‘Police’ were often termed ‘Peace Officers‘. It indicated they would keep the peace (stop blood feuds and riots) by presenting complainants and offenders before a  ‘Justice of the Peace‘ where, as far as possible, impartial, fair handed justice would be dealt out.
Police aren’t really there to protect the people, but to protect criminals from vigilante justice dealt out on the street.


Go ahead and defund the police, but get ready for vigilante justice
Those who are calling to end or radically alter the way this country is policed don’t have a good grasp of American history.

There was a time when vast swaths of this country were not policed, or were extremely under-policed.

In the late 19th Century, just three Deputy U.S. Marshals — Bill Tilghman, Chris Madsen, and Heck Thomas — were responsible for patrolling what would later become the State of Oklahoma. Their exploits are legendary.

For most Americans living outside of the large eastern metropolitan areas at that time, justice simply didn’t exist unless they meted it out themselves.

The first American police department wasn’t established until 1844 in New York City.

Boston and Philadelphia didn’t follow suit until a decade later.

These early departments were modeled upon the British police — the forerunner of the London Metropolitan Police was formed in 1789 — but they did not have detectives and were more concerned with preventing civil disorder and deterring thievery through visible patrol than investigating and solving crime.

In the West things were different.

Law and order were late in coming.

As a result, groups of citizens would band together to combat a specific threat — usually cattle rustling, horse thievery or a murder spree.

These extrajudicial citizen groups were called regulators, although today they would certainly be called vigilantes.

In Western towns without a police force, businesses would fund some of these vigilance groups to protect their property at night when the shop owners slept.

Nationally at this time, state governments granted authority to local businesses to create their own police forces — such as the Coal and Iron Police of Pennsylvania — which were accountable solely to the local CEO.

These “police departments,” which were routinely used as strike-breakers, further eroded public confidence in law and order, and were little more than vigilantes themselves.

Then, as now, when civil society broke down, Americans chose to arm themselves.

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D.C. Statehood? How About A Declaration Of Independence From Washington Instead

The Democrats are agitating for a 51st state that would be the District of Columbia, not for reasons of fairness but to build their party into an unchallengeable political power. America would be better off declaring its independence from the capital.

As it says in this nation’s founding document, the Declaration of Independence, we believe our Creator endowed us with certain unalienable rights: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. But the ruling class in Washington does not believe as we do. It believes only in the expansion of its power. The facts, “submitted to a candid world,” speak for themselves.

  • America’s ruling class has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harass and tax out their substance.
  • It co-opted the military to gaslight the nation with the ultimate goal being the crushing of dissent.
  • It has endeavored to foment civil war by enabling and encouraging racial division, riots, wokeness, and the relentless cancel culture.
  • It has plundered our future with unnecessary aid in the present.
  • It has constrained our fellow citizens through counterproductive, falsely premised lockdowns.
  • It has excited domestic insurrections among us in service of its objectives.
  • It has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving its assent to acts of pretended legislation.
  • It wishes to abolish our most valuable election laws, and alter fundamentally the forms of our governments.
  • It wishes to suspend our Constitution, and declare itself invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
  • It has repeatedly attempted to dissolve elections legitimately won by political rivals.

The Founders gave us a republic in which we were to be independent from the national capital. The 10th Amendment explicitly says “the powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.” The federal government’s authority is by design limited.

We’re not advocating secession, partition, or nullification. We’re simply reiterating what many already know: Washington has grown too big, too powerful, and too intrusive into private affairs. It has usurped the authority of the states, homogenized their individualism, and extorted them. Washington puts it thumb on the scales that balance power in this nation, its boot on the throat of liberty. It is much too energetic in its exercise of government in a way that would have deeply concerned Thomas Jefferson.

We borrow – and slightly amend – another Jeffersonian principle to make our final point: The tree of liberty needs to be watered by a bloodless revolution of patriotic voters who will use their ballots to oust the tyrants that crave ruling over governing. That’s our road back to independence.

BLUF:
“So we have 10 years of data on how a national ban works. How do you think it worked? It is tough to prove causation, but I haven’t seen anyone even make a reasonably believable case it did anything at all.”

Words Mean Things: Grown Up Talk about the AR-15

Despite the fact that there are (certainly) millions of AR-platform rifles in the hands of (probably) millions of American civilians, they only draw significant attention outside of gun culture occasionally. Following mass homicide events in which they are used, I am bound to hear: “AR-15s are weapons of war that have no business in civilian hands.”

Although I will have a chapter called “Living with AR-15s” in the book I am currently writing, rifles are not really in my wheelhouse. So, I have tended to ignore them on this blog, though on my Gun Curious blog back in 2019, I re-posted an essay by Jon Stokes on “Why I ‘Need’ An AR-15”.

Obviously many are not open to information and discussion about AR-platform rifles, believing they are only good for hunting helpless people. But some do reasonably wonder why civilians should own these rifles. As someone who knew nothing about guns for most of my life, I appreciate this authentic wonderment, so I jumped at the opportunity to bring forth another set of answers to the question that I found in my social media.

The following open letter of sorts includes some technical information about AR-platform rifles, some thoughts on their use and usefulness, and some points of political philosophy concerning government regulation.

Continue reading “”

Portland cut police funding and got a 2,000% surge in murders

Last June, the city of Portland, Oregon, hopped on the “defund the police” bandwagon. Now, it is flooded with gun violence, and the mayor is already backtracking from his support for the cuts.

