Globalism, which assumes there are no differences between cultures and that totalitarian states are as trustworthy as free ones, is a luxury.
It is a luxury of those wealthy enough that they can afford to ignore reality.  In the past those that wealthy were few and far between. For a very short time, the West could afford to be that stupid. Not any more.

The Cluebat is a harsh teacher.


Europe Wasn’t Ready for Coronavirus. It May Never Fully Recover.

On November 28th, 2019, the European Union officially and solemnly declared the “climate emergency,” in a ceremony presided over by the would-be 17-year-old prophet Greta Thunberg. Today, almost four months later, in the midst of a real emergency, the only thing that remains official and solemn in that declaration is its ridiculousness. That, and the no-holds-barred death match between the Union’s partners to seize containers of respirators and face masks destined for other countries in order to save their own. “The European Union either gets this health crisis right, or it will be dead,” I heard the former president of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani, say the day before yesterday. At the moment, the European Union seems to be MIA, along with the “climate emergency.” Each day that passes, the hope of finding it alive diminishes………

The reactions of politicians in Europe reflect the bewilderment of those who were living in the Matrix and have just been awakened………

Europe, whose nations had staked everything on an all-powerful state that could protect its citizens from all evil, has been cruelly disappointed. The future is uncertain. But what is certain is that death and poverty are two words that will stay with us for a long time. Europeans now miss having competent governments, cohesive civil societies, responsible economic administrations, and citizens capable of giving their lives for others — that is to say, citizens with values. The same values that were deliberately excluded in the European Constitution in order to please the extreme left-wing secularists.


Italians burn EU flag, vow to leave EU over EU’s lousy coronavirus response.

France Issues Rallying Calls to ‘Buy French’ as Coronavirus Erodes EU Single Market.

 

All that Agenda 21, high density population, mass transit, sustainable development stuff looks downright suicidal now.


The End of New York: Will the pandemic push America’s greatest city over the edge?

For over two centuries, New York has been the predominant urban center in North America. It remains the primary locale for the arts, culture, finance, and media, and will likely remain so for the foreseeable future. It has also served as the incubator of the many Americas—including Jewish, Italian, African American, Irish, and, increasingly, Middle Eastern, North African, and Asian cultures—and nurtured their contributions to the arts, business, and intellectual life.

Yet today, New York faces a looming existential crisis brought on by the coronavirus. It suffers the largest outbreak of infection by far, accounting for the largest numbers of both cases and deaths outside of Wuhan and Milan. New York is home to nearly half of the coronavirus cases in the United States, and a majority of deaths.

What’s particularly ominous for New York’s future is that the best way to slow the spread of the virus—social distancing—works against the very things that make Gotham so appealing. The very pleasures and crowded realities of urban life, such as mass transit, are particularly susceptible to pandemics. As New Yorkers are told to avoid crowded subways, subway traffic is down 60% and commuter train traffic by as much as 90%.

Cities like New York pay a price for being both dense and cosmopolitan. As a new study from Heartland Forward reveals, the prime determinants of high rates of infection include such things as density, percentage of foreign residents, age, presence of global supply chains, and reliance on tourism and hospitality. Globally, the vast majority of cases occur in places that are both densely populated and connected to the global economy. Half of all COVID-19 cases in Spain, for example, have occurred in Madrid, while the Lombardy region in Italy, which includes the city of Milan, accounts for roughly half of all cases in the country and over 60% of the deaths.

In contrast, suburban, exurban, and small-town residents get around in the sanctuary of their private cars and have far more room inside their houses. They do not usually get lots of visitors from outside, particularly from abroad. Overall, most rural areas around the world have been largely spared, at least for now, due to much less crowding and casual human contact, which abound in cities.

Pandemics naturally thrive most in big cities, where people live cheek by jowl and are regularly exposed to people from other regions and countries. Like COVID-19, the bubonic plague came to Europe on ships from the Orient, where the disease originated. As historian William McNeill noted, the plague devastated the cosmopolitan centers of Renaissance Italy far more than the backward reaches of Poland or other parts of central Europe.

Being away from people, driving around in your own car, and having neighbors you know, all have clear advantages when it comes to avoiding and surviving contagion. Even the urban cognoscenti have figured this out. Like their Renaissance predecessors during typhus and bubonic plague outbreaks, contemporary wealthy New Yorkers are retreating to their country homes where they struggle with the local townies over occasional short supplies of essentials.

In the long run, the extraordinary concentration of COVID-19 cases in New York threatens an economy and a social fabric that were already unraveling before the outbreak began………..

Many people are unaware that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, in addition to serving in Congress, is also an orchestra conductor. Sometimes she combines the two jobs as when she denounced the Stimulus bill while simultaneously conducting the 1812 Overture.

Two accounts of some really stupid burg– bunglers


Putnam County Sheriff says ‘these hoodlums make me sick’ after homeowner shoots burglar

PUTNAM COUNTY, Ga. — Putnam County Sheriff Howard Sills says a homeowner on Thomas Dr. called 911 dispatch around 11:30 p.m. Tuesday about a man armed with a knife up a tree making a disturbance.

