And for your reading enjoyment
And for your reading enjoyment
‘A perfect storm for the whole food system right now’: One of the world’s largest fertilizer companies warns that every country—even those in Europe—is facing a food crisis
Depends on what the purpose was. Control the virus, or control the people…
The COVID lockdowns were all for naught.
How different it feels this time around. Broadcasters are lustily cheering anti-lockdown protesters in China. Members of Congress offer unqualified support. President Joe Biden, although more guarded, is sympathetic.
No Western politician, as far as I can see, is insulting the protesters. They are not dismissed as selfish or sociopathic, nor as dupes of conspiracy theories. Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) captured the mood: “To the people of China — we hear you and we stand with you as you fight for your freedom.”
Broadcasters and columnists who spent 2020 calling anti-lockdowners kooks and criminals are now uncomplicatedly applauding their Chinese counterparts. They see ordinary people standing up against an authoritarian government the anti-COVID policies of which were crushing liberty.
So, what changed? Perhaps pundits tell themselves that the disease is less virulent now, or that vaccination has altered the balance of risk, or that, in some other way, Beijing’s crackdown is less proportionate than those of 2020. But none of these explanations stacks up.
Yes, the coronavirus became less lethal. All viruses that spread through human contact eventually become less lethal because they have an evolved tendency to want to keep their hosts up and active and therefore more infectious. For this to happen, they require a critical mass. Enough people need to be incapacitated or killed by the original version to give milder strains an advantage. And, yes, the vaccines helped, too.
But the trade-offs are essentially the same in China today as they were three years ago — coronavirus deaths versus other deaths. The current unrest was sparked by a fire in Xinjiang, which was allowed to become needlessly deadly because the authorities were following COVID protocols. In other words, they were elevating COVID above other forms of harm.
Most countries did the same in 2020 with, as we now see, disastrous results. The lockdowns did not just cause an economic meltdown from which we will take years to recover. They also failed on their own terms. They killed more people than they saved.
Guess which developed country had the lowest excess mortality between 2020 and 2022. Go on, have a guess. That’s right. Sweden, which refused to close shops or schools or to impose a mask mandate, saw cumulative excess deaths rise by 6.8%, the lowest figure in the OECD. By way of comparison, the equivalent figures were 18% in Australia, 24.5% in the U.K., and 54.1% in the U.S.
At this stage, various authoritarians, hypochondriacs and mask fetishists trot out bizarre arguments about Sweden having a low population density, as if Swedes were evenly spaced across their birch forests rather than living mainly in cities comparable to ours. What is striking about this argument is not so much its dishonesty (in March 2020, lockdowners claimed that Sweden faced total catastrophe, not that it might end up with a slightly higher mortality rate than Finland ) as its desperation.
Oath of Office for CongressCritters
I, (name), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. [So help me God.]
Oh is that what the oath said? https://t.co/aKDgXUn0qc
— Rob Romano (@2Aupdates) December 18, 2022
So, the Federal Judge is a squish? This State Circuit Court Judge sure isn’t
VICTORY: GOF and @gunowners win a huge victory against Oregon's Measure 114!
This decision halts the enforcement of BOTH the unconstitutional magazine restrictions and permit requirement. pic.twitter.com/xvjJxXuWuW
— Gun Owners Foundation (@GunFoundation) December 6, 2022
Out -> "loopholes"
In -> "series of cracks" https://t.co/jOL03cPczJ
— Firearms Policy Coalition (@gunpolicy) November 19, 2022
They need to make it MOAR ILLEGALER!!
— Michael Rufo (@rufo4congress) November 19, 2022
RAND releases road map for gun control activists
In the wake of the midterms, Democrats might not have as many opportunities to impose legislative limits on our Second Amendment rights, but the RAND Corporation is still providing anti-gun activists with a guide to gun control laws they believe might be permissible, even after the Supreme Court’s decision in NYSRPA v. Bruen.
