gyms could open, but swimming pools and bowling alleys could not. Stores could open, but playgrounds, amusement parks, theaters, auditoriums, arcades, race tracks, etc could not.

All of the theaters in Pigeon Forge were planning on reopening following the governor's original announcement. They brought back their casts and crews, spruced up the theaters, and got everything ready to open up.

Now they can't. All that time, effort, and yes, money, has been wasted as the governor, at the last minute, took away their hope.

This will be devastating to these businesses. Many of them will fail because of the governor's about face. In a cruel parody of the last minute reprieve of the death row inmate, instead of offering a reprieve, the governor's call has pulled the switch on Sevier County.

I cannot state this strongly enough; this eleventh hour extension of the shutdown will do irreperable harm to the county. It will be far more devastating than the fire of a couple years ago because there will be no coming back for many of these businesses. The governor's order will destroy even those businesses he so graciously deigned to allow to open. How will restaurants survive with no patrons? The locals won't be able to afford to eat there, and the tourists won't come because there's nothing to do. The only thing more corrosive to a bottom line than a closed restaurant is an open one with too few customers, and Governor Lee has ensured that is exactly what will happen.

And for what? Saving lives from COVID-19? Feh. The numbers are clear and getting clearer. COVID-19 was never the monster it was made out to be. Serious? yes. Devastating? Not hardly.

What will be devastating is the countless lives destroyed by this continued overreaction on the part of the governor.

It's sad; just a couple of days ago, I was praising him for allowing each local jurisdiction the dignity of decideing for themselves exactly how to transition back to a functioning economy.

I should have known better.

Considering that clear-eyed skepticism of government is supposed to have been bred into the American DNA, yeah, we all shoulda. And yet.

But let’s close this thing out on a more uplifting note, shall we? A good friend of mine texted me something C&P’d from another Fakebook post, and I thought it was worth sharing.

Perspective! It’s a mess out there now. Hard to discern between what’s a real threat and what is just simple panic and hysteria.

For a small amount of perspective at this moment, imagine you were born in 1900. On your 14th birthday, World War I starts, and ends on your 18th birthday. 22 million people perish in that war. Later in the year, a Spanish Flu epidemic hits the planet and runs until your 20th birthday. 50 million people die from it in those two years. Yes, 50 million.

On your 29th birthday, the Great Depression begins. Unemployment hits 25%, the World GDP drops 27%. That runs until you are 33. The country nearly collapses along with the world economy. When you turn 39, World War II starts. You aren’t even over the hill yet.

And don’t try to catch your breath. On your 41st birthday, the United States is fully pulled into WWII. Between your 39th and 45th birthday, 75 million people perish in the war. At 50, the Korean War starts. 5 million perish.

At 55 the Vietnam War begins and doesn’t end for 20 years. 4 million people perish in that conflict. On your 62nd birthday you have the Cuban Missile Crisis, a tipping point in the Cold War. Life on our planet, as we know it, should have ended. Great leaders prevented that from happening. When you turn 75, the Vietnam War finally ends.

Think of everyone on the planet born in 1900. How do you survive all of that? When you were a kid in 1985 and didn’t think your 85 year old grandparent understood how hard school was. And how mean that kid in your class was. Yet they survived through everything listed above.

Perspective is an amazing art. Refined as time goes on, and enlightening like you wouldn’t believe. Let’s try and keep things in perspective. Let’s be smart, help each other out, and we will get through all of this.

Wise and encouraging words.

The New Normal: Safetyism

A nation of pussies.

To grasp the urgency of lifting the ubiquitous economic shutdowns, visit New York City’s Central Park, ideally in the morning. At 5:45 am, it is occupied by maybe 100 runners and cyclists, spread over 843 acres. A large portion of these early-bird exercisers wear masks. Are they trying to protect anyone they might encounter from their own unsuspected coronavirus infection? Perhaps. But if you yourself run towards an oncoming runner on a vector that will keep you at least three yards away when you pass each other, he is likely to lunge sideways in terror if your face is not covered. The masked cyclists, who speed around the park’s inner road, apparently think that there are enough virus particles suspended in the billions of square feet of fresh air circulating across the park to enter their mucous membranes and to sicken them.