Deputies were dispatched to the home, but before they could arrive a second call came in from a next door neighbor alleging the suspect was attempting to break into their home.

The suspect, identified as 28-year-old Hunter Layne Harrison, had picked up a concrete landscaping border brick and threw it through the locked glass door which led to an enclosed porch, according to Sills

After getting to the porch, Harrison beat on the french glass door to the home, screaming to be let in, but the homeowner shouted back that he was armed and that Harrison needed to leave.

But the homeowner, armed with a .45 semi-automatic pistol, shot the suspect once in the arm. Harrison hit the kitchen floor and the owner held him their until deputies arrived.

Once law enforcement made it to the scene, were they sent the homeowner along with his wife and child to wait out the situation in one of the home’s bedrooms.

The deputies then attempted to detain Harrison and place him in cuffs, but Sills says the suspect battled with the deputies, splattering blood across the kitchen, breaking free, cussing at the officers, and running towards a door that he believed was an exit.

But Sills says Harrison didn’t realize the home was currently under construction and that the door no longer led to a back deck, causing Harrison to fall nine feet to the ground where deputies arrested him.

The officers had to use pepper spray to subdue Harrison and keep his feet in shackles to keep him from running.

While Harrison was en route to an ambulance that had arrived on scene, Sills says he continued to fight deputies. Once inside the ambulance, Harrison was sent to The Medical Center, Navicent Health to be treated for his injuries, including undergoing surgery to remove a bullet from his arm.

Harrison is still at Navicent Health once he is cleared for release he will be transported back to Putnam County for booking.

“These hoodlums make me sick. He’s got a twenty-page raps heet and he’s over at the hospital, taking up a bed where someone more important, who might have coronavirus, might need it,” Sills said Wednesday.

Sills says he currently has warrants on Harrison to charge him with:

  • Home invasion
  • Burglary in the first degree
  • Three counts of felony obstruction
  • One count of disorderly conduct

Sills added that at the time of the incident, Harrison was on probation for a 2014 burglary in Putnam County, damaging government property in Putnam County in 2016, and driving on a suspended license and giving a false name to law enforcement in Greene County in 2018.


Alleged burglar shot, killed; another suspect arrested

TOME—An attempted burglary in Tomé Sunday morning has left one Valencia County man dead and another in custody.

Valencia County deputies were called to a burglary in progress on N.M. 47 in Tomé shortly after 7 a.m., Sunday, March 22. When they arrived, deputies found Jason Shadron, 41, of Los Lunas, dead in the front seat of a stolen pickup truck.

Valencia County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Lt. Joseph Rowland said items left at the scene identified a second suspect — Sammy Armijo, 40, of Los Chavez — who fled on foot.

The department isn’t releasing many details about the Sunday shooting since it is still under investigation, the lieutenant said.

“Somebody at the home fired the shot that killed Mr. Shadron,” Rowland said. “There is no known association between Jason and Sammy, and the people at the residence.

“It appears the two of them arrived together in the stolen truck, which we believe is the truck reported stolen by Armijo’s in-laws.”

Armijo was found and arrested late Monday afternoon, Rowland said.

“We located a vehicle that was associated with (Armijo) driving around. We stopped it but he was not in the vehicle,” Rowland said. “The driver said he got the vehicle from Armijo’s in-laws on Peyton Road (in Los Chavez).”

The lieutenant said that was the same household where the reported stolen truck Shadron was found in at the home on N.M. 47.

Deputies set up surveillance of the house on Peyton Road, and saw suspicious activity. Rowland said they contacted Armijo’s wife, who lives at the home, and found out he was in a camper in the backyard.

While Armijo was being taken into custody, he punched a window in the camper, injuring himself, Rowland said, and was checked by medical personnel.

“Otherwise, he was taken into custody without incident,” he said.

Rowland said the department was working closely with the district attorney’s office on the case.

“New Mexico State Police also assisted in the investigation. We will have to complete the investigation, review all the facts and work with the DA before we make a determination as to how to proceed,” he said.

Armijo was wanted on felony warrants prior to his arrest in regards to three probation violations for aggravated assault on a police officer with a deadly weapon, a second incident of aggravated assault of an officer and the third for burglary and assaulting, fleeing, evading and obstructing an officer.

A stupid little political stunt to Get Trump goes awry in Nevada

Steve Sisolak, the leftist governor of Nevada, decided to play doctor by banning the use of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine, two drugs that are being used elsewhere to treat COVID-19.

“While these drugs serve necessary medical purposes, this regulation protects the Nevadans who need them and prevents unnecessary hoarding,” Sisolak wrote on Twitter.

Unneccessary hoarding? The hoarding thing is a smokescreen, his real reason was to slap at President Trump who touted these medications as showing promise, and even mistakenly said they had been approved for use by the FDA. That’s his real reason for the limit on the unproven drug, which goes against the ‘right to try’ and the current national mobilization effort to get everyone well by suspending burdensome regulations in the medical community to encourage experimentation and swift solutions. What Nevada needs, see, is more administrative-state regulation, which is is showing all signs of going badly for him.

