Build-Your-Own Überpost!

A couple of weeks ago I received an email from reader GuardDuck, informing me that serial-commenter Markadelphia, who was politely voted off the island three years ago, still seems a little obsessed with me, calling me and by extension my readers out for our “support” for Donald Trump.

I was tempted.  Oh so tempted.

But no.  I will not respond with an überpost.  I’ve spent the last couple of weeks wrestling with the decision and collecting links, but I will resist.  Instead, I’m going to post some images and links, and let you build your very own überpost in your head!

Markadelphia asks:

Kevin has spent years writing on his blog about the education system and Yuri Bezmenov, an ex KGB guy, who has warned the US about a totalitarian takeover. Now he and others like him in the right wing blogsphere are ACTUALLY VOTING FOR THIS TO HAPPEN.

Kevin, I had planned on leaving you alone but this complete capitulation to Putin via Trump is such a monumental example of hypocrisy that it necessitate inquiry. You rail against Russia’s influence in the US and now you are going to help make that happen by voting for Putin’s puppet. I have to wonder…WTF, dude? All of the long posts about Bezmenov…the education system…communists plots…ALL now rendered worthless. Where is your integrity, man? I’ll be looking for your response on your site.

Given the right wing bloggers’ penchant for authoritarianism, illustrated quite well in any sort of engagement with them in comments sections, my only guess here is that they are for totalitarianism if the right people are in charge. If they have some naggy liberal trying to make the world a better place and making them do stuff that they don’t wanna, well, fuck that!

But if they have a system where they can keep their guns to guard against government tyranny and still jail people for being against that government and not being patriotic enough then, by gum, the are ALL IN!!!

Knowing through about seven years of dealing with Markadelphia that nothing I say will reach him, I decided I’d try pictures. Here are a few I collected for this post:

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 photo ExtremelyCareless.jpg
 photo Disqualified.jpg

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Edited to add this very appropriate one via Joe Huffman:

 photo Hillary_Fasces.jpg

And here are some pieces I really think you ought to read if you’re interested in my position on this election. (That’s directed at my readers, not Markadelphia. I know he cannot grasp the points of these pieces, so it’s not worth wasting his time on them.)

– Excerpt:

Which points to the fifth objection: in giving reasons for Trump, I oppose the Constitution and support “authoritarianism.” First of all, I don’t even know what the latter is—beyond the discredited Adorno study that the Left still uses to tar everyone to its right as Nazis. If we simply go by the Wiki definition—“authoritarianism is a form of government characterized by strong central power and limited political freedoms”—that sounds to me much more like the administrative state than anything Trump has proposed. Or do you mean “fascist”? Then say so. I have some idea of what that is. Or do you mean “tyrant”? I certainly know what that is. Are you saying Trump is one, or wants to be, or that I welcome either?

More risible—downright intelligence-insulting—is to read liberals accuse conservatives of wanting to trash the Constitution. Really. The Left has been insisting for more than a century that our Constitution is fatally flawed, written for another age, outmoded, hypocritical, hopelessly undermined by slavery and racism and sexism and property requirements, and so much else. Conservatives who argue for originalism and strict construction and federalism—sticking exactly to the letter of the Constitution—are called racists because everyone supposedly knows that the former are mere “code words.”

This is a very large topic, and for those interested, there is an equally large body of scholarship that explains it all in detail. For now, let’s just ask ourselves two questions. First, how do the mechanics of government, as written in the Constitution, differ from current practice? Second, how well are the rights Amendments observed? As to the first, we do still have those three branches of government mentioned. But we also have a fourth, hidden in plain sight within the executive, namely the bureaucracy or administrative state. It both usurps legislative power and uses executive power in an unaccountable way. Congress does not use its own powers but meekly defers to the executive and to the bureaucracy. The executive does whatever it wants. The judiciary also usurps legislative and, when it’s really feeling its oats, executive power through the use of consent decrees and the like. And that’s just the feds—before we even get to the relationship between the feds and the states. As to the second, can you think of a single amendment among the Bill of Rights that is not routinely violated—with the acquiescence and approval of the Left? I can’t.

All this happened because, for more than a century, the Left has been working at best to “change” and “update” the Constitution, and at worst to ignore it or get around it. This agenda is not hidden but announced and boasted of. Yet when someone on the Right points out that the Constitution—by design—no longer works as designed, that the U.S. government does not in practice function as a Constitutional republic, we are lambasted as “authoritarian.”