These are delusional beliefs, yet they demonstrate the degree of paranoia that has infected the population. Every day the lockdown continues, its implicit message that we are all going to die if we engage in normal life is reinforced. Polls show an increasing number of Americans opting to continue the economic quarantine indefinitely lest they be ‘unsafe’. The longer that belief is reinforced, the less likely it will be that consumers will patronize reopened restaurants or board airplanes in sufficient numbers to bring the economy back to life.

To cancel most of the country’s economy for a problem, however tragic, that is highly localized was a devastating policy blunder that must be immediately corrected. The lockdowns are taking a scythe to everything that makes human existence both possible and meaningful. Lives are being lost to the overreaction. Heart attack and stroke victims shrink from calling 911 lest they burden hospitals now dedicated exclusively to COVID-19 cases. Cancer victims have had their stem cell transplants put on hold; heart surgeries are being postponed indefinitely. The cancellation of ‘nonessential’ procedures has prevented the diagnosis of life-threatening diseases, writes a former chief of neuroradiology at the Stanford University Medical Center. Tumors and potentially deadly brain aneurysms are going undetected. Drug abuse deaths from economic despair and isolation may already be rising, as data out of Ohio suggests. The United Nations predicts tens of millions more lives globally stunted by extreme poverty and hundreds of thousands of childhood deaths.

US unemployment is at depression levels. Small businessmen who risked their savings and credit in the hope of creating a successful enterprise have had their efforts destroyed. Up to a third of local businesses may never reopen. The damage to supply chains grows deeper by the day. Farmers are plowing under cabbages and strawberries, pouring out milk, and destroying eggs because they have lost their markets. It is almost impossible to plan future production with demand so irrationally depressed. Retail sales registered their biggest monthly drop on record in March. Department stores and local newspapers may become relics.

Many cultural institutions — small theaters, regional orchestras, and opera companies — will never rise again. Demand for progressive causes such as public transit and dense, multi-unit housing will evaporate the longer that fear is stoked. Yet the safetyism rhetoric is unabating. ‘The vast majority of people want to feel safe,’ a doctor told MSNBC anchor Stephanie Ruhle on April 23. ‘Hopefully people will turn to public health authorities and scientists for [safety] strategies.’ Those same authorities dole out positive reinforcement to keep the populace compliant. ‘Americans have done such a wonderful job’ of social distancing, Dr Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus task force director, encouragingly announced, ‘so we don’t want to jeopardize their efforts with a hasty reopening’, she added.

To be sure, a revolt is brewing against the idea that perfect safety is the precondition for social and economic life. Even residents of blue states are chafing under their mandates, provoking sniffy rebukes from their public health masters. But enough people have embraced fear to destroy the necessary demand side of an economic recovery. The lockdowns signal that it is not safe to shop, travel, or socialize — a message that in most places is false. The bans must be lifted, while protective efforts are targeted intensely at the vulnerable elderly. As a harbinger of liberation, any true public health expert would tell those Central Park joggers and those solo drivers in their cars to tear off their masks and breathe free.

It’s a sad commentary on our bizarre state of affairs that MacDonald’s perfectly reasonable, rational article could strike anybody as somehow “radical,” “extreme,” or “dangerous.” But you can be certain that it will.

On the horns of a deadly dilemna

AG Barr is between a rock and a very hard place.

REMINDER – United States Attorney General Bill Barr was not around in 2017 or 2018 when the DOJ was faced with the issues resulting from an investigation of intelligence leaks and Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) Security Director James Wolfe.

When the prosecution of SSCI Director James Wolfe was being considered, AG Jeff Sessions was recused; the Robert Mueller probe was ongoing; and as a consequence Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein and U.S. Attorney for DC Jessie Liu were decision-makers.

I’m not going to repeat all the issues, you can re-read them HERE; however, the baseline is that Wolfe could not be prosecuted without running the risk of collapsing key institutions of the U.S. government. The consequences of a Wolfe prosecution were beyond the capacity of Rod Rosenstein, or the DOJ to handle. There would have been massive constitutional crises created and the literal definition of ‘sedition‘ was at the center of it.

When you truly understand this context you also understand why Joseph Pientka III has a blanket protective order over him. The all-encompassing protective order is as much about preserving and protecting the institution of the DOJ as it is protecting the fulcrum of corrupt activity Supervisory Special Agent One, Joseph Pientka III, represents.