According to the Reno Gazette-Journal, here was Sisolak’s originally stated reason, which has a clear reference to President Trump:

Sisolak announced an emergency regulation prohibiting the drugs’ use in a statement that said there was “no consensus among COVID-19 experts or Nevada’s own medical health advisory team” that the medications  were an effective treatment for the virus.

Tellingly, this semi-prohibition comes right on the heels of the death of an Arizona man who tried to self-medicate, fatally taking a fish tank cleaning additive with a similar name, and killing himself as well as sickening his wife. She has since blamed President Trump.

Sen. Ted Cruz could tell what Sisolak’s ban was really about — Getting Trump — and he said something. According to the Reno Gazette-Journal:

On Wednesday, Cruz wrote on Twitter: “During this crisis, we should listen to the science & the medical professionals,” Cruz tweeted on Wednesday. “The opposite approach: the Governor of Nevada, practicing medicine w/o a license—trying to score political points against Trump—& prohibiting NV doctors from prescribing medicines to treat COVID19.”

Sisolak hollers about ‘no consensus’ as reason for his move, but now looks like Sisolak has decided the consensus, limiting the availability of the drug on the market as bad stuff, and never mind that portion of the medical community that thinks it does work.

Sisolak has since clarified that he hasn’t totally banned the use of the drug – he’s allowing it for hospital use, which is for COVID-19 patients at death’s door. It’s sad stuff because the drug reportedly shows the most promise in early-stage COVID-19 patients. But Sisolak’s the doctor now, so late-stage can have his exception.

Where he really gets into the playing-doctor thing, though, is by permitting it for prescription by doctors for outpatient use, but only with only a 30-day supply.

What happens to the guy who needs a 40-day supply to get well? People are different, and one-size-fits-all works very badly in medicine.

With the drug banned for the forty-day guy, he’s going to be looking into the black market, or in a worse-case scenario, under the kitchen sink, for what he needs. So is the uncertain guy who forgot to pay his big Obamacare insurance premium. So is the slightly sick guy who can’t get an appointment because the doctors are too busy with more urgent cases. The whole thing interferes with doctors’ ability to practice medicine, and patients’ “right to try.” Too bad if you’re sick, no hydroxychloroquine for you!

All of them — and anyone else who thinks he might get sick — have in fact just been incentivized by the Nevada governor’s stupid micromanaging move to … hoard up.

It’s ironic, because Sisolak couldn’t do anything better to incentivize hoarding than to initiate bans and conditions and prohibitions. In his current “hoarding” justification, he now admits it has some promising medical applications for COVID-19, just as Trump says, as well as for treatment of lupus and malaria so now he’s limiting availability to help non-COVID-19 patients, he says. A normal person in normal market would ramp up production to accommodate everyone who wants it. This guy likes the ‘divide it up and ration it out’ model instead, a feature, not a bug, of socialized medicine.

If you wanted to encourage hoarding, there probably isn’t a better way to do it than to cut off access. Just ask any surge of travellers after an entry ban is introduced, or pot stash house owner in the face of some new prohibition, gun and ammo buyer after gun- and ammo-buying limits are introduced, or stock market participant after the switch breakers are introduced. Prohibitions are precisely what encourage hoarding. Ramp up production to accompany higher demand is what ends the impulse for hoarding.

It’s nothing but Democrat administrative-state mentality at work here – first, the slap at Trump, and second, the move to crush the wreckers and hoarders – all coming at a time when the private sector is stepping up production of necessary things in a pandemic, the innovators are going gangbusters  with new solutions, doctors are experimenting in uncertainty as never before and the regulators in Washington are getting out of the way in a bid to hasten solutions.

What Nevada needs, he seems to be saying, is more bureaucrats, more enforcers, and more regulations, because there’s just too much freedom and in a pandemic, people are escaping “all proper control.”  He’s moving against the Zeitgeist, led by President Trump. Expect a lot more self-justification and backtracking from him, he’s not making himself popular.

 

How The Chinese Regime’s Silencing Of Whistleblowers Turned A Local Outbreak Into A Global Epidemic

It’s mind-boggling for people like us, the citizens in the free world, to imagine a government so capable of intentional evil. And yet, that is exactly how the Chinese Communist government of China operates. It’s an authoritarian regime that has historically caused the death of countless millions. Once you understand that, you will understand why we are dealing with this unprecedented global health crisis of the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic today.

Recently, there have been news reports about how patient zero of the Wuhan coronavirus was traced back to as early as November 17. By December, Chinese scientists were already aware of the existence of the deadly virus and alerted Beijing about it. What was the Chinese government’s response? They received a gag order from China’s National Health Commission, with instructions to destroy the samples. Basically, the first critical month was spent covering up the crisis instead of taking preventive measures to stop the outbreak from worsening.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control Tried To Provide Help During the Early Stages of the Outbreak
In fact, back in early January, when news broke out about this new deadly virus, American representatives from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control alerted the American government, and America offered to send a team of experts from the CDC to help with the investigation for the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan. The Chinese government refused to authorize this request.

America offered to send a team of experts from the CDC to help investigate the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan but the Chinese government refused.

