Tuesday, October 23, 2018

October 23, 2018 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

"Forcible Entry for Glass Commercial Doors"--Sacramento Fire Department (8 min.)
Besides breaking the glass, that is.

             The passage of the 1968 GCA not only gave the federal government an entry point into firearms commerce, but also served as a springboard for future interventions like the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1993. The Brady Act takes advantage of the GCA’s FFL system by mandating that all licensed firearms sellers conduct background checks of potential purchasers. The Brady Act also paved the way for the creation of the infamous National Instant Background Check System. NICS is an integral feature of the federal gun control apparatus and has been in existence for two decades, despite research showing it has been ineffective in deterring crime.
              These government intrusions aren’t without their fair share of disturbing consequences. According to gun researcher John Lott, the number of federally licensed firearms dealers (FFLs) has decreased from 283,000 in 1993 to 118,000 in 2013. Higher licensing costs played significant role in pricing out smaller weapons dealers. This trend will likely continue as the regulatory state grows larger by the day.
                And the infringements on gun rights continue. The Federal government recently snuck Fix NICS into an unpopular Omnibus bill. Fix NICS enhances the current background check system and puts federalism at risk by incentivizing state governments to turn over private records of gun owners. To add insult to injury, the Trump Administration is continuing its move to potentially ban bump stocks . On top of that, the ATF has ratcheted up its enforcement of federal gun laws. The simple act of selling a gun without the right government-approved paperwork can land someone in a federal cage. As is life in the present-day “statist quo” of arbitrary laws and regulations.
               The first study of Australian survivalists, by Sydney-based academic Simon Henry, has found that the movement has thousands of followers, prepped and ready for anything from nuclear war to a viral pandemic.
               The study, conducted over three years through Macquarie University, found that the movement attracted people from all walks of life, from entire families through to professionals such as doctors, lawyers and academics.
               Contrary to the gun-toting swamp people we’re used to seeing on shows like Doomsday Preppers, Dr Henry says Aussie survivalists are normal people with an interest in preparedness.
               “There’s no evidence at all to suggest that this community are right wing, raving, armageddon embracing fringe dwellers,” Dr Henry says.
               “It’s an easy sell to demonise and dehumanise people who are different but these are people who are reacting to a perceived threat, whether that’s human made or naturally occurring.”
               Dr Henry says the potential for bad things happening is real, and the Australian survivalist community — whose members are now reaching into the thousands — “just want to be ready”.
        What would happen in the USA in overpopulated urban areas if the EBT cards stopped working? I could see large groups of disadvantaged youths “protesting” in a similar manner. The firebombing attacks would be organized through social media sites like twitter or Facebook. 100 teens show up at a set place and time. Each throws 2-3 firebombs, then runs. The cops could never catch up. It could be a very serious problem.
          Ellifritz dismisses any kind of responsive attack due to the nature of the attack and the probability that you will be outnumbered. He suggests driving away as fast as possible or, if that is not possible, ditching your vehicle and running away as fast as possible.
          • We're already in a civil war: "Our Revolution’s Logic"--Angelo Codevilla at The American Mind. This should be considered part III of his series on the American ruling class and perils of revolution. Codevilla begins by drawing on history to show how civil wars can begin from petty political disputes: (1) there is an initial dispute; (2) the losers in the dispute refuse to accept that the other party won and seek to criminally penalize the winners; and (3) also losing the second round, the losers then turn to political violence. And this is where we are right now as a nation. An excerpt:
                 The ruling class’s “resistance” to the 2016 election’s outcome was the second turn. Its vehemence, unanimity, coordination, endurance,and non-consideration of fallback options—the rapidity with which our revolution’s logic has unfolded—have surprised and dismayed even those of us who realized that America had abandoned its republican past. 
                  The “resistance” subsequent to the election surprises, in part, because only as it has unfolded have we learned of its scope prior to the election. All too simply: the U.S government’s upper echelons merged politically with the campaign of the Democratic Party’s establishment wing, and with the media. They aimed to secure the establishment candidates’ victory and then to nullify the lost election’s results by resisting the winners’ exercise of legitimate powers, treating them as if they were illegitimate. The measure of the resistance’s proximate success or failure would come in the 2018 elections. 
                  Partisan “dirty tricks” are unremarkable. But when networks within government and those who occupy society’s commanding heights play them against persons trying to unseat them, they constitute cold civil war against the voters, even coups d’etat. What can possibly answer such acts? And then what? 
          * * *
                  The revolutionary import of the ruling class’ abandonment of moral and legal restraint in its effort to reverse election results cannot be exaggerated. Sensing themselves entitled to power, imagining themselves identical with legitimacy, “those general laws to which all alike can look for salvation in adversity“—here the US Constitution and ordinary civility—are small stuff to them. 
                   Their ruling class’s behavior regarding Judge Brett Kavanaugh’ nomination to the Supreme Court has been a further, epochal step in this regard. 
