Fantastic. 👏👏👏👏 https://t.co/BIDCoSi7YG
— Catturd ™ (@catturd2) September 29, 2023
The first Monday in October, the traditional date for the beginning of the U.S. Supreme Court’s term, is almost here: On Oct. 2, 2023, the court will meet after the summer recess, with the biggest case of the term focused on the limits of individual gun rights.
The other core issue for the coming year is a broad reassessment of the power of the administrative state.
Both issues reflect a court that has announced revolutionary changes in doctrine and must now grapple with how far the new principles will reach.
Two years ago, the court began what many consider to be a constitutional revolution.
The new supermajority of six conservative justices rapidly introduced new doctrines across a range of controversies including abortion, guns, religion and race.
When the court announces a new principle – for example, a limit on the powers of a specific part of government – citizens and lawyers are not sure of the full ramifications of the new rule. How far will it go? What other areas of law will come under the same umbrella?
We need to get rid of gun-free zones. Yes, this particular issue has been quite contentious over the past few years, especially amid a rash of active shooter situations. But despite what proponents of gun-free zones will tell you, the numbers are in, and they show that prohibiting guns in certain areas is about as effective at protecting people as putting out a California wildfire with an eyedropper.
Data coming from the Crime Prevention Research Center (CPRC) have highlighted stark discrepancies in how the FBI reports incidents involving active shooters. The report, compiled by John Lott, CPRC’s president, shows that allowing responsible people to carry firearms in more places does far more to keep them safe than keeping them from being armed in these areas.
I wrote about Lott’s report previously:
In a conversation with the Washington Times, Lott pointed out that the Federal Bureau of Investigation has downplayed the percentage of shootings that end with a “good guy with a gun” using their firearm to save lives. The FBI has long held that only 4.4 percent of active shooting incidents are stopped by civilians using guns. However, Lott suggested the percentage is much higher: 34.4 percent.
The report delved further into how the FBI’s numbers have skewed the data:
The report also notes that in 2021, “the FBI listed 61 active-shooter incidents, with perhaps four that were stopped by armed citizens.” But Lott says he found 112 incidents, 55 of which were ended by an armed citizen using a firearm.
From 2014 to 2021, the FBI counted 252 active-shooter incidents and says 11 were ended by an armed citizen, which is where they get the 4.4 percent figure. On the other hand, Lott’s research counted 360 incidents, 124 of which were stopped by an armed citizen, which amounts to 34.4 percent.
“In 2021, the data he has the most confidence in, he says it was 49.1% of the time,” according to the Washington Times. “And looking only at incidents in places where carrying weapons isn’t heavily restricted, the rate is closer to 60%.”
So, there is a lot in that last paragraph, isn’t there? For starters, the FBI is clearly downplaying the number of incidents in which an armed civilian uses their firearm to stop active and mass shootings. This is similar to how the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) removed data displaying the frequency of defensive gun uses at the behest of anti-gunner groups. The government is deeply invested in making sure the public never finds out that gun owners are far more likely to use their guns to defend life and property than they are to victimize other people.
But the data related to the number of active shootings that are stopped by armed civilians is just as noteworthy, especially considering the fact that this is more likely to happen in places where guns are allowed than in gun-free zones. In fact, about 94 percent of active shootings occur in gun-free zones. Go figure.
In light of this, why the hell would anyone advocate for gun-free zones? Not only does the data show that they do not protect people, but common sense will also tell you that having decent people who are armed makes it less likely that an active shooter might be able to massacre a crowd of people. After all, when was the last time a sign saying “gun-free zone” stopped a violent criminal from carrying their firearm in a particular area? The very idea that this will help keep people safe is absurd.
The data shows the wisdom of allowing armed civilians to play a more active role in public safety. Indeed, the police are typically unable to show up in time to save lives when a mass shooting starts. All too often, they arrive too late to save lives. Yet, the people already on the scene are the best equipped to save lives if they are armed. Therefore, it clearly makes no sense to uphold gun-free zones. If we really want to protect life, we have to let responsible Americans carry firearms in as many places as possible.
Of, course. This is just another avenue of standard D.C, goobermint grifting
Professional gun control advocates have always had a seat at the table in the Biden White House. Now, however, they will not only sit at the table but determine its menu, set it, and compile the guest list for it. This comes under a new initiative launched by Joe Biden last Friday to establish an Office of Gun Violence Prevention, to be overseen by none other than Kamala Harris. But while the effort is supposedly being run by the White House “to reduce gun violence,” its real purpose is to employ professional gun control advocates and amplify their propaganda and agenda with taxpayer dollars.