So, it’s almost like a bad joke now to see how the public is celebrating China’s recent offer to send mask and test kits to the European countries and America when they wouldn’t even allow America to send experts from the Center for Disease Control to help deal with the outbreak at the very beginning. Had it been tackled early on, we would have helped stop the spread of infection during its early crucial stages.

The American government kept extending this offer for almost a month, back when the total number of infected in China was under 5,000 and the number of deaths was only about 100. Today, two months later, the number of infected in China is over 80,000 and deaths from the virus are estimated at over 3,000. Honestly, no one can tell if these numbers are real because China’s lack of transparency means that these numbers are not reliable.

The very fact that China would rather let their own people die from the virus than accept help from the CDC in early January in order to help contain the outbreak should tell you everything you need to know about how this Communist regime deals with a public health crisis.

Chinese Government Putting the World in Danger
When representatives from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention visited Wuhan on January 8 to assess the situation, local Wuhan health officials overseeing the CDC’s visit intentionally withheld information that hospital workers had been infected by patients. Had the representatives from the CDC been made aware of that, they would have been able to tell that this was a telltale sign of a contagious virus spreading from human to human. Officials in Wuhan insisted that only those who came into contact with infected animals could catch the coronavirus.

Local Wuhan health officials overseeing the CDC’s visit intentionally withheld information that hospital workers had been infected by patients.

If you want to feel sad and/or angry, read this BBC article published on January 9, the day after the CDC representatives’s visit, which states, “it is still unclear how the illness is transmitted, with health officials saying no cases of human-to-human transmission had been confirmed as yet.” China knew. China lied. China covered it up.

The Truth Will Always Emerge

It should be known that even though the Chinese Communist Party tried their best to lie and suppress the truth, many social media users in China were aware of the problems in Wuhan (as early as mid-December) because medical personnel were sharing and discussing the mystery illness on their group pages at Weibo and WeChat. Instead of treating the news of the illness seriously and taking the necessary actions, like informing the public so they’d be aware and could take precautions against infection, the Chinese authorities tried to suppress these “rumors.”

The Heroic Whistleblower
No, instead China arrested these doctors who were just discussing the problems they encountered at work with their fellow colleagues. Among these doctors was the heroically brave Dr. Li Wenliang. You may know by now how he was the whistleblower who informed the public about the Wuhan virus and how he later succumbed and died from it.

Dr. Li was a 34-year-old ophthalmologist working in Wuhan. On December 30, Dr. Li informed his fellow medical professionals in a chatroom about an alarming new mysterious illness he had observed while at work. He mentioned how the symptoms and diagnosis resembled the SARS outbreak from the early 2000s and warned other medics to wear protective clothing to avoid infection.

The Hero We Need
Since there is no such thing as freedom of speech in China, his conversation was monitored and on January 3, he was summoned to the Public Security Bureau. There they made him sign a letter, accusing him of “making false comments” and “severely disturbing the social order”. If it isn’t clear by now, this was the Chinese regime’s attempt to make him lie to the public, just like they did.

Dr. Li informed his fellow medical professionals in a chatroom about an alarming new mysterious illness he had observed while at work.

Thankfully, Dr. Li would not be intimidated into silence. He had a history of speaking up for what he believed was right. Once, he even openly defended a journalist who was investigating government ineptitude because he thought the journalist was brave enough to report on the truth. He eventually broke the news of what had happened to him to the public on January 10. He condemned the Chinese government for their inaction and for trying to silence him. He also continued to inform the public about the virus.

Symbol of Defiance and Free Speech
Perhaps the reason that finally drove him to put his life in danger by speaking out was that he had been infected by the Wuhan coronavirus himself. Dr. Li had unknowingly treated a glaucoma patient who had the illness two weeks earlier. On February 6, he succumbed to the Wuhan coronavirus and died. He left behind a 5-year-old son and a pregnant wife who is expecting in June.

Since his death, Dr. Li has become a symbol of courage in the time of adversity. The Chinese public-at-large, when they heard the news of his death, finally revolted at the lies and broke their silence just as he did. They too started to condemn the Chinese government for the cover-up. They finally saw how the regime caused the tragic death of the brave doctor who was not only unjustly silenced for trying to tell the truth, but he was also bullied for trying to help save the lives of everyone around him.

If there is one thing we can learn from this tragedy, let that lesson be about how crucial freedom of speech is. Authoritarian regimes will always try to silence dissent.  To paraphrase Edmund Burke – evil thrives in silence. And sometimes, this silencing of free speech by a tyrannical regime will lead to a global pandemic. From the silencing of Dr. Li to hiding the truth from the U.S. Centers of Disease Control, we have solid examples of how the suppression of speech and information about the Wuhan coronavirus by the Chinese government has led the world directly into the current catastrophe of a global health crisis that we, the citizens of the world, have to suffer under today.

pelousy pays homage and channels Kenny Rogers’ The Gambler:
“Know when to fold ’em”


Pelosi delays her coronavirus bill, says will try to pass Senate’s without most members present

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Tuesday that she will attempt to pass the Senate’s coronavirus economic stimulus package – putting aside the alternative, projected $2.5 trillion measure that she proposed.