Mayor Ted Wheeler has requested $2 million in emergency funding for the police department, pointing directly to the surge in gun violence. By the end of February 2020, Portland had seen just one homicide year to date. This year, that number was 20, with 208 shootings in the city so far.

Wheeler backed the Portland City Council’s decision to cut $15 million from the police budget last June, which included disbanding police units that investigate gun violence. Predictably, that move backfired in a city that saw 100 consecutive days of violent rioting last year.

Riots are back once again in the city, thanks to Wheeler’s spinelessness. Rioters have once again targeted a federal courthouse in the city, a reprise of the violent storming of the courthouse last July. In June, it was reported that the city lost around $24 million due to the riots. Damage to federal buildings totals roughly $2.3 million.

Portland, like Minneapolis, doesn’t have and never did have an overpolicing problem. The city has an underpolicing problem, compounded by cowardly city leaders who pander to anti-police activists. Portland city leaders, just like their Minneapolis counterparts, humored these leftist ideologues while turning a blind eye to riots. Now, they reap the whirlwind in the form of a surge in violent crime.

And this is Portland, so there is no Republican to blame for this issue. Wheeler is a Democrat. So are the city council members, with one independent who was endorsed by the council’s Democratic members. Gov. Kate Brown, who said that former President Donald Trump was “provoking confrontation for political purposes” by protecting the courthouse, is a Democrat. So is President Biden, who currently has federal agents trying to protect the courthouse.

Nor is there any plausible way to blame the availability of guns in Oregon or in neighboring states. Guns are exactly as available today as they were before this 2,000% surge in murders.

This is what happens when people who are tasked with actually running a city embrace ridiculous ideologies to please activists. I would say that Portland residents deserve better, but this is the leadership they chose for their city. Given the failures of Wheeler and the city council to this point, the voters are the only ones who can change course.

If the 2020 election is any indication, it won’t be happening any time soon.

For US, Gradual Ruin Is About to Become Sudden

Roger Kimball Commentary
I am not a particular fan of Ernest Hemingway’s novel “The Sun Also Rises.” 
But there is one exchange between two of the characters, Bill Gorton and Mike Campbell, that has stuck with me.
“How did you go bankrupt?” Bill asked.
“Two ways,” Mike said. “Gradually and then suddenly.”
That passage has been running through my head a lot recently.
I thought of it last week when I learned that Dr. Seuss Enterprises had decided to stop selling six books by the famous children’s author because—according to the bureaucrats at the concession—they depict various ethnic groups in ways that are “hurtful and wrong.”
I thought of it again last week when Disney decided that some of its most popular shows did not pass muster with the woke wardens of political correctness and restricted access to Dumbo, Peter Pan, and other children’s classics because they, too, were “racially insensitive.”
Closer to home, Amazon, the self-described world’s largest bookstore, joined the censors by delisting a book I published a few years ago at Encounter, “When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment.”
The book is a thoughtful and scholarly analysis of the psychological costs of treating gender dysphoria with drugs and surgery, but Amazon suddenly and without any explanation dropped the book because, they said, they no longer “sell books that frame LGBTQ+ identity as a mental illness.”
Mr. Anderson’s book does no such thing, but no matter. Amazon is in this respect like the Lord: man proposeth, Amazon disposeth,
These little cultural markers—and there are plenty more where they came from—suggested to me that we were about at an end of the gradual phase of cultural decay and were about to embark on the sudden part of the journey.

Elections

Then there is the more serious stuff: the nearly $2 trillion so-called “Covid relief” package that all-but-guarantees a spike in inflation but shovels much, much more money to teachers’ unions and favored racial groups than to people who have suffered from the government lockdowns during the CCP virus pandemic.
There is the passage in the house of H.R. 1, the so-called “For the People” bill, which would effectively assure that were was never another fair election in this country.
It would do this by all-but-obliterating voter ID requirements—you need an ID to board a plane but not cast a vote—mandating same-day voter registration and at least two weeks of early voting, and by requiring states to provide unsupervised drop boxes to receive completed ballots.
In other words, H.R. 1 would centralize presidential elections, taking responsibility for oversight away from the states, where the Constitution placed it, and arrogating it to the clutches of the federal government and its sprawling bureaucracy.
If, as seems almost certain, H.R. 1 becomes the law of the land, it would be the final nail in the coffin of electoral integrity.
The widespread irregularities (that’s polysyllabic periphrasis for “fraud”) that attended the 2020 election would be codified into law assuring that, for as long as anyone could envision, 2016 would have to be counted as the last free, fair, and open presidential election.
It used to be that American was the land of the free and home of the brave. A robust culture of free speech was every American’s birthright.
We had free and fair elections, unlike the banana republics we were always called upon to bail out or police.
We also had borders, and even politicians eager to increase immigration understood the difference between entering the country legally and opening the floodgates to the hordes massing on our Southern border.
That’s all behind us now, or at least those traditions appear to be on life support—no, the patient was on life support, but someone came to euthanize him and pulled the plug.
The signs and portents are many and they are not encouraging.
Perhaps the most disturbing episode last week was Joe Biden’s alarming performance when he announced the elevation of two women to the status of combat generals.
Biden went on to underscore the “intensity of purpose” with which his administration would be pursuing “body armor that fits women properly, tailoring combat uniforms for women, creating maternity flight suits, updating their hairstyle requirements.”
This was not from a Saturday Night Live skit: it was the President of the United States live in front of the cameras.
I say “live” but I really mean “not prerecorded.”  Joe Biden is “live” only in the sense that he cannot legally be interred.
He went on to demonstrate that sad contingency when he strained, unsuccessfully, to remember the name of his Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin, who was standing right behind him, or the building where Austin worked, the Pentagon.