That’s a malicious lie. The truth is that the Left pushed and dragged us here. You wanted this. We didn’t. You didn’t like the original Constitution. We did and do. You didn’t want it to operate as designed because when it does it too often prevents you from doing what you want to do. So you actively worked to give the courts and the bureaucracy the last word, some of you for high-minded reasons of sincere conviction, but most of you simply because you know they’re on your side. You said it would be better this way. When we opposed you, you called us “racists.” Now that you’ve got what you wanted, and we acknowledge your success, you call us “authoritarian” and “anti-Constitutionalist.” This is gaslighting on the level of “If you like your health care, you can keep your health care.” Exasperating and infuriating, yet impressive in its shamelessness. But that’s the Left for you: l’audace, l’audace—toujours l’audace.

– Excerpt:

So when Clinton supporters ask me how I could support a “fascist,” the answer is that he isn’t one. Clinton’s team, with the help of Godzilla, have effectively persuaded the public to see Trump as scary. The persuasion works because Trump’s “pacing” system is not obvious to the public. They see his “first offers” as evidence of evil. They are not. They are technique.

And being chummy with Putin is more likely to keep us safe, whether you find that distasteful or not. Clinton wants to insult Putin into doing what we want. That approach seems dangerous as hell to me.

Those two pieces pretty much encompass my response to the Putin/Tyranny question, but they do far more than just that, and I recommend you read them in their entirety.

With respect to Clinton and gun control, please look at these:

– Excerpt:

When it comes to gun control, Hillary Clinton said last Friday, “Australia is a good example” for the United States to follow. That comment suggested the leading Democratic presidential candidate’s plans in this area are much more ambitious than she usually lets on—so ambitious that implementing them would require ignoring or repealing the Second Amendment. By Monday a spokeswoman for the former secretary of state was already backpedaling, saying Clinton did not mean to endorse mass gun confiscation, a central element of Australia’s approach to firearms. But if that was not Clinton’s intent, she has an alarmingly cavalier attitude toward laws that impinge on constitutional rights: The details don’t matter as long as you mean well.

  • AARP’s Election 2016

– Excerpt:

What would you do to address terrorism?

Hillary Clinton: Well, these are legitimate fears. I believe that people are rightly concerned about violence. Terrorism is part of that violence, and we have to do the best job we can to keep America safe. So I’ve laid out a very comprehensive plan about taking on the terrorists, going after them where they operate, doing everything we can to take away their territories so they can’t mastermind attacks from afar. But we also have to go after them online because that is where they recruit, radicalize and direct attacks. And we need to do a better job of getting there early, rooting out people who are vulnerable and preventing that from happening. But I’m looking at violence broadly.… It’s also why I’ve advocated gun-safety reform, like comprehensive background checks, closing the gun-show loophole, closing the online loophole—because, you know, it’s not only terrorists we need to be worried about. Terrorism is part of it, but gun violence kills 33,000 Americans a year…We’ve got to get serious about stemming violence and terrorism in every way we can.

Even if it violates the Second Amendment, apparently. And remember, over half of those “gun violence” deaths are suicides, but the real numbers aren’t scary enough for some reason.  Probably because of this:

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And equally apparent, it would appear that Australia’s much-vaunted gun control laws have helped as much in Melbourne as they have in Chicago: Young, Dumb and armed: How Melbourne became a gun city. Excerpt:

In June, word spread that an AK-47 was available for $20,000.

The Soviet-era assault rifle is the weapon of choice for Third World armies and terrorists, but this one was destined for the streets of Melbourne.

The notion that a military-grade weapon could be in the hands of local criminals is shocking, but police have already seized at least five machine guns and assault rifles in the past 18 months. The AK-47 was not among them.

Only a fortnight ago, law enforcement authorities announced they were hunting another seven assault rifles recently smuggled into the country. Weapons from the shipment have been used in armed robberies and drive-by shootings.

These are just a handful of the thousands of illicit guns fuelling a wave of violent crime in the world’s most liveable city.

Apparently Hillary missed the Econ 101 portion of Fr. Guido Sarducci’s 5-Minute University:

Supply and Demand. That’s it.