There are different ways to look at this effort.
One is to dismiss it as a publicity stunt and a way to appease the always demanding, never satisfied gun control lobby, which is a key constituency of the Biden-Harris Administration. After all, the new office has no congressional authorization, no dedicated congressional appropriation, no policy-making or enforcement authority, and no clearly defined reason for being, other than a vague mandate to “coordinate” the administration’s efforts on guns.
The appointment of Harris as its nominal head is perhaps telling, as she has a dismal favorability rating (including with Democrats), a reputation for speaking incoherently, and precious little success in shepherding consequential legislation through Congress. Even the administration’s collaborators in the press can’t seem to settle on a consistent narrative about her, sometimes portraying her as a liability to the Biden ticket and the party and sometimes trying to rehabilitate her image. Harris’ “oversite” portfolio also includes “stemming the migration on the southern border,” where the situation has only gotten worse from national sovereignty, human rights, and law enforcement standpoints. Besides unchecked illegal immigration that strains infrastructure and social services (leading even the Democrat mayor of New York City to characterize is as an existential crisis for the city), America’s porous border promotes smuggling of contraband and persons, often with deadly consequences. If there is a more disliked and ineffectual politician in D.C. than Kamala Harris, it’s hard to imagine who it is.
But it would be foolish to dismiss the fact that the office’s creation represents a new milestone in an ever-expanding gun control infrastructure that encompasses the legacy media, academia, the digital technology sector, and significant portions of institutional medicine and the entertainment industry. Meanwhile, the executive branch itself is increasingly being weaponized against gun owners and the gun industry in the form of persecutory rulemakings and enforcement policies. Having a dedicated office of fulltime zealots to interface with this infrastructure could indeed go a long way toward provoking the generational change in hearts and minds necessary to disrupt long-established freedoms, traditions, and legal regimes. The U.S. is currently undergoing its own Cultural Revolution, of sorts, and our Second Amendment rights are not immune to its effects. The newly-created office, if competently administered, could help nudge that process along.
But what is clear is that Biden is determined to use the White House’s own (apparently vast) budget to employ professional gun control advocates at the public’s expense. Previously, the most blatant and egregious example of this was its nomination of a “senior policy advisor” and paid shill for the gun control lobby to head the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, which enforces federal firearm laws. The effort to nominate David Chipman to that role fortunately went down in flames, thanks to your NRA’s all-out opposition.
But the deputy directors of the new office include Robert Wilcox, who will also serve as special assistant to the president. Wilcox previously worked as the senior director of federal government affairs at Everytown for Gun Safety. There, his salary was underwritten by billionaire anti-gunner Michael Bloomberg. In his new role, however, it will be paid with YOUR federal taxes. Wilcox as an anti-gun lobbyist pushed such radical policies as banning America’s most popular rifle, the AR-15; banning private firearm transfers; holding law-abiding firearm dealers accountable for the acts of criminals; and limiting the capacity of magazines used in self-defense firearms. Wilcox is not just another policy wonk or expert bureaucrat whose job is to serve the public at large. He is an activist dedicated to the destruction of Americans’ Second Amendment rights. And now money coming out of YOUR pocket will fund his life’s work.
Chipman’s appointment was subject to Senate approval. Wilcox’s is not. But it is just as clearly a thumb in the eye to hardworking Americans who are struggling to get by in Joe Biden’s economy and who believe in the Right to Keep and Bear Arms.
What can best be hoped for Biden’s new antigun office is what can often best be hoped for other unnecessary and politically-charged appendages to the federal bureaucracy: that it spend money while doing and accomplishing nothing. Your NRA will be monitoring its operations carefully and will report on any noteworthy developments.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed three new gun control measures into law on Tuesday afternoon in a ceremony full of lies, mistruths, and hostility towards both gun owners and the right to keep and bear arms.
Attorney General Rob Bonta took a break from getting his rear end handed to him by federal judges who’ve recently ruled against several of the state’s gun laws (including its ban on “large capacity” magazines, microstamping and other “safety” requirements, and a law punishing those who create marketing materials that could appeal to minors) to kick off the press conference with the telling statement that you “can’t be tough on crime if you’re not tough on guns”.