‘Ruin in a Nation’

Adam Smith once remarked to a disconsolate correspondent that there’s a “deal of ruin in a nation.” I quoted that remark to a friend some years ago when America was reeling from the twin assaults of the financial meltdown and the ministrations of Barack Obama.  “Especially this nation,” my friend replied, and I had to agree.
For a moment, during Donald Trump’s tenure, it seemed as though we’d returned to the sunlit uplands. Leave aside his partisan successes, the judges and tax cuts, for example.
Concentrate instead on what he did to secure the borders, to upgrade the military, to make America energy independent.
It’s only mid-March 2021.  In just six weeks, and with 60-odd executive orders behind him, Joe Biden has largely unravelled all that and more.
This is the reality: Joe Biden has set us on a collision course with tyranny at home and armed conflict abroad.
He has denominated his political opponents “domestic terrorists” and directed the FBI to harass and arrest them. He has done everything in his considerable power to surrender the country to the woke mob.
Meanwhile, the rest of the world is not standing still.  Look for a kinetic clash with Russia, China, or Iran soon. It’s coming to a theater near you by the end of this summer, and I do not mean a movie theater.
Expect the velocity of our declivity to increase—the gauge is set to move from “gradually” to “suddenly” now, and there will be plenty of shock and awe when it does.
Is this alarmist? Maybe, but that is appropriate when the situation is alarming.
Expect also to hear many people quoting the poet Delmore Schwartz: “Even paranoids have enemies.”
It’s going to be a wild ride.

Banning whole categories of popular guns will lose in Supreme Court

On Feb. 14, President Biden marked the third anniversary of the deadly shooting incident at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, with an announcement that he is calling on Congress to enact “common sense gun law reforms.”

As always, the details matter. The president defined “common sense” as a requirement for background checks on all gun sales, a ban on “assault weapons and high-capacity magazines,” and an end to “immunity for gun manufacturers who knowingly put weapons of war on our streets.”

The U.S. Supreme Court held in 2008, in the District of Columbia v. Heller decision, that the Second Amendment right to “keep and bear arms” is an individual right that is not contingent on service in “a well-regulated militia.” That means the U.S. Constitution limits the federal government’s power to pass laws restricting that right.

Exactly where are the limits? That’s always a matter of interpretation. The Heller opinion, written by the late Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, held that the District’s law prohibiting the possession of handguns was over the line, as was its law requiring residents to keep their lawfully owned, registered long guns “unloaded and dissembled or bound by a trigger lock or similar device” unless the guns were located in a place of business or in use for lawful recreational activities.

Scalia wrote that the handgun ban “amounts to a prohibition of an entire class of ‘arms’ that is overwhelmingly chosen by American society” for the “lawful purpose” of “the inherent right of self-defense.” Under any standard that the court has used, he wrote, “banning from the home ‘the most preferred firearm in the nation to keep and use for protection of one’s home and family,’ would fail constitutional muster.”

So if the president’s definition of “assault weapon” and “weapons of war” includes commonly owned firearms and magazines, it’s likely that new laws banning these or seeking to create new legal liability for their manufacturers will be found unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court, should these laws be challenged.

And there’s no doubt that such laws would be challenged. After Biden’s statement was released, the Firearms Policy Coalition responded, denouncing what it called “unconstitutional and immoral policies including bans on common semi-automatic firearms and ammunition magazines.” A number of lawsuits over various state laws related to firearms ownership are already working their way toward the high court.

The Heller decision was 5-4, with Justices John Paul Stevens, David Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Steven Breyer in the minority.

Former President Donald Trump campaigned as a staunch defender of Second Amendment rights, and it would not be surprising, to say the least, if the three justices he appointed to the high court share that view to some extent. Associate Justices Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett likely have created a solid majority to strike down broad bans on semiautomatic weapons and laws that flatly prohibit law-abiding citizens from exercising the right to carry a gun. In Scalia’s words, “the enshrinement of constitutional rights necessarily takes certain policy choices off the table.”

That won’t stop the Democratic majorities in Congress, together with the president, from enacting doomed laws, or from sending fundraising letters attacking their opponents. It’s always about the next election. It remains a fact that constitutional rights cannot be overridden by a majority vote, except on the Supreme Court.

 

The Government Censors Are Here.

Congressional Democrats are demanding to know what communications giants such as Comcast and AT&T are going to do about “the spread of dangerous misinformation.” How quickly this country is descending into an authoritarian regime where the government controls speech and the flow of information.

Ahead of a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing Wednesday, California Democratic Reps. Anna G. Eshoo and Jerry McNerney wrote a letter to Comcast, AT&T, Spectrum, Dish, Verizon, Cox, Altice, Roku, Amazon, Apple, Google, and Hulu. According to the New York Times, which says it has reviewed the correspondence, the pair is not pleased that “the cable, satellite and over-the-top companies that disseminate these media outlets” – likely referring to Fox News, One America News Network, and Newsmax – “have done nothing in response to the misinformation aired by these outlets.”