There’s more, but as I said, I don’t want to write another überpost. If you read the attached links, you can write your own in your head, but if that’s not enough, you might want to peruse these too:

Restatement on Flight 93

The Ghost of Tina Kerbrat

Missouri:  The Shoot Me State – yes the NYT still waves the gun-control banner.  I fisked this piece already.

A couple of pieces on Hillary’s health:

One from Instapundit with multiple links and one about her recent bout with “pneumonia.”

And one more image I just had to share:

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Lying. It’s All That They’ve Got.

So, the legislature of Missouri has overridden Gov. Nixon’s veto and Missouri is now a Constitutional Carry state – the eleventh.  So far.

The Editorial Board of the New York Times is hyperventilating.  Their op-ed today is entitled, “Missouri:  The Shoot Me State.”  I kid you not.  Shades of Florida being tagged “The Gunshine State” when they passed shall-issue concealed carry in 1987.  What happened there?  Well between passage of that law and 2014 the homicide rate declined from 11.4/100k to 5.8, violent crime declined from about 7,500/100k to less than 3,500, rape declined from 50.2/100k to 30.4, and aggravated assault declined from 606.3 to 366.4.

“Gunshine State”?  Missouri ought to embrace their new moniker.

As is typical for the Media when it comes to gun control, all they’ve got is lies and hyperbole, and this piece starts off with a bang (no pun intended):

The law will let citizens carry concealed weapons in public without a state gun permit, criminal background check or firearms training. It strips local law enforcement of its current authority to deny firearms to those guilty of domestic violence and to other high-risk individuals.

An earlier version of the piece used the phrase “necessary authority,” but that was changed with no notification of the edit.

The measure has drawn no great national attention,

Perhaps because ten other states have such laws on the books with no negative outcomes?

but it certainly provides further evidence that gun safety cannot be left to state lawmakers beholden to the gun lobby.

Otherwise known as “their constituents.”

Democrats opposed to the Missouri bill called it a “perfect storm” of lowered standards for the use of deadly force and an invitation for people to be armed without responsible controls. The measure was enacted by the Republicans, despite strong public opposition and warnings about the threat to public safety from the state Police Chiefs Association. Everytown for Gun Safety, one of the groups fighting the gun lobby, noted that stand your ground laws result in disproportionate harm to communities of color.

By that measure, “gun control” results in “disproportionate harm to communities of color,” since places like Chicago with strict gun control laws have astronomically high levels of death and injury by gunshot. Ask the writer of this recent Pro Publica piece, How the Gun Control Debate Ignores Black Lives.  But continuing:

Mr. Nixon, a Democrat, vetoed the measure in June, saying it would allow individuals with a criminal record to legally carry a concealed firearm even though they had been, or would have been, denied a permit under the old law’s background check.

Which means he lied, since anyone with a felony record, or a conviction that could have resulted in a sentence exceeding one year (regardless of what sentence was actually handed down), or anyone under a domestic violence restraining order or found guilty of a domestic violence charge is – by Federal law – prohibited from possessing a firearm. Period. Doesn’t matter how they carry it. So if their criminal record would have prevented them having a permit, it should prevent them from having a FIREARM.

But the New York Times’ Editorial Board doesn’t tell you that.

Mayors Sly James of Kansas City and Francis Slay of St. Louis warned against restricting the power of the local police to deny guns to those who commit domestic violence.

And they lied too. It’s FEDERAL law, and local police are quite empowered to enforce it.

But the New York Times’ Editorial Board doesn’t tell you that, either.

Senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal, a lawmaker from Ferguson, which erupted in protests after the 2014 fatal police shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed African-American teenager, warned that enacting the stand-your-ground standard would mean another “bad Samaritan like Zimmerman.” She was referring to the shooting death in Florida four years ago of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black teenager, by George Zimmerman; in that case the judge’s instructions to the jury contained some of the language of the stand your ground law.

Oooh! A twofer! Michael Brown might have been “unarmed,” but he was physically charging the officer he’d just tried to disarm. The “Hands Up! Don’t Shoot” meme has been thoroughly discredited.

Except in the eyes of the New York Times’ Editorial Board.

An earlier version of the piece claimed Zimmerman’s defense rested on Stand Your Ground, but at least they noted that revision of the article to retract that. Doesn’t matter anyway, since if you’re on your back getting your head bashed into the sidewalk by your assailant, you – by definition – cannot retreat. Again, Martin might not have been armed. That doesn’t mean he wasn’t lethally dangerous.