Of course, it’s gun owners, not guns that these bills are cracking down on. Bonta claimed that the right to carry increases violent crime by 29%, even though violent crime rates have plunged across the country for the past 30 years even as a majority of states have adopted first shall-issue and now permitless carry laws.
State Senator Anthony Portantino made it clear that California gun owners are the real target of these bills when he said the state legislature is defining what it means to be “law abiding” through SB 2; the Bruen response bill that imposes a wide variety of “gun-free zones” as well as new criteria for obtaining a carry license.
“If you can’t get three character references to say you’re an upstanding citizen, you shouldn’t have a gun,” Portantino told reporters while gun control activists nodded in agreement.
This tech has been around for decades. It was – and likely still is – used by the Fed goobermint as well as our military to track down terrorists using networking and targeting techniques that several ‘3 letter’ agencies developed. The method described at the beginning of the article is the way goobermints get around 4th amendment restrictions on searches. Unfortunately, the courts have let this slide as they’re goobermint too and don’t like the idea the mice can play without the cat being able to tell where who and where they are.
As worshippers gathered at the Calvary Chapel in 2020, they were being watched from above.
Satellites were locking in on cell phones owned by members of the nondenominational Protestant church in San Jose, Calif. Their location eventually worked its way to a private company, which then sold the information to the government of Santa Clara County. This data, along with observations from enforcement officers on the ground, was used to levy heavy fines against the church for violating COVID-19 restrictions regarding public gatherings.
“Every Sunday,” Calvary’s assistant pastor, Carson Atherly, would later testify, the officers “would serve me a notice of violation during or after church service.”
Calvary is suing the county for its use of location data, a controversial tool increasingly deployed by governments at all levels – notably in relation to the U.S. Capitol riot on Jan. 6, 2021. While enabling law enforcement to more easily identify potential offenders, the practice, called “geofencing,” has also emerged as a cutting-edge privacy issue, raising constitutional issues involving warrantless searches and, with Calvary Chapel, religious liberty.
“We are in the space between the emergence of this technological practice and courts having ruled on its constitutionality,” said Alex Marthews, national chair for Restore the 4th, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the protection of the Fourth Amendment, which protects Americans’ rights against “unreasonable search and seizure.”
BREAKING: FBI, not Trump, guilty of Russian collusion. In fact, the guy in charge of the investigation former FBI agent Charles McGonigal pleads GUILTY for hiding payments from Russians. He investigated the 2016 Trump campaign for alleged ties to Moscow. What a coinkydink. pic.twitter.com/hHDlRG0aJ6
— Robert Hyde for US Senate (@HydeforSenate) September 23, 2023
SAN ANTONIO – A federal judge declined to dismiss a Second Amendment suit filed by a gun store owner who challenges the ATF’s recent guidance on how to implement the Gun Control Act of 1968. The man has standing to sue, alleging that the guidance could hold him liable for non-willful actions such as “inadvertent paperwork errors” and result in the revocation of his license.2023-22-9--04-38-07-second amendment
The Red Tape of the Bureaucracy
By empowering the administrative state—and by increasing legal ambiguity—the Biden administration and various state officials are trying to reduce the use of this right.
It took me a long time to write this piece. I spent the first three months waiting for my writing permit, which by law should have taken 50 days, but which was delayed while the staff at the Federal Department of Print went on strike. Despite asking, I never did get a discount on the $75 processing fee.
After that, I spent a great deal of effort ensuring that I was in compliance with the ever-changing rules. My desktop computer was safely stored, as per regulations, but it turned out that, because the edges of the screen are black and I have a large external hard drive, it has been recently re-classified as an “assault mainframe” with “a high-capacity hard drive.” According to the agents who visited my house, this means that I can keep my keyboard plugged in or my USB cable plugged in, but that I cannot do both at the same time. Working around that set me back a week or two.
And then there were the issues I faced while traveling with my laptop. Thankfully, the state I live in has permitless computer carry, but many of the cities I went through do not. And, annoyingly enough, most of the coffee shops I found were “Writing-Free Zones.” In Denver, I asked the barista if it really mattered, but she gave me a firm look and explained that “arguments start revolutions.” Words, you see, are dangerous. Thank goodness that I’m being forced to pay for language insurance.
None of that is true, of course. The very idea is ridiculous. The First Amendment holds that Congress is prohibited from making any laws that abridge “the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances” and the Fourteenth Amendment applies this rule to the states. On the whole, we take this pretty seriously—and those who don’t are mostly forced to by the courts.