You’ll probably recognize many of the names associated with the RAND report, given the fact that they’re regularly quoted by legacy media outlets in support of new and existing gun control measures. Harvard’s David Hemenway, Saul Cornell of Fordham, and UCLA law professor Adam Winkler were all a part of the confab that laid out a road map for gun control groups to follow in the wake of Bruen. The group concedes that the decision is going to make it tougher to enact and uphold restrictions on the right to bear arms, but they also point to “ambiguities” in the decision that they say opens the door to keeping (and putting) gun control laws on the books. For example:
The Court’s determination that New York state’s concealed carry law was unconstitutional was narrowly focused on the use of subjective discretionary standards in issuing permits and seems to explicitly allow for states to use objective suitability and perhaps even good moral character standards that could serve similar risk management objectives as the former discretionary standards.
Does it really? U.S. District Judge Glenn Suddaby doesn’t think so. In his decision granting an injunction against many aspects of New York’s Concealed Carry Improvement Act, Suddaby declared that New York replacing one subjective standard (a “justifiable need” to carry) with another (whether someone has the “good moral character” to carry) is untenable.
The “good moral character” requirement is just a dressed-up version of the State’s improper “special need for self-protection” requirement.
… In sum, this Court has certainly found historical support for a modern law providing that a license shall be issued or renewed except for applicants who have been found, based on their past conduct, to be likely to use the weapon in a manner that would injure themselves or others (other than in self-defense). This standard is objective, easily applied, and finds support in numerous analogues that deny the right to carry to citizens based on their past conduct (including crimes, demonstrations of mental illnesses, and dangerous behavior). Unfortunately, this is not the law that the New York State Legislature passed.
Objective standards may be found to be constitutional, but Suddaby says that subjective standards are a no-no, unlike the academics who put together RAND’s report.
There was one conclusion that these analysts reached that I agree with; bans on semi-automatic firearms and “large capacity” magazines aren’t likely to stand up to court scrutiny.
… the Court has found that a weapon in common use cannot be considered dangerous and unusual. This reasoning creates a potential regulatory challenge: Unless a new dangerous technology is quickly determined to be dangerous and unusual, and regulated as such, it will no longer be subject to such regulation once it becomes popular and therefore in common use. States concerned with restricting access to new, more-dangerous weapon technologies would need to design mechanisms for quickly preventing their distribution and adoption by large numbers.
Even though they admit that a ban on so-called assault weapons would likely be ruled unconstitutional under Bruen, the authors of the RAND report suggest that there may still be a way to prohibit at least some law-abiding Americans from possessing them; a “graduating permit system” that “might resemble driver’s license classifications or graduated driver’s licenses, which require increasingly demanding standards and training depending on the type of vehicle (e.g., a person with a license to drive a car cannot legally drive a public bus or large truck) or driving conditions (e.g., some states dictate that adolescent drivers cannot drive at night or with other adolescents).”
Some states and the federal government already have something like a graduated permitting system for firearms. Beginning in July 2019, for instance, residents of Washington state who wish to purchase a “semiautomatic assault rifle” must undergo an enhanced background check and complete special training requirements, requirements distinct from those for purchasers of other types of firearms (Revised Code of Washington § 9.41).
Similarly, in accordance with the National Firearms Act of 1934 and subsequent amendments to it, the federal government regulates all automatic firearms, short-barreled shotguns, silencers, and certain other “destructive devices” differently from most other firearms, requiring, for instance, enhanced background checks and registration of the weapon with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Although the Court would likely consider semiautomatic rifles and high-capacity magazines as in common use and thus covered under Second Amendment protections, regulations that impose higher standards of control over the acquisition, use, and carrying of specific types of weapons may be constitutional under Bruen.
The Supreme Court rejected the idea of tiered scrutiny when it came to determining the constitutionality of gun control laws, so I don’t know what would give these folks the idea that the courts would be any more amenable to imposing a similar test on commonly-owned firearms. It seems far more likely to me that SCOTUS would strike down Washington State’s law rather than allow it to stand, though I suppose we’ll have to wait and see what, if any, action the Court takes when that particular legal challenge arrives at its doorstep.