Except in the eyes of the New York Times’ Editorial Board.

Missouri is joining 10 other states that loosened gun laws to allow concealed firearms in public without the need for a permit. Federal gun controls still require background checks on buyers, but only at federally licensed dealers. Unfortunately, there is a separate and busy uncontrolled market where buyers at gun shows and on the internet do not have to undergo background checks.

Ah yes, the infamous “gun show loophole.” AKA private sales. Just one more push for backdoor registration. Except, of course, by people with criminal records who won’t bother to fill out a Form 4473 no matter what the law says.

In the presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton has called for extensive gun safety measures, including a ban on the assault weapons favored by mass shooters, closing background-check loopholes, ending the gun industry’s outrageous protection from civil damage suits and denying guns to risky suspects on the government’s no-fly lists.

And once again the Orwellian Word Police have substituted “gun safety” for “gun control.” Is gun. Is not safe.  That’s kinda the point.  And the “gun industries outrageous protection from civil damage suits”?  You mean the kind of suits that resulted in dismissals like Cincinnati’s lawsuit against Beretta where the decision reads in part:

A manufacturer has no duty to warn of an obvious danger. Knives are sharp, bowling balls are heavy, bullets cause puncture wounds in flesh. The law has long recognized that obvious dangers are an excluded class.

Those lawsuits weren’t seeking civil damages for defective firearms (suits which can still be brought and have been won.) The suits that manufacturers are protected against are the ones brought as “lawfare,” intending to bankrupt gun manufacturers competing against government entities with essentially bottomless pockets. Lawsuits that threaten to have far broader implications, as was noted in the dismissal of New York v. Sturm Ruger et. al:

Although this public nuisance lawsuit is brought by the Attorney General on behalf of the State of New York-while the Hamilton action was one initiated by private parties for negligent marketing-both were brought against handgun manufacturers and sellers.   Plaintiff’s attempt here to widen the range of common-law public nuisance claims in order to reach the legal handgun industry will not itself, if successful, engender a limitless number of public nuisance lawsuits by individuals against these particular defendants, as was a stated concern in Hamilton, 96 N.Y.2d at 233, 727 N.Y.S.2d 7, 750 N.E.2d 1055.   However, giving a green light to a common-law public nuisance cause of action today will, in our judgment, likely open the courthouse doors to a flood of limitless, similar theories of public nuisance, not only against these defendants, but also against a wide and varied array of other commercial and manufacturing enterprises and activities.

All a creative mind would need to do is construct a scenario describing a known or perceived harm of a sort that can somehow be said to relate back to the way a company or an industry makes, markets and/or sells its non-defective, lawful product or service, and a public nuisance claim would be conceived and a lawsuit born.   A variety of such lawsuits would leave the starting gate to be welcomed into the legal arena to run their cumbersome course, their vast cost and tenuous reasoning notwithstanding.   Indeed, such lawsuits employed to address a host of societal problems would be invited into the courthouse whether the problems they target are real or perceived;  whether the problems are in some way caused by, or perhaps merely preceded by, the defendants’ completely lawful business practices;  regardless of the remoteness of their actual cause or of their foreseeability;  and regardless of the existence, remoteness, nature and extent of any intervening causes between defendants’ lawful commercial conduct and the alleged harm.

But the New York Times‘ Editoral Board doesn’t want you to know that, either.

Assault weapons? Someone once described the idea of banning “assault weapons” as a method of preventing mass shootings as the equivalent of banning palm trees to prevent people being crushed by falling elephants. The New York Times itself published a piece two years ago entitled The Assault Weapon Myth which noted:

This politically defined category of guns — a selection of rifles, shotguns and handguns with “military-style” features — only figured in about 2 percent of gun crimes nationwide before the ban.

Most Americans do not know that gun homicides have decreased by 49 percent since 1993 as violent crime also fell, though rates of gun homicide in the United States are still much higher than those in other developed nations. A Pew survey conducted after the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., found that 56 percent of Americans believed wrongly that the rate of gun crime was higher than it was 20 years ago.

“We spent a whole bunch of time and a whole bunch of political capital yelling and screaming about assault weapons,” Mayor Mitchell J. Landrieu of New Orleans said. He called it a “zero sum political fight about a symbolic weapon.”