The hearing was called to focus on “disinformation and extremism in the media.” In practice it’s a stage for peacock strutting, spin, and projection (a diversionary tactic Democrats are well-practiced in) with the ultimate goal of gaining full control of the flow of information.

The Democrats telegraphed their intentions when Eshoo and McNerney assumed the role of prosecutors to ask the companies what steps they took “prior to, on and following the Nov. 3, 2020, elections and the Jan. 6, 2021, attacks to monitor, respond to and reduce the spread of disinformation, including encouragement or incitement of violence by channels your company disseminates to millions of Americans?”

Eshoo and McNerney further exposed their repressive intentions when they asked the companies if they are “planning to continue carrying Fox News, OANN and Newsmax” on their platforms “both now and beyond the renewal date?” and “if so, why?”

Is this not chilling? The Democrats care nothing about misinformation and disinformation, nor freedom of speech. Their objective is to use the Jan. 6 Capitol trespass-and-vandalize ruckus, as well as legitimate questions about the 2020 election, to shut down the speech of their political opponents. They lust for raw political and social power, to rule, not govern under constitutional limits, forever. It is that simple.

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The Constitution and Supreme Court set a high bar for gun control

On February 14, President Biden marked the third anniversary of the deadly shooting incident at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, with an announcement that he is calling on Congress to enact “commonsense gun law reforms.”

As always, the details matter. The president defined “commonsense” as a requirement for background checks on all gun sales, a ban on “assault weapons and high-capacity magazines,” and an end to “immunity for gun manufacturers who knowingly put weapons of war on our streets.”
The U.S. Supreme Court held in 2008, in the District of Columbia v. Heller decision, that the Second Amendment right to “keep and bear arms” is an individual right that is not contingent on service in “a well-regulated militia.” That means the U.S. Constitution limits the federal government’s power to pass laws restricting that right.

Exactly where are the limits? That’s always a matter of interpretation. The Heller opinion, written by the late Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, held that the District’s law prohibiting the possession of handguns was over the line, as was its law requiring residents to keep their lawfully owned, registered long guns “unloaded and dissembled or bound by a trigger lock or similar device” unless the guns were located in a place of business or in use for lawful recreational activities.

Scalia wrote that the handgun ban “amounts to a prohibition of an entire class of ‘arms’ that is overwhelmingly chosen by American society” for the “lawful purpose” of “the inherent right of self-defense.” Under any standard that the court has used, he wrote, “banning from the home ‘the most preferred firearm in the nation to keep and use for protection of one’s home and family,’ would fail constitutional muster.”

So if the president’s definition of “assault weapon” and “weapons of war” includes commonly owned firearms and magazines, it’s likely that new laws banning these or seeking to create new legal liability for their manufacturers will be found unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court, should these laws be challenged.

And there’s no doubt that such laws would be challenged. After Biden’s statement was released, the Firearms Policy Coalition responded, denouncing what it called “unconstitutional and immoral policies including bans on common semi-automatic firearms and ammunition magazines.” A number of lawsuits over various state laws related to firearms ownership are already working their way toward the high court.

The Heller decision was 5-4, with Justices John Paul Stevens, David Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Steven Breyer in the minority.
Former President Donald Trump campaigned as a staunch defender of Second Amendment rights, and it would not be surprising, to say the least, if the three justices he appointed to the high court share that view to some extent. Associate Justices Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett likely have created a solid majority to strike down broad bans on semiautomatic weapons and laws that flatly prohibit law-abiding citizens from exercising the right to carry a gun. In Scalia’s words, “the enshrinement of constitutional rights necessarily takes certain policy choices off the table.”

That won’t stop the Democratic majorities in Congress, together with the president, from enacting doomed laws, or from sending fundraising letters attacking their opponents. It’s always about the next election. It remains a fact that constitutional rights cannot be overridden by a majority vote, except on the Supreme Court.

Gun Control is a scam aimed at people control. It has been aimed at specific groups of people who were deemed a problem by the powers that be in historic and modern times. In the past its goals were not hidden. In our times it falsely hides behind the guise of safety and security.

I have been watching it closely for over 40 years, since they started with Handgun Control Inc. They have a play book that they keep going to over and over again, with minor variations. The end game is the elimination of all civilian gun ownership, which is the only thing that stops them from wholesale implementation of EU style “progressive” government and policies.

The whole anti-tyranny, 2nd Amendment thing is the only thing that stops them from making the US part of their “world community”, and it drives them nuts. So they will create false crises and scream, “the children”, “epidemic and scourge”, “reasonable compromise”, and “gun safety”, when the facts don’t support it, their laws don’t make sense, and they have no intention of compromising.

They lie to take every inch that gun owners give to make it as difficult as possible to be a law abiding gun owner, and use it as a stepping stone for their next push. They don’t care that the laws don’t effect criminals, or reduce mass shootings or crime, ’cause that’s not their goal.

The slippery slope is not a myth. It is a real anti gun/anti freedom strategy. It is here. —–CAD007

Biden’s Banana Republic.

A New York Times reporter has suggested the president appoint a “reality czar,” who would lead “a cross-agency task force to tackle disinformation and domestic extremism.” Please tell us, comrade, when the show trials begin. We don’t want to miss them.