The California Democrat said she’ll try to pass the Senate’s projected $1.8 trillion measure by unanimous consent, meaning House members can say yes without having to come to Capitol Hill to vote.

“The easiest way to do it is for us to put aside some of our concerns for another day, and get this done,” Pelosi told CNBC. “If it has poison pills in it, and they know certain things are poison pills, then they don’t want unanimous consent – they just want an ideological statement.”

 

I don’t think there was ‘confusion’ as much as there was ‘push back’.


Justice Department responds to ‘confusion’ about ’emergency powers’ request during coronavirus outbreak

The Justice Department responded to an article about its congressional request for “emergency powers” for courts during crises such as the coronavirus, arguing that these proposals would empower judges to ensure criminals don’t avoid justice during national emergencies.

Facing bipartisan backlash from lawmakers on Capitol Hill, Kerri Kupec, the spokeswoman for Attorney General William Barr, shared a statement Monday that claimed it was Congress that first asked for the proposals.

“There has been some confusion re: reports about DOJ asking Congress for certain ‘emergency powers.’ This was triggered by Congress asking DOJ for suggested proposals necessary to ensure that federal courts would be able to administer fair and impartial justice during the pandemic,” the lengthy statement tweeted by Kupec said.

The report on the draft legislative text by Politico said, “The Justice Department has quietly asked Congress for the ability to ask chief judges to detain people indefinitely without trial during emergencies — part of a push for new powers that comes as the novel coronavirus spreads throughout the United States.”

Again;  Any questions why I call them demoncraps?
It reminds me of Maureen O’Hara’s line in ‘Big Jake‘ after Wayne opens the strongbox:
I don’t think we’ve got any other choice than to give them what they’ve asked for


Pelosi’s extortion is a spark that may start a national fire

Nancy Pelosi, with a major assist from Elizabeth Warren and the capitulation of Chuck Schumer, scuttled Senate negotiations Sunday over a rescue bill to help people left unemployed and businesses at risk of collapse from a government-ordered economic shutdown in response to the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic.

Pelosi’s move, at so many levels, is so outrageous, it could become a spark that sets a national fire.

It wasn’t just the disruption of negotiations which were close to conclusion. The bill Pelosi put forward is a liberal laundry and wish list of things they know they could not get enacted unless the nation were in a vulnerable position. It’s the extortionist’s price for the release of your loved ones.

I don’t think Pelosi and many other Democrats are aware of the fury they are about to unleash in the nation.

I think Chuck Schumer, for all my criticisms of him, understands this, which is why there still is a chance of a Senate deal being reached despite and without rewarding Pelosi’s extortion.

It’s getting hard not to hate.

Just one more confirmation. If you don’t own a gun now, you may not have time, or the opportunity, to buy one if the need arises. And depending on the charity of others can be disappointing.


Divided PA Supreme Court: Governor can shut down firearms dealers during Coronavirus emergency
Dissent for three Justices: “This amounts to an absolute and indefinite prohibition upon the acquisition of firearms by the citizens of this Commonwealth—a result in clear tension with the Second Amendment…”

Last week, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf issued an order that closed all “non-life-sustaining businesses.” That order required licensed firearms dealers to shut down. In contrast, the Governor of Illinois defined firearm suppliers “for purposes of safety and security” as “Essential Businesses” that can remain open

The Civil Rights Defense Firm filed an emergency application for extraordinary relief on behalf of a firearm dealer in Pennsylvania, as well as a Pennsylvanian who seeks to purchase a firearm. They argued, among other claims, that the Governor’s order violates the Second Amendment. The Governor filed an answer, and the City of Philadelphia field an amicus brief.

Sunday evening, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania denied the Second Amendment claim with a one-sentence order:

In all other respects, the Application is DENIED.

Justice Wecht dissented from this order, joined by Justices Donohue and Dougherty. (Please keep Justice Wecht in your prayers; his son has tested positive for COVID-19.) Justice Wecht explained that the order results in a complete prohibition of the right to sell firearms during this emergency:

I write separately because the present Application for Emergency Relief brings to the Court’s attention a deprivation of a constitutional right. The Governor’s Order of March 20, 2020, the “Order of the Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Regarding the Closure of All Businesses That Are Not Life Sustaining” (the “Order”), makes no allowance for any continued operation of licensed firearm dealers. In light of the regulatory framework attending the sale and transfer of firearms, the inability of licensed firearm dealers to conduct any physical operations amounts to a complete prohibition upon the retail sale of firearms—an activity in which the citizens of this Commonwealth recently have been engaging on a large scale, and one guaranteed by both the United States Constitution and the Constitution of this Commonwealth.

Justice Wecht explains that under current law, the only way to transfer a firearm is in a physical premise. But the Governor’s order shuts down those businesses.

Unlike the vast majority of other items, the sale and transfer of firearms sold at retail cannot be completed merely by way of telecommunication and mailing under existing law. Under federal firearm laws, a licensed firearm dealer may transfer a firearm to a purchaser who does not appear in person at the licensed premises only when a background check is not required to transfer the firearm, and both the dealer and the purchaser reside in the same state.  In Pennsylvania, a licensed firearm dealer must perform a background check in conjunction with the retail sale of any firearm.  Moreover, the Uniform Firearms Act provides that the “business” of a licensed firearm dealer “shall be carried on only upon the premises designated in the license or at a lawful gun show or meet.” Id. § 6113(a)(1).