The DOJ had to throw a bag over Pientka or eliminate him. Thankfully, and not surprisingly, they chose the former and now he’s under federal protection; so they can continue the cover-up. If it had been an Obama/Clinton AG, they’d have just killed him.

In 2018 DAG Rosenstein could not prosecute James Wolfe without exposing ‘seditious‘ activity within the U.S. government itself. Not pretend sedition or theoretical sedition, but an actual pre-planned subversive operation with forethought and malice.

Likewise AG Bill Barr could not prosecute Andrew McCabe without exposing the same ‘seditious‘ activity; which also encompasses the activity of Rod Rosenstein. Whether Barr wants to protect Rosenstein is moot; if Barr wants to protect the institutions from sunlight on two years of actual seditious activity, he has to protect Rosenstein.

It’s the underlying activity that cannot be allowed to surface; the institutions of government are not strong enough, nor are they set-up to handle, prosecutions that overlap all three branches of government.

However, that said, now AG Bill Barr is facing a downstream and parallel issue within the prosecution of Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn. How can Michael Flynn be sentenced for lying to the FBI when the DOJ is necessarily refusing to prosecute Andrew McCabe (at least what has been made public) for the exact same behavior?

Against this dynamic, the DOJ has two options: (Option A) go even harder at General Flynn using additional charges that are not as comparable to McCabe. (Option B) find a way to drop the prosecution.

Take the totality of all these issues together. Think about them for a while…

…Now do we see why AG Bill Barr needed President Trump to shut up?

When Barr said “he’s making it harder for me to do my job”, in essence President Trump was making it harder for Barr to protect his institutions. Trump is too much sunlight.

At the heart of the matter, in the real activity that took place, there was a multi-branch seditious effort to remove President Donald J Trump. From the perspective of those charged with the actual administration of justice – there is no way to put this in front of the American public and have the institutions survive. What we are witnessing is a dance between increasingly narrowing rails and the DOJ, via Bill Barr, trying to find an exit.

Oh, what a tangled web we weave. Personally, I’m surprised they haven’t tried to take Sundance out yet.

Preview of coming attractions

If you like the panic-ninny overreaction to the Chink-N-Pox, just wait until you get a load of the rationale your masters plan to use to indefinitely confine you to your home over next.

You knew this was coming:

Public want radical response to climate change with same urgency as coronavirus, poll finds
The government should be more radical and put in place serious policies to fight the climate crisis with the same urgency as it has to coronavirus, voters believe. A new survey by pollsters Opinium found 48 per cent of the public agree that the government should respond “with the same urgency to climate change as it has with Covid-19”, with just 28 per cent saying it shouldn’t.

Environmentalists said the polling figures were a “green light” for the government to be more ambitious in tackling the climate crisis and that politicians had not yet caught up with public opinion on the issue. The polling is the latest evidence that public opinion is moving fast towards seriously tackling the crisis, following a surge in attention given in the issue last year amid international protests. The start of 2020 was punctuated with climate-related disasters like forest fires in Australia and major flooding.

Yes, it’s the Independent, a left-wing British newspaper. and, yes, we’ve been seeing this conflation of the coronavirus and “climate change” for at least the past month. The overreaction to Covid-19 has resulted in the summary abrogation of the First Amendment in the United States without so much as a shot fired, and in the imposition of lockdown orders in formerly semi-democratic Britain and in the never-really-democratic “social democracies” on the Continent.

Politicians the world over, it seems, just couldn’t wait to unleash the heavy hand of government on their hapless, trusting citizens. and now, having gotten a free look at how willingly the people transform themselves into sheep, petty tyrants in statehouses around the U.S. and in European capitals are hardly likely to let go. It seems that all you have to do is stand on a podium surrounded by doctors, frighten people into think they’ll all soon be extras on The Walking Dead, and you can get away with anything, the Constitution be damned.

And thus is the game given away. Never mind that the “legal goal” is a fiction that can easily be repealed. The absurd panic over the coronavirus is now being used as a stalking horse for further, even more punitive measures against the citizenry. After all, if the government can forbid you to leave your home out of fear of the flu, what can’t it do? Further, the longer the lockdowns last, the more “new normal” they will come to seem, so that the next government mandate, and the next, and the next, will be seen as part of a legitimate continuum, rather than the enormities they are.