But you see my point, don’t you? The fact that we have almost no laws regulating speech in the United States—and the fact that the ones we do have are straightforward—makes it extremely easy for American citizens to speak, write and argue.
When I sat down to write this piece, it never occurred to me that I needed to worry about the precise meaning of poorly written restrictions, or about the capricious whims of politicized bureaucrats, or about the latest bad ideas coming out of Congress. I just did it. I wrote what I wanted to write, where I wanted to write. I read my work aloud with impunity. And, when I was finished, I transmitted it across the internet without permission, dispensation or indulgence.
The Second Amendment does not represent a perfect analogy to the First. But one area in which the two do undoubtedly overlap—and overlap in ways that should be clear to everyone—is in the effect that government restrictions have upon the willingness of the law-abiding to freely exercise their rights. Notably, those restrictions do not need to be stringent to be highly effective.
As anyone who hails from a tyrannical country will tell you, the mere existence of broadly written speech regulations is enough to have a chilling effect on most uses of speech. Uncertainty smothers liberty in the cradle. Tell a man he is free, and he will be free. Tell a man that there are 4,000 laws on the books, that there are four different agencies tasked with enforcing those laws, and that the meaning of those laws is liable to change on-the-fly and … well, he may conclude that he is unwilling to take the risk after all.
This is no mere theory. In spite of the plain language of the Second Amendment, there are still many places in this country in which it is nigh on impossible for even the most conscientious gun owners to remain faithful to the law. Leave aside the possible training requirements, mandatory waiting periods, insurance obligations, permitting fees and other entry-level obstacles, and consider instead the sheer number of rinky-dink rules that are placed in a normal person’s way. Consider the prescriptive safe-storage regulations gun-control proponents want to impose—some of which are so onerous that they undermine the rationale for keeping a gun for one’s defense. Consider the absurd matrix of quotidian parts and cosmetic features that is used in some states to determine whether commonly owned firearms are deemed to be legal or illegal. Consider the patchwork quilt of carry restrictions—sometimes imposed within the same state or city. Consider the inscrutable “gun-free-zone” assignations that can make it impossible to walk from the diner to the mall without trespassing. Sometimes, one gets the impression that the rules have been explicitly designed to force would-be gun-owners to throw up their hands and disarm.
One is right to suspect as much.
Actually it’s pretty easy to defang a bureaucrap. You may not be able to easily fire them, but you can ‘de-establish’ the bureau (and its power) then RIF the civil service, and in the mean time, even though you have to pay the bureaucrap, they will have nothing to do but sit in an empty office space not regulating. Of course, the main problem is that a whole of of Republicans like the deep state just as much as anyone else does.
The Biden administration is setting a booby trap in case a Republican wins the presidency in 2024.
On Friday, the White House unveiled a proposed rule that would make it even harder than in the past for an incoming Republican president to wrestle control of the left-leaning federal bureaucracy and actually implement the conservative policies promised to voters.
Of the 2.2 million federal civil workers, only 4,000 are presidential appointees. The rest stay in their jobs, from one administration to the next, protected by rules that make it nearly impossible to discipline or replace them.
They overwhelmingly favor the Left. A staggering 95% of unionized federal employees who donate to political candidates give to Democrats, according to Open Secrets. Only a tiny 5% support Republicans.
Some federal workers in high positions slow-walk or even derail a Republican president’s agenda — and get away with it.
Why bother to vote if the left-leaning deep state stays in charge no matter who wins the presidency?
GOP candidates Donald Trump, Vivek Ramaswamy and Ron DeSantis are vowing to conquer this obstructionism.
Everett Kelley, union president of the American Federation of Government Employees, claims GOP contenders want to “politicize routine government work.” Nonsense. We’re not talking about mail carriers. It’s time to make lawyers, PhDs and other top-level career bureaucrats implement the president’s agenda, not their own.
After Trump won in 2016, they went to town neutralizing him on almost every policy front, explains James Sherk, special assistant to the White House Domestic Policy Council under Trump.
Career lawyers in the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division flat out refused to challenge Yale University’s discrimination against Asian American applicants. Trump had to recruit lawyers from other divisions. After Joe Biden became president, the DOJ dropped the case. But the same career lawyers who refused to sue Yale made the losing argument in support of affirmative action before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Career health officials like Dr. Deborah Birx circumvented Trump’s instructions to moderate COVID lockdowns. Environmental Protection Agency lawyers pursued cases against fossil fuel producers and withheld the information from Trump appointees.