Justice Wecht cites Bateman v. Perdue (E.D.N.C. 2012). This case declared unconstitutional a state law that authorized the government to prohibit the sale of firearms during an emergency.

The effect of this regulatory scheme is that, notwithstanding any payment, the actual transfer of a firearm from a dealer to a purchaser must be completed at the dealer’s place of business. Quite simply, if firearm dealers are not able to conduct any business in-person at their licensed premises, then no transfers of firearms can be completed. This amounts to an absolute and indefinite prohibition upon the acquisition of firearms by the citizens of this Commonwealth—a result in clear tension with the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution and Article I, Section 21 of the Pennsylvania Constitution. See generally District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008); see also Bateman v. Perdue, 881 F.Supp.2d 709 (E.D.N.C. 2012) (applying Heller to hold unconstitutional a statute authorizing government officials to prohibit the sale of firearms during state of emergency); id. at 714 (noting that statute “effectively prohibit[s] law abiding citizens from purchasing and transporting to their homes firearms and ammunition needed for selfdefense” thus “burden[ing] conduct protected by the Second Amendment”).

Justice Wecht closes with a very pragmatic solution: allow some reasonable manner for the people to exercise their rights. Let gun dealers follow the same hygiene standards as other essential businesses that can remain open. For example, gun dealers must remain six feet apart from gun buyers. The gun must be wiped down with a Lysol wipe. Etc. There are ways of managing these transactions responsibly. And the existence of a constitutional right requires some form of narrow tailoring.

In my view, it is incumbent upon the Governor to make some manner of allowance for our citizens to continue to exercise this constitutional right. This need not necessarily take the form of a generalized exception to the Order for any and all firearm retailers, although such retailers have been classified as “essential” elsewhere in our Nation.2 To the contrary, just as the Governor has permitted restaurants to offer take-out service but restricted dine-in options, the Governor may limit the patronage of firearm retailers to the completion of the portions of a transfer that must be conducted in-person. Such an accommodation may be effectuated while preserving sensible restrictions designed to slow the spread of COVID-19, but nonetheless provide a legal avenue for the purchase and sale of firearms, thus avoiding an impermissible intrusion upon a fundamental constitutional right.

If people can enter a McDonalds to pick up a Big Mac, then people should be able to enter a firearm store, complete the requisite background check process, and get their firearm.

This case may be headed to the United States Supreme Court. As a general matter, emergency applications for stays are rarely granted. But this application may be well timed. Last term, the Supreme Court granted its first Second Amendment case in nearly a decade: New York State Rifle & Pistol Club Association v. New York. However, New York took deliberate acts to moot the controversy. I had expected the Court to quickly dump the case on mootness grounds, but they did not take that step. I suspect now the Justices are wrangling over the finer points of mootness doctrine. The Pennsylvania case may provide the Court with a straightforward opportunity to issue a narrow per curiam ruling on the Second Amendment.

The judgment could follow Justice Wecht’s dissent: at a minimum, licensed firearm dealers should be treated like other “essential” businesses in the state, and can remain open during the emergency. I’m sure the gun dealers will comply with whatever social distancing rules apply to other businesses. Moreover, the Plaintiffs in this case are law-abiding gun dealers and gun buyers. They will comply with all relevant regulations. Such a narrow ruling could go a long way to reaffirming that the Second Amendment is not a second-class right that can be shooed away with the stroke of a Governor’s pen.

I’ll close with a policy argument. Our society is veering towards uncharted waters. At some point, I worry that civil unrest will spread. And I am not confident that first responders will be able to handle violence, looting, and other forms of crime. Indeed, the very act of arresting a person requires physical contact with a person who may be symptomatic. Business in PhiladelphiaChicago, and across the country are already boarding up their windows. The right to bear arms for defense is especially important in such times of conflict. You may dial 9-11, and the response is, “sorry, we can’t help right now.” At that point, Governor Wolf’s executive order will not provide any protection. A functional firearm will be far more useful than a pallet of toilet paper.

Senate Fails To Pass Cloture Vote On Coronavirus Stimulus Bill

The Senate on Sunday night failed to pass a procedural cloture vote on a phase-three coronavirus stimulus bill as there has been continued internal dispute between both parties.

The vote was 47-47. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Sunday that the bill would include $75 billion for hospitals and that two-thirds of all new money in the bill would go to states, however, this vote will likely end consideration of this bill. McConnell also said, “it’s just about time to take yes for an answer.” Democrats have said the coronavirus bill lacks new SNAP funds and were reportedly pushing for expanded emergency leave provisions and more than three months of unemployment insurance.

Treasury Sec. Steve Mnuchin, who has been negotiating with members of Congress on behalf of the White House, was spotted entering Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s office, 20 minutes away from the cloture vote.