And that ain’t no accident, either. Nor is it coincidence. What it is, is enemy action.

Already, those advocating for a swift reopening of the economies are being accused of wanting to kill grandma by the moral brow-beaters. In their eyes, even one death is too many, and the capitalist economies should not reopen until we can absolutely guarantee that no one will ever die of anything ever again.

Now let me see, who was it that said “one death is a tragedy, a million deaths is a statistic” again, now?

The “progressives” are trying to forge a chain from coronavirus to “climate change.” Having softened up the population and herded them into pens, unleashed the petty police on them, and condemned them to a life of terrified solitude until their masters deign to free them (with restrictions, of course!), government is now very nearly free of all constitutional and moral restrictions.

Again: Accident? Coincidence? Or that third thing I mentioned?

Some folks out there have challenged the get-the-boot-off-our-necks crowd with the query: So, how many people are you willing to let die of Chink-N-Pox so you whiny little bitches can go back to work? But that’s the wrong question, seems to me, and is more or less irrelevant anyway, since A) none of us has any real control over who will die, or of what, and B) none of us are getting out of this world alive anyway.

What I’d much rather have an answer to is: How many more of your already-vanishing Constitutional rights are you willing to give up forever in order to contain a malady that looks more every day like much ado about very little? Do you REALLY trust your rulers and their pet “experts” that much—even after EVERY SINGLE ONE of their computer-model projections have proven wrong, and their doomsday predictions have had to be hastily revised over and over again?

Make no mistake, people: when I said “permanent” and “forever” just now, I meant it. History has proven again and again and again that rights relinquished will never be given back; they must be TAKEN back, almost always via violent force. But what really curdles my cream is the abandonment of the fundamental principle that—no matter the crisis, the calamity, the season, the general public mood, or the supposed justification—directly and incontrovertibly flouting the US Constitution is NEVER acceptable. If you’re the gummint—federal state, or local—YOU DON’T GET TO SHUT DOWN THE CHURCHES, for one example, regardless of the supposed “risk” to however many of whomever from whatsit.

Yeah, yeah, the Constitution is not a suicide pact. Got it. If I remember correctly, exceptions to the clear injunction against any restriction of the people’s unalienable rights are countenanced therein, if reluctantly, in time of war or insurrection only. Well and good.

But a blanket, across-the-board imposition of house arrest? No right to peaceably assemble? Businesses shuttered indefinitely by government decree, the purchase of certain arbitrarily-selected consumer goods forbidden? Freedom of movement now punishable by legal sanction, up to and including arrest? Gun stores closed, ammo sales locked down? No right to attend worship services?

No, sorry, but…NO. Contrary to what panic-ninnies both Left and Right are now screeching, nobody wants to get sick. Nobody wants to die, or to recklessly endanger others, to have “blood on their hands.” So stipulated. Nonetheless, Constitutional principles are supposed to be fundamental, not to be contravened by any government that hopes to sustain its claim to legitimacy. Here’s how I see it:

The tension between the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches, between the states and federal government, is by design. It is supposed to be challenging to “get things done” in government. Sure, crises require sacrifices, but we must be careful to preserve the structure that protects our liberties in the long run.

We are thankful that the U.S. Department of Justice recognizes the serious threat to the constitutional structure these sorts of action present. Americans do not lose constitutional rights during crises. “There is no pandemic exception,” DOJ writes in its statement of interest in the case, “to the fundamental liberties the Constitution safeguards.”

It is a great tribute to our Constitution that these checks and balances are working to create the friction necessary for Americans to take notice of the deeper issues at stake here. But we must take note and demand much better from our public officials. Federal and state executives would be wise to take a step back and consider the long-term implications of the actions they are taking. They must preserve and respect the constitutional structure that guards our liberty.

The American spirit in 2020 still shouts, “Give me liberty, or give me death!” as Patrick Henry did in 1775. No exception for Covid-19.

Forever and ever, amen. Peggy Ryan calls BS:

What are we doing, America? We’ve destroyed a booming economy, turned a record number of jobs into record unemployment numbers, and given up our basic tenets of liberty — all so we won’t get sick?