Trump mandated in a 2020 executive order that new federal buildings be designed to please the public, which prefers classical designs. Instead, General Services Administration architects chose modern designs they like. Trump mentioned as an example the San Francisco Federal Building, the ugliest edifice in the city.
It goes on, including weaponization of the FBI against the president himself.
In October 2020, Trump issued an executive order that federal workers who make policy should be reclassified as at-will employees who can be terminated.
But before it could be implemented, Biden became president. He canceled it immediately, knowing the bureaucrats were on his side.
The rule announced Friday would slow a president’s ability to reinstate Trump’s order. Democrats in Congress are going further, pushing to eliminate the president’s authority to reclassify jobs altogether.
The New York Times announced, “Biden Administration Aims to Trump-Proof the Federal Work Force.”
Ramaswamy vows to go further than Trump, eliminating half or more of civil service positions. “Speaking as a CEO, if somebody works for you and you can’t fire them, they don’t work for you,” he said in a speech on Sept. 12.
New York Magazine facetiously claims holding employees accountable is a threat to good government, and warns that a Republican victory will mean “a new class of federal appointees charged with a partisan agenda.”
Democrats and their media allies falsely romanticize civil service, claiming it protects “merit” over patronage.
Merit was the intention when the civil service was created in 1883 by the Pendleton Act. But merit is largely gone. Scramble those five letters and what you’ve got is the “timer” system. Federal workers get bigger salaries and fatter benefits than private-sector workers doing comparable jobs. And they almost never lose their job, no matter how derelict they are. They put in their time and skate to a gold-plated retirement package.
It’s a gravy train, paid for by John Q Public. That’s sickening enough. But it’s even worse when these civil “servants” put their own leftist leanings ahead of the president and public they’re paid to serve.
Bravo to the GOP candidates pledging to take on the deep state — replete with deadbeats and lefties — and return government to the people. It’s a worthy fight.
Shame on Biden for protecting bureaucracy instead of democracy.
A clip of comedian Louis C.K. on the Joe Rogan show has been circulating on X (formerly Twitter) this week in which he goes on and on about how opening up the southern border would be a good thing because Americans shouldn’t have such a high standard of living compared to the rest of the world, how poor people in other countries just want what Americans have, and how it’s not fair that we have so much. “It shouldn’t be so great here,” he says. So open the border and let them pour in.
It’s possible he’s joking, that it’s just a comedy bit he’s practicing. That’s what my friend Inez Stepman thinks. Get liberals to nod along in agreement and then expose the consequences of such an insane idea. You can judge for yourself:
Louis CK: if we allow open borders, America is going to have a lot of problems… and that’s good. We should have problems. It’s not fair that life in America should be good while it being bad in third world countries
— Ryan James Girdusky (@RyanGirdusky) September 19, 2023
I don’t think it comes off as a joke but as an almost perfect distillation of globalist liberalism. Louis C.K. cannot fathom why Americans should have a say about who comes into their country and who does not. He clearly has no real allegiance to his country or countrymen, and is actually embarrassed by their prosperity — and presumably his own as well.
There is nothing special about America, according to this view, and no reason the rest of the world should not enjoy her ill-gotten riches. Opening the border is the least we could do for the cause of justice.
Whether it’s a joke or not, the substance of what Louis C.K. articulates is the logical endpoint of leftist ideology. It’s what the mainstream left actually believes — and the Biden administration has been actively working to accomplish at the southern border.
Attorney General Merrick Garland testified on Wednesday before the House Oversight Committee and, in the words of constitutional attorney Jonathan Turley, essentially told Americans to “go pound sand.” Among other things, Garland told members of the committee that he didn’t know anything about:
- Whether there were federal agents or sources at the January 6 riot
- Why Ray Epps was charged with misdemeanors for his role in the J6 riot while grandmas were sent away on felony charges
- Whether he had contact with the FBI regarding the Hunter Biden case
- Targeting parents at school board meetings.
Over and over again, under questioning from House Republicans, Garland answered with some variation of “I don’t know” or “I can’t answer that question.”