McConnell voted no, which was not planned. He voted with the Democrats so he would have the option of recalling the vote, as Senate rules state.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sunday said she will halt negotiations with the Senate and move to pass her own coronavirus package in the House, which could drag things out longer than many expected. Pelosi’s legislation will be a $1.6 trillion emergency package, according to Politico.

The text for a phase-three Senate bill announced Friday would give $1,200 checks to every person, while couples would receive $2,400. That $1,200 check will go to Americans making less than $75,000 annually. Each child will receive $500. The amount is reduced by $5 for every $100 a person earns over $75,000. Those making above $99,000 would not get any money.

The GOP’s bill also includes specific provisions for disabled veterans, low-income seniors, and individuals with no income tax liability with at least $2,500 in qualifying income, according to The Senate Finance Committee. There will also be a much smaller benefit of $600 for millions without federal tax liability……….

“….never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.”
Rahm Emanuel

“Never trust a politician of any party farther than you can throw them.”
Miles Fortis


DOJ Is Asking for the Authority to Detain You Indefinitely Without Trial

The Justice Department is asking Congress for the power to ask chief judges to detain people indefinitely, without trial, in “emergencies.”

DoJ isn’t advertising the request. Politico obtained some documents that detail the department’s request to Congress.

Documents reviewed by POLITICO detail the department’s requests to lawmakers on a host of topics, including the statute of limitations, asylum and the way court hearings are conducted. POLITICO also reviewed and previously  reported on documents seeking the authority to extend deadlines on merger reviews and prosecutions.

A Justice Department spokesperson declined to comment on the documents.

Trump critics would have a field day with these proposals. It plays into their darkest nightmares about Trump. And frankly, it sounds like most of these proposals wouldn’t pass muster in a Democratic-controlled House.

In one of the documents, the department proposed that Congress grant the attorney general power to ask the chief judge of any district court to pause court proceedings “whenever the district court is fully or partially closed by virtue of any natural disaster, civil disobedience, or other emergency situation.”

The proposal would also grant those top judges broad authority to pause court proceedings during emergencies. It would apply to “any statutes or rules of procedure otherwise affecting pre-arrest, post-arrest, pre-trial, trial, and post-trial procedures in criminal and juvenile proceedings and all civil process and proceedings,” according to draft legislative language the department shared with Congress. In making the case for the change, the DOJ document wrote that individual judges can currently pause proceedings during emergencies, but that their proposal would make sure all judges in any particular district could handle emergencies “in a consistent manner.”

What about habeas corpus?

“Not only would it be a violation of that, but it says ‘affecting pre-arrest,’” said Norman L. Reimer, the executive director of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. “So that means you could be arrested and never brought before a judge until they decide that the emergency or the civil disobedience is over. I find it absolutely terrifying. Especially in a time of emergency, we should be very careful about granting new powers to the government.”

Mind you, these would be permanent changes in the law. They won’t suddenly go away when the emergency is over.

Reimer said the possibility of chief judges suspending all court rules during an emergency without a clear end in sight was deeply disturbing.

“That is something that should not happen in a democracy,” he said.

I think many of us would agree with that. The ancient “liberty vs. security” argument notwithstanding, emergency powers should be wielded with enormous care and should always — always — be temporary. You don’t need much of an imagination to see where this could lead.

It’s unclear how serious DoJ is about advancing these proposals. The documents may just represent unlikely scenarios that would need to be addressed in a legal way. Perhaps DoJ lawyers don’t want to let a crisis go to waste and want to push for these changes while Congress might be open to them.

Regardless, I’ll stick with Ben Franklin: ” They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

 

Just in case you forgot:
This crap-for-brains anti-civil right/anti-self defense drivel is what is being taught at American Universities and touted to the citizenry by the propaganda organs of Michael Bloombutt AKA ‘The Trace’ et al’
The ending book review is point on.


Trust in Guns During Crises Is a Triumph of Marketing

Caroline Light is a Harvard professor whose field of study includes “America’s love affair with armed self-defense,” as she put it in the subtitle of her latest book. Reading the extensive reports this week of a surge in gun buying around the country, she was not surprised.

Stand Your Ground: A History of America’s Love Affair with Lethal Self-Defense

Caroline Light is director of undergraduate studies in the Program in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Harvard University. She is the author of That Pride of Race and Character: The Roots of Jewish Benevolence in the Jim Crow South.

After a young, white gunman killed twenty-six people at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, in December 2012, conservative legislators lamented that the tragedy could have been avoided if the schoolteachers had been armed and the classrooms equipped with guns. Similar claims were repeated in the aftermath of other recent shootings—after nine were killed in a church in Charleston, South Carolina, and in the aftermath of the massacre in the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. Despite inevitable questions about gun control, there is a sharp increase in firearm sales in the wake of every mass shooting.

Yet, this kind of DIY-security activism predates the contemporary gun rights movement—and even the stand-your-ground self-defense laws adopted in thirty-three states, or the thirteen million civilians currently licensed to carry concealed firearms. As scholar Caroline Light proves, support for “good guys with guns” relies on the entrenched belief that certain “bad guys with guns” threaten us all.