The RAND report seems like it’s designed to reassure gun control advocates in the wake of the Bruen decision, but given that at least one of its major findings has already been overruled by a federal judge I don’t think it’s that convincing of a document. And honestly, given that the gun control lobby and their political allies have never been overly concerned with infringing on anyone’s rights before now, I don’t think they really care about the likelihood of their gun laws standing up in court. Oh sure, they’d love to see it happen, but they’re not going to go out of their way to write their post-Bruen gun laws with an eye towards respecting the right to keep and bear arms. They’ll keep pushing for their gun bans, limitations on the right to bear arms, and onerous burdens to become a gun owner even if they know that SCOTUS is going to smack them down. The fight to secure our Second Amendment rights is far from over, and even if gun owners have a great Election Day we’ll still need to be just as involved and engaged tomorrow as we are today.
I guess Ukraine & Russia have been too much in the news & Kim feels he needs to act up like spoiled children do.
North Korea fires ballistic missile over Japan.
North Korea has fired a ballistic missile over Japan, in what appears to be a deliberate escalation to get the attention of Tokyo and Washington.
The missile travelled 4,500km (2,800 miles) before falling into the Pacific Ocean – far enough to hit the US island of Guam if it took another trajectory.
It is the first North Korean missile launch over Japan since 2017.
Japan issued an alert to some citizens to take cover. The US and South Korea responded with joint bombing drills.
The South Korean joint chiefs of staff said four aircraft from each side had taken part in the exercise, firing at a mock target on an uninhabited island in the Yellow Sea. A statement said the drill demonstrated Seoul and Washington’s will to respond sternly to the threat from Pyongyang.
The UN prohibits North Korea from testing ballistic and nuclear weapons. Flying missiles towards or over other countries without any pre-warning or consultation also contravenes international norms.
Most countries avoid doing it completely as it can easily be mistaken for an attack. While it is not as big as a nuclear test – which could be next – it can be considered hugely provocative.
People in the north of Japan, including Hokkaido island and Aomori city, reportedly woke up to the noise of sirens and text alerts which read: “North Korea appears to have launched a missile. Please evacuate into buildings or underground.”
As the missile flew overhead, they were warned to look out for falling debris. Many appeared to remain calm according to reports, with one video showing Tokyo commuters walking calmly as loudspeakers blared out warnings.
But others were more shaken. “If a missile hit, I was worried it would be a big problem not only here but also nationwide,” Aomori resident Kazuko Ebina told the Asahi Shimbun newspaper.
Officials later said the intermediate-range ballistic missile fell into the Pacific Ocean far from Japan, and there were no reported injuries.
It had covered the longest distance ever travelled by a North Korean missile, and reached a height of around 1,000km – higher than the International Space Station.
Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida described the launch as “violent behaviour”, while defence minister Yasukazu Hamada said Japan would not rule out any options to strengthen its defences including “counterattack capabilities”.
The US National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson called it a “dangerous and reckless decision” that was “destabilising” to the region.
The launch comes as Japan, the US and South Korea have been working together to strengthen their defences, in response to the growing threat posed by the North.
Last week, the three countries conducted naval exercises together for the first time since 2017. Such drills have long antagonised Pyongyang leader Kim Jong-un, who views them as proof that his enemies are preparing for war.
Following the combined exercises in 2017, North Korea fired two missiles over Japan in response. A week later, it conducted a nuclear test.
Recent intelligence has suggested that North Korea is getting ready to test another nuclear weapon.
It is expected that North Korea would wait until after China – its main ally – holds its Communist party congress later this month.
But some experts are now asking if it could come sooner than expected – they believe Tuesday’s launch shows that North Korea is preparing the ground for a nuclear test.