For decades, Democrats have been using the Department of Justice and the attorney general position to cover for their misdeeds and crimes. Just think about Robert F. Kennedy’s role in protecting his brother, JFK. Or Erik Holder covering for Barack Obama, even admitting that he was Obama’s “wingman.”
It’s hard to believe, but it seems Garland is eclipsing the corruption of Obama’s DOJ. It’s only been three years, but he’s already launched investigations into:
- Pro-life Catholics
- Gun owners and dealers
- Parents attending school board meetings.
In Wednesday’s hearing, Know-Nothing Garland claimed he didn’t know what a traditional Catholic is. He’s clearly not a stupid man — no one reaches that level of corruption without having some level of intelligence — but he plays dumb to a) avoid perjuring himself and b) protect the Biden Crime Family.
If you’re a conservative living in Joe Biden’s America, there’s a very real possibility you could get a knock on your door from the feds. Just ask the J6 protesters who peacefully walked through the Capitol. The feds are still hunting them down and arresting them. And ask the Catholic father who was arrested in a heavily armed FBI raid on his home for the crime of trying to save unborn lives. And ask the father who demanded to know why no action was taken at the school where his daughter was raped why he was treated like a terrorist.
On Friday [14th], Federal District Court Judge Reed O’Connor reissued preliminary injunctions against the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosive (ATF) from enforcing the Final Rule (FINAL RULE 2021R-05F) on frames and receivers against two companies.
The two companies protected against the ATF’s rule are Defense Distributed, makers of the Ghost Gunner, and Blackhawk Manufacturing Group, Inc., d/b/a 80 Percent Arms. The Texas-based case is Vanderstok v. Garland and has been at the center of the fight over incomplete frames and receivers for a little over a year.
North Dakota District Judge Daniel L. Hovland sided with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) over the regulation of firearms equipped with pistol-stabilizing devices.
The Firearms Regulatory Accountability Coalition, Inc. v. Garland was a lawsuit filed by the Firearms Regulatory Accountability Coalition (FRAC) and 24 state attorney generals challenging the ATF’s final rule against pistol-stabilizing devices. The case made similar arguments as presented in three Texas cases involving the Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC), Gun Owners of America (GOA), and the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF). All three gun rights organizations obtained preliminary injunctions for their members against the ATF regulations, and a panel of three judges from the Fifth Circuit of Appeals also ruled against the rule.
To get a preliminary injunction, the Judge must find that the plaintiffs are likely to succeed on the merits of the case.
Judge Hovland found that FRAC and co-plaintiffs were not likely to succeed in Court. This decision does not mean that the plaintiffs will ultimately fail. It just means that the plaintiffs didn’t prove their likelihood of a court victory.
The Judge rejected that the ATF rule violated the Second Amendment. He reasoned that “uniquely dangerous weapons, including short-barreled rifles, are not protected by the Second Amendment.” Judge Hovland stated that the Second Amendment does not protect “weapons not typically possessed by law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes, such as short-barreled shotguns.” He ignored that there are more SBRs in circulation than stun guns, and the courts have ruled there are enough stun guns to be considered “in common use.”
The Judge also claimed that since pistol braces are not firearms, there are no Second Amendment protections. Judge Hovland compared pistol braces to suppressors, which he claims are accessories. That flies in the face of the ATF’s own determination.
In the Biden administration’s whole-of-government attempt to force a transition to supposedly “green” and ethical energy that’s anything but — just ask the whales off the coast of New England or forced/child laborers in EV battery supply chains in Africa — another department is jumping into the crusade.
On Tuesday morning, the U.S. Department of the Treasury released its “Principles for Net-Zero Financing & Investment” to press ahead with “best practices for private sector financial institutions that have made net-zero commitments and promote consistency and credibility in approaches to implementing them.”
These principles, the Treasury Department and Secretary Janet Yellen say, are key to “supporting the mobilization of more private sector capital to address the physical and economic impacts of climate change and to seize on the historic economic opportunity presented by the green transition.”
To that end, Yellen and her department heralded “a number of announcements from civil society including a $340 million commitment” from the likes of the Bezos Earth Fund, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Climate Arc, ClimateWorks, Hewlett Foundation, and Sequoia Climate Foundation over the next three years “to support the continued development of research, data availability, and technical resources intended to help financial institutions develop and execute robust, voluntary net-zero commitments” and “facilitate the transition planning efforts of non-financial sectors of the economy.”