                  No one doubted that the ruling class would “Bork” Kavanaugh. But the 1986 attacks on Judge Bork had caricatured his ideas, not slandered the man. The 1991 charges against Clarence Thomas, though untrue, had involved an accuser who actually had contact with him and hence might possibly have been true. But it was virtually impossible for the accusations against Kavanaugh to be true. Their patently insincere manner and substance advertised their purely slanderous nature. 
                  ... The anti-Kavanaugh campaign’s power and significance lies precisely in the ruling class’s perpetration of an in-your-face hoax. Making someone pretend that your patent lie is true may be the most humiliating of assertions of power. The ruling class, knowing the Republicans, dared them publicly to dismantle the fraud: to show the accuser is an emotionally troubled person, a Democratic Party activist who has worked for Corcept Therapeutics, manufacturer of an abortion drug, who engaged in slander and possibly perjury. In some measure, it looks like Democrats won the bet.  The Republicans absorbed tirades and mobs, while protesting generically about “politics,” even as Democratic activists were intimidating them physically at airports, in elevators, chasing them out of restaurants, and disrupting their private lives. 
          * * * 
                 Kavanaugh’s confirmation was better than defeat. But it was not a perfect victory for the White House or for the Republicans. The “resistance” succeeded in showing: if we can do this to this man on this basis, we can wreck anybody, as may be convenient to us. It showed Americans what today’s Progressive movement means for those it dislikes: “If they can do this to him, they could do it to me.” The campaign has been part and parcel of the resistance’s ever growing violence against the rest of America. This has changed America. Like lost virginity, it cannot be undone. 
                 The anti-Kavanaugh campaign is but the latest of the ruling class’s nationwide incitements to intimidation, inconvenience, and even violence against persons who stand in its way. Violent “protests” against candidate Trump’s appearance in several cities nearly forced their cancellation and led the media to blame ….Trump. Conservative speakers on campuses routinely expect “protests” in which people get hurt. “Protesters” at public figures’ homes mean to show that “the people” will not allow “enemies of the people” to live normal lives. House majority whip Steve Scalise and his baseball team were fired upon by someone energized to do just that. This sort of thing—“demonstrators” attacking the rulers’ opponents—is standard in places like Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Iran. 
          * * *
                 What matters a lot is that our ruling class does not deal and will never again deal with their opponents as fellow citizens. Theirs was a quintessentially revolutionary act, after which there is no stepping back. 
                 The “resistance” worked. You may have won the last election, said the ruling class. But we’re still in charge. Indeed, they are. And they might stay that way. But human nature ensures that people reply, and repay. Establishment Republicans were driven to admit that their kind could no longer buy the Left’s comity. Hence the Wall Street Journal’s editorial announcing “We’re all deplorables now.” That is the only sense in which the “resistance” may rue the Kavanaugh saga. That is revolution’s logic. 
          * * *
                 By dropping all pretense of ruling for the common good; by presuming that they embody the law (Laws-R-Us); by instituting various kinds of boycotts (Institutions-R-Us); by using the strongest, most motivating language toward opponents; by inciting all manner of violence; by death-gripping their privileges; by using their positions’ powers in government and social institutions at or beyond their extreme edge; the people who occupy the government’s and society’s institutions continue to remove whatever deference the institutions (by the authority of which they rule) had inspired. They increasingly stand before their opponents, naked. By daring their opponents to capture these positions in any way possible, and to use them in the same way, they threw down a gantlet that is now being picked up. 
                   In short, the “resistance” has begun to radicalize middle America. It redoubled millions of Americans’ sense of siege, their fear of unbridled rule by unaccountable powers, of being accused of “hate speech,” of normal life made impossible by Progressive socio-political demands. It confirmed the sense that Donald Trump and such as he, whatever their faults, are all that stands between themselves and having an alien way of life imposed upon them. 
                   The voters who, over four election cycles, stripped the Democratic Party of the U.S. Presidency, left it in the minority in both Houses of Congress, without Governors in two-thirds of the States, and in the minority in two-thirds of the state legislatures did so not out of love for the Republican Party. They were being insulted and made to feel strangers in their own country, and wanted that to stop. But elections did not stop the ruling class’s assaults on their supposed inferiors. Instead, the “resistance” increased pressures on them. Political correctness is more virulent than ever, speech is more restricted than ever. Being on the wrong side of the right people is more dangerous than ever. 
                   2016’s voters expected that their elected President and Congress would protect them, acting on their behalf with unrestrained power. But Congressional Republicans mostly joined Democrats, and Trump complained while mostly complying. Knowing that some good judges are being appointed raises hopes but does nothing now to protect Americans from what a host of hostile officials of government, corporations, education,  in league  with he media are doing to whomever steps out of line. 
                   While it is by no means clear how these voters will respond in 2018 and 20, surely, the “resistance” sharpened in them the revolutionary logic that dictates repaying outrages with compound interest, and revived the question that drove the 2016 election: what does it take to counter all this? Countering the ruling class as it has evolved through the resistance is the third turn of our revolution’s spiral.