The missile launch is the fifth carried out by Pyongyang in a week. On Saturday, two rockets came down in waters outside Japan’s exclusive economic zone.
Many of North Korea’s missile tests are conducted on a high, lofted flight path – reaching a high altitude, avoiding flights over its neighbours.
But firing over or past Japan allows North Korean scientists to test missiles under circumstances “that are more representative of the conditions they’d endure in real-world use”, analyst Ankit Panda told news agency Reuters.
These actions have contributed to enduring tensions between North Korea and Japan, rooted in Japan’s colonisation of Korea from 1910 to 1945 and the North’s abduction of Japanese citizens in the past.
Earlier this month, North Korea passed a law declaring itself to be a nuclear weapons state, with leader Kim Jong-un ruling out the possibility of talks on denuclearisation.
Pyongyang conducted six nuclear tests between 2006 and 2017, incurring widespread sanctions.
The East Asian state regularly defies the ban on nuclear and missile tests, saying it needs to bolster its defences.
Sorry for the paucity of posts. Dad is still in Hospital
Sorry. You’ll have to excuse the lack of posts today. Pops is in the Hospital with who knows what going on for certain. Tomorrow being his 98th birthday may have something to do with it, but who knows for certain.
MILES FORTIS REDDET (Milesfortis will return)
Home Invasion Suspect Killed After Bouncing From House To House
ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO — A series of home invasions in the area of Morningside Drive NE and Mescalero Road NE left one suspect dead and police investigating the shooting.
The suspect attempted to break into one home and the homeowners caught him trying to steal their car keys. After unsuccessfully attempting to steal their car, the suspect ran to a second home.
When the suspect broke into the second home, he was confronted by the homeowner and an altercation ensued. One gunshot was fired, killing the suspect.
Police report that no one besides the suspect was injured. Detectives have completed their investigation and forwarded their report to the prosecutor without making any arrests. It is up to the prosecutor to determine if the shooting was self-defense.
The Albuquerque Police Department stated that it would have been apparent to the suspect that both houses were occupied when he broke into them. The APD reports that as the summer has warmed up, crime in the city has gone up.
At the time of this report, no ruling or decision has been made by the prosecutor.
There are 2 groups in America:
There is no common ground between these groups. We exist in fundamentally different realities.
Hawley asks why use "person with capacity for pregnancy" instead of "woman":
Professor Bridges: "Your line of questioning is transphobic and opens trans people to violence."
Josh Hawley: "You're saying I'm opening up people to violence by saying women can have pregnancies?" pic.twitter.com/GDcNpiSxhE
— TheBlaze (@theblaze) July 12, 2022
Well, the power being off for several hours and the backup generator deciding Der Tag was when it decided it wouldn’t start, really puts a cramp in your life
Enjoy the Holiday. I am, and will be away for the day.
MILESFORTIS WILL RETURN
Is the Second Amendment Absolute?
In a recent speech where he said that Congress should reinstate the assault weapons ban, raise the minimum purchase age for firearms, limit magazine capacities, and pass red flag gun laws, President Biden made the statement that “the Second Amendment, like all other rights, is not absolute.” This echoes what he had previously said after the mass shooting at a Texas elementary school: “The Second Amendment is not absolute. When it was passed you couldn’t own a cannon, you couldn’t own certain kinds of weapons. There’s just always been limitations.”
This should have come as no surprise, since Biden said last year that “no amendment to the constitution is absolute.”
This flawed idea about the Second Amendment was repeated by an assortment of Democratic politicians, even as they denied that they were coming for Americans’ guns. Some progressives, echoing the late Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, have even called for the repeal of the Second Amendment.
Is the Second Amendment absolute? Does it have any exceptions? Could the Second Amendment be repealed? What would happen if it were?
The Second Amendment reads: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary for the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
I don’t see how it could be any more absolute. The only exceptions have been invented by judges and legislators.