The author of this idea is Times technology reporter Kevin Roose, who was writing about “how the Biden administration can help solve our reality crisis.” His is not a lone recommendation on how the ruling class should re-educate, curb, and cancel the unruly masses to the right of center. Others want the Biden White House to establish various versions of George Orwell’s Ministry of Truth, which was itself a ministry of propaganda. The Democrats and allied activists are itching to shut down speech they don’t agree with, but do it under the cover of preserving and honoring “truth.”

Odd, isn’t it, that the same people who claim to be so interested in truth and reality today for four years couldn’t stop talking about how the Russians put Donald Trump in the White House? Maybe they’re engrossed only with their version of the truth – their own fantasies and efforts to indoctrinate an entire population.

A country and a culture are in trouble when those in authority allow only one voice to be heard, when they decide what is acceptable speech and what isn’t, when the controversial and the unpopular are treated as crimes to be punished. Biden hasn’t bitten – yet – on a reality czar or ministry of truth. But under his administration, this country is shaping up as a banana republic. Think about:

  • How the Democrats want to turn the economy into one that’s “operated as a private commercial enterprise for the exclusive profit of the ruling class.”
  • The Democrats’ retribution-filled, Reichstag-fire response to the breach of the U.S. Capitol by a group made up mostly of odd characters and some everyday Americans who got overheated and were shocked by their own behavior, all of them apparently unarmed.
  • How a summer of real riots was tacitly, and at times, overtly supported by Biden’s party.
  • The second impeachment of Trump that is not an attempt to seek justice but a campaign to prevent him from running again for president and marginalizing his supporters.
  • The lies about the promise of unity.
  • Phony charges against political opponents designed to dehumanize them. See: “Biden accused Trump of being a mass murderer, of killing hundreds of thousands of coronavirus patients because he ‘did nothing’ to fight the virus.”
  • Government by executive command rather than through proper legislative channels.
  • Shutting down politically unfavorable businesses. See: Biden’s Keystone XL pipeline decision.
  • The leader of a national government deciding alone what the property role of that government is. See: “Biden Proclaims ‘Racial Equity’ as Goal ‘Of the Whole of Government.’ ”

From any reasonable point of view, it’s clear America is in a decline that might not be as steep as Biden’s cognitive fade, but is just as real.

Well, scratch any lib/proggie/leftist…… So, cue the meme:

Democrats Want Biden To Be The Dictator They Said Trump Was

Donald Trump was treated by the opposition party and media (we repeat ourselves) like no other president in our memory. He was called a dictator, a tyrant, an authoritarian, and a fascist, to name a few childish invectives hurled his way. Of course his adversaries were projecting. It’s the Democrats and their media collaborators who yearn for absolute power.

Trump was accused of being a dictator at the same time he was trying to weaken the federal government through tax cuts and deregulation. The agitators – the elected, unelected, functionaries, and self-appointed – who made the allegations were never required to explain why a dictator would undermine his power base by downsizing the government under his charge; how a tyrant could be impeached twice; how an authoritarian failed to expand his authority during a pandemic; how a fascist brokered peace deals in the Middle East; how someone routinely called “Hitler” willingly walked away from his “dictatorship” after losing an election; how screaming heads could insult him and his family without fear of punishment.

Yet Trump was a dictator just because they said he was. Questioning the proposition is not allowed.

Meanwhile, Charles Schumer, the New York Democrat and Senate majority leader, said Monday “it might be a good idea for President Biden to call a climate emergency” because there are “many, many things under the emergency powers of the president” that “he could do without legislation.”

Even without declaring a climate emergency, Biden is already moving in the direction Schumer laid out for him, signing 33 executive orders within his first week. This is only months after Biden said “you can’t [legislate] by executive order unless you’re a dictator. We’re a democracy. We need consensus.”

So now we know what could be reasonably assumed: He’s just another pen-and-phone president who doesn’t need the hassle of the legislative process to rush through his party’s agenda.

Continue reading “”

Judge Sullivan’s Final ‘Verdict.’

It’s tempting to say that Judge Emmet Sullivan’s final ruling in the Michael Flynn case reduced the judiciary to the level of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. But that would be unfair to today’s law enforcement.

Judge Sullivan finally, belatedly, churlishly dismissed the Flynn case as moot on Tuesday, two weeks after President Trump pardoned the former national security adviser. But the self-important Judge Sullivan couldn’t resist delivering a parting “verdict.” He issued a 43-page opinion in which he all but declared Mr. Flynn guilty of lying and perjury and the entire Justice Department corrupt.

Attorney General William Barr has at least been attempting to atone for the FBI’s and Justice Department’s scurrilous behavior during the 2016 campaign and after Mr. Trump’s election. Earlier this year Mr. Barr assigned a veteran prosecutor, Jeffrey Jensen, to review the original Flynn case—amid growing evidence the FBI had entrapped him and that special counsel Robert Mueller’s prosecutors had pressured him to plead guilty of lying to the bureau. Mr. Jensen’s findings were unequivocal. He said the FBI’s January 2017 interview of Mr. Flynn should never have happened, as it was “untethered” to a legitimate investigation. Mr. Jensen recommended the charges be dropped, which the department officially asked Judge Sullivan to do in May. Continue reading “”

Mandatory Voting Is Authoritarian

After the 2016 presidential election, I wrote an exceptionally unpopular op-ed for The Washington Post headlined, “We must weed out ignorant Americans from the electorate.” In it, I noted that “never have so many people with so little knowledge made so many consequential decisions for the rest of us.”