                   It's perhaps informative to recall that the US Air Force created a Highway of Death in response to considerably less provocation from Iraqis back in 1991. And those Iraqis were not attempting to physically invade the USA.
                     If the US military will not defend the borders of the USA, it should be completely defunded and disbanded. 
                       If the US military will not defend the borders of the USA, there is literally no point to its existence at all.
                • Related: "Betrayal Is A Woman’s Heart"--Château Heartiste. A discussion of how French women were very welcoming to the Nazi soldiers that invaded France during WWII, and applying that to the scenes of Western women welcoming refugees and migrants into the West. He explains:
                          Women are neurally wired to submit to the men of the dominant tribe. In WWII, that meant submitting to invading Nazis. And when women submit, they do so with all their heart, often falling deeply in love with the invading men who put their native men to bayonet. This is an evolved survival response that women, but not men, can leverage, because women are the more valuable sex, reproductively speaking.
                           And women’s loving, desirous submission is authentic, because to fool invading men is easier if one has fooled oneself. “Fool” isn’t the right word for it, either. Women fall in love with invading men because those men have proven themselves more dominant than the native men, and male dominance is the equivalent of female T&A.
                             In the case of Sears, the culprit is a hedge-fund operator named Edward Lampert, once a senior merger guy at Goldman Sachs. In 2005, Lampert merged Sears with Kmart, loaded both up with debt, and used some of the debt on stock buybacks to pump up the share price and enrich shareholders, notably himself and his hedge fund.
                                In a decade, 175,000 people at Sears/Kmart lost their jobs and revenue was cut in half. Various pieces of Sears were sold off. Lampert did just fine.
                                 Lampert’s hedge fund also became a prime a lender to Sears, making money off of commissions and interest charges as well as being a prime shareholder. The strategy ensures that the fund and its beneficiaries (including Lampert himself) get rich, even if they run Sears into the ground. For the most part, the nostalgia coverage of the demise of Sears has missed this.
                                   If you look hard, you can find an excellent 2017 piece from The New York Times by Julie Creswell, “The Incredible Shrinking Sears,” on Lampert’s role.  Another writer who regularly covers how hedge funds and private equity have pillaged American retailing is David Dayen.
                              I commented on Lampert's seeming conflict of interest in May of this year.
                              I have a pretty thorough knowledge of history, but never, to my recollection, has it produced such madness in such gigantic proportions.  All values were changed, and not only material ones; the laws of the State were flouted, no tradition, no moral code was respected, Berlin was transformed into the Babylon of the world.  Bars, amusement parks, honky-tonks, sprang up like mushrooms. . . the Germans introduced all their vehemence and methodological organization into the perversion.Along the entire Kurfurstendamm powdered and rouged young men sauntered and they were not all professionals; every high school boy wanted to earn some money and in the dimly lit bars one might see government officials and men of the world of finance tenderly courting drunken sailors without shame.  Even the Rome of Suetonious has never seen such orgies as the pervert balls of Berlin, where hundreds of men costumed as women and hundreds of women as men danced under the benevolent eyes of the police.In the collapse of all values a kind of madness gained hold particularly in bourgeois circles which until then had been unshakable in their probity.Young girls bragged proudly of their perversion, to be sixteen and still under the suspicion of virginity would have been considered a disgrace in any school of Berlin at that time…
                              The sickness played into the hands of the National Socialists. Lind writes:
                              To summarize a complex historical period, the collapse of morals and culture in Germany in the 1920s alienated the German middle class from the Weimar Republic.  When the Great Depression hit, that alienation was joined by deep anger at the government’s inability to set the economy right and provide jobs.  Adolf Hitler and his National Socialists rode this mixture of alienation and anger to power (legally, by winning an election).  They then abolished the Weimar constitution, reaffirmed traditional middle-class morality, pulled Germany out of the Depression, and gave jobs to everyone who wanted one (for which the brilliant head of the Reichsbank, Hjalmar Schacht, deserves much of the credit).
                              Interesting times lie ahead.

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