According to the Treasury Department, the “climate crisis is propelling a massive economic shift and is hitting the most vulnerable countries and communities first and hardest” and there’s an “increasing demand for technologies, products, and services that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, support a clean energy future, and help adapt to a changing climate across all sectors.” Notably, however, that demand is not high enough to see the market move truly voluntarily to meet it. As such, “[i]n the United States, government support is playing a role in accelerating this transition,” the Treasury Department admitted as it pushes for more net-zero agreements and investment, as seen in the principles released on Tuesday.
“This announcement from the Department of the Treasury forcing financial institutions to adopt net-zero principles should come as no surprise to American consumers as the Biden Administration openly declares war on consumers,” reacted Will Hild, the executive director of Consumers’ Research.
“Treasury Secretary Yellen, with her announcement of these new net-zero principals at the Bloom Transition Finance Action Forum, has made it abundantly clear that the Treasury Department is working with and for ESG activists like Michael Bloomberg to make the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ) goals for financial institutions into U.S. government policy, leaving consumers with nothing,” Hild added. “The Biden Administration is littered with former BlackRock employees such as Brian Deese and Eric Van Nostrand who are pushing these liberal, progressive, net-zero, and ESG policies on Americans, rather than focusing on reducing costs at the grocery store and gas pump and tamping down inflation.”
“Make no mistake, the Biden administration is running cover for the financial industry’s net zero cartel, protecting megalomaniac CEOs like Larry Fink and leaving consumers with nothing,” said Hild.
As summarized by the Treasury Department, the principles established to reinforce the woke, economically damaging priorities of the left are:
PRINCIPLE 1: A financial institution’s net-zero commitment (commitment) is a declaration of intent to work toward the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Treasury recommends that commitments be in line with limiting the increase in the global average temperature to 1.5°C. To be credible, this declaration should be accompanied or followed by the development and execution of a net-zero transition plan.
PRINCIPLE 2: Financial institutions should consider transition finance, managed phaseout, and climate solutions practices when deciding how to realize their commitments.
PRINCIPLE 3: Financial institutions should establish credible metrics and targets and endeavor, over time, for all relevant financing, investment, and advisory services to have associated metrics and targets.
PRINCIPLE 4: Financial institutions should assess client and portfolio company alignment to their (i.e., financial institutions’) targets and to limiting the increase in the global average temperature to 1.5°C.
PRINCIPLE 5: Financial institutions should align engagement practices — with clients, portfolio companies, and other stakeholders — to their commitments.
PRINCIPLE 6: Financial institutions should develop and execute an implementation strategy that integrates the goals of their commitments into relevant aspects of their businesses and operating procedures.
PRINCIPLE 7: Financial institutions should establish robust governance processes to provide oversight of the implementation of their commitments.
PRINCIPLE 8: Financial institutions should, in the context of activities associated with their net-zero transition plans, account for environmental justice and environmental impacts, where applicable.
PRINCIPLE 9: Financial institutions should be transparent about their commitments and progress towards them.
The voluntary net-zero commitments the Biden administration is seeking to foist on the private sector, however, may put companies which join them in legal jeopardy.
As Townhall has reported previously, state attorneys general from across the U.S. have put insurance and financial service companies on notice that their net-zero commitments may constitute a violation of antitrust and consumer protection laws.
One recent letter to signatories of a net-zero commitment led by Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti noted how such net-zero alliances see companies “colluding to limit consumer choices and manipulate market outcomes in support of international climate activists,” moves that “could violate [his state’s] antitrust and consumer protection laws.” As AG Skrmetti rightfully noted, “[d]ecisions about energy policy should be made by our elected representatives, not by transnational corporate alliances.”
Already, an earlier warning to insurance signatories to a net-zero pact saw several companies back out of the agreement rather than face additional scrutiny from state attorneys general for their activities that may have constituted antitrust violations.
Despite such warnings about net-zero priorities being potentially in violation of state law, the Biden administration and its climate alarmist allies in the private and nonprofit sector are plunging ahead with more agreements — an unsurprising development from the administration that has not allowed federal law or the U.S. Constitution curb its ambitions, leading to a series of high-profile losses before the Supreme Court for its attempts to force an energy transition.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has issued the following notice regarding recent changes to the ATF Form 4473. All federal firearms licensees (FFLs) are encouraged to begin using the Revised Form immediately.