To be fair, this is not strictly the usual anti-gun polemic. The eternal villains here are not guns, conservatives, or the NRA, but a much bigger target: The Patriarchy itself, an apparently toxic brew of white men, American history, and the very concept of self-defense.

Any reader who habitually checks under the bed to see that there are no men hiding there … or racists … or anything else nasty, like white people … or printed copies of the Bill of Rights … or legal concepts such as the right to self-defense, or the presumption of innocence … will feel right at home with this book. And anyone who peppers conversations with words like “normative” or “cis-“anything will just love it. But anyone else, not so much.

Consider a few samples. These are entirely typical; note that throughout 200-plus pages, the author puts a great deal of weight on imaginary crimes, crimes which are not even argued to be real, but are just assumed to be so.

“The Heller decision conveniently ignored the race and gender exclusions of the amendment’s original historical moment, where a ‘law-abiding citizen’ was a white, property-owning man, who openly carried a rifle not only to defend his ‘hearth and home,’ but also to assert his dominance over enslaved labor and his access to land seized from Native Americans.” (Page 7)

“In spite of widespread efforts by DIY-security proponents to recruit women, nonwhites, and LGBT people to the cause of armed citizenship, the adjudication of lethal self-defense continues to privilege white hetero/cis-masculinity.” (Page 15)

“That contemporary celebrations of armed citizenship can *appear* to be race- and gender-inclusive attests to the power of collective amnesia.” (Page 16)

Etc cetera, et cetera. One more, from a bit further along … more of the same;

“Now, more than ever, a man’s castle – the sanctuary of white, property-owning heteromasculinity – seems under siege by forces within as well as beyond the nation’s boundaries.” (Page 155)

The modern so-called “stand your ground” laws do indeed have a history, but if that legal history is anywhere in this book, my eyes must have glazed over before I reached it. But I don’t think I missed much of substance, because I have no great confidence that the author has any idea what the SYG laws are.

I base that statement on the author’s comments on the Zimmerman/Martin case; her apparent belief that the case had anything at all to do with Florida’s SYG law shows the grossest misunderstanding of both the trial and the relevant law.

SYG was not cited by either prosecution or defense at any point in the Zimmerman trial, although the press was obsessive in its pretense that SYG was somehow involved. (But one would expect a researcher to be able to distinguish between a hysterical Press and a slightly less hysterical Court.)

The author glosses over the actual evidence presented at trial with an airy “accounts are mixed as to what happened next”; but to anyone who followed the televised proceedings, the salient facts are not in dispute. And they have nothing at all to do with “Stand Your Ground”.

This book really isn’t about America or its current gun control laws. It seems to be more about feminist intersectional theory. And whether feminist intersectional readers would find anything of interest here, I’m not qualified to say.

First, they tried to repeal the Hyde amendment that restricts federal funding for abortion, now this gambit is trotted out.


Democrats Play Politics, Try to Shoehorn Climate Change Provisions Into Wuhan Virus Relief Bill

Never letting a crisis go to waste seems to be the motto Democrats live by.

The latest example comes in regards to the current negotiations over the next phase of relief in dealing with the Wuhan virus. With the initial round of spending passed, the next phase is too include checks to Americans and loans to businesses in order to get them through this hard time. For the most part, there’s been bi-partisan buy-in that this must be done.

But some Democrats are looking to push their unrelated policy goals into the process.

Democrats want climate action included in coronavirus aid

Democrats on both sides of Capitol Hill are pushing to add climate change provisions to the third aid package for people and industries affected by the novel coronavirus pandemic.

But it’s unclear whether they have the political leverage to make those ideas stick — at least not yet.

The Democratic proposals touch on two main areas.

Several Senate Democrats want airlines to reduce their carbon emissions in exchange for federal aid that could hit $50 billion or more.

House Democrats, meanwhile, are looking at clean-tech tax credits. Those include incentives for electric vehicles, battery storage, offshore wind and solar energy that were left out of a December tax extenders package…………

In a vacuum, these might not be that big of a deal. But when you understand the dynamics at play, they become much more consequential. For example, you can’t just impose arbitrary carbon emission reductions on an airline industry that’s already floundering. Further, development of aircraft that burn less fuel is already well underway, with some being delivered already (the Boeing 787 is much more efficient than a 767, for example). Airlines and aircraft manufacturers have every incentive to fly planes that burn the least amount of fuel as possible, while still getting the job done of course. Government mandates on emissions could squash a vital sector of our economy.

Businesses are hurting right now. Putting any additional pressure on the economy is absolutely nuts. We need less regulation and more freedom of movement within our economic environment right now, not more crushing government intervention.

The latter push for “clean-tech” tax credits is perhaps even worse. We are already cash strapped as a nation. Any taxpayer money spent needs to go to businesses that have actually proven to be sustainable, from the mom and pop deli to the major suppliers that keep our country going. The last thing the U.S. needs to be spending on is more Solyndra-type boondoggles, where “green” start-ups take taxpayer money and promptly blow it.

The good news is that it does not appear the Democrats pushing this stuff have much support. I expect Nancy Pelosi to push them aside, as even she recognizing the urgency of getting the next relief bill passed.