We’re allowing governors to restrict people’s movement; prevent citizens from assembling; and order mandatory masks, testing, and vaccines. These governors now claim the right to track our every move, to surveil every American in order to ensure compliance. This shutdown is not just a slippery slope to socialism and communism; it’s a downhill slalom.

How did we get here? Americans aren’t cowards who would eagerly surrender liberty for immunity. But therein lies the genius of the left. It’s not just about you and me, now, is it?

The left has hostages: our aging parents, grandparents, sick relatives. Either we put down the Constitution and slowly back away or the hostages will die.

Too many Americans have died for our liberty for us to squander this treasure over a virus. Over a million American soldiers — young, healthy — ran headlong into gunfire, navigated mine fields, dodged bombs, and otherwise gave their lives so Americans can be free.

Not a single patriot sacrificed his life, his future, to keep Americans from getting sick.

The government claims it’s protecting us from the virus. With the Constitution in lockdown, who’s protecting us from the government?

Just us, as always. Like I said last night, the Constitution doesn’t protect the people; it is the people who must protect the Constitution. Ryan closes out with a dead-on quote:

“There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters.” —Daniel Webster

Precisely so. It’s dismaying to see how many of us have forgotten that truism, or never understood it in the first place.

Blood on your hands update! Reasonable people can disagree honestly and respectfully. Then again, some people are just irredeemable assholes.

BloodOnYourHands.png


Just this once I’ll forego my customary “fuck you in the liver with a rusty railroad spike” comeback and let Linda handle it.

But, in fact, we are making a choice that returning to work is worth the risk – EVEN OF OUR OWN FAMILY. We take sensible precautions. We do the outside errands of our elderly family (and, often, of neighbors, as well).

But, in the end, some risks just have to be taken – for example, those who are considered essential and frontline. No one tells the nurses and truckers to stay home. We accept that they are putting their own, and their family’s lives at risk – for YOU to stay home, safe.

Don’t see those sanctimonious ones criticizing them. Instead, they are filled with praise for their “bravery”.

Financial problems have destroyed more than one American family. Long-term financial problems – not just “Oh, I can’t buy the latest shoes!” or “Bummer, I have to drink homemade coffee, rather than my $5 Latte” – can cause the emotional, physical, and mental breakdown that leads to a lifetime of despair.

It’s not selfish to prefer to keep your family intact. It’s not a bad thing to think that children deserve to have their mother and father living together. It’s not evil to NOT want (corrected from opposite meaning) to see the frugality of a lifetime wiped away, because NO ONE should die. Ever.

Even old people with multiple illnesses/conditions. Even if they were already hanging on by their toenails to life.

This is not Un-Christian. This is a realistic understanding that we cannot ask the entire country to upend itself for months, solely to make you feel better about having sacrificed US. Yes, US. Because most of those who are saying these things, are still getting a paycheck. Government workers, large corporations, schools.

If this is not devastating your finances, I just don’t want to hear from you. You haven’t skin in the game. You have nothing to lose by Virtue Signaling your willingness to see the rest of us suffer to make you feel better.

As she suggests, a sense of proportion is one of several important things that have gone right out the window in this debate. And that ain’t helping any either.

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"America is at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system, but too early to shoot the bastards." – Claire Wolfe, 101 Things to Do 'Til the Revolution

"There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters." — Daniel Webster

"It is terrible to contemplate how few politicians are hanged." - GK Chesterton

"To put it simply, the Left is the stupid and the insane, led by the evil. You can’t persuade the stupid or the insane and you had damn well better fight the evil." - Skeptic

"The limits of tyranny are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress." - Frederick Douglass

"Give me the media and I will make of any nation a herd of swine." - Joseph Goebbels

“I hope we once again have reminded people that man is not free unless government is limited. There’s a clear cause and effect here that is as neat and predictable as a law of physics: As government expands, liberty contracts.” - Ronald Reagan

"Ain't no misunderstanding this war. They want to rule us and aim to do it. We aim not to allow it. All there is to it." - NC Reed, from Parno's Peril

"I just want a government that fits in the box it originally came in." - Bill Whittle

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