ATF Notice Regarding Recent Changes to the ATF Form 4473:
As you well know, due to statutory requirements set forth in both the NICS Denial Notification Act and the Bipartisan Safer Community Act (BSCA), the ATF Form 4473 was revised in December of 2022. Incorporating industry member suggestions made during the recent 60 and 30-day Notice and Comment periods, ATF has further revised the form and now that newest version (August 2023) has been approved by the Office of Management and Budget for implementation.
ATF encourages all federal firearms licensees (FFLs) to begin using the Revised Form immediately. The Revised Form is available on ATF’s website, and can be downloaded and printed for immediate use. Please note that the entire Form, including instructions, must be printed, and stored together. Hard copies of the Revised Form will be available through the ATF Distribution Center beginning November 1, 2023. The ATF eForm 4473 application is also being revised and notification will be sent when it is ready for use.
A detailed breakdown of all form changes is provided on ATF’s website: ATF Form 4473 – Firearms Transaction Record Revisions. The Revised Form will become mandatory for use on February 1, 2024. Please contact your local ATF Industry Operations office should you have any questions regarding the changes to the form.
Washington, D.C. — Gun Owners of America (GOA) and the Gun Owners Foundation (GOF) are excited to announce that the ATF has backed down from attempting to revoke the FFL license of Morehouse Enterprises in Valley City, North Dakota.
Previously, GOA and GOF had filed a lawsuit in defense of the gun retailer, which does business as Bridge City Ordnance. The company was facing the loss of its license due to minor paperwork errors, which, under the new Biden “Zero Tolerance” policy, was grounds for revocation.
It has become quite obvious to the average individual that the ATF conducted the “random” inspection of Bridge City Ordnance right after the company joined GOA and GOF in a separate lawsuit challenging the ATF’s Ghost Gun Frame and Receiver Rule last summer.
Litigation is ongoing in both cases.
“The ATF kicked a hornet’s nest when they thought they could send a message to gun dealers who dared to challenge their illegal actions in court. In response, GOA and GOF stepped in, and we made clear they were about to engage in a losing battle. We are thrilled for Bridge City Ordnance and hope this encourages ATF to revisit their ‘zero tolerance’ policy.”
It’s a true reflection of the sad state of our justice system that we have to be suspicious of anything it does. When we first learned that Hunter Biden would likely be indicted, I was skeptical and felt that even if Special Counsel David Weiss did indict him, it would be a ruse. Still, when the indictments came down on Thursday, it was hard not to feel somewhat elated—but that suspicion still nags at me.
Seriously, does anyone believe that Hunter Biden will actually face any jail time? Would Weiss, one of the architects of Hunter’s ridiculous plea deal, actually put Hunter Biden behind bars? I don’t. But in the meantime, many think it is a possibility.
According to Mike Davis, a former law clerk for Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, we shouldn’t be fooled by these indictments, and he explains why.
“Don’t be fooled,” he began in a lengthy post on X/Twitter. “Today’s indictment of Hunter Biden for gun felonies is just more coverup by Delaware U.S. Attorney David Weiss, who has protected the Bidens for years.”
Weiss, handpicked by both Democrat home-state senators in Delaware, let the statute of limitations expire on serious tax charges, buried evidence deemed credible by the Pittsburgh U.S. Attorney of the Bidens’ alleged foreign bribery schemes, and attempted to give Hunter a sweetheart deal with secret, broad immunity that protected President Biden.
President Biden knows he cannot pardon Hunter right now. That would lead to politically and legally disastrous consequences before November 5, 2024. If pardoned, Hunter can no longer plead the Fifth Amendment–and refuse to testify before Congress. Hunter’s Fifth Amendment protections also disappear if Weiss gives Hunter a plea agreement with a prosecution waiver or some other immunity deal that shields him from criminal charges.
Weiss’s charges today continue his deceptive pattern–for years–of protecting Hunter. More troubling, Weiss is protecting President Biden. Indeed, where are Hunter’s charges related to foreign corruption, acting as an unregistered foreign agent, tax evasion, wire fraud, and other criminal charges that could implicate President Biden?
Davis went on to predict that Joe Biden and Special Counsel Weiss would rescue Hunter after the 2024 election. “Weiss will give Hunter another sweetheart deal. President Biden will pardon Hunter—and maybe even himself. Hunter will not spend a day in jail.” Meanwhile, the Biden Justice Department will use the indictment as pretext for refusing to cooperate with Congress, or answer questions from the media.
There’s always an angle with the corrupt Democrats. Always.