My assumption has always been that the Post only accepted the piece because its editors believed I was aiming my criticism exclusively at the right-wing populists who had just voted for Donald Trump. If so, they were wrong. My skepticism extends to all sides.

And to all elections. Indeed, today, the problem is even more severe. More Americans voted in 2020 than ever before even though the winner, Joe Biden, was rarely impelled to answer a substantive question on policy or even to show himself in public.

2020 might have featured the most vacuous campaigns in American history. This is what “democracy” looks like when propelled by fearmongering, ignorance, and the “common impulse of passion,” as James Madison warned. I mean that all around.

We encourage Americans to vote as if it is the only right of a citizen, without any corresponding expectations. And as if that constant cultural haranguing to vote weren’t annoying enough, after every election, no matter how many people participate, there is a campaign to force everyone to do it.

“America Needs Compulsory Voting,” writes a professor in Foreign Affairs. “A Little Coercion Can Do a Lot for Democracy.” “1 In 3 Americans Didn’t Vote. Should We Force Them To Next Time?” asks BuzzFeed.

Ideally, in a free nation, the answer to “Should we force them?” is almost always “no.” But for the folks at places such as the Brookings Institution and Harvard University’s Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation, the answer is almost always “yes.”

In July, these think tanks laid out their case for mandatory voting in a report titled “Lift Every Voice: The Urgency of Universal Civic Duty Voting.” I wish I could whip up an equally anodyne euphemism for “ugly authoritarian instinct,” but none immediately comes to mind.

None of this is new, of course. Over the years, we’ve seen similar columns in The New York Times and Time.

Obama administration officials such as Peter Orszag, an advocate of compelling everyone to buy state-mandated health insurance, were arguing that the United States “prides itself as the beacon of democracy, but it’s very likely no U.S. president has ever been elected by a majority of American adults.”

Maybe the lesson here is that we should pride ourselves on how many freedoms we enjoy rather than how people vote.

“The hope is not that the United States of America tomorrow morning is going to adopt this,” E. J. Dionne, who is a Georgetown University professor of government, a Washington Post columnist, and a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, told BuzzFeed, “but we do hope that cities, counties, states would take a look at this and perhaps adopt it experimentally, the way, say, Maine has adopted instant runoffs.”

Some of us do not share the hopes of Dionne, a longtime proponent of forcing Americans to do all sorts of things.

The Constitution makes no stipulation that citizens must vote. It doesn’t even mention voting as an individual right. We have no civic duty to vote. I haven’t voted for president since 2000. I haven’t voted at all since 2004.

For me, this is a proactive political choice. But maybe some Americans don’t vote because they are anarchists, or monarchists, or nihilists. Some Americans might not be satisfied with any of their choices. Some might rather be watching cartoons. It’s none of Dionne’s business.

The last thing we should do is make those who aren’t interested, motivated, or feel unprepared to make sound decisions act against their will.

Whenever I mention that compelling people to participate in the political system is authoritarian, someone will ridicule me by noting that voting is the hallmark of “democracy.”

One wonders if citizens of, say, Hong Kong, who had no real vote as British colonial subjects for 150 years, feel freer today than they did 30 years ago.

Sure, mandatory voting exists in Australia and Belgium. But it also exists in Bolivia, Congo, the Dominican Republic, Egypt, and Lebanon. In fact, historically speaking, authoritarian states often adopt compulsory voting as a way of creating a false sense of democratic legitimacy. If you’re compelling people to participate, you’re not doing “democracy.”

2020 saw record turnout—though calling it a “turnout” is a bit misleading since the involvement was largely a function of states’ haphazardly mailing out paper ballots to everyone.

All mandatory-voting advocates are doing is further degrading the importance of elections and incentivizing more demagoguery.

If they truly believed democracy was sacred—rather than a way to accumulate power—they’d want Americans to put more effort into voting for the president than they do in ordering Chinese takeout. And they certainly wouldn’t want to force anyone to do it.

 

Something To Watch For

The Supreme Court’s recent 5 to 4 decision upholding the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of religion saw Chief Justice John Roberts in the minority. That’s right, SCOTUS fans: supposed Catholic and Constitutionalist Roberts voted against the protection of religious freedom. However, owing entirely to the timely nomination and confirmation of Associate Justice Amy Coney Barrett, religious freedom was upheld, albeit narrowly.

This puts me in mind of another recent Supreme Court Chief Justice, one remembered fondly by very few–and no, I’m not one of the few: the late Warren Burger. Have a snippet from Bob Woodward and Scott Armstrong’s excellent book on the Burger Court, The Brethren:

     The Chief [Justice Warren Burger] spread a large sheet of plain butcher paper in front of him on the desk. Across the top were listed the names of Justices. Down the left side were the names of the cases heard so far that term. The sheet was Burger’s most powerful tool in controlling the Court. It represented the workload of each Justice. By tradition, the senior Justice in the majority at conference selected the Justice who was to write the Court opinion for the majority. Since the Chief was considered senior to all the others, he made the assignments when he was in the majority. Burger was careful, in his first term, to make sure he was in the majority most of the time—even if he had to adjust his views. Leadership in the Court could not be exercised from a minority position, he felt. [Emphasis added by FWP.]