As Congress and President Biden look to undermine the Second Amendment with new gun control laws this year, don’t forget the hidden costs. When rights remain as strong as oak, they endure regardless of any perceived “emergency.” When rights become as malleable as plastic, though, they melt quickly under even the gentlest sun.
Congress Finds Even More Reasons To Disregard The Bill of Rights
With news that Congress is on its way to passing new gun control laws that will make it easier for bureaucrats to disarm law-abiding Americans, the United States is once again repeating the egregious mistake of responding to a perceived “emergency” by crippling constitutional protections for Americans’ unalienable rights.
First we had the post-9/11 passage of the Patriot Act and its creation of a national security surveillance state that tracks and records Americans’ digital communications despite the absence of probable cause, legal warrants, or explicit consent. Then we had the Department of Homeland Security’s recent flirtation with a “disinformation board” meant to regulate speech and censor points of view at odds with the government’s officially sanctioned “narratives.”
Now we have a renewed push for “red flag” laws intended to deprive Americans of their weapons without proper due process or criminal conviction. Over the last 20 years, America’s First, Second, Fourth, and Fifth Amendments have been under sustained attack, and, amazingly, it has been elected officials sworn by oath to “support and defend” those same amendments who have led much of the charge.
There’s nothing so dangerous as a politician who undermines the Bill of Rights during a moment of tragedy or crisis. Those rights, set forth as the first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution as a redundancy to make explicitly clear what is beyond the scope of the federal government’s enumerated powers, are not wishy-washy suggestions meant to be ignored during times of “emergency.” On the contrary, it is during such times when their safeguards become most critical.
1984 was not supposed to be an instruction manual for the left.
DC elementary school gives 4-year-olds books to report racist family members
A Washington, D.C., elementary school is under fire after instructing students as young as 4 years old to go home and identify racist family members.
Students from pre-K through third grade at Janney Elementary School attended an “Anti-Racism Fight Club” presentation with speaker Doyin Richards, according to a letter from the principal of Janney Elementary School, Danielle Singh, written on Nov. 30, according to a report.
“As part of this work, each student has a fist book to help continue the dialogue at school and home,” Singh wrote. “We recognize that any time we engage topics such as race and equity, we may experience a variety of emotions. This is a normal part of the learning and growing process. As a school community we want to continue the dialogue with our students and understand this is just the beginning.”
“[White] people are a part of a society that benefits them in almost every instance,” the book, Anti-Racism Fight Club Fistbook for Kids, argues. It is “as if white people walk around with an invisible force field because they hold all of the power in America.”
“If you are a white person, white privilege is something you were born with and it simply means that your life is not more difficult due to the color of your skin,” according to the book. “Put differently, it’s not your fault for having white privilege, but it is your fault if you choose to ignore it.”
Individuals identified as parents of the students at Janney Elementary School did not take kindly to the instruction.
With the NY Grand Jury Disbanding, Liberal America Needs to Accept the Obvious Here Regarding Trump
Sorry, liberals, you lose…again. This ongoing and rather humiliating legal crusade to indict Donald Trump on…anything has really devolved into an obsession that would have procured a restraining order by now. It’s getting creepy.
You people might think that this is some patriotic duty. Everyone else views it as weird and fruitless. We have run the gauntlet on this one, folks. Trump has been a tax cheat, a Kremlin agent, an extortionist of Ukraine, and a violent insurrectionist. All are false. He was impeached twice – and beat the Democrats at every turn. How many “walls are closing in” stories have there been about Donald Trump? Too many to count, and all fake news. They’re not going to get him on anything…because there is nothing. Take the “L” and move on because this is just an embarrassing spectacle.
We wrote about this in March, that nothing was going to happen to Trump regarding these New York investigations. But now, it’s official. The New York grand jury is dissolving with no charges filed against Trump. Sure, the local Manhattan district attorney says he’ll keep digging, but the odds of charges being filed are not good. And by that, I mean—it’s never ever going to happen (via The NYT):