More than 20 years of research funded by the Justice Department has found that programs to target high-risk people or places, rather than targeting certain kinds of guns, can reduce gun violence.

I guess the Editorial Board of the New York Times doesn’t actually read their own paper.

This is my shocked face.

The current op-ed concludes:

Donald Trump, endorsed by the National Rifle Association, favors more armed civilians ready to engage in what he calls a defensive “shootout.” This is one of the most pathetic measures yet of his pandering, when he should be leading, on an issue of vital importance to the public.

Except the public seems to feel otherwise, at least according to polls by Gallup, CNN, Pew and Rasmussen.

But the New York Times’ Editorial Board knows better.

At least they want you to think they do.

Quote of the Day – Flight 93 Election Edition

From a pretty important essay over at Claremont, The Flight 93 Election. It’s a fairly long piece (not überpost-length, but not 800 words, either) so this excerpt will be too:

One of the Journal of American Greatness’s deeper arguments was that only in a corrupt republic, in corrupt times, could a Trump rise. It is therefore puzzling that those most horrified by Trump are the least willing to consider the possibility that the republic is dying. That possibility, apparently, seems to them so preposterous that no refutation is necessary.

As does, presumably, the argument that the stakes in 2016 are—everything. I should here note that I am a good deal gloomier than my (former) JAG colleagues, and that while we frequently used the royal “we” when discussing things on which we all agreed, I here speak only for myself.

How have the last two decades worked out for you, personally? If you’re a member or fellow-traveler of the Davos class, chances are: pretty well. If you’re among the subspecies conservative intellectual or politician, you’ve accepted—perhaps not consciously, but unmistakably—your status on the roster of the Washington Generals of American politics. Your job is to show up and lose, but you are a necessary part of the show and you do get paid. To the extent that you are ever on the winning side of anything, it’s as sophists who help the Davoisie oligarchy rationalize open borders, lower wages, outsourcing, de-industrialization, trade giveaways, and endless, pointless, winless war.

All of Trump’s 16 Republican competitors would have ensured more of the same—as will the election of Hillary Clinton. That would be bad enough. But at least Republicans are merely reactive when it comes to wholesale cultural and political change. Their “opposition” may be in all cases ineffectual and often indistinguishable from support. But they don’t dream up inanities like 32 “genders,” elective bathrooms, single-payer, Iran sycophancy, “Islamophobia,” and Black Lives Matter. They merely help ratify them.

A Hillary presidency will be pedal-to-the-metal on the entire Progressive-left agenda, plus items few of us have yet imagined in our darkest moments. Nor is even that the worst. It will be coupled with a level of vindictive persecution against resistance and dissent hitherto seen in the supposedly liberal West only in the most “advanced” Scandinavian countries and the most leftist corners of Germany and England. We see this already in the censorship practiced by the Davoisie’s social media enablers; in the shameless propaganda tidal wave of the mainstream media; and in the personal destruction campaigns—operated through the former and aided by the latter—of the Social Justice Warriors. We see it in Obama’s flagrant use of the IRS to torment political opponents, the gaslighting denial by the media, and the collective shrug by everyone else.

It’s absurd to assume that any of this would stop or slow—would do anything other than massively intensify—in a Hillary administration. It’s even more ridiculous to expect that hitherto useless conservative opposition would suddenly become effective. For two generations at least, the Left has been calling everyone to their right Nazis. This trend has accelerated exponentially in the last few years, helped along by some on the Right who really do seem to merit—and even relish—the label. There is nothing the modern conservative fears more than being called “racist,” so alt-right pocket Nazis are manna from heaven for the Left. But also wholly unnecessary: sauce for the goose. The Left was calling us Nazis long before any pro-Trumpers tweeted Holocaust denial memes. And how does one deal with a Nazi—that is, with an enemy one is convinced intends your destruction? You don’t compromise with him or leave him alone. You crush him.

So what do we have to lose by fighting back? Only our Washington Generals jerseys—and paychecks. But those are going away anyway. Among the many things the “Right” still doesn’t understand is that the Left has concluded that this particular show need no longer go on. They don’t think they need a foil anymore and would rather dispense with the whole bother of staging these phony contests in which each side ostensibly has a shot.

RTWT. Twice.