Never mind why supposed Constitutionalist Roberts now votes with the Leftists most of the time. Just take it as written that he will continue to do so, whatever the reason. Now that the Barrett confirmation has put him and the “open” Leftists in the minority, Roberts will be tempted—possibly induced by outside pressure—to do as Burger did and “adjust his views” to vote with the five conservatives. That would allow him to assign the opinion in a case with a conservative majority to one of the Leftists, or to himself. That would enable him to vitiate a conservative decision with a Left-leaning opinion. If, as has been suggested elsewhere, Roberts is being controlled from outside the Court by blackmail threats, the addition of Barrett to the Court makes this a possibility to watch for.

My sincerest-sounding apologies for giving you something new to worry about while you’re still digesting your Thanksgiving dinner, Gentle Reader. The stuffing was really good this year, wasn’t it? Just the thing to soothe a troubled stomach. Warm up a little for lunch, maybe with some of the leftover gravy or cranberry sauce. After that it will be time to inventory the ammo once more.

Gun Rights Delayed are Gun Rights Denied.

This year, protests have coursed throughout the nation, and unfortunately, as Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has candidly acknowledged, “we’ve also seen . . . people who have embedded themselves in these seemingly peaceful protests and come for a fight.” As a result of such civic disorder, more people in jurisdictions such as Illinois and Minnesota, sites of widespread looting and even arson, have wanted immediate access to firearms. But some jurisdictions, including these, have failed to process licenses to purchase or carry firearms in a timely manner.

Such delays violate the right of the people to keep and bear arms. In District of Columbia v. Heller, the Supreme Court expressly held that the right to possess a gun at home was of the essence of the Second Amendment, and the right was extended to the states by McDonald v. Chicago. Yet Illinois, for instance, now imposes lengthy delays to obtain even the licenses necessary to purchase a gun for home or business use. The statute permits as much as a 30-day delay, and in June it took an average of 51 days to get the necessary FOID card. A colleague of mine still has not gotten one after 170 days. A firearm delayed is self-defense denied. That is particularly problematic at a time of increased violence and looting. A gun—even one that is never fired—may make the difference between a burned-down store and a continuing source of livelihood. Continue reading “”

I can’t help but snicker at the irony.

Since Trump announced he was going to run for President, we have been subjected to the beating drum of he being a Nazi and the worse parts of Buchenwald were soon to be visiting our neighborhood. How the gays and Latinos were going to be thrown in concentration camps or sent across the border to die and other fascist delicacies.

Fast forward 4 years and a pandemic and it is the Democrats in positions of power turning cities into medical gulags and concentration camps ordering people to stay inside they home/barracks or otherwise violate laws created by then and not elected legislators. And in some cases, they have roaming gestapo agents trying to peek inside private property to make sure you are not violating the dictums of the Reichsmarschall.

And what should irk people more is at first we were told that we needed to “shelter in place” till a vaccine was created and we could be free again. But now that vaccines appears close by, they are already starting to rile against it because it was created under the Trump presidency and it would be a legacy they can’t undo. They want to be the saviors. They want you to know they saved you from Trump even if they created the disaster.

They want you dead or under subjugation.

Worse is coming.

 

A Dark Moment for Democracy Affirms the Need for the Second Amendment

Businesses in major American cities like New York, Los Angeles, and Washington D.C. erected plywood barricades for fear of election day violence. To observers in other countries, the picture of boarded up businesses looked like they came from the third world. To historians, the pictures looked like they were taken from a country descending into tyranny.

We all know who these barriers were built to defend against. They weren’t built to defend against Tea Partiers. They weren’t built to defend against Proud Boys. They were built to defend against Antifa and Black Lives Matter, groups who Joe Biden has repeatedly refused to condemn despite their coordinated violence and property destruction.

Shortly before the election, Biden tweeted that he would ban “assault weapons,” implement “universal background checks,” and enact other allegedly “common sense” gun reform laws.

If he proves the victor, and the Democrats win one run-off race in Georgia, America will see an unprecedented assault on the Second Amendment. A Biden Department of Justice would try to bankrupt gun manufacturers in court. And gun confiscation would be on the table, given that Biden has promised to put Beto O’Rourke, who famously said “Hell yes, we are going to take your AR-15s,” in charge of his administration’s gun policies.

Fortunately, over the last six months gun sales – especially to first-time gun-buyers – have shattered all historic records. This is because for hundreds of thousands of Americans, 2020 has settled the gun control arguments they hear so often in the media. The question “what could anyone need an AR-15 for?” has been answered by images of store owners standing guard against a mob with that gun as their neighbor’s businesses burned to the ground.

The argument that “people should rely on the police for protection,” has been countered by the reality that in major American cities our elected officials pro-actively refuse to allow the police the enforce the law. This wasn’t a matter of the police getting there moments too late. What we saw was elected officials refusing to allow the police to enforce the law because they agreed with the political aims of the violent mob. Continue reading “”

The 2020 Election is Not Over. The Fight is Now.

A Statement from The American Mind.

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, breaking every rule that Democrats have screamed for months that President Trump was going to break, have all but declared themselves the winners of the 2020 election before the votes are counted.

But the 2020 election is not over. The fight has just begun. This is the moment that decides everything. Everything is now at stake. Republicans must rise to the occasion. This means rallies and protests as well as investigating and ensuring that this election was lawful.

Continue reading “”

Democrats Deny Voter Fraud Exists As They Plot To Steal Pennsylvania

I&I Editorial

For years, the left has denied that voter fraud is a problem by setting a curious standard: It’s not “widespread.” Never mind that voter fraud never is “widespread.” It’s always targeted at key races.

Case in point is Pennsylvania, which could be, if you will pardon the pun, the keystone state of the 2020 elections, and which Democrats have carefully laid the groundwork to commit targeted fraud.

Let’s assume that President Donald Trump takes the toss-up states where he is currently ahead in the Real Clear Politics average, and that Trump takes Florida and Arizona (where Joe Biden is barely ahead in the RCP averages). The electoral map would look like this: Biden, 260 and Trump 258. (See below.)

Real Clear Politics

That would leave Pennsylvania as the deciding state, which Trump won in 2016 by just 44,292 votes.

Biden clearly believes it to be key to his victory, spending the past two days there.

Well, guess what Biden’s fellow Democrats have managed to pull off in Pennsylvania. They’ve practically rolled out the welcome mat to voter fraud.

The rules put in place by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court for 2020 allow:

  • Mail-in ballots to be received and counted up to three days after Election Day if they were postmarked on or before Nov. 3.
  • Ballots that arrived late without a postmark must be presumed to have been mailed before Election Day “unless a preponderance of the evidence demonstrates that it was mailed after Election Day.”
  • Signatures on the mail-in ballots don’t have to match those on record to be counted.

Pennsylvania’s high court, by the way, is elected in partisan elections.

“The Democrats on the state supreme court have effectively stripped Pennsylvania election officials of any practical way to challenge mail-in ballots of whatever provenance before they are counted,” notes George Parry, a former federal and state prosecutor, writing in the American Spectator. “Consequently, the outcome of the presidential election will come down to a post-Election Day ‘knife fight.’”

Don’t expect that to be fair, either.

Not only has the state’s supreme court tilted the scales, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro has all but promised that Biden will win the election, tweeting on Monday that “If all the votes are added up in PA, Trump is going to lose. That’s why he’s working overtime to subtract as many votes as possible from this process.”

In another tweet, he told Trump’s lawyers if you “want to try us, we’d be happy to defeat you in court one more time.”

Shapiro sounds awfully sure of how Pennsylvanians will vote, doesn’t he?

Trafalgar Group pollster Robert Cahaly recently said of Trump that “I think he’s going to need to win Pennsylvania by four or five (percentage points) to overcome the voter fraud that’s going to happen there.”

Cahaly’s firm correctly called elections in battleground states in 2016 that other pollsters had going for Hillary Clinton. This election, Trafalgar has Trump ahead in several battlegrounds that other polls are showing in the Biden camp.

You gotta hand it to Democrats.

When anyone brings up concerns about voter fraud, they scream that it’s a myth and accuse those who point out the system is rigged of trying to suppress the vote, or worse. Then Democrats effectively make voter fraud legal in a state that could very well decide the election.

There is always the chance that Biden or Trump wins by a landslide, which would make committing fraud in Pennsylvania pointless. But if the outcome of the 2020 elections is disputed because of that state, let’s make sure the blame is directed at the right people.

— Written by the I&I Editorial Board

THE RIGHT TO REMAIN SILENT.

As a professor for over 35 years, I thought I had seen it all. I was wrong. Who would have thought that the first words of our Miranda rights, rights enjoyed even by suspected criminals, would no longer be something ordinary people could expect to enjoy from members of their own community?

Now it seems that a desire to keep one’s thoughts to oneself can be regarded as immoral because “Silence is Violence.” Increasingly, people who are minding their own business are being pressured to make politically correct proclamations while in public, at work, and, incredibly, even at school. This includes colleges and universities, where free speech and free thought are supposed to be cherished. These are very dangerous developments for any free society because they are inconsistent with freedom.

For many years there were calls against politically incorrect speech, things you were not supposed to say because they were deemed politically repugnant by some group.

Over time, especially on college campuses, this flipped into a duty to be politically correct. This is a much more onerous and destructive requirement that forces thought and speech. Too often, it also has the effect of shutting down independent thinking far more than a mere insistence against politically incorrect utterances.

Our society is now running in reverse, demanding conformity from adults that was once demanded only of children. Small wonder, then, why increasing political correctness has increasingly infantilized adults. What’s the point in thinking for yourself if it can only get you into trouble?

One of our greatest freedoms is the right to remain silent — to mind our own business. But today, some activists threaten shaming and even violence against those who don’t take the initiative to endorse what they deem to be politically correct.

Not long ago, if someone made such threats, others would automatically say, “Hey, leave that guy alone. He has a right to his opinion, and he has the right to keep it to himself.”

Not long ago, most adults believed that not having an opinion was often a sign of maturity, an indication of waiting to hear all sides on an issue before making a judgment. Such persons were not presumed to be cowards. They were presumed to be thoughtful, mature, and wise.

So, when did opining about everything become a virtue? And when did repeating the party-line in lockstep with the mob become an act of courage?

The internet has allowed a great deal of opining to be done anonymously, which has dramatically sped up positive reinforcement for repeating popular ideas and negative reinforcement for failing to do so. Because we are hard-wired to crave acceptance, this has produced several generations of cowed adults. We are, as a society, forgetting how to think for ourselves and how to have civil arguments over important matters.

Those who love freedom and free speech need to be ready for the next time they see someone being badgered into stating any party line. Coercion to speak is just another form of bullying, and it must be pointed out. It is indecent, and it is un-American.

David C. Rose is a professor of economics at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, author of Why Culture Matters Most from Oxford University Press, and a member of the Missouri Advisory Committee of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